Voxel Art Tutorial: What are Voxels and How to Make Them

In this tutorial, learn about voxels and the top free applications you can use to start making your own voxel art.

Hello again! In this tutorial you'll learn about voxels, including how it works and the best programs you can start using today to start making your own voxel art. You can download the voxel models mentioned here at the bottom! With that said, let's begin!

Voxel Art Tutorial: What are Voxels and How to Make Them

What is a Voxel?

A voxel is a 3D pixel. The term "voxel" is derived from the words "volume and pixel". This basically means that it is similar to a pixel with volume. Visually, voxel art looks very similar to 8-bit pixel art. That is why it is commonly referered to as 3D pixel art.

Voxel Art

Introduction to 3D Modeling

Making voxel art has become an incredibly popular choice among beginners who want to learn about 3D modeling. Users are able to construct models and entire scenes using voxels which are identical to blocks. Because of this artists are able to create simple models for mobile games as well as massive architectual designs like a building. Due to the simplistic nature of voxels, artists are able to focus on materials and lighting to create truly unique experiences.

3D Materials and Lighting

Similar to pixel art, you don't need a million voxels to convey a model. In fact using a limited number of voxels adds to the art style making it incredibly unique and fun.

Simple Voxel Art

What makes voxel art amazing is that you are not limited in size. In fact many artist focus on making massive voxel scenes with thousands of voxels in a single model. They can become so detailed that they appear to be standard 3D models!

Games and Apps

Voxel art has literally become an art style of its own. And because of its simplicity it has become a popular choice amongst indie app and game developers. Mobile games such as Crossy Road, Rodeo Stampede and Shooty Skies are all great examples. Even more games derive their style and structure from voxel art such as major games including Minecraft and Pokemon Quest.

Crossy RoadRodeo Stampede

The Top Free Voxel Editors

Next, let's go over the best voxel art editors you can use to create your very own voxel art today. All of the editors mentioned are either available for Mac, PC, Android and iOS.

MagicaVoxel

MagicaVoxel is a very popular voxel editor program for both macOS AND Windows. What makes it truly unique is the built in GPU-based renderer that allsows artists to create amazing voxel art with custom lighting and material effects. Best of all, it is free to use on both personal and commercial projects. We have written a dedicated tutorial, MagicaVoxel Tutorial For Beginners.

Mega Voxels Play

Mega Voxels Play is a easy to use, mobile voxel editor for both Android and iOS. This powerful app is equiped with all the tools and features you would expect in a desktop program. Better yet, it offers realtime rendering and ambient occlusion effects directly on your smartphone. To top it all off the app is free to download and can be used on commercial projects as well. We have also created a complete tutorial called Mega Voxels Play Tutorial for Beginners, that will get you up and running quickly.

Qubicle

Qubicle is a desktop voxel editor for both macOS and Windows that is used commonly with game development because of its many export options. In fact many top mobile games such as Crossy Road and Shooty Skies used this software to create their 3D assets for the games. You can try it out for free however there is a minimum $25 fee for an indie license. To get started check out our Qubicle 3D Art Tutorial for Beginners.

Voxel Resources

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