How to Use MagicaVoxel

MagicaVoxel has become one of the most widely used voxel editors for creating voxel art today. MagicaVoxel, a free voxel software application by @ephtracy, gives artists the ability to create amazing voxel art easily with a common set of 3D modeling tools and commands.

What is amazing about this tool is that it allows even beginners to start making 3D voxel models with little to no experience. When you first open up a voxel model inside of MagicaVoxel, you might see some similarities between other types of art that you've seen before. For starters the blocks on the screen snap to a grid like pixel art in 3-dimensional space. In addition to this it kind of  looks like something made inside of Minecraft. However, MagicaVoxel is much more than a simple pixel art program or video game, and gives artists access to powerful tools that help you make your own voxel art models for your projects quickly.

How do you use the MagicaVoxel Editor

How to Use MagicaVoxel

These are the 5 areas you'll need to know to use MagicaVoxel:
  1. Palette Window: This window contains all the colors for your voxel models
  2. Brush Window: This contains the main tools for creating voxel models including the Attach, Erase and Painting tools
  3. Editor Window: This is the main window that displays your model for editing
  4. Edit Window: This window contains commands such as flipping and rotating that you can use on your voxel model
  5. Project: This is where you can load existing models and where you can export them as well
If you want to learn more on how to use MagicaVoxel check out our MagicaVoxel Tutorials!
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Palette Window

The Palette window is the section to the far left of the MagicaVoxel Editor. In this window you'll see a list of colors. This is where you pick colors to use on your model.

Palette Window in MagicaVoxel

How to add colors to the Palette Window

If look at the bottom of the Palette window, you will see a section called Color. To add your own colors into MagicaVoxel follow these steps:
  1. Click an existing square inside of the Palette window
  2. Expand the section titled Color at the bottom of the Palette window
  3. Enter an RGB color value or drag the sliders to adjust the color

What is the maximum number of colors in MagicaVoxel?

The maximum amount of colors that you can use in MagicaVoxel is 255. Most models won't require anymore than this however it is a constraint to keep in mind when building your voxel model.
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Brush Window

The Brush window is the second section from the left of the MagicaVoxel editor. This window contains the major tools and brushes you'll be using to create your voxel models.

Brush Window in MagicaVoxel

Types of Tools

Some of the major tools that come with MagicaVoxel include:
  •  Attach - This tool lets you add voxels to your model
  • Erase - This tool allows you to delete voxels from your model
  • Paint - This tool allows you to paint your voxels different colors

Types of Brushes

In addition to the tools, MagicaVoxel also ships with different brushes that you can select while using the tools. These brushes can make your work a lot faster depending on what you are trying to do. The brushes that come with MagicaVoxel include:
  • (L) Line Mode - This brush allows you to create a line of voxels similar to the way you create a line in Microsoft paint.
  • (C) Center Mode - This brush allows you to create a circle of voxels starting from the center and expands as you drag outwards.
  • (V) Voxel Mode - This brush allows you work with a single voxel, which is useful for fine detailing
  • (F) Face Mode - This brush works by grouping all voxels of the same material on a given side
  • (B) Box Mode - This brush allows you to create a rectangle of voxels by clicking and dragging
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Editor Window

The editor window is where you actually create and modify your voxel models. 

Editor Window in MagicaVoxel

At the top right you'll find a text box with three numbers inside. These numbers represent the dimensions of your 3D grid. Right next to the text box there is a button with two arrows. This button allows to you switch from Model mode to World mode. 

At the bottom left is a button with a camera icon. This allows you to take a screenshot of your voxel model just exactly the way it appears in the main editor window. On the bottom right you'll see four different camera buttons: 
  • Pers - Perspective Camera
  • Free - Free Camera
  • Ortho - Orthographic Camera
  • Iso - Isometric Camera


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