6 Game Industry Artists Let Loose in HTC Vive ‘Tilt Brush’ Competition


NVIDIA’s booth at PAX Prime 2015 recently saw a special competition that put six game industry artists to task, where they created wild and wonderful sculptures—not with complicated CAD software though, but rather with the help of Tilt Brush, a VR creation tool coming to the soon-to-release HTC Vive headset.

In cooperation with NVIDIA, Valve, Google, and HTC, the artists strapped into HTC’s Vive VR headset for a 30 minute session with Tilt Brush. Using the hand-held Steam VR controllers, which are tracked by Valve’s laser-based Lighthouse tracking system, artists created 3D sculptures complete with light, smoke, fire and an array of other particle effects via Tilt Brush’s digital palette.

Artists from across the game industry came to participate in the competition, which included Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade, Chandana Ekanayake from Uber Entertainment, Lee Petty from Double Fine Productions, Michael Shilliday from Whiterend Creative, Sarah Northway from Northway Games, and Tristan Reidford from Valve.

Ekanayake, game director of Uber’s upcoming VR title Wayward Sky, maintains that Tilt Brush is “one of the best things that [he] like[s] to show off to people that never tried VR,” and describes it “more like sculpting in space than painting.”

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After creating a VR rendition of Penny Arcade’s own ‘Fruit F*cker 2000’ character, artist Mike Krahulik remarked “I think of myself as drawing on a 2D plane, but then when you’re able to step to the side of it, you see that you’re actually not able to do that…”

Skillman & Hackett, the studio behind Tilt Brush’s initial development, took home the award for ‘Best GUI’ at last year’s Proto Awards, and were awarded a GeForce GTX 980 for their efforts. After its debut at GDC 2015 in March, the studio was shortly thereafter acquired by Google.

It’s clear now that Google is making a move to get the word out about Tilt Brush, which has recently been tucked into the hands of expert creatives like trained artists, game developers, and even veteran Disney animator Glen Keane—known for his work on several cartoon classics like The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), and Beauty and the Beast (1991). Road to VR’s Executive Editor Ben Lang can attest from first hand experience that this isn’t just overblown hype.

So who’s the winner of the competition? Well, NVIDIA is letting you decide! You can see more videos of each 3D creation and vote for your favorite on NVIDIA’s Facebook page.

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