Voxels & point data meshes in Blender

I was wondering about something. I’ve recently been interested with the various ideas and systems for using voxels and point cloud data meshes. Although I’m aware Blender is optimized for normal meshes (vertices / lines / faces and UV-textured surfaces) I did wonder if there are features or plans to allow “painting” a model in per-point data.

When I say voxels, I’m not necessarily thinking of a model made of thousands of little cubes (the MineCraft way). I’d still be looking to achieve smooth surfaces in this situation. My idea would be creating a mesh out of 3D reference points (each holding a color or a texture) which are used as guides to determine the shape of the mesh instead of connecting faces directly between them (like vertices do). This concept could be thought of as 3D pixels, or a 3D texture… where instead of having faces that you texture, the texture itself is the model consisting of a set of pixels in 3D locations.

The closest thing I know Blender has are Metaballs, which are a perfect representation of my idea. If added properly, I assume they can be used to create a basic shape with full interior and detail. It’s also possible to rig them so the voxel mesh can be animated like all others. But I assume they’re not meant for making full detail models either. There’s also no way to paint them into a mesh and you’d have to place each one manually, making it difficult to create a model.

Any features, tutorials or plans for something like this? And on a general note, is Blender aiming at supporting voxel mesh ideas and technologies as well, or staying only a system for working with polygon models? Lastly, if voxel ideas are already possible in Blender, how well does performance handle them? Are there occlusion and culling systems to only show voxel generated surfaces the camera can see (eg: for metaball structures)?