The Sandbox
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The Sandbox

VoxEdit: The Sandbox Voxel Editor

Expressing yourself in voxels

The Sandbox team created its initial entity Voxel Editing tool, VoxEdit, to support the 3D voxel editing features in its upcoming game, The Sandbox.

The latest version of VoxEdit is available for download at

If you’re looking for more tips & tricks about Voxel Art, check out our Voxel Art Guidelines

The game already supports a few unique options not widely available in other editors, and for this reason, the file Voxel Model (VXM) file format was developed and is the main format used by the editor.

Some of these unique options include frame by frame animation and emissive colors (colors that aren’t affected by day/night cycle color correction, as seen in The Sandbox Evolution), and with VoxEdit/VXM combination the team will be free to add more unique features to models used in The Sandbox.

First, we’ll go over the controls and then the screen/tools layout. Without going into detail, this article will get you up to speed on the basics so you can start making your own voxel creations!

Welcome Screen:

Modeler: This is where you can create your own models from scratch.

Rigger: In this section you can create a bone structure and animate the models you have created.

Templates: In this section you will find the templates of skeletons to use them as a base for the animation of your models.


Basic Controls

Move Camera: Alt + Right-click

Rotate Camera around current point: Alt + Left-click

Add Voxel: Left-click

Remove Voxel: Right-click

Zoom in/out: Mouse wheel up/down

Undo (up to 3 operations): Shift+Z

Toggle Flying mode using FPS controls: Q+WASD keys

Scroll volume in all 3 axis: Numpad arrow numbers

Modes and Tools

Attach/Paint/Erase: Basic modes that will let you attach, paint and erase voxels.

Pencil: Work voxel by voxel for detail work

Box: Work with large volumes at the same time

Face: Work with contiguous similarly colored faces (such as for extruding)

Bucket: Work with the entirety of the contiguous volume

The right side of the VoxEdit screen shows the palette tools

Color Palette

  • You can select your own palettes by changing the palette.png and emissive.png files in the editor’s root folder.
  • You can select a color once it is painted on the model to be emissive, you need to save this changes in order to activate it later on the rigger.
  • Remember that erasing is always done via right-clicking, no matter what color is selected.
The top bar of the modeler screen

Volume Operations

These operations affect the entire volume that you’re working on.

Downscale: Compacts the volume to one eighth of its current size (so a 32x32x32 volume will become a 16x16x16 volume). It will more or less destroy your work, so use carefully!

Upscale: Enlarge the volume to eight times its current size (so the other way around). Voxels will be converted to eight voxels and so your work will be preserved. It might be useful to start a new model in a lower resolution and then upscale it to add details.

MirrorX/MirrorY/MirrorZ: Let you work with symmetries on the X, Y, and Z dimensions. When toggled on, they reflect ALL operations to the other half of the volume (and they can work together to produce 8-fold symmetry).

RotateX/RotateY/RotateZ: Let you rotate the current model on X, Y and Z dimensions.

View Options

Voxel View/Quad View/Without Edges: These options display your work in Voxels, Quads or without edges.

Reset Camera: Focus the view on the model.

Trim: Crop you model so you don’t waste unused space.

Voxels: This gives you an indication of the quantity of voxels, that can be changed to affect the size of the model.

Rigger in action

File Operations

Home: Takes you back to the welcome screen, allowing you to save, load and create new models.

Adjustment Tools

Move Tool: Let you move the selected part of the model.

Rotation Tool: Let you rotate the selected model part on X, Y and Z directions.

Resize Tool: Enlarge or reduce the selected part of the model.

View Options

Bone Visibility: Toggle a view of the created bone structure of the model.

Box Visibility: Toggle a view of the different sections created for the bone structure. (Head, chest, shoulders, etc.)

Quad View/Without Edges: These options display your work in Quads or without edges.

Emisive Wand: This allow the emisive colors to activated.


This is where you will be able to create different section of the selected model to create the bone structure, that can later be animated.


A list of the created models available to utilize for the rigging. You can also import other files extensions like .vox or create new ones such as .vmx.


Timeline Options

Animation Preview

Append: Prompts you to add another VXM file and merge it with the current one.

Delete: Deletes the current frame.

Move Left/Move Right: Use this option to reorder frames in the timeline.

Play/Stop: Preview of the animation you are making. When the animation is running, this button shows the animation’s speed (so you can tell the programmer exactly how fast you want the animation in the game).

Frame selector: Let you select the first and last frame.

These basic instructions should get you up and running with VoxEdit — happy voxel making!



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