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KNOWLEDGE BASE

Google’s Tilt Brush Is The First Great VR App

Here’s how a painting app is used to introduce users to virtual reality.

Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D space with virtual reality. Unleash your creativity with three-dimensional brush strokes, stars, light, and even fire. Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.

Tilt Brush is Google’s self-proclaimed app for “Painting in 3D space with virtual reality,” comes bundled with the headset, and is the first great art app for virtual reality. Using the app and the controllers on systems like the Vive, users can create amazingly detailed artwork. It’s intuitive, intensely immersive, and does something funny. While a user plays around with the different brushes and pencils and zooms, they learn how to use the virtual reality controllers.

“Tilt Brush, at its core, is a virtual reality painting application. It creates something anyone can use, intuitively, for kids, artists, and absolutely anyone,” Skillman told Fast Company. “Within the first 30 or 45 seconds, anyone can start VR painting and making marks in space all around them. […] It allows everyone to see how powerful VR is and how transformative it will be.”

Tilt Brush’s strength, and its importance to the growing virtual reality industry, is that it uses non-gaming techniques to acclimate an audience of non-gamers to virtual reality—a field whose developers and early aficionados, I’ve seen from personal experience, tend to be the type of folks with large game collections on Steam and expensive TV setups to play Xbox One games on.

The idea of users painting and drawing using the physical space around them wasn’t part of the original mission plan, but something they discovered along the way. According to Hackett, earlier versions of Tilt Brush, although virtual reality, only allowed art to be made on two-dimensional planes. But then “There was a happy accident. Tilt Brush came out of an experiment with a virtual reality chess prototype, where we accidentally started painting the chess pieces in the air, and it was incredible.”

Source: Ungerleider, Neal Fast Company; Google’s Tilt Brush is the First Great VR App