Qubicle 3D Art Tutorial For Beginners

NOTE: The Qubicle voxel editor is now Deprecated. This post is provided for legacy information.
We highly recommend that you build your voxel art using Mega Voxels Play.
In this beginner Qubicle tutorial you will learn how to create voxel art for your projects using the Qubicle editor! We will go over a variety of topics including creating a voxel model and sharing it with everyone!

Qubicle Tutorial for Beginners

Are you excited to create your very own voxel art models? Maybe you want to build something to share on your social media page or you need a 3D model for your next mobile game, this Qubicle tutorial will help get you creating voxel art quickly with Qubicle.

Getting Started

Voxel art is a quick and easy way to create 3D models for your video games or for photos like in the pictures you see featured on the Mega Voxels page! This is one of the biggest benefits of using voxels for 3D modeling. Now there are a variety of programs available for creating voxel art, but for this tutorial we will be using one of the most popular voxel editors amongst game developers today. Qubicle is a favorite for making voxel art for games because of its many features and wide array of export options!

Interested in making Voxel Art on your Smartphone or Tablet? Download the new Mega Voxels app for free and get access to hundreds of voxel models, effects and more! 
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Getting Started

For this tutorial we will be using Qubicle 3.0 on a Windows 10 machine. Please note that Qubicle does not work on the latest version of macOS.

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

Simple Walkthrough of Qubicle

Once you have Qubicle installed, go ahead and open up the program. At first you will see a welcome screen. Click the "+" button to create a new file.

Once you click the "+" button a new file will open inside of Qubicle. You should see something similar to the screen below.

Now when Qubicle first loads up you are presented with quite a few windows and toolbars but don't worry. As I said before Qubicle was designed to be very easy to use. We'll take it one step at a time however and by the time you're done with this tutorial you'll feel right at home in Qubicle. So to begin let's break down what all of theses windows and toolbars are for in the screenshot above. We will start with the top and then move from left to right:
  1. Top Bar: The top bar at the very top of the program is a list of categories that contain every function you can perform in Qubicle. In these dropdown menus you will find everything from rotation functions, to color modification functions and everything in between.
  2. Shelf (Second Top Bar): The shelf below the Top Bar is a visual representation of the top bar. You will find the same functions mentioned before here, but they will be represented as an icon. One cool thing is you can also create a category of your favorite functions for quicker access.
  3. Tools: This window is located directly to the left of the program. It contains a list of all the tools you can use to construct your voxel models.
  4. Editor: The window right in the middle is where you will build all your voxel creations! You can move around in this are using your mouse. Rotate by holding the right-mouse button down while dragging, zoom by rolling the mouse wheel up or down, and perform the selected Action by clicking the left-mouse button on the scene.
  5. Info: The Info window contains meta information about the current scene. You can also modify the background color inside of the View tab and share images in the Render tab.
  6. Color Palette: The last window directly at the bottom is the color palette. This is where you select what color you want to use when adding or painting voxels.
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How to Create a Voxel Model

Now that you have a basic overview of the Qubicle program, we will show you how to make your very own voxel model! In this tutorial we will create the infamous dog friend for the Mega Voxels bird.

Creating a New Voxel Model

Let's start by increasing the size of our matrix. A matrix is the 3D grid where we will be creating our dog model. To do this, click on the outline of the box that came with your new file. Then inside of the Info tab on the right, click inside of the Size text box.

Once you click this a new Resize window will appear that will allow you to modify the matrix size. Enter the values below, then press OK.

Once you do that, your matrix will appear smaller like the image below.

Aweomse! Before we go any further lets save our file so we don't lose any of our work. To do that click on the File drop down and then click Save As... to save your file.

Once you click that,  Save dialogue will appear asking you where you would like to save your file and with what name. We called ours DogModel.

Press Save when you're done. Well done we have now set up our workspace and saved a new Qubicle file to our computer. Now to create some voxel art.
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Creating the Base

We will begin by creating the base of Dog body. Now throughout the process I will be giving you snapshots on where to position your mouse. However one of the fun things about creating voxel art is that you get to be creative! If you want to change it feel free to do so!

First off its important to understand that whenever you make a voxel model you must do so inside of a Matrix. This is the container where you can place voxels. You cannot place voxels anywhere else. So to enter into a matrix simply double click the edges of the matrix. 

When you do this, you should see something like this.

One more thing we would like to do is turn on Wireframe mode. This will make it easier to see our individual voxels. To do this click the View dropdown, then enter Work Area and select Wireframe.

