Posts and pages on Ape Apps tagged with #voxelpaint
Ok, so I know I just updated My Tokens a few days ago, but since I was already in "My Tokens Mode," I decided to keep at it and introduce an entire new class of Token character, the Minecraft-inspired Blockhead Token!

Available now in My Tokens v2.2.0 (which should be hitting all platforms soon), the new Blockhead Token is the second 3D modeled token class, and the first 3D modeled token to be textured. The texturing in the Blockhead Tokens is superior to that of the original two 2D token classes, as the textures are all stored as small .svg files that are downloaded from the server to the client's device and then compiled at runtime at any resolution, meaning the textures can be extremely sharp when compared to the existing My Token classes.

There are individual .svg files for each component, which the client device will layer on top of each other before creating the final scaled texture, when is then mapped onto the Token model. The token texture uses the following layout:

I am thinking of also making a way to export the final compiled layout of a Blockhead Token, or even letting people upload their own custom skins into My Tokens, although it wouldn't work with the existing Token classes. And since the Blockhead Tokens are ratio-equivalent to a Minecraft character, I was thinking I could even add an option to compile your created Token as a Minecraft skin that you could export and use in Minecraft. Of course, Minecraft skin textures are a lot lower resolution than a My Token character, so things might not look very good when scaled down like that, so we will see.

The two new 3D style of Tokens are significantly easier to maintain and create new parts for than the two original 2D versions. Of course, the Mini Voxel token is by far the easiest to create new content for, as it's just a few blocks in Voxel Paint at extremely low resolution, but the new Blockhead model is pretty easy as well. Just to show the complexity of the different types, let's look at the spacesuit overshirt model for the different Token types. Here it is for the mini-Voxel token:

Pretty basic. Here is the same Token part for the new Blockhead token:

A little more complicated, but still not bad. Now here is the sheet for the two original Token types (they are both combined into the same file):

You probably can't even see anything without downloading the file and zooming way in, but I have to draw different animation frames for each direction a Token can be facing. It takes forever.

Sadly when adding new Token parts, I still have to maintain the two original Token types. Going forward though, new games are going to be using the new 3D token models instead of the old 2D models. The first game to use a 3D token will be Token Kart, which I have been working on off-and-on over the months and will be using the Mini Voxel Tokens. I might also allow Voxel tokens to appear as colonists in some My Colony 2 maps, such as the Water World, which theoretically has an atmosphere they can breathe. As for the new Blockhead tokens, I want to create the next generation of the Death 3D engine with better performance and more capabilities, and the ability to use Blockhead tokens as characters. I am going to use the engine to create a 3D adaptation of the Deimos trilogy. I am also going to make a Gone Rogue 2, which will either use the Voxel or Blockhead tokens as characters, I haven't decided which yet.

Anyway, the new My Tokens update should be available soon on all platforms (available now on the Web or the Launcher), so check it out and let me know what you think!

#mytokens #mycolony2 #voxelpaint
5d ago
Voxel Paint has just been updated to v1.8.0 with a few shiny new features for your enjoyment. For starters, My Tokens have now invaded Voxel Paint!

If you are signed into Voxel Paint with your Ape Apps Account and you have some My Tokens characters saved to your account as well, they will now be available to import into your paintings from the Insert menu. The latest version of My Tokens also lets you just export .vpp files directly, but this is a shortcut method.

Next up, your projects can now be exported as .obj files. This is cool for several reasons, one of which is that the .obj format is common in 3D printing, meaning you could probably print your Voxel Paint creations to a 3D printer. I don't personally have one to test this out with, but I was able to open an exported .obj in an alternate application, so I know that the files I am generating are standard.

Finally, the default camera mode has switched from Rotate to Pan. I have also made it so that using the right-mouse button will trigger the camera mode opposite to the primary selected mode (like in My Colony 2). What this means, is that you can click/drag using the left mouse button to pan, and using the right mouse button to rotate. You can also toggle the mode from the toolbar and the opposite will be true. If that sounds confusing, just try it out yourself and you will see that it is not confusing at all.

Anyway, that is all for today's Voxel Paint update. If any of you happen to have a 3D printer and end up printing out a Voxel Paint creation, post it in the forum because I'd love to see how it comes out (or if it just fails)!

