VR an eye-popping new canvas for artists using Tilt Brush

Virtual reality isn't just for gamers and engineers anymore: visual artists are dabbling with the technology to make eye-popping artworks.

New Google painting app allows artists to create in a virtual world

Toronto skyline in VR by Olga Nabatova

The National

5 years ago
Take a tour through the downtown Toronto skyline in this virtual reality artwork created by Olga Nabatova using Google's Tilt Brush app. 0:57

Virtual reality isn't just for gamers and engineers anymore: visual artists are dabbling with the technology to create eye-popping artworks.

A new VR app called Tilt Brush allows artists and anyone else with a creative streak to paint brilliant three-dimensional drawings and craft virtual sculptures. Created by Google, it is used with HTC's Vive VR equipment.

Artist Olga Nabatova got to try it out when Google commissioned her to create a 3-D rendering of the downtown Toronto skyline for a recent event. Click on the video above to take a tour through the artwork.

Artist Olga Nabatova uses Google’s virtual reality painting app Tilt Brush to create a three-dimensional, VR work of art. Tilt Brush lets artists or anyone with a creative side and access to HTC's VR gear create in the virtual space around them. (Ron Charles/CBC)

"I was so happy. I am in virtual and I want to be here," Nabotova told CBC News. 

"I know it is only the beginning and that there are limitations, but they develop new brushes all the time."

To create a piece in Tilt Brush, Nabatova dons a VR headset and picks up two controllers. Inside her VR artscape, one controller becomes a three-sided pallet while the other becomes a brush.

Making art in VR: a quick demo by artist Olga Nabatova

Arts and Entertainment

5 years ago
Artist Olga Nabatova gives a quick demonstration of creating a virtual reality drawing using Google Tilt Brush. 0:55

To those watching, she seems to be doing an intricate dance as she guides the controllers though the air.

Artist Olga Nabatova usually works in clay, but a new VR painting app from created by Google now lets her make art in the virtual world as well. (Ron Charles/CBC)

But in her VR world, each of her movements creates a shimmering brushstroke, chosen from a multitude of three-dimensional forms.

Nabatova normally works in clay, but she said she's now also fallen for VR.

"Tilt brush is amazing in some ways. It gives you options to work very large and create a three-dimensional stage and I really enjoy working there. To do detailed work such as a portrait, I think that is coming, but it is not there yet."

Watch Ron Charles's full report on Tilt Brush on The National Friday night.