Great! Lets get to making our voxel art!

Building the Base

Next we will choose the Cube tool. This will allow us to create a cube of voxels, using any height, width and depth that we like. Also we will choose a Brown color for base of our dog in the Color Palette at the bottom.

Once you have the tool and color selected you are ready to create the base. The Cube tool works very similar to dragging and selecting you would use on your desktop to select files. To use the Cube tool click and drag on one of the squares in the grid. Try to replicate what we did below:

The cool thing about the cube tool is that you can continue to resize it until your happy with the result. The base of our dog needs to be a little taller so click and drag the green square on the top to make it taller. We are making it so that the base is 5 voxels tall. When you are done, press the Enter key.

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Creating the Head

Next let's create the head section of the dog! Using the same Cube tool, drag out a section for the head. Be sure to go in 1 voxel on the X and Z axis so that the head is smaller than the base. For the height, lets make it 5 voxels tall, just like the base. Use the image below as a guide: 

Nice work! Next, we will start adding some details to our voxel dog.

Creating the Nose

Now we have the basic structure for our dog we can make the nose. We will be using a new tool called the Attach Tool that allows us to add individual voxels to our model. Select the Attach Tool, which is the pencil with a plus sign next to it. 

Once you have that selected simply click anywhere on the head section and it will add a voxel. Try constructing a nose like the one we have below.

Awesome. Next will learn how to add some color for finer details on our model.

Paint the Eyes and Nose

Now it's time to give our dog character a little more detail by adding color for the eyes and nose. To do this we will use a new tool called the Pencil tool. 

Now click a dark brown color from the color palette. We will use this color for the nose.

Now simply click on the tip of the nose to paint it the brown color we just selected. In fact go ahead and change the color and add the eyes using white and black. Use the image below as a guide:

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Adding Some Ears

Next let's add some ears. Before we do that we are going to turn on Mirror mode. This feature is extremely useful when making models that are identical on one side as the other. In our case it will work perfect because the dog has ears on both sides. To turn it on click the Z button in the tool bar.

Now whatever we do on one side will be replicated on the other side. Next lets select the dark brown we used for the nose earlier. Then pick the Attach tool so that we can add new voxels for the ears. When you're ready click on the side of head to add some ears.

Notice how ears are automatically added to the other side of the head. This is starting to take shape! In the next section let's add some legs to the voxel dog.

Adding Legs

So at the point our dog still doesn't have any legs. So for legs let's select the light brown color we used for the base and then make sure you still have the Attach tool selected. Also make sure that you still have Mirror mode on. Click on the side of the base to make some legs like the image we provided.

Now to get the front legs we are actually going to carve them out of the main body by erasing voxels from the base. To do this we are going to use the Eraser tool. 

So this tool works identical to the Attach tool, except instead of adding voxels it erases them. Click on the front of the base to delete the voxels. Again, make sure Mirror mode is still on. Try to replicate the image below:

Great! Now all we need is to add voxels for the paws in the front. Select the Attach tool again and add two voxels for the paws.

Fine Tuning

Now that the majority of our voxel dog is done let's add the finishing touches! You probably noticed that the paws are the same color as the body. Lets make them stand out by painting the paws the same dark brown as the ears!

To do that, select the Pencil tool again. Then select the same dark brown used on the ears. Now paint the tips of the paws like the image below:

Congratulations! You just completed your first voxel model in Qubicle! To make it even better you learned a lot about Qubicle that can be used to make other voxel creations!
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Share your Voxel Model

Now that you've created some really cool voxel art, you're probably eager to use it for a game or maybe get featured on Mega Voxels! Depending on what you want to do there are different options to choose from. In this tutorial well show you how to turn into an image so you can share it on Social Media!

Exporting a Voxel Model as an Image for Sharing to Social Media

In order to share your new voxel character to a social network like Instagram or Facebook, it must be exported from Qubicle to a format that they accept. Fortunately Qubicle supports the .png option which is the most widely supported image format.

To export any voxel model from Qubicle as a PNG image, click the Render located on the right side of the editor: 

After you hit that button the main editor window will display a square with handles on it. This is the dimensions for the image that Qubicle will create for you. Drag them so you create a rectangle like the one below.

Once you are happy with the dimensions hit the button that says Render Image.

Once you click that, a new save dialogue will appear asking you where you would like to save your new image file. Choose a location, give it a name, and then press Save.

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


Congrats! Now you can share your own voxel creation with the world! If you want to share your voxel model 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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