Merging art with virtual reality, Tilt Brush lets you paint in 3D


The speculation surrounding the potential success and relevance of the Oculus Rift, or any other iteration of virtual reality technology, has once and for all been put to rest thanks to Tilt Brush, a new 3D painting program from VR prototyping agency, Skillman & Hackett.

Tilt Brush allows artists and aesthetic tinkerers to fill their immediate surroundings with “three-dimensional brushstrokes, smoke, stars” and “even light” in a variety of colors and shapes. And not to worry, these dazzling in-the-moment creations will not be confined to the Oculus Rift; Tilt Brush allows users to export their 3D masterpieces as a GIF to be shared on social media.

Although not yet available to the public, some viewers looking closely at the demonstration videos have postulated that “It looks like they’re doing 2D planar drawing and you have to do some action (scroll wheel, something) to pan and rotate that 2D plane. This is a good workaround, but the really tough part is going to be making something (gloves, stylus) that’s tracked in 3D so you’re not limited by that 2D plane.”


In time, programs like Tilt Brush will only get better, opening limitless aesthetic horizons for artists to explore. After all, artists have always relied on technology to help them achieve newer perspectives and visual experiences, and Oculus Rift certainly seems to be doing a good job of providing developers the opportunity to experiment with the headset’s capabilities. Truly, the feasibility and popularity of virtual reality is limited only by the imagination of its users and developers.

Tilt Brush has also been garnering the attention of major industry watchers. Recently, Tilt Brush was nominated for three Proto Awards – Best Interaction Design, Most Innovative, and Best Overall Virtual Reality Application – and was the winner of the Best GUI Proto Award.

To all my artist friends, can’t wait to see you all eagerly bumbling around in the streets and forests with an Oculus Rift strapped around your head as you create your virtual reality worlds.

About Author

Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.