Questions Regarding Pica Voxel

zulnam posted this 30 June 2015

Hello community!

So I initially thought of sending the creator of Pica Voxel a mail with my questions, but considered it wiser to ask directly on the forum, perhaps hear from other user's opinions and help others searching for knowledge. So here we go!

  1. How advanced exactly is the animation features? I understand it's frame-based, but is there a limitation to frames used? Can you cut/paste selected portions? Are there any plans to improve/enhance this tool in the future?
  2. After uploading a voxel file from, say, MagicaVoxel, can you resize the model to more than 126 XYZ voxel size (i.e.: double it's size).
  3. Is Pica Voxel capable of large (random?) terrain generation? Either directly or through the use of scripting (thus using the tool as a sort-of-kind-of game engine)?

I'm primarily looking into voxels for a somewhat-large scale RTS project. Any information/links that you feel might be useful for this scope are welcome.

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GarethIW posted this 30 June 2015

Hi, welcome!

To answer your questions:

1 - The animation system is very simple. Frame-based, no limitations (other than memory). You can copy/paste whole frames from one Volume (animation) to another. You would use that functionality if you wanted to make an animation from multiple Magica imports.

A simple script is included that will let you play all frames as a single animation, with loop or ping-pong. If you need multiple states (idle, walk, shoot) etc. then you will need to extend the script to deal with that (i.e. assign frame ranges to states).

I would like to include the option for frame ranges with the out-of-the-box script, but it's not a high priority. I guess it would also be nice to work with Mecanim, but as I have no Mecanim experience that won't happen anytime soon either!

2 - You can resize after importing, and there's also resize-anchor options. I should also point out that working with Volumes larger than 128^3 will be extemely memory and disk-space intensive, and quite slow and unwieldy.

3 - PicaVoxel isn't really equipped for very large landscapes, and there are no tools included for random generation. It is flexible enough that you could generate a landscape at runtime, but I know from experience that without some kind of streaming, you're going to run into RAM issues. This is more a Unity issue, not necessarily a PicaVoxel one.

It might be possible to do something with using PicaVoxel volumes as tiles in a larger map, which I know more than one user has done successfully.

Hope that helps!

Last edited 30 June 2015

zulnam posted this 30 June 2015

Thanks a lot! Your answers did indeed help me; I'll probably generate maps in 2D while using voxel units/buildings, if that's the case.

As for the resize, I don't plan going larger than 128^3, but I will probably double the size of buildings (so, 128^2) while leaving the same unit size (roughly 30-40).

Thank you also for supporting MagicaVoxel which I, personally, believe to be easier to use than Qubicle, at times even more efficient. I look forward to working with Pica Voxel as well!

All the best.

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