One of art’s greatest functions is to drive culture forward by pushing the boundaries of what’s accepted and finding new frontiers to explore. As technology grows by leaps and bounds, art is furthering itself as it usually does by exploring the world of virtual reality. New tools from companies like Google are helping artists express themselves in new mediums without having to spend thousands of dollars to develop their equipment. Find out what’s coming and how you can get into the scene yourself.
Taking Strokes to a New Level
Traditional paintings and other two-dimensional works of art are created with strokes on a physical or virtual canvas. From the fine and steady lines of an ink pen to the flourishes of an oil painting with heavy texture, these strokes are still confined largely to the flat surface. Sculptures explore the same types of planes and shapes in the third dimension. New virtual reality art tools, such as the Google Tilt Brush, are allowing artists to sculpt in a virtual setting, creating works that would cost thousands or even millions of dollars to realize in physical reality. The lack of gravity, the ability to bend and mold materials to your exact specifications, and the precise controls of the tilt brush allow for virtual sculpting that is practically limitless. Let’s not forget about the potential for unlimited color palettes as well without any concerns about archival qualities or material stability.
How You Can Get Into Virtual Art
Interested in expressing your creativity via this new and exciting medium? Well, you’re not alone. While the first adopters and testers of the Tilt Brush were artists with established backgrounds, the tool is now available to a wider audience. Anyone with an HTC Vive virtual reality device can set up their equipment to use this tool. It’s delivered through the Steam platform, and as of January 2017, it costs $30 to purchase an individual license. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can familiarize yourself with the controls and settings and start experimenting. You’ll watch your artwork unfold around you in a virtual 3D display, and you can share your work with anyone else wearing the same type of VR headset by sharing it through the Tilt Brush app. It’s a fun way to jazz up a party, but it’s also got a lot of potential for educational and presentation use as well.
It takes some time to get comfortable with painting and sculpting in virtual reality. Give yourself a few hours of practice before expecting to create beautiful masterpieces. Try inviting some friends over so you can practice together without any concerns about making a mess with paint and clay.
Virtual reality art is not likely to replace traditional techniques like painting and sculpting anytime soon, but it is an exciting addition to the wide world of creative expression. Expect to see virtual exhibitions and gallery shows coming to a city near you within the next few months as acceptance, and use of this fun tool grows among professional and hobby artists alike.