Voxels are increasingly becoming a more popular art form in recent years, although the technology has been around for two decades. Historically Voxels have seen seldom use in video games most notably Red Faction, Voxelstein 3D, and more recently Teardown.
It’s with no secrecy that Voxels are predominantly popular among younger gamers since the release of Minecraft, although prior to Minecraft Voxels where a topic you’d only find in academic research papers, a hobby for aspiring students and bored academics looking for a side project.
The allure Voxels have is that they are relatively simple to build from, akin to real-world Lego. Almost anyone can create something out of Voxels without any prior training.
This is where Web 3.0 editors come into the frame, accessible to anyone with a modern Web Browser, Mouse and Keyboard. These editors are surly the gateway for just about anyone to get involved in producing Voxel artwork for use in video games, motion graphics, or just good old visual artwork.
Without further adieu the following are, as of 2023, the only free Voxel editors on the web that are mature enough to be worth mentioning.
Voxelator is the most advanced and practical Voxel Editor in this list and certainly the pick of choice of any seasoned Voxel Artist. It has a brilliant functional User Interface and the most extensive selection of export options (.ply, .gltf, .dae, .obj, .stl, .png).
The exported models can be built as an actual set of Voxel shapes, or compressed into a unified mesh with minimal polygon count, by merging Voxel surfaces together where possible.
Check it out at https://Voxelator.com.
Unlike most Voxel editors, Woxel is akin to playing Minecraft or Minetest. To achieve this Woxel uses the same hotbar system you would expect from a ‘craft game and same camera/input system. Using Woxel to create artwork is no indifferent to playing Minecraft. Woxel lends itself to creating a bridge between Minecraft players and Content Creators. Never before has it been so easy for a Minecraft player to create Voxel assets for games, videos, artwork, etc. It’s a simple yet powerful tool, which can be invaluable to indie developers looking to recruit new talent for their projects from existing platforms similar to Minecraft.
Check it out at https://Woxel.xyz.
Voxel Builder is a very aesthetically pleasing Voxel Editor with a well designed User Interface (UI) but lacks of any significant export options other than GL Transmission Format Binary file (.glb) which is a niche binary format. Although Voxel Builder is still somewhat regularly updated so there could be room for improvement, the last update at the time of writing is three weeks ago, although actual code updates are one month ago. It’s cute. The aesthetics might be enough alone to entice some people into the art of creating with Voxels. But the lack of mainstream export options really lets it down as a functional tool for designers.
A stunning editor with a lot of potential.
Check it out at https://nimadez.github.io/voxel-builder/.