How to Import MagicaVoxel into Blender

MagicaVoxel and Blender work seamlessly together to make great looking voxel art. In this tutorial, we will discuss how to import your MagicaVoxel models into Blender.

Let's say you made a voxel model inside of MagicaVoxel and now you want to import it into Blender so you can make custom bends, scale your models, or other alterations that aren't possible in MagicaVoxel. The most common question is, how do I import MagicaVoxel into Blender? The great thing is that MagicaVoxel supports export options that work great with Blender. Specifically it supports the .OBJ model type which is supported by the Blender Modeling Software. We'll be going over the steps on how to import your voxel models into your Blender. First we will show you how to export your voxel model out of the MagicaVoxel Editor.

How to Export your Voxel Model out of MagicaVoxel

Now before you can get your voxel model out of the MagicaVoxel editor and load it into Blender, you must first understand what types of model files the Blender application supports. Blender supports a wide array of common model types such as Autodesk FBX, Collada DAE and Wavefront OBJ. As of this writing MagicaVoxel only supports one of the three mentioned, which is the OBJ model type. So to kick off our tutorial we will show you how export your voxel model using OBJ file format.

To see the export options inside of the MagicaVoxel editor, begin by opening a voxel model you already made or create a new voxel model. For this tutorial we used the "castle" demo file that ships with MagicaVoxel. When opened look towards the bottom right section of the editor window where it says Export.

How to Export Voxel Models from MagicaVoxel to Blender

Now its very common that when you open MagicaVoxel for the first time, the window might be collapsed so that you only see the word Export. To open it simply click on the word Export. When it opens, you will be able to see a series of buttons with different abbreviations. These are the various export options that we mentioned earlier that are supported by MagicaVoxel.

Export Options for MagicaVoxel

These are the Export formats supported by MagicaVoxel:
  1. OBJ - Export a 3D mesh using the .obj file format
  2. PLY - Export a file using the PLY (Polygon File Format) format
  3. MC -  Export a file using the MC (Marching Cubes) format
  4. XRAW - Export a XRAW volume
  5. SLAB - Export a SLAB6 vox volume
  6. QB - Export a QB volume for use with Qubicle
  7. VOX - Export a MagicaVoxel VOX file
  8. ISO - Export a Isometric pixel sprite (.png)
  9. 2D - Export a 2D sprite (.png)
For this tutorial you will ignore the other options and select OBJ. A good practice to get used to is to first create a folder on your computer where you can save your exported voxel model into. The purpose of this is because MagicaVoxel will create 3 separate files that actually make up your model that you will be importing into Blender. These 3 files include your model (.obj), your material (.mat) and your texture (.png). By having a single folder we can easily access them when working inside of Blender. In the image below I created a folder called "My Voxel Model". So after you create your folder click the OBJ button in the export window. A save dialogue will appear where you can enter the name of the model. For the name I just used "MyVoxelModel.obj".


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Import Your Voxel Art into Blender

Now that you have your exported your voxel model out of MagicaVoxel, you are ready to import your model into Blender. If you exported your model into a folder like we did earlier this will super easy. Go ahead and open up Blender. If you see a cube in the center go ahead and delete it that way you have an empty scene to import your model into. To import it, go into File > Import > Wavefront (obj).


After you click that a file window should open. Navigate to where your folder with your model is located. Go ahead and select the OBJ file that was exported from MagicaVoxel. When you select your OBJ file click Import OBJ.


Once you click the button you should immediately see your model inside of the main window in Blender.

How to Import MagicaVoxel into Blender

Now you might be wondering why it's gray. By default Blender displays models in a flat color (gray). In order to see the texture we will have to change the Viewport Shading.

How to show textures from MagicaVoxel model in Blender

Click on the button with a sphere icon next to the Object Mode drop down menu. Inside you will see an option called Texture. Go ahead and click that.


Okay, were getting closer. You can kind of see our texture but for some reason its very dark! The reason is that when you change the Viewport Shading to texture, it now uses a light in the scene similar to MagicaVoxel in Render mode. To fix that we will add a Sunlight to the scene and adjust its Transform coordinates. Follow the 3 easy steps below:


As you can see that is much better! Our Sun light is illuminating our model just like in MagicaVoxel.

Where to Go from Here

And there you have it! Now you know how to successfully import a voxel model into Blender from MagicaVoxel. If you have any question or comments please leave them below. Thanks for reading.

Comments

  1. I have a big magica composite model made of of many many scenes because that the scale I needed. These scenes are stacked next to eachother as 100x100pixel scenes in my magica editor but when I exported the project as obj I got maybe over 200 individual obj's and in blended you can only import 1 obj at a time... I just don't have the patience to do that and match them all together. I would like to use blended for some more advanced lighting needs.... What should I do to be most efficient here?I there a way to pack all my scenes together in magica and export only 1 obj with all scenes put together?

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