Google Introduces a New Way to Create in 3D Spaces: Tilt Brush
Google’s Tilt Brush is a truly miraculous tool that is transforming the way we will create 3D designs in future. They’re calling it ‘Tilt Brush’. Let’s take a look at what all the commotion is about…
Who remembers the Leap Motion controller?
This was a small device you could plug into a PC that would then enable touch controls using your hands. The idea was that you could play games by moving your hands like a bird, chopping fruit like a ninja, or flicking balls across your screen. Likewise, you could read a paper by swiping your hand in front of the screen, or point your finger to control a mouse.
But what the company was really trying to push toward the end as its killer app, was a sculpting tool originally called ‘Free Form’ and recently renamed simply ‘Sculpting’. The idea was that you could make a 3D model, just as though you were sculpting real clay with your hands.
The Leap Motion unfortunately never took off quite the way it could have but it highlighted a real need. A need to be able to create 3D imagery in a virtual space in a manner that anyone could pick up and intuitively understand.
And this need has only grown with the advent of true virtual reality and mixed reality. If virtual reality is ever going to take off to the extent it potentially could, if it’s ever to fulfil its full potential, then it needs a way for the ‘everyman’ to create stunning 3D designs and share them with the community.
That’s exactly what Tilt Brush is. And how…
What is Tilt Brush
Tilt Brush is one of the most innovative examples of VR software yet imagined. The idea is simple: using the HTC Vive headset and its motion controls, users can paint directly into the air in order to create stunning 3 dimensional images.
This is something that really has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. The magnificent creations are quite unlike anything that you can make in any other medium and thanks to the ‘room scale VR’ made possible by the Vive, you can actually walk around the creations in 3D as though they were right there in front of you. It’s no stretch to imagine with some additional tools, these could be used to create CAD files of full 3D models and even to use with 3D printers.
And what’s most important of all, is that this is a technology that anyone can pick up and instantly grasp. Users report finding it incredibly intuitive to use, saying that the sense of depth is perfect and even claiming that they find it easier to draw in 3D than they do in 2D! This is potentially game changing, as it means that anyone will be able to create 3D images and even whole landscapes for others to explore. And the possibilities are endless: imagine a collaborative tool like this. Or imagine being able to ‘walk’ to visit other people’s creations – like a living, 3D version of the web…
How to Experience Tilt Brush Right Now
Right now, the only tool powerful enough to power the Tilt Brush experience is the HTC Vive. This is the only top-end headset that (currently) has touch controls and it’s the only one that offers room-scale VR with full positional tracking. Unfortunately, this is also a piece of hardware that costs thousands of dollars… on top of the money you’d need to invest in a high-end PC to try it with.
But you can experience it right now. All you need is $10 and pretty much any Android phone. That’s because the Google Cardboard (a VR headset that works with a phone and is made purely of cardboard) now has an app that allows you to view other people’s Tilt Brush creations. You can even watch them being drawn!
Of course you can also check out the tool on YouTube. Here’s a great video of someone using the tool to create a convincing monster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYY-DZ14i9E.
Or how about this video in which one man spent 24 hours in VR. And of course he chose Tilt Brush as the virtual reality app he wanted to ‘live in’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZau6PiLoJc.
There are plenty more amazing videos on the subject, so just spend some time browsing and you should have no problem recognizing just how much potential this new app has. Imagine being able to create a new logo for your website by walking around and painting it onto the air!
We love finding new ways that technology is helping people to express themselves and we think this is one of the most amazing examples yet… But with all the amazing tools hitting the market, we’re likely to see many more in the coming years. Watch this space!
To find out more about Tilt Brush, visit www.tiltbrush.com.