Review: Tilt Brush

Look like an idiot, create art

I have never had any artistic ability; I am more of a wordsmith than a visual creator. Something about taking in 3D data with my eyes, processing that down to a 2D image, then getting my hands to replicate that onto a screen or sheet of paper just doesn’t work well.

Tilt Brush, a 3D art program that releases for free with the HTC Vive this week, made me feel like I could finally create art. Sculpting in three dimensions, altering my view, and getting up close and personal allowed me to make some beautiful creations.

It’s just a shame I looked like a crazy person while I did it.

Tilt Brush (HTC Vive)
Developer: Google
Publisher: Google

Tilt Brush makes use of the Vive’s room-scale functions to create a space in which you can view and create art. In your off hand, your trackpad is used to select tools, colours, effects and manage system functions, while your main hand is dedicated to drawing lines of varying styles, thicknesses, and forms into 3D space.

It’s a testament to the quality of the Vive itself, as well as the quality of Tilt Brush, that it was very easy to connect multiple points in 3D space using lines on different axes. My ability to judge 3D position, and connect lines based on that, was never an issue.

While I’m an incredibly unskilled artist when working in 2D, by drawing in 3D I was able to make a full-size model of a mech suit with wings and a jetpack within around 25 minutes. It was certainly a bit rough around the edges, but it was far better than any piece of art I have ever created in 2D. The ability to quickly and naturally sketch out 3D models could be a huge advance in digital modelling programs if incorporated.

While there were a variety of different line types, alongside visual effects I could add like sparkling trails or smoke effects, I did feel that the lack of geometric shape creation tools was a notable drawback. In Paint or Photoshop, I can create rectangles or ovals of differing shapes and sizes, and similar 3D functionality felt lacking, particularly after playing launch titles like Fantastic Contraption which have that as part of their gameplay.

And that’s it. Tilt Brush has a huge number of tools available which are really easy to wrap your head around. It’s free, and you get to draw 3D art with your hand. That’s pretty amazing, but you will look like a bit of an idiot to onlookers.

About The Author
Laura Dale
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