Minecraft has swept the globe: Players are smitten with its clean and simple block design, depth of play, and near-limitless building possibilities. By placing cubes one piece at at time, players can create buildings, museums, pirate ships, street lamps, national landmarks, or even a lifelike rendering of iD Tech Camps. And hey, it even has plenty of educational benefits.
But there is another program Minecraft-lovers might enjoy learning about...
What is MagicaVoxel?
MagicaVoxel is a free software program for kids and teens that emphasizes simple block design and endless building possibilities.
MagicaVoxel Is great for students who:
- Are attracted to building, especially those who love building with blocks
- Enjoy creating replicas in Minecraft, but want more options
- Want to create stylized 3D pixel models (great for teens!)
With MagicaVoxel, kids can create characters and objects much like you would in Minecraft: by placing single blocks, called voxels, to make more complex shapes.
It's a great way to unleash creative energy, without needing to spend hours tweaking edge-loops or vertices like you would in a more advanced 3D program.
MagicaVoxel Tutorial for Beginners
Step 1: Download MagicaVoxel
Like we mentioned above, MagicaVoxel is a free, open-source software for creating voxel objects. (This post is intended for parents, so kids need to obtain parental permission before moving forward!)
- Go to the MagicaVoxel website.
- On the website, click the "Download" button.
That will start downloading a ZIP file that contains everything you need.
Step 2: Unzip & Open
Once the ZIP file has downloaded, you'll need to open it:
- Right-click > Extract All.
- On the window that appears, click Extract.
- Double-click the folder to open.
- Double-click on MagicaVoxel-win.exe
Once you've unzipped and opened the file, MagicaVoxel should be up and running on your computer.
Now it's time to start creating Captain Trtl and Foxl.
Older kids should be able to follow the tutorial instructions independently, but younger kids may need help, especially when they're just starting out.
To get the complete tutorial with detailed instruction on how to create Captain Trtl, here is the PDF.
Next Steps: Try Creating Foxl
Now that you've experienced MagicaVoxel, delve into world generation, expand your characters, and make something that feels real! To get you started, here's some inspiration for creation.
To create Foxl, use this schematic and the colored image below as a starting point for your design!