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Intermediate Voxel/pixel wheel tutorial
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G-E
Defense Minister


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 8:06 am    Post subject:  Intermediate Voxel/pixel wheel tutorial Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A lot of people have difficulty drawing circles or round objects with dots, so I thought I would give some insights in this thread (I will add to it later)...

The first thing is you need to know roughly what constitutes "round" a the pixel level. Below is a chart of the basic shapes you'd need to know/use to make the shape. If the desire is to make "thin" features without their centers being filled, the same process can be applied with subtraction, removing two-sizes smaller from the center, with some caveats.

On each shape you'll see narrow green lines cutting the corners of some dots, this is loosely where the normals influence goes so as to turn or carve away some of the dot for the purposes of lighting. Normals are beyond the scope of this tutorial, so just be aware of this effect, and how it changes the observable shape in the game. Normals are your friend.

Thirdly you'll note the marked "special case", this signifies that you would use the base shape and a distorted shape together, to produce a more natural curve than either could achieve on their own. This isn't so much valid for cylindrical structure, as it inherently creates a mild tapering to the shape. One use might be a gradually curving cupola on a turret, but for this demonstration, I will use a wheel and tire -- colouring inverted for visibility. See how rendered at an angle, those extra dots breaking the circular shape (indicated with green arrows), now aid in filling the dramatic gaps, creating a very convincing donut.

Drawing voxels isn't just about how they look straight-on, but rendered at the dimetric angle of flat surfaces in the game primarily, with some concern given to tilted viewing angles on slopes. Also keep in mind that with bounds shrinkage, you can give any shape extra sub-pixel information for the game engine to render more smoothly...



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Key Words: #Tutorials #Voxels #Graphics #Media #TiberianSun #Firestorm #RedAlert2 #YurisRevenge #OpenRA #VoxelSectionEditorIII 

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Midian-P
Rocket Cyborg


Joined: 16 Mar 2018
Location: GB

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Perfect Tutorial for me because i still suck making Wheels. #Tongue

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Crimsonum
Seth


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Location: Fineland

PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Use this.

Proper normals and color gradient should be applied to all shapes to make them appear more natural.

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J!NX
Civilian


Joined: 10 Jul 2021

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Are there more tutorials around voxel art? Specifically for beginners? I am just getting started with pixel art, hoping it can translate some skills, but have done 3D a lot in the past. What are some common workflows for voxel unit creation?

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jackwells
Civilian


Joined: 02 Mar 2024

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2024 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

J!NX wrote:
Are there more tutorials around voxel art? Specifically for beginners? I am just getting started with pixel art, hoping it can translate some skills, but have done 3D a lot in the past. What are some common workflows for voxel unit creation?

Certainly! There are plenty of beginner-friendly tutorials available for voxel art, offering a smooth transition for those coming from pixel art or traditional 3D modelling backgrounds. These tutorials cover basic concepts like voxel creation techniques, shading, and texturing, providing a solid foundation for newcomers. Common workflows involve starting with a basic voxel grid, sculpting the model, refining details, and adding texture and lighting effects. Experimenting with different techniques and software tools like mc circle generator is key to finding a workflow that suits your preferences and creative goals in voxel art.

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G-E
Defense Minister


Joined: 09 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2024 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You learn by doing.

Most of what makes a voxel good is balancing the needs of the shape and the voxel lighting via normals. You can have the greatest voxel with terrible normals and it will look like hot garbage, but even a simplistic voxel with great normals will look ok.

This is also true for texturing, the lighting creates texture in its own right, getting too obsessed with camo or other decorative paint schemes can actually detract from a good model with good normals. While removing all textures and doing simple gradients will often work really well.

In the end many of the choices you make will be based on intuition, your expectation of how it will look, then with testing, you might find some details don't show or appear noisy, leading to further tweaks...

It's ok not to be perfect the first time, but over time you can keep improving it.  I've updated/refreshed voxels months and years afterwards. It's part of the process as your skills change and your critical eyes adjust.

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