Table of Contents

 

Voxel art is like pixel art but in 3D. Instead of having flat pixels, as in a 2D canvas, you add 3D units to the space. These 3D units are commonly small enough and always the same size.

This is about how to get started with voxel art to use with Unity.

 

TL;DR

  • Create a character using MagicaVoxel
  • Import to Mixamo.com
  • Download the Unity package
  • Import everything to Unity

Before You Start

Before reading the rest of this article, please see this short animation,

As usual, people with a lot of talent and imagination can create awesome worlds with this art style.

It's Like a Zelda Remake

But today we are not here to rant about people with special talent. This is about how to create original awesome characters and worlds ready to use in our Unity projects.

The tool I've used to build models is named MagicaVoxel. And it’s free!

The first thing you'll need is a character model with the famous "T pose."

This is me creating a cheap Mario clone. You can watch the complete video here.

Building Character Models

There’re a couple of details you should take into account when designing your character model,

  • It should be humanoid
  • It should have legs & arms
  • Perhaps it might be toony, take care of the proportions
  • Fingers on hands are optional
  • It is easier if character is in T position

When you're done, your character might look something like this,

Export your character in .OBJ format. Now you are ready for the next step.

Your First Model

If you haven't yet, create an Adobe account. Browse to Mixamo.com. Upload your .OBJ model and start with the Auto-rigging tool.
Set the anchor points like this as indicated by the circles in the pic below,

Please note the dropdown and select "No Fingers (25)" at the bottom. Otherwise your model won’t be processed correctly.

If your model is different, or the Auto-rigging tool doesn’t recognize the character properly, just try moving the anchor points around.
When the model rigging is done, you should be able to see it in movement. It works like magic!

Animations

Luckily, Mixamo has a ton of different animations. Most of them have configurable parameters to fit almost every model. I didn’t have any issues with mine.

Try the different animations and take as many as you need. Then, create a pack and download it as FBX for Unity (.fbx):

Import this package on unity and you are ready to rock. Remember to import the texture generated by MagicalVoxel as well or your model will look dead ?.

What's Next?

Extra stuff you'll need to do in Unity,

  • Create a new object
  • Add a new animator controller
  • Add your animations to the animator
  • Trigger changes to the FSM
  • Blend animations
  • Create an actual videogame

Now you can create your own video games. Unless you need very specific animations, you won’t need a designer/animator to make original-looking worlds and characters.

If you want to, you can contact us.

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