Sunday 8 June 2014


Many classic games like Transport TycoonRollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Hospital have pixel art graphics using a limited number of colours. These graphics are tricky to draw and take a lot of skill, especially when trying to draw accurate 3D shapes from different angles and getting the perspective and shading right.

So I made PixelTool to help out!

What is PixelTool?

PixelTool is an online voxel-based tool for drawing isometric pixel art graphics. To use it you modify a 3D volume of voxels; picking 8-bit colours for each of the voxels and leaving the background as the 'magic blue' which is transparent.

It takes the voxel data and does a pixel-perfect rendering of it into 3D and adding lighting and shadowing, but still sticking to the starting 8-bit colour palette.

Slices through the voxel data of a piece of heavy hauling equipment for OpenTTD

The corresponding rendered image of the voxel block.

Blowing up the voxels in the rendered image by 4 times lets you see what is going on in a bit more detail:

PixelTool isn't just a cheap imitation of 3D rendering software, it is a dedicated tool streamlined to making isometric sprites for classic 8-bit games.

Want to play some more?
Test PixelTool out online here:
Grab the source HTML/javascript code here:
Download this example of voxel data here:
Join the discussion here:

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