VR Painting Tool: Tilt brush, Blocks, Masterpiece VR

Tilt Brush

Tilt Brush

I have been waiting to try Tilt brush since the first time I heard about it in a podcast of Jinghua Zhang, head of UX, at Google Daydream team. Overall, this is definitely the most pretty one among these three VR painting software, and it’s exciting as well. It’s much easier for anyone to get some pleasing outcomes, thanks to those brush with engaging visual effect (bubbles, glowing lines, blinking stars) which seems already to make people feel quite satisfied with what they are doing in a relatively short time. The user interface is more complex: more hierarchy and options to explore. Based on my observation, I find that this is the only tool that the submenu could be separated from your “hand” in VR, people could actually grab those submenus and place them anywhere in the virtual world, but sometimes people cannot find it because it is hidden by their painting. Tilt brush doesn’t allow people to move any object they drew, the only way to navigate in the environment is through the teleport feature which transports users to another side of the space. Being able to review our work from another perspective is interesting, but I personally don’t think this is a practical feature in artistic production.

Google Blocks

Google Blocks

I think this is my favourite one among these 3 VR painting tool. The way it easily allows me to select a vertex, and extrude surface to create shapes reminds me of how I feel in cinema 4d. I see Google Blocks as a convenient tool I would like to use for the rapid prototype, ideation in VR scene creation. The modeling process is not that accurate, you could easily get some unwanted subdivisions and surface, but it is good enough to quickly create some simple digital assets in the scene. The colour palette is also limited, but it makes sense for prototyping as too many options would only distract people from the ideation process.

Masterpiece VR

Masterpiece VR

This is the first VR painting tool I tried. The whole experience is really user-friendly and I didn’t have a lot problem to get used to it. After a while, I get more familiar with each function, but I find myself still keep drawing some random lines and shapes rather than using those sculpting functions to create some more recognisable object. I thought this is because Masterpiece VR usually take people more time to master it, but when I switched to Blocks and looked back, I found other people were creating a human figure in Masterpiece VR and applying those sculpting functions to shape the object, I realised that it might depend on how comfortable you are in “polygon modeling” and “non-polygon” modeling. Personally, I find polygon modeling (Google Blocks) gives me more sense of control because I can select the vertex, line, and surface I want to modify the shape, while Masterpiece VR takes me more time to figure out where to put my hand and how to control the intensity of bending, twisting tool to achieve the desired effect, but it will definitely create more organic, and polished artwork once people get used to it. As I searched that Masterpiece VR has multiplayer capabilities, I would really like to see how people collaborate to work on 3d artwork in a virtual space (or even just for ideation). It might be much better than what we do in the crowded physical world today. The multiplayer capability might also help to reduce the time we spend on scene composition and improve the overall workflow.

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