Artist Anna Zhilyaeva recently created an ‘augmented reality painting’ for her YouTube channel, ‘Anna’s dream brush’, which is dedicated to VR-based art. The work combines mixed-reality footage using VR software Tilt Brush with a real painting on canvas.
“I was so amazed by Tilt Brush textures similarity with real paint that I decided to extend my traditional paintings in virtual reality”, writes about the video (heading this article). Using a green screen capture to generate a composite, mixed-reality image, the artist appears to be drawing brush strokes directly from the real canvas and out into the room. The intended effect is to make it appear like a ‘live’ painting in true augmented reality, as explained in this tweeted reply.
This creation likely made use of Tilt Brush’s ability to import reference images, allowing the artist to view a virtual version of her original acrylic painting within the VR environment, and at the correct position and scale.
The ‘Anna’s dream brush’ channel contains several other examples of interesting artwork in VR, mainly using Tilt Brush, but also some experimentation with animation using ANIMVR, an upcoming VR app currently in a closed beta.
Tilt Brush has become the go-to VR painting app for many digital artists, and has received regular updates from the Google VR team to improve and add features since its launch with the HTC Vive just over a year ago. The last two updates have been particularly notable, with v9 adding support for Oculus Touch, and v10 introducing the ability to share sketches to an online gallery, which can be viewed in 3D within a browser. For example, here is Anna’s most recent piece; in the associated video description she praises the other major improvements in v10 like the new lighting and backdrop panels, which allow adjustment of light source locations, backdrop colour and fog intensity in the scene.