VoxEdit, What it is?
VoxEdit is a software to create, rig and animate your own custom voxel models. Right at the moment I'm writing this, the software is on a beta release from 31 of January 2020.
The software was created by The SandBox, a platform that allows you to sell voxels and gaming experiences on the Blockchain.
Althought there is still ways in which this software can be improved, is otherwise a great way to start creating your first models on voxels, since its interface is really simple and friendly for new users, which some features can be helpfull to new users.
In this article, I want to talk about the difference interface that exist and what I found is the best way to work into create full humanoid characters.
VoxEdit, the modeler
Once you open the program, you will find an interface with all the options that this software offers.
In this first article I just want to talk about the modeler and the animator.
So without further to do, let's begin. Once you click the modeler panel you will find small menu where you can access the most recent models that you have created, create a new asset and access a tutorial that explains the basic controls of this software.
Once you create a new asset or open one you created before, you will find yourself with the modeler.
To explain the different tools I divided the interface in parts, which I divided not only for position but for use too:
Although right now it seems there is too much, don't worry, they are really easier to use than you think. In the viewer part you can see the model on perspective or ortographic. You can also see the voxel as a pixelated image.
Tools related to the viewer:
From left to right, the tools are these:
Tools to create Voxels:
Tools Colour Palette:
VoxEdit, the animator
In comparision with the modeler part, the animator has less tools to use, which in some parts makes it really difficult to understand.
But first things first, this is the first thing we see when we click on the animator in voxedit, we can see that is very similar to the modeler's start page, however in here we can see that instead of tutorials we have templates with animations already made. We will talk about this later on.
If we create a new project we can find these different tools:
To explain the different tools here I also divided the interface in different sections:
Tools related to the rig or skeleton
From left to right:
Timeline and animations
From this window we can create the animations, here appears the different bones we created, and see the keyframes. It's important to notice that the animation is always recording, so it your are still creating the rig, don't move the timeline because if we move it we will create a keyframe.
Once we have the fully animated model, we can create a new animation selecting the menu from the iddle animation, and select new animation. From this menu we can choose and change the animation.
On the Template you can find a set of animations already made, but you can retouch them because the controls of the animation are deactivated.
VoxEdit, a pipeline
Once these two parts are explained, I'm going to propose one of the possible pipelines to create your own characters.
For that purpose, first I'm going to explain how the characters work in here. The characters are composed of different parts, in particular NINE (9) essential parts.
Once we have the parts defined, here comes the essential part and where the pipeline divides in two sections, you can either create the parts from the modeler and then import them into the animator. Or open the template and edit the models from the animator.
The first one has a lot of disanvantages, for example you can't control the proportions of the different parts of the models, so when you import them into the animator template to use the animations, the parts does not fit.
If you decide to create a new animation scene, you don't have the animations made, so you need to create them from scratch.
So if your objective is to create humanoid models, I would recommend to open a template and edit each one of the pieces of the model from the pencil button as we explained on the animator section.
The proportions are already made and the animations work with the model, the cons are that you move the parts, not rotate them and you can edit the animations to make them custom for your model.
All in all, this software is really easy to use and has a few things that are pretty great.
Such as the connection of the animator with the modeler, and the colour palette.
However there is still a lot of room for improvement, the software is a bit slow and has no keyboard gestures, which is quite umconfortable (there is no CTRL+S). So you can only save by clicking the save button. There're are all quite small faults but I noticed that these small things slow your work process making the modeling quite slow feat.