Art Meets Tech With Tilt Brush, Google’s VR ...

Art Meets Tech With Tilt Brush, Google’s VR App

Google’s new app Tilt Brush flips artists’ worlds inside out, allowing them to take a 360° approach to their art by turning the very field around them into a workable canvas. Utilizing the real physical plane through an empty virtual world, the collaboration of art and high technology inspires with strokes of light that not only come to life but actually shape the space in which the artist exists. To help you visualize the potential of this experience (since most of us don’t have an HTC Vive lying around), Chrome introduced the immersive Virtual Art Sessions.

Six artists representing varying mediums and forms were filmed in a space with two camera rigs and an infrared depth sensor that shot the sessions in 3 dimensions, allowing the viewer the same enveloping captivation from the browser.

The artists were given a “brush” and “palette” for each hand and free rein to actualize a fantastical realm unique to their respective artistic domains. The experiences of illustrator Christoph Niemann, fashion illustrator Katie Rodgers, sculptor Andrea Blasich, installation artist Seung Yul Oh, automotive concept designer Harald Belker, and street artists Sheryo & Yok is available from start to finish–even from their POVs–through “Google Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine for high-performance processing power to render large volumes of data in real time. This includes point cloud data of the artist’s physical form, 3D geometry data of the artwork, and position data of the VR controllers. It also relies on Chrome’s support of WebM video and WebGL to produce the 360° representations of the artists and artwork – the artist portrayals alone require the browser to draw over 200,000 points at 30 times a second.”

If you’re like me and don’t know what any of that means, just click around on the website, and you’ll be amazed as you can look up, down and around as they work and create. If you do know what it means, Visual Art Sessions is open source and you have the option to get the code.

Combining VR and art have already brought us some incredible new worlds (like this VR tribute to Van Gogh). This also allows an audience to get inside the singular perspective of an artist whilst he or she is creating a piece, giving the artistically disinclined a chance to understand the mental and physical process. Watching the magic of its creation unfold gives you an incredible appreciation–even for the artists themselves. As one of them puts it, “It’s like legal acid.” Check out what it feels like to walk up to Disney artist Glen Keane’s Little Mermaid:

Glen Keane Disney Tilt Brush Virtual Reality Art artreport

Glen Keane Tilt Brush

Jeff Nusz of the Data Arts Team at Google adds,

“It’s really nice to be able to take high technology that seems very… otherworldly and marry it with something grounded like traditional art.”

Sarah Northway. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Michael Shilliday. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Chandana Ekanayake. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Lee Petty. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Drew Skillman. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Drew Skillman. Photo: Google Tilt Brush


Drew Skillman. Photo: Google Tilt Brush

Stay tuned for next week when we’ll be Snapchatting 360° doodles over our 360° photos as we romp around in each other’s smartphone universes.


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Christina Lee is a NYC gallery director turned art writer and editor extraordinaire. Enjoys long walks on the beach.