If you're like me, some of your fondest early computing memories may have been messing around on simple paint programs like Microsoft Paint and Kidpix. That's about as far as my computer art career got (sorry Paper fans), but I'm delighted to see that when virtual reality finally conquers the world (face-by-face), I will be able to once again indulge in my fantasies of becoming a digital Picasso/Dali/Bob Ross hybrid. Tilt Brush is a new paintbrush application for Oculus Rift created by Skillman & Hackett, a San Francisco interactive design studio, in just three weeks.
The app lets virtual artists paint in three dimensions by adjusting the angle of your canvas. Even more amazing, it lets you paint with crazy materials including light, stars, and smoke, and has built in support for sharing your work as a GIF. Although just a private prototype for now, Patrick Hackett tells me he and his colleagues plan to build a full version in time for the consumer release of Oculus Rift (reportedly summer 2015). "We're going to support as many platforms as we can, but we're a small team so we'll likely be limited to those that can reach the most user," Hackett says. "If the hardware manufacturers are listening, though, we're very interested in the headsets that support pass through video. Hint hint."
Tilt Brush already won a Proto Award (they recognize excellence in virtual reality) for best GUI, and has been nominated for a host of other awards. But mostly, I just want to know if it will be able to let me paint my own portable hole to run through. If you like the app, be sure to check out some of Skillman & Hackett's other intriguing virtual reality prototype work.