VoxEdit Tutorial for Beginners

In this beginner VoxEdit tutorial we will show you how to make voxel art for your projects using the VoxEdit editor! We will go over everything from creating a voxel model to painting it!

VoxEdit tutorial for beginners

Have you been wanting to make your own voxel art? Whether you want to create something to share on Instagram or maybe you need a cool character for your next game, this VoxEdit tutorial will help get you building your own voxel art quick with VoxEdit.

If you need help installing VoxEdit, view our previous tutorial How to Install VoxEdit. There you can find a step by step tutorial on getting VoxEdit running on your computer.

Getting Started

Voxel art is a great way to create 3D models fast for your games or creative works like the creations you see on Mega Voxels! This is one of the reasons so many artists and creators like building with voxels. Now there are many tools available for creating voxel art, but in this beginner tutorial we will be using the an incredibly popular voxel editor available on Mac and Windows. VoxEdit is a favorite with artists for making voxel art because of its many features but most importantly, its Free!

Creating a New File in VoxEdit

Once you have VoxEdit installed, go ahead and open up the application.

VoxEdit Welcome Screen

Now at first you will be presented with a lot of options. VoxEdit works in conjunction with a new game called the Sandbox Game so you will see news and options that pertain to the game. However to keep things simple, we will go directly into building a new model. Go ahead and click the Modeler option on the right side of the window and then click Create New Asset on the top of the window. When you do this you will be presented with a Save file dialogue. Choose a name for your new model file and a location.

When you hit save the editor with a new scene will open. At the moment it will be empty, but you should see something that looks similar to this.

Great! We are now ready to start modeling our first voxel model inside of VoxEdit!

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How to Create a Voxel Model

Now that you have created a new model file inside of VoxEdit, we will show you how to create your very first voxel model! In this simple tutorial we will be creating a dog friend for the Mega Voxels bird.

Creating a New Voxel Model

Let's start by resizing the grid where we will build our model. For simplicity, know that all models must be built inside of a 3D grid. Every grid has a width, height and depth.You can find the Grid size in the top of the editor. Let's set the voxel model dimensions to 10,10,10.

Size property field in VoxEdit for adjusting the voxel model size

As soon as you enter the new dimensions you should notice that the 3D grid that you saw before, now has a lot less squares. This will make it easier for us to create our first model. You should see something like this.

Now, the next setting we want to change is to turn the grid for voxels on. This is also known as a wireframe. This setting makes it easy to see individual voxels so you can keep track of how many you are working with. To turn this on click the first icon with the cube at the top right of the editor. 

Awesome we are now ready to start adding some voxels into our grid.

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Creating the Base

We will start by making the base of the dog. Now throughout the process I will be placing voxels in  different positions. However one of the great things about voxel art is being creative! If you want to change it feel free to do so!

Let's start by selecting a nice light brown color from the color palette on the right side of the editor. To choose a color simply click on one of the colors in the color palette.

VoxEdit Color Palette

Next we want to select the correct mode and the correct tool to add voxels to our model. First let's start by selecting the Add Voxels mode which is the second button under the Mode category on the left side of the editor. This allows us to add voxels to our model. Then click the Box tool which is the fourth button on the left side under the Tools category. This tool allows us to add voxels by clicking and dragging a rectangle to create multiple voxels.

Add Voxels tool with the Box mode enabled

Move your mouse cursor to the grid square where we started below. Left-click and hold the mouse button while dragging. Release once you create a rectangle of voxels similar to the example below. Use the image below as a guide:

Cursor automatically snaps to grid in VoxEdit Drag to create a square of voxels in the grid

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Extruding the Base

We could technically keep using the Box tool to create the base for our dog, but there is an easier way. Let's select the Face tool under the Tool category.

Face Tool in VoxEdit

Very simply, Left-click the top face of the base layer to extrude it one voxel upwards.. Keep clicking  until the base box is 6 voxels high :

Turn on Face Mode in MagicaVoxelClick to extrude voxels using the Face tool

Creating the Head

Now we can create the head section for our dog! Change the tool back to Box Mode by pressing E, again making sure that Add Voxels mode is still selected.

Let's do what we did before, except this time let's go in 1 voxel. Click and drag a rectangle of voxels. Use the image below as a guide. 

