Tilt Brush‘s first painting exhibition, a gathering that took place last weekend in San Francisco, was organized to showcase a select group of artists using the made-for-VR painting program. Though VR headsets are largely known for enhancing immersion in gaming, Tilt Brush shows that VR can also be a completely new canvas for creative expression.

IMG_9929-(1)Tilt Brush, the made-for-VR painting program that lets you create anything and everything with the stroke of a virtual brush, held what they called “the world’s first virtual reality painting exhibition” last weekend. Artists used an HTC Vive and a video feed projected live onto a theater screen so everyone could follow along as the individual artists got to making their masterpieces.

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A select group of artists used the innovative VR toolbox to paint motion-capable effects like smoke, stars, and light; coupled with thick, three-dimensional brush strokes to construct their art before a captive audience.

And considering they were done live in a short amount of time, some of the works to come out of the show are pretty incredible.

Drew Skillman of the software’s creator company Skillman & Hackett also picked up the Vive controller to create a pretty dour self portrait if there ever was one.

A video from an event-goer shows the art exhibition in action, capturing a moment during one artist’s creative process, and also demonstrating how users can essentially resize their creations to work on finer elements and add a wide variety of effects to produce something unique. The rendered version of the HTC Vive controller, a 1:1 representation of the physical item, gives the user a point of reference in the virtual world so they can more accurately manipulate their piece.

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Skillman & Hackett took home the award for ‘Best GUI’ at last year’s Proto Awards, nabbing a GeForce GTX 980 as a prize. A version of the software was later developed for HTC Vive to show off the ease of use associated with the Lighthouse-tracked hand controllers, and debuted at GDC 2015 in March. The company has since been acquired by Google.

A Tilt Brush Viewer is available on Google Cardboard, allowing you to get a better sense of how creations are made in real time with the software.

Photos courtesy Drew Skillman

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