Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Microsoft Paint in 3D?

Most of us have probably heard something along the lines  that virtual reality is going to be the next big thing in technology. Up until a couple of months ago, this statement was taken with a grain of salt due to its seemingly limited applications involving mainly gaming. The Oculus Rift's development, indeed, was geared more towards the gaming industry but this all changed after Facebook saw the potential of this new technology and bought the rights to the Oculus Rift from Oculus VR. Strapping a huge pair of goggles on allows for the user to experience a fabricated reality in which one may or may not be able to interact with, depending on what the device is being used for. Down in San Francisco, Drew Skillman and Patriack Hackett took the idea of being able to interact with the environment and developed a software for the VR called Tilt Brush.

With Tilt Brush, you can create your own kinds of brushes. They can have all kinds of textures and strokes as well. Some examples include metallic, light, patterns, even music reactive brushes and this will allow you to paint. This medium of art was created by little c and pro c and once released to the general public, will help countless others with expressing their own little c and possibly (and most likely) big C.

Hackett was the co-head of Future Tech before he left to co-found Skillman and Hackett with his partner. Both are long time game developers and have been working with creating software for years. They realized the potential that VR had and from a game developers point of view and realized that a means of design would be needed for this alternate reality. Their goal in creating Tilt Brush is to "promote an ecosystem by showing the world what's possible with virtual reality." When new forms of technology come out, a new means of expression comes along with it and both men are enjoying seeing the program grow and develop. They already had experience with motion control and VR as they have worked with the PS4 Camera, Kinect, Leap Motion Controller, Oculus, and smartphones like Android and iPhone. They have a well rounded background that no doubt prepared them in making a compatible and functioning program.

Skillman and Hackett designed Tilt Brush with the angle that it will be used as a means of expression, not precision. It's meant to be used to make quick, rough sketches to easily be shared with others using the VR. The developers believe that the program and its usage should make sense and flow to allow users unrestrained access to create their art, but also just as easily allow others to experience it, too. There is a built in auto-GIF option that will make it easy for the creator to display their 3D creation with movement.

Skillman and Hackett have creative drive in them and they are using it in order to allow others realize their potential as well. Their program is free to use in order to gain feedback from it in its still rather early stages. They have thought ahead and formed something that will undoubtedly in the future of VR. This forward thinking is what is bringing them much success. They are thinking about what will help othes in their creations in the future - not only now. Tilt Brush is as much for Skillman and Hackett as much as it is to the general public. They  were nominated for three Proto Awards for this program including Most Innovative and Best Interaction Design. They are the winners of the Best GUI Proto Award. They have created technology that will help this new technology be even more accessible to all - to make VR a little less foreign. We can expect to see much more from these guys as they shape the future of VR and all the possibilities this new medium can unfold.

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