Why the Google Tilt Brush is ‘Groundbreaking’ for Digital Art, According to FIT Experts

A young woman frantically paces around a crowd of onlookers: “I’m…I’m completely speechless.” “I think I’m going to start crying!”

No, this isn’t a surprise engagement proposal. A student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) just witnessed the interior design project she made in SketchUp become seamlessly translated into virtual reality. There’s a stark difference between seeing your months of painstaking work on a computer screen and actually walking through it as if you were touring a new apartment. The onlooking students’ shocked faces say it all.

James Pearce, Digital Media Coordinator for the Technology Development Team at FIT explained the many innovative uses Google Tilt Brush has beyond creating (breathtaking) three dimensional drawings. “It’s groundbreaking,” he said of the Tilt Brush’s impact on the digital art world and beyond.

The Tilt Brush allows Pearce’s students (and professionals across the globe) to render buildings, interiors (and more), then translate them into a virtual world in which anyone can explore. Eventually, he said, someone can tour each section of a house, apartment, or other architecture from the comfort of their own abode. Through OBJ files, one could even import a landmark building like the Empire State Building into this virtual reality world.

The Tilt Brush’s applications are by no means limited to architecture, however. As CNN put it, “The ‘impossible’ is now a reality.” For instance, one can create sculptures in the virtual world and eventually even print them in 3D.

And for those who don’t own an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift (or other equipment that allows you to work in Tilt Brush), you don’t have to miss out on the hype. Pearce explained that Youtube allows creators to take their virtual reality work and upload a 360-degree video of it onto the platform. Anyone with access to the Internet can move around and explore within the video by simply dragging the cursor.

Or, if you want to get more immersed, you can buy cardboard (yes, literal cardboard) from Google to turn your smartphone into a Virtual Reality viewer. (Or, if you want to save $15, you could probably craft your own and finally get rid of those packing boxes in your attic).

What the future holds for Google Tilt Brush is even more exciting though, according to Mr. Pearce. While current creators and artists are (literally) tethered to the equipment with wires, wireless VR equipment is expected to be released by this summer. And while you need a powerful computer to use Tilt Brush currently, he believes that any computer will be able to access the tech in the near-future.

Only time will tell what virtual reality makes a reality. For now, the implications are very promising.

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