Tilt Brush

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Tilt Brush
Initial releaseApril 5, 2016
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Websitewww.tiltbrush.com Edit this on Wikidata

Tilt Brush is a room-scale 3D-painting virtual-reality application available from Google, originally developed by Skillman & Hackett.

The Preview Trailer from September 2014 (a 1'47″ video) conveys an impression of the nature of Tilt Brush.


Demonstration of Tilt Brush at Google Cloud Next 2017.

The application is designed for 6DoF motion interfaces in virtual reality. There is also a keyboard and mouse version, but this is not publicly available and is used only for development purposes.[1] Users are presented with a virtual palette from which they can select from a variety of brush types and colors.[2] Movement of the handheld controller in 3D space creates brush strokes that follow in the virtual environment.[3] Users can export their creations of room-scale VR pieces in .gltf, .fbx, .obj, .usd, .wrl, .stl and a native .json format. They can also capture snapshots, animated GIF images, .mpeg videos, or render 360 degree videos.[4]


Tilt Brush was developed by Skillman & Hackett, and was in 2014 nominated for four Proto Awards (namely: "Best Interaction Design", "Most Innovative", "Best Overall Virtual Reality Application", and "Best GUI"), of which it won the "Best GUI" award. [5] [6] Google acquired Tilt Brush in 2015, as announced April 16, 2015.[7] Tilt Brush was released for the HTC Vive at its launch on April 5, 2016, at no cost when pre-ordering the HTC Vive.[8][9] On February 24, 2017, Tilt VR announced it is now available on both Oculus Rift and Vive.[10]

In the Fast Company article about Tilt Brush,[11] one of the creators said that the idea of drawing in 3D space came from a chess game prototype: “There was a happy accident. Tilt Brush came out of an experiment with a virtual reality chess prototype, where we accidentally started painting the chess pieces in the air, and it was incredible”. In the earlier versions of Tilt Brush, it was only possible to draw on two-dimensional planes.

On January 26, 2021, Google released the source code of the application under the Apache 2.0 license on GitHub.[12]

Development After Google[edit]

Since Google open-sourced the code multiple companies and individuals have contributed to its further development:

  • A community-led project has continued development under the name "Open Brush" which remains free and open-source[13]
  • Rendever released a paid, multiuser version for the Oculus Quest which they called "Multibrush"[14]
  • The developer known as m₂ released a WebXR port called "Silk Brush"[15]
  • The augmented reality app Figmin has added large portions of Tilt Brush functionality


Ars Technica and other sites referred to Tilt Brush as the HTC Vive's killer app,[16][17][18][19][20] praising the program's intuitive interface and the excitement of painting in three dimensions.[21] Edward Baig of USA Today said that the program was the only one that excited him in the platform's launch lineup.[22] Chris Suellentrop of The New York Times wrote that the program was better suited for beginners than more engineering-oriented experiences like Fantastic Contraption.[23] In 2018, Tilt Brush was employed for the first time in mixed reality news reporting by the NBC News studio NBC Left Field.[24]


  • Best of Quest 2020: Top Creativity Tool[25]
  • Best of Quest 2019: VR Creativity Tool of the Year[26]
  • Webby Award 2018: Best of VR: Interactive, Game or Real-Time[27]
  • Cannes Lions 2017: 2 Gold Lions (Innovation, Digital Craft), 1 Silver[28]
  • Lumiere Award for Best VR Experience 2017[29]
  • Cinequest 2017 Best Interactive Experience[30]
  • CES 2017 Best of Innovations: Virtual Reality[31]
  • SXSW 2017 Interactive Innovation Award for VR/AR[32]
  • DICE 2017 Immersive Reality Technical Achievement Nominee[33]
  • The Vive Report Best HTC Vive Application 2016[34]
  • Co.Design Innovation by Design Awards 2016: Best App[35]
  • Ciclope 2016: Best Virtual Reality - Real Time Rendered[36]
  • Tech Crunch #2 top VR experience 2016[37]
  • UploadVR 2016 Game of the Year Awards: Best Creativity App Winner[38]
  • Android Central 2016: Best VR App[39]
  • Animation Magazine Best Tech of 2016[40]
  • Proto Awards 2016: Best Overall, Most Innovative[41]
  • Unity Awards 2016: Best Non-game Project[42]
  • Unity Awards 2015: Best VR Experience[43]
  • Proto Awards 2014: Best GUI[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flaherty, Joseph (November 19, 2014). "A Wild Look at What It's Like to Paint Inside an Oculus Rift". Wired.
  2. ^ "Google's Tilt Brush: Now paint 3D images in virtual space and walk around them too". The Indian Express. Tech Desk. May 16, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Carmichael, Joe (May 26, 2016). "Is Google's Tilt Brush the Future of Art, a Legal Acid Trip, or a Gimmick?". Inverse. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Seppala, Timothy J. (September 24, 2014). "Tilt Brush is a virtual reality app that lets you paint with light". Engadget.
  5. ^ "Tilt Brush". Archived from the original on January 1, 2015.
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150206003158/http://protoawards.com:80/. Archived from the original on February 6, 2015. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Google Acquires 'Tilt Brush' Developer and Thrive Audio to Add to VR Team". April 16, 2015.
  8. ^ Dale, Laura Kate (April 4, 2016). "Review: Tilt Brush". Destructoid.com.
  9. ^ Kuchera, Ben (March 18, 2016). "Here's why Google's Tilt Brush may be virtual reality's killer app". Polygon.com.
  10. ^ Welch, Chris (February 21, 2017). "Google's incredible Tilt Brush VR app is now on Oculus Rift". The Verge. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  11. ^ "Google's Tilt Brush Is The First Great VR App". Fast Company. April 5, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  12. ^ Aidley, Tim (January 26, 2021). "The Future of Tilt Brush". Google Open Source. Alphabet Inc. Archived from the original on January 26, 2021. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Baker, Harry (January 28, 2022). "Open Brush Gets 1.0 Update". Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  14. ^ Hayden, Scott (February 5, 2021). "'MultiBrush' is a Multiplayer Version of 'Tilt Brush' for Oculus Quest". Road to VR. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Hayden, Scott (February 18, 2021). "This 'Tilt Brush' Port Brings Google's VR Creation App to WebXR". Road to VR. Retrieved April 20, 2022.
  16. ^ "Google Tilt Brush for HTC Vive - VR killer app: You can literally paint virtual worlds - The Financial Express". www.financialexpress.com. May 15, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Interview: Tilt Brush creator Patrick Hackett on developing the Vive's "killer app"". Gamecrate. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  18. ^ "Here's why Google's Tilt Brush may be virtual reality's killer app". Polygon. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Tilt Brush: The Killer App for VