Qubicle How To: "Voxelize" large models a la Stonehearth

Hello Fellow “Artists”,

I am working at the moment on a model which is a bit bigger and encounter an issue, which you might also face (maybe already did). If you have a larger model, you typically need more Voxels to design it. However, if you use a lot of Voxels, the final product does not look right anymore and might not fit to the art of Stonehearth.

Let me use my actual model, a boat, as a showcase. This model I have developed to fit in size to the model of a standard dude:


Apart from the fact, that it does not yet look like a boat (^^), you might recognize that it does not feel right. It looks too detailed with all that Voxels and almost curves.

Our friends from Stonehearth seem to simply scale their models up, as you can see e.g. in the Trailer (minute 0:40), when the monster enters the scene. I guess that modders will be able to do the same once the game is out. However, if you do not want to wait and would like to arrange all your models in Qubicle (and not export it to another program where you can play around with the sizes), there is a feature in Qubicle which will be of help.

What we need is the function called “Stretch”. You can open the related dialog via the toolbar, once you have selected your model (otherwise it is grayed out):


Once you click on the icon, the following dialog will open up (for sure the numbers might look different ;-):


Here you see the size of all 3 dimensions related to your “workarea” in Voxel. Luckily, Qubicle is using a handy algorithm to resize models, which will help us to Voxelize the boat (or whatever you are working on). So, here we go…

Step 1: Downsize your model. I have decided that my boat should have half the amount of Voxels than my standard dude. So, where my boat has later 1 Voxel, my people should have 2x2 Voxels. So for me, it works to halfen the size in all 3 dimensions.

Step 2: Re-size your model. Here the algorithm helps us. If you select your (now shrinked) model and click again on “Stretch”, you might want to enter the old size, i.e. double all numbers in my case.

Qubicle will now “double” each Voxel and replace each single Voxel with a 2x2 Voxel-Matrix. The result will be that your model has the same size then before we started to adjust it, and might look like that:


As you can see, the boat is still made out of single Voxels, but they are now aligned to a 2x2 design. There is no single Voxel alone somewhere and overall the model is less detailed. From a distance, it just looks more like Stonehearth, from my point of view.

One additional comment… to have this working well, you have to use an even-size for the workarea. Otherwise Qubicle will re-size to the odd size and at one point will not be able to place a 2x2 Voxel-Matrix… so you have to adjust that later on.

I hope this small tutorial helps one or the other, who is encounting a similar challenge.


P.S. The second boat is not the direct outcome from stretching. Although Qubicle will do its job, the result will require some manual work. I also continued working on the boat, so this picture is just to show the idea.

P.P.S. I hope it is not too difficult to follow my thoughts. It is quite late here already, so have mercy with me and just drop me a line if I should explain one or the other step in more detail.

Update: For sure the easiest way is to create a model “as small as possible” in Qubicle Constructor, export it into an .obj-file and load it into your favorite animation tool. There you can re-size it and add other, smaller models into the scene. However, this approach requires to have the Home- or Master-Edition of Qubicle (supporting the export-feature).


wow, well done @voxel_pirate… i applaud anyone who is will to take the time to compile tutorials and guides for other folks…

+2 internet points for you sir… :wink:

Thanks… hope it will be of use for one or the other.

Here the “final” model which looks pretty Stonehearthish in my eyes. I have simply continued to work on a 2x2 basis per Voxel… apart from the skull, where I have made an exception:


Your oar locks are pointing the wrong direction. They should point to the back of the boat. When rowing, you sit with your back to the bow. Just an old boaters eye, hope that helps.

I think you have done an excellent job @voxel_pirate. You have captured the boat very well, and with the skull it just finishes it off. I love people who are making these elaborate structures!


@Ramcat If I would not have thought a bit about in which direction they should point, this would not be that embarrassing… thanks.

@Senvaxy Thanks :wink:

@voxel_pirate when you talk about in the live stream they had the creation scale in game does that mean if i make my houses out of blocks later in their modding progam (hope they release one and it isn’t like torchlight 2 where it took like 4 months before it came out) you will be able to change how it scales in game even if when you make it in cubicle its only like 10 or more blocks high?

They showed in one of the livestreams (the mammoth modding one?) that there is a settable scale factor to customize size. So for example they said most things like people and the like have used 0.1

They haven’t announced any news on an official stonehearth modding program but modelling is done in qubicle, animating in blender or 3ds?, and coding in whatever IDE you want. The only thing that could cause problems is qubicle needing the payed version to export in a usable format.

yes sir, right here

yes, and we havent heard much on the discussion unfortunately… @Xeno, you can find a breakdown of the various product types here, with the recommendation to start with the basic (free) version…

As with all voxel-work you might have started already, keep in mind that we do not know too many things. Even the models for workers, etc. might change.

At the moment I would expect that you will be able to load models and re-size them while you include them in Stonehearth.

However, the approach highlighted above might be interested if you want to compare sizes and looks by only using Qubicle. If you have a home edition of Qubicle, the easier way is to export all models as .obj-files and import them e.g. into Blender. There you can also re-size.

@Xavion @SteveAdamo @voxel_pirate thanks for the info. i really should catch up on the livestreams and il have to check out blender when i get time next. also @voxel_pirate your making a how to animate video tutorial for blender? right?

@Xeno Yes, I have started a series of videos. So far 2 of them are available. I plan to prepare the model for animation in the next video (separate the body parts). If the planning goes well… the 4th video should start with Blender.