MagicaCSG ─ Signed Distance Fields editor by the MagicaVoxel dev 🧊

:date: Updated May 14th 2023 ─ Added a basic explanation of SDF modeling.

An exciting Signed Distance Fields (SDF) editor is being developed by the skilled creator of MagicaVoxel: MagicaCSG (initially named SDF Edit).

SDF modeling, also referred to as CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) is based on 3D math functions, and offers complete modeling freedom without any concerns about topology / mesh structure. There’s real-time blending, real-time Booleans and beveling of forms and (vertex) colors. Every element, even every color, is non-destructive and can be adjusted at any time. Once you’re done the result can be meshed and exported.

Search for the #magicacsg hashtag on Twitter for more info and artwork.

MagicaCSG creations by Mikko Sinisalo:


List of alternative SDF-based tools:

SDF in Blender:


It’d also be great if FK and IK could easily be assigned to a chain of elements.

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Very interesting! It looks like metaballs but it is much more precise in preserving the shapes. Some further refinement and it can be an excellent tool for modelling. :slightly_smiling_face:


This is interesting. What is this technique about? How does this compare to the sculpting we have now in Blender? Does it give better performance? What about sculpting small and medium or even micro details? Or is this in the conceptual stage like when using dynotopo, voxel remesher?

I also saw a vid of sdf used for texturing using very low res textures. Thats actually cool.

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Signed Distance Fields is a volumetric technique, similar to voxels and point clouds. Cinema 4D already includes it for a number of years, but their implementation starts to slow down as soon as a scene becomes a little complex.

This new editor looks very promising. Looking at the brilliance of the MagicaVoxel editor from the same developer, I’ve got high expectations of this new SDF editor. Love the speed and versatility of the implementation, including the automatic adoption of the material from an added or subtracted shape.


Good to know. Thanks for the explanation. Hoping to see sdf utilized in texturing as well.


Neat. Seem something like metaballs + booleans…


Looks like a nice toolset. Some of the work I’ve seen with his MagicaVoxel is quite brilliant. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing hard-surface in VR in Medium lately. I never really used voxels before in my workflow, but I would love to see SDF tech in Medium. Hard-Surface concepting/sketching in Medium(and voxels in general, with the right tools) has huge potential.



I hope the new SDF editor (and a possible implementation in Medium and/or Blender) will also be useful for organic modeling. It should at least be useful for basemeshes, and cartoony / toy character models.

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Fast easy model creation without beeing a modeler, without using textures or UVs is getting more and more attention.

Already used in PS4 game Dreams and Unity Clayxel plugin.

Also possible to use Clayxels real time deformation in game, slower but lot better than PS4 Dreams characters without deformations rigging.

Easy modeling for anyone without needing to know modeling

Some shader modification and you can do many great effects

Two things this tool will need

  • model sub groups, be able to copy paste transform mirror those sub groups
  • convert to polygons and export to obj
    Otherwise the tool will be useless for games and real time related creations.

Nice, thanks! Going to check out Clayxels. I love such intuitive modeling methods.

ZBrush also recently added some brushes I really like, such as the Mesh Balloon brush:

Balloon people will use alot to very fast block out models very intuitively.
A must have.

Blender should get a similar tool.

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The old silhouette brush google summer of code project had a similar concept. The volumes it created weren’t as clean though. The student didn’t manage to complete it:


I guess Blender sculpt will have to get sort of ballon like quick bloc kout feature.

Let’s stay on track with signed distance field modeling :sweat_smile:

Modeling with primitive and signe distance fields matters if you can use that in 3D real time engine like PS4 game Dreams for example.

Otherwise for sculpting only why not using simple Voxels with sculpting tools instead ?
More powerfull and unlimited, no primitives constraint.

So voxels better than signed distance field, what advantage about using primitives only with signed distance field ?
When you can’t use that primitives modeling in a game engine like Clayxels or PS4 Dreams ?

I guess modeling with primitives and signed distance fields is perhaps faster block out, while allowing details, and lot more friendly for non modeler users and new comers to modeling.


PS4 realtime graphics no polygons.

Poly gone



Interesting, but in the end it will still be internally converted to polygons, or not? Like NURBS: infinitely smooth surfaces, but they need to be meshed, and quad-polygons still exist of triangles underneath the surface.


Yes, all those Medium videos Ratchet linked are concept sketches. Medium is so good for this sort of work.


Thats not balloon brushes, thats a stolen teddy. :grin: :wink:

In this case rather not, and generally the answer may often be also no, there exist different rendering approaches for datastructures or surfacedescriptions, having the nurbs definition and deciding how you render them could be done in different ways. Dreams is utilizing pointclouds and point cloud rendering may again fall back to rendering polygons, but that is not the case here as far as I know. Its just a multistepped pure point cloud rendering. Including subclouds for parts near to the camera. Generally, there very well different rendering approaches possible, that don’t really rely on triangles for rendering, metaballs for example should not get confused with blenders metaball meshes, they can be completely rendered without utilizing triangles.


Haha, yeah, it was also already in MS-Paint 3D for years. I’ve always regretted that Teddy was never developed beyond the initial stages.

Interesting, thanks!

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Out of curiosity, would SDFs for Blender be useful for artists (and how)?

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