Nov 17, 2023

Create vehicles and wheels for The Sandbox

Creating cars and wheels in The Sandbox involves ensuring balanced designs by referencing real-life examples and using gradients for added dimension


How to make circular wheels and cars in Vox Edit, as we can create voxelised objects and then rotate them in the engine. Creating the illusion of "circular objects”.


  • Magical Voxel
  • Vox Edit
  • Pureref

First steps

Look up for both real and voxel art references of the vehicle we are going to make, a hot rod, and I will compile all the references in Pureref.

Pureref is very easy to use as you only have to drag the images into it from the source of your choice


Use two 32x32x32 blocks to determine the height of a humanoid character and make your asset proportional to the rest.

Character height bloking in Magical Voxel

Make a blocking using flat colors focusing only on creating shapes and silhouettes.

Car blocking


From the blocking we started to create more specific shapes and contours, as well as adding some color to get an idea of what the final color palette will look like.

Car color blocking

We create the shapes and the different parts of the vehicle using flat colors.

Car flat colors


To create detail and volume we will separate by parts using the Region selection tool and selecting the different colors.

Selection tool

Selected part

Copy and paste in a separate piece two times.

Car copy parts

Using one of these copies to make a color gradient.

Car copy parts color gradient

Use the Boolean to substitute the flat color for the color gradient in the piece below.

Car color gradient

And repeat the action in the piece below one more time.

Car finished color gradient

I use this technique to be able to make gradients and details without losing any shape or color, because when copying the part using the Region Select I use that part as if it were a mold.To make the rest of the pieces that require gradient I use the same technique.

To make the glass, I will use the same technique of copying the piece and making it as a mold, but with the difference that to try to imitate the reflection of the glass I create a piece made of diagonal stripes of different shades of the same color as the glass.

Glass texture

And then I use the Boolean to replace the color of the stripe piece with the flat color of the glass.

Car finished glass texture

To try to recreate the shine of chrome metal, I make diagonal stripes with light colors.

Metal stipes

And I use it to Boolean all parts that are metal.

Finished metal texture


Now comes the most complicated part, which is to make the round wheels.

The first thing you have to do is to divide the wheel into equal portions, depending on its design you will need to divide it into more or less parts.

Wheel sections reference

To make the wheel you will only need to make a portion of the wheel as the same piece will be copied several times.

Wheel parts scheme

Now that we have all the pieces we are going to Vox Edit.The first thing to do is to use the center of the wheel as a pivot point to build everything else.

Wheel center

For correct rotations, the pivot point must be placed exactly in the center of the part, since this will be our central axis.

Wheel center pivot point

We create a child node in the central piece, which remains empty, and in turn we create another child node in the empty node and in this one we place the piece we want to use to form the wheel.

Vox Edit hierarchy 1

Car wheel part 1

Copy the empty node that has inside it another node with the part and rotate it by holding the Shift button until it is in the right position.

Vox Edit hierarchy 2

Car wheel part 2

We continue copying and rotating the same empty node until we complete a full rotation.

Vox Edit hierarchy 3

Car wheel part 3

To continue with the other parts of the wheel, we start again from the central piece, we create another child node in the central piece.

Vox Edit hierarchy 4

Inside this node we follow exactly the same structure we have used before, which is to create an empty child node, which will be the one we copy and rotate as many times as necessary, and inside this another child node that contains the part we are going to use.

Vox Edit hierarchy 5

Ca wheel part 4

Now we simply copy and rotate while holding the shift button, to complete a full turn as we have done with the previous piece.

Vox Edit hierarchy 6

Car wheel part 5

For the final part, which will be the same once again. We create again a child node in the central part and inside it an empty child node and inside it another child node with the part we are going to use this time.

Vox Edit hierarchy 7

Car wheel part 6

Now we copy again the empty node that has inside it the node with the part and rotate it to complete a full turn.

Vox Edit hierarchy 8

Finished car wheel

We have the complete wheel and we only have to copy the central piece and having all the nodes inside it, they are copied with it.

The Sandbox finished car


To sum up, it is very important to make a good blocking so that the asset is not unbalanced in size with the rest of the object, take good references from real life photos and models that other people have made, use gradients and outline the edges of some pieces to give more volume to the asset.

When you go to Vox Edit to make the wheels it is very important that you place the pivot point in the exact center of the piece on which you are going to mount the wheel.

Don't worry too much about the size of the pieces you are going to use to make the wheel because in Vox Edit you can also edit the pieces by adding voxels or changing colors.

Magica Voxel
The Sandbox
Javier Vicén Lucia
3D Artist

Enthusiastic about videogames, 3D impression and photography

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