on Toshareproject.it - curated by Bruce Sterling
*Google couldn’t find a mass user-base for these and decided to open-source them.
*By the standards of tech-art, Tilt Brush is sophisticated while Google Poly was colossal, but they’re nowhere near the epic scale of YouTube. So now “Open Brush” and the “Icosa Gallery” have appeared.
Open Brush, an open source version of Tilt Brush, is now available for free for PC VR via Steam.
Earlier this year, Google announced that it was ending official development support for Tilt Brush but would be adding the source code to a repository on GitHub. This allows the VR developer community to crawl around the code and create their own versions of the software with new features or other changes, preserving it beyond official support.
Open Brush is one such project, described as a “derivative made from the open source code of Tilt Brush”, which initially launched for Oculus Quest via App Lab. Almost six months later, Open Brush is available for PC VR on Steam, and brings with it a few new features.
The biggest new feature is full mixed reality support. Google’s original Tilt Brush app did have limited mixed reality support, “but suffered from blending issues with darker strokes” according to the Open Brush blog. Open Brush on PC VR has full integration with LIV, the leading mixed reality capture software. Additionally, the Quest version of Open Brush has also been updated to include mixed reality support as well, using the Oculus Mixed Reality Capture Tool.
Open Brush also now features the Fly tool, which is available in advanced mode and lets you “reach out and pull the trigger to fly around your scene like your favorite heroes.”
The team plans to add Icosa Gallery support for sharing creations, to act as a replacement for the soon-defunct Google Poly. Plans are also in place for user brush support, allowing users to make their own brushes without digging into the source code.
Open Brush will also eventually move to Unity XR, away from Unity 2019 and the SteamVR SDK. This should future-proof the app a bit more and allow support for future headsets.