What is a voxel?

If you’re new to voxel art you might be wondering what is a voxel? In this post I will explain what exactly a voxel is and how it is used to make some of the awesome voxel art and games you see on Mega Voxels!

What is a voxel?

What are Voxels?

In computer graphics, a voxel is a block located on a grid in three-dimensional space. As with pixels in a 2D bitmap, voxels can contain a specific location inside the grid and have single color value assigned to it. All individual voxels are the same size, however voxels can then be combined in the same grid at different positions with different colors to create what is known as a voxel model.
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How do voxels work?

The easiest way to understand how voxels work is to first understand how pixels work. As a matter of fact the word voxel is derived from the terms “volume” and “pixel”!

In a 2D image, like the ones you see everyday on Instagram, if you were to zoom in enough you would be able to see tiny squares of different colors. These little squares, known as pixels, are each positioned on an invisible 2d grid. Each cell in the grid has an “X” position and a “Y” position along with a color value (NOTE: this color can also be transparent). When you combines these squares as a whole it makes up an image.

Voxels, sometimes referred to as 3D pixels, behave in a near identical fashion to pixels with one major exception: Pixels exist in a 2D grid, whereas voxels exist in a 3D grid. So if you can imagine the first example we gave about the pixel image, a voxel has a “X” position and a “Y” position just like a pixel. But now there is a third axis introduced which is the “Z” axis. This means that a voxel also has a “Z” position giving the artist the ability to make a 3D model instead of being limited to a 2D grid. Keep in mind that each individual voxel also has a color assigned to it just like a pixel does.

With the introduction of the Z axis, artists can create stunning pieces made entirely out of voxel cubes.
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How to create Voxel Art with Voxels

When working with pixel art you can use a program as simple as Microsoft Paint to create images. However, to make voxel art you're going to need a special piece of software called a Voxel Editor. The good news is that there are several to choose from and many of them are free or only cost a small fee. 

Check out the Best Voxel Editors

Check out our Voxel Art Tutorials

Are you ready to start building with voxels? Check out our Voxel Art Tutorial Library to get access to great voxel editors as well as tutorials for getting up and running fast. If you need some inspiration follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to get the latest and greatest voxel art in your home feed daily!

Have fun!


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