Adding voxels in VoxEdit using the Box ToolAttaching voxels in VoxEdit using the Box Tool

This is starting to look really great but the dog's head needs to be a couple of voxels taller so we can add some eyes and a nose later on. Lets do what we did earlier when we extruded the dog's body. Select R to  select the Face tool. Also make sure Add Voxels tool is still selected. Click the top face until the head is 6 voxels high.

Extruding a base of voxels using the Face toolExtruding a base of voxels using the Face tool

Creating the Nose

Now we have the basic body structure for our dog so we can add some voxels for a nose. For this we are going to use another tool. The Voxel tool allows you add single voxels to your model. Press the first icon in the Tools category. 

Voxel Tool in VoxEdit

Now for the fun part! Let's add the voxels for the nose. Try it for yourself. Use the image below as a guide:

Adding single voxels using the Voxel tool in VoxEdit

Paint the Eyes and Nose

Now that our dog has a nose, it's time to give our dog some more detail. First we are going to add some colors to our color palette that aren't there at the moment. Specifically we are going to add the color white and the color black. To add colors click the little plus sign on the color palette then drag inside the color window to choose the color to add.

VoxEdit Color Palette

Go ahead and add the two colors using the process we just showed you so you see the two colors inside of the color palette window.

We are going to leave the Voxel tool selected for now. But this time instead of using Add Voxels mode, we are going to change it to Paint Voxels mode. The Paint Voxels mode can be selected by clicking the third icon under the Mode category.

Now click white from the color palette. Go ahead and paint two voxels white and then two voxels black for eyes. Then select a dark brown for the nose from the color palette. This will also be two voxels at the tip of the snout. Use the image below as a guide:

Painting voxels in VoxEdit using Paint Mode

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Adding Some Ears

So to add ears first lets make sure that you have the same dark brown color that we used from the nose before.

Press 1 to turn on mirroring along the x-axis. You will notice the mirror X button will turn on. Whatever you do now on one side will automatically mirror to the other side.

Now select V again to go into Voxel Mode. Start building one ear, voxel by voxel, and you'll see the other ear built at the same time. Reference these images to get a sense of where to start and where to end:

Adding Legs

So at the moment our dog doesn't have any legs. So for legs lets select the light brown we used for the body. Make sure you still have the Mirror option selected as this will save you a lot of work. Select the color you used in the color palette and begin adding voxels to create the back leg like in the image below:

Using the Add Voxels mode while in Mirror mode

Now to get the front legs we are actually going to carve them out of the main body. To do this we will turn on Erase Voxels mode. 

This will allow us to remove voxels from the main body. As before wherever the square lights up, that is that is the voxel that will be deleted. Try to replicate the image below:

How to use the Erase Voxels mode in VoxEdit

Now all we need is paws in the front. Change from Erase Voxels Mode to Add Voxels Mode and add two voxels for the paws.

Using the Add Voxels mode with the Voxel Tool

Fine Tuning

Now that the majority of the voxel dog is complete lets add the finishing touches! If you notice the paws are the same color as the body. Lets make them stand out by painting them the same dark brown on the ears!

Also let's change the camera perspective from Perspective to Orthographic. Then let's turn off the wireframe for our model so we can see our model clearly. Use the image below as a reference:

Congratulations! You just completed your first voxel model! To make it even better you learned a large chunk of VoxEdit that can be used to make other voxel creations!
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Adjust the Lights

Now that you've created some awesome voxel art, you're probably wondering why the lighting looks a little strange. This can be adjusted inside of the Light Control menu. Click the light bulb icon in the top right of the editor. Change the settings to match the ones below.

Next we want to turn the grid floor and grid walls off so our model is on a solid background. Also we don't want the gizmo arrows to be showing either. To do this make sure all 3 of these icons are off.

Zoom out and your model should look crisp and clean!

For more posts on how to use VoxEdit check out our other great VoxEdit Tutorials


VoxEdit tutorial for creating a voxel model for beginners

That's it! Now you can share your own creation with the world! If you want to share your creation with us for a chance to get a shout out on our page, tag us on Instagram or Facebook using @megavoxels or use the hashtag #megavoxels! We are always checking for new voxel artists everyday! If this post was helpful please considering sharing it! Have fun!


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