How to Create LEGO Voxels in MagicaVoxel

If you just started making voxel art, you may have noticed its a lot like building with toy bricks in real life! A neat feature that was added to MagicaVoxel was the ability to make your creation look like a real life LEGO model by applying the LEGO shape in MagicaVoxel. In this tutorial, we will show you how to create voxels that look like LEGOs in MagicaVoxel.

Lego Voxels in MagicaVoxel

So let's say you made a car voxel model inside of MagicaVoxel and would like to see how that model would look if it was constructed out of LEGO bricks. The question is, how do I turn on LEGO mode in MagicaVoxel? The nice thing is MagicaVoxel has a built in LEGO shape that replaces the traditional voxel cube. You can use this shape on your voxel models to create great looking brick models out of your voxel art. We'll be going through the steps to setup LEGO mode and then applying it to your model. Then we'll show you how to render it inside the Render window so you take a snapshot to share.

This tutorial uses MagicaVoxel 0.99.6 or newer. If you need help installing MagicaVoxel, view our previous tutorial How to Install MagicaVoxel. There you can find a step by step tutorial on getting MagicaVoxel running on your computer.

Open a Voxel Model in MagicaVoxel

For this example we will be using a sample voxel model that ships with the MagicaVoxel Editor. However feel free to use your own voxel model if you like. The steps are the same for any model.

So to begin open up the MagicaVoxel Editor and inside the Project window on the right side you should see a list of voxel files. These files are templates that come with the MagicaVoxel installation. Look for the one called castle.

New file in MagicaVoxel

Once you find it go ahead and click it. This is the sample voxel called "castle" that comes with MagicaVoxel. Castles are are very common when building with toy blocks, so we thought this would be a great fit for this tutorial. It should look something like this:

MagicaVoxel editor

Now that you have your model in place, the next step is to apply the Lego shape to your voxels.

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Switch to Render Mode

Whenever you build voxel art with MagicaVoxel, you will be working in one of two modes: Model Mode or Render Mode. So when you add, delete or paint voxels on your model you will always be working inside of Model Mode. If you look at the top left of your screen you'll notice that the word Model is highlighted. By default the editor is in this mode. However, to apply effects like the Lego shape to your voxels you will have to switch to Render mode. Go ahead and click the Render button.

Render Mode in MagicaVoxel

When you click this button the main editor window in the middle might appear blurry at first. That is because the scene takes time to render different effects like lighting and shadows. After a few seconds the scene should clear up.

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How to add the LEGO shape to Your Voxel Model

Once you're in Render mode you should now see a window next to the palette window titled Light. This powerful window allows you to apply all kinds of neat effects to your voxel models like adjusting lights and shadows. It even lets you add fog to your scene. However for this tutorial we will will be using one category in particular called Shape. This lets you adjust the shape of our voxels to make them look like toy bricks, such as LEGO.

So to begin first make sure that the All button is selected at the top of the Light window. If not you won't be able to see the Shape category.

Light window in MagicaVoxel

Next scroll the Light window using your mouse wheel until you come to a category called Shape. This is the category we mentioned earlier.

Shape options in MagicaVoxel

You should see some buttons like Cube, Lego and MC. By default the Cube option is selected and that makes your voxels look like cubes. If you get the chance you can experiment with some of these other shapes to give your voxel models a cool look. As you probably guessed by now, to change the shape to a LEGO shape simply click the Lego button.

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Voxel Shape options in MagicaVoxel

Now just like before your screen will most likely turn blurry. This is normal as the editor is rendering your model with the new Lego shape. After you wait a few seconds, you'll now notice that your voxels now have circles on top of them similar to a LEGO brick.

LEGO shape in MagicaVoxel

And there you go! You now have an awesome voxel model that looks like it was made with LEGO bricks! One recommendation from us is to to keep your models relatively small (less than 30x30x30) when using this shape. Models that are too big make it difficult to see the Lego shape. Great work!

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How to Export Images in MagicaVoxel

Now that you have a cool model to show off we will show you how to export an image so that you can share it on social media or even get featured by Mega Voxels!

At the bottom of the main editor window you'll see a button with a camera icon. This button allows you to snap a photo of your model exactly how it appears inside of the editor window.

How to export an image in MagicaVoxel

Go ahead and click that and you should see a save dialogue. Choose where on your computer you would like to save it and click save. It's that simple! Here was our final image from the tutorial:

How to Create LEGO Voxels in MagicaVoxel

If you would like to watch the video version of our tutorial you can view it by clicking play on the video below. If you found this tutorial helpful please consider sharing it! Also if you have any questions or comments please let us know below. Thanks!


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