Tested: Google Tilt Brush VR painting app for the HTC Vive

Illustrator Alex Moore gets hands-on with the Google Tilt Brush app for painting in VR to discover if it lives up to the hype.

HTC’s Vive virtual reality system is a creative tool for artists as well as a fun way to play VR shooting and sports games. Google’s Tilt Brush app lets you paint in 3D space, essentially sculpting with brush strokes and lines of light that hang in the air.

There’s been a lot of hype around Tilt Brush over the past week, as Google done a big PR push around the app as it made it available for sale in the Vive’s app store (through Valve’s Steam platform). It has also commissioned artists including Christoph Niemann to produce artworks using it for the Virtual Art Experiments site.

To looked past the breathy hyperbole, we wanted to know what an artist who wasn’t being paid by Google made of the combination of app and VR system. We invited illustrator Alex Moore, who I first met creating live art at festival-in-a-club night Rumpus, to draw live in VR – and tell us about her experiences.

See what she thought in the video above.

To use Tiltbrush, you slip on the Vive headset to find yourself in an empty space – or floating in space – ready to fill with your creations. You draw using one of the Vive’s two controllers – which are like a cross between a Wii controller and a Bopit. The other controller works as your palette.

Your movement is tracked by two sensors placed on stands at opposite corners of the room, so you can walk around your creations and bring your strokes together into a 3D model.

It’s wonderful fun, but it’s rather pricy. Tilt Brush itself costs only £22.99, but the Vive is £689 – and a PC to run it will probably set you back a grand.

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