#voxelpaint #mytokens
4mo ago
An exciting new feature is now working in the Voxel Paint Progressive Web App (PWA) that allows you to launch and open .vpp files by simply double-clicking them on your computer, as would work with a normal installed desktop application. Voxel Paint now supports *.vpp file type association, but there are a couple of things you need to do first in order to set it up.

The first requirement is that you need to enable the new File Handling API in the experimental features of either Chrome or Edge. Browse to either chrome://flags or edge://flags (respectively) and find and enable the #file-handling-api flag.

Next, Voxel Paint has to be "installed" on your system as a PWA. This is simple enough. If you browse to the Voxel Paint web app (https://www.apewebapps.com/voxel-paint/), you will see an Install or App Available notice in the right side of the address bar. There might also be an Install option in the Help dropdown menu. Once you do this, Voxel Paint will look and behave as a normal application on your system.

Although still in the experimental stages, the File Handling API is a great new feature coming to modern browsers that will go a long way towards giving PWA's feature parity with many existing desktop applications, and I look forward to implementing the file associations feature with other apps in my catalog over the coming months!

6mo ago
Today I am finalizing v1.7.0 of Voxel Paint which is a fairly considerable update with several new tools and features being added into the program. Let's take a look at what's new!

First off, Voxel Paint now has, not one, but four pen tools available, accessable by either right-clicking on the pen tool icon, or selecting the pen tool again when you are already using one of the pens (for mobile access). Doing so will give you this new context menu where you can select which pen tool you are interested in using:

The Add Voxel tool is the same that it's always pen, the regular pen.

The new Fill Add Voxel tool accepts two clicks and will then fill in every cube in-between the first and second click. For instance, if you click on the top left corner of the painting and then the bottom left, you will get this:

Certainly a lot faster than single clicking on each individual tile!

The Paint Voxel tool is used for painting over, or changing the color of already existing voxels, handy for adding texture to a model or simply making changings without having to erase and redraw parts of your model.

Finally, the new Paint Emissive tool is used for quickly setting a group of voxels as emissive. You use it by "drawing" over them as with the Paint Voxel tool. It also allows mobile users to set voxels as emissive, as they couldn't before.

In order to keep all of the new tools straight, there is a new readout area on the bottom-right of the screen next to the coordinate readout that lets you know which tool you are currently using.

Aside from the new pens, there are a couple of more tools you will find in this release. Under the Image menu, there is a new Hollow Image wizard. This tool will go through your model and automatically remove all cubes that are not visible from the outside. This is a handy feature if you've just created a bunch of new voxels using the Fill Add Voxel tool and want to remove the excess in the center. Hollowing an image can greatly reduce your .vpp file size, as well as rendering performance.

When you first load up Voxel Paint, the default file size has been changed from 20x20 to 16x16. I made this change because the two games that currently use .vpp models, My Empire and My Colony 2, both use 16x16 models by default, as does the Voxel Playground utility. It only makes sense for Voxel Paint to conform to that default. I have also adjusted the maximum zoom out range, so you can zoom out on your models more than you could previously.

Finally, Voxel Paint now has a new file export mode called Precompile Model, which performs a majority of the operations that the My Empire or My Colony 2 game engines normally do before adding the model into the game, and saves that data into the actual .vpp file. The precompile export can take a minute or so depending on your device and will increase the file size by a factor of 2 or 3 (or more). The benefit is that it will reduce the time that one of the above mentioned games (or the Voxel Playground once it's updated) takes to load your model by 99%, which is good. If you are just working on small models or making personal artwork and do not care about rendering in My Colony 2, then you probably do not need to do a precompile export. On the other hand, if you are interested in My Colony 2 modding or creating Voxel Playground scenes, the precompile export is probably the way to go.

Anyway, the v1.7.0 update is live now on the Web and on the Ape Apps Launcher and should be hitting all other platforms over the course of the week. I hope you enjoy the changes, please leave feedback so that I can continue to improve the app, and stay tuned for more Voxel Paint updates!

#voxelpaint #mycolony2 #voxelplayground #myempire
7mo ago
#MyColony2 #VoxelPaint #VoxelModel #CommunityContents #MagicaVoxel #Scroll3D


Some months ago, inside the secret lab in the deep mountains.... Wait, wrong script.
Just a few monthes ago, our dev @bastecklein got hands onto creating a (sort of) next generation engine for upcoming games of Ape Apps. With some computer magic and pretty much hard efforts, the brand new engine Scroll3D was born, a new engine comes with elevation in terms of dimensions, from 2D to 3D.
The detailed story about creation of Scroll3D can be found in this post.

The currently under development My Colony 2 (MC2) is created using Scroll3D engine. So how it would look like? Here are some demonstrations from the recent in game footage.

Currently, the Scroll3D engine is capable of the followings, compared to the older Scroll2D engine:
  • More realistic light rendering.
  • Light emitting objects!
  • A better representation of height and elevation.
  • Diagonal movement of objects.
  • 3 dimensional details for objects.
You can see the 3D models are very blocky in shape. This style is called Voxel, which every model are built up block by block. In other words, you can say it is low pixel graphics but it is in 3D.
The reason bastecklein adopted this style is because voxel models are generally easy to make. This is a good thing for people who would like to contribute to the graphical designs of game objects in game development, or create mods for the games - that is also one of the major features of My Colony 2.

Games using Scroll3D engine, including My Colony 2, use .vpp files for object graphics in the game. So how you can create the voxel models?

Bastecklein has also created another app for creating voxel models in .vpp format - Voxel Paint.
This is a dedicated app for creating .vpp models for any Ape Apps games using Scroll3D engine. A simple and easy-to-use app, it allows you to create simple, small voxel models. More importantly, it is available on many platforms, from your desktop computer to your mobile devices.
You can try out the app a bit on the embed window above.

Voxel Paint can work in conjunction with another popular, totally free open source software that is also for creating voxel models, MagicaVoxel. MagicaVoxel, compared to Voxel Paint, has more convenient and advanced tools that can help making of voxel models easier, especially when you're trying to create larger models that would take days to make on Voxel Paint. However, it is so far only available on PC devices.
This is their official website where you will find the latest download version, and their Github page: https://ephtracy.github.io/
Models created using MagicaVoxel is in format of .vox, this format cannot be used in My Colony 2, it requires conversion in Voxel Paint using the Import .vox file function and then save it as usable .vpp files.
This is a screenshot of the user interface.

At this moment, the standard unit of a tile in Scroll3D engine is 16×16 voxels. Hence, when you're creating voxel models, please set canvas size/base area parameters as multiples of 16 (16×16, 32×32, 48×48, etc.) for proper designs.

Any voxel models in .vpp format you have created can be submitted on the Ape Apps forums, which upon submission of the post/comment the .vpp model preview can be rendered.

Just a few hours before this post, My Colony 2 reached v0.2.0 with a few basic gameplay features implemented successfully. It is far from completion, and some buildings need better models. However, there is also plentiful of space for adding shiny new good stuff and refining the current details, this is where bastecklein will need more cool thoughts, amazing ideas and fine suggestions from us. Of course, better or new voxel models!

As always:
You can help by EXPANDING IT.
7mo ago
With the recent release of Chrome 86, websites and Progressive Web Apps (PWA's) have just unlocked a killer new feature that brings them even closer to par with native desktop applications - native file system access!

Using the new File System Access API, web apps and PWAs can now access actual real files and folders directly on a users computer (with permission, of course), instead of simply living in the sandboxed browser environment. This is great for a lot of reasons, but particularly for games like My Colony which can have large game files, the new access allows users to get past the current browser internal storage limits.

The code for this has already been available in several Ape Web Apps, and if you are using Chrome 86 you can see it in action today. Typepad and Voxel Paint have both supported this feature for a while now, which has been available in the Chrome dev channels for some time. When run under the latest Chrome (and I assume Edge once Edge 86 hits), both now have full access to open and save files to your desktop or mobile file system (if you allow permission), allowing them to operate just like they do using the Ape Apps Launcher or other native desktop applications!

Anyway, I love developing for the web platform, since it frees everybody from the limitations imposed by the various app stores, so it's always nice to see new capabilities arrive on the browser. I constantly keep my eye on the latest browser features, and implement many of them into Ape Web Apps, so feel free to check out all of the Ape Web Apps applications. The best part of it is, every single one is fully installable onto any device as a full featured PWA.

#voxelpaint #typepad
1y ago


Ape Apps, LLC is an independent software development company founded in 2010 by Brandon Stecklein. Over the years, Ape Apps has published over 400 apps and games across various platforms. You can get in touch with Brandon on Twitter or by leaving a post on his wall @bastecklein
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