Floating cities, exotic villages and impossible landscapes, all made out of tiny blocks – welcome back to the world of voxel art, which you might have last visited playing Zelda on your sofa in the ‘80s. Your appropriately named guide is talented voxel artist Sir Carma.
Clearly voxels can be used beautifully, but what the hell are they? Voxels represent “a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space,” according to Wikipedia. A 3D pixel, in normal-speak. And it may have died out in modern gaming, it now serves as some very tasty retro eye candy.
Like the videogames themselves, voxel art is just a hobby for Sir Carma – even if the incredible, detailed, often elegant worlds that he creates just out of tiny blocks make it hard to believe. From far-reaching landscapes to more intimate scenes that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from the art form, Sir Carma shows off voxel art’s potential for beauty and brilliance.
Image: concept for a floating, futuristic city
Bizarrely, Sir Carma is not a real-life knight (we were sad too), but has a full-time job at a web agency in Paris. Growing up, though, he always dreamt about making video games.
As he couldn’t code and doesn’t consider himself a particularly good drawer (check out the black and white beauties at the end of this article to find out why we vehemently disagree), he stuck to voxel art.
Image: Talaak village
“Obviously, growing up in the 80s/90s, pixel art has everything that I love,” he wrote for 80 level. “All those influences from the 8-bit and 16-bit eras and all the PC point & click games from Lucas Arts were very dear to me.”
When he found himself experimenting with voxel art only a year ago, he found it like “having legos in my computer,” he wrote for 80 level. “I’m a 12-year-old boy trapped in a 32-year-old body.”
Sir Carma prefers Magica Voxel to create his work but, as it’s limited to 126x126x126 scenes, glues them together with Photoshop later.
Image: the quiet room
Image: Askani's tomb