Making Water in MagicaVoxel

Creating water effects in MagicaVoxel can take your artwork to the next level. After you master this skill you can create voxels for areas of water like the pond we made for our voxel island. In this tutorial we will show you a way to simulate water using a simple transparency technique.

Voxel Water Pond

Getting Started

To begin you will only need a single voxel model. For this example we will use the default cube that appears when you first open MagicaVoxel. We will then add a few edges to the cube to give it the look of an aquarium.

Create a Voxel Aquarium for the Water

So first open up the MagicaVoxel Editor and be sure to leave the cube there. For simplicity let’s resize our model to be 20 20 20. This will make it easier to add our edges.

Adjust Model Size in MagicaVoxel

Next select a color from the Palette window that is different from the blue color that is on the cube model. We chose a gray color but you can use any you like.


Next change the tool in the Brush window to Paint and make sure B for box mode is selected. 


Click and drag along the edges of the cube to make it look like an aquarium. Aquariums usually have dark metal strips along the edges of the glass to allow the maximum visibility of the water itself. We also took a layer of voxels off the top using the Erase tool, so the water doesn't overflow. Here was an example of what we did:

Make the Voxels Appear like Water

In order to make our blue color look like water, we first have to select it. To select the color click on the eye dropper tool inside of the Brush window. Then simply click on one of the blue voxels on the model. Use the image below as a guide.


Now that we have our blue color selected, we can make it look like water! To begin let’s go into Render mode by clicking the Render button in the top left.


Now that we are in render mode, we can change the material of the blue color we selected earlier. To change the material go to the Matter window on the right side of the editor. You'll notice that by default the Diffuse option is selected. In order to give it the appearance of water we will change that to the Glass material. Go ahead and click the Glass button.


After you change it, some new properties will appear right underneath. These properties allow you to alter the way the glass looks. If you modify them just right you can simulate the look of water. Go ahead and enter these values.


Keep in mind these properties are not required. You can modify these to give it your own look. If you did use our values you should see something like this:

How to make water in MagicaVoxel

And that's it! You can now place other models like a voxel fish inside of this model and it will be transparent like water.

Where to go from Here

Now that you know how to make water effects in MagicaVoxel, you can use this to create lakes, ponds, pools and more. Let us know if you have any questions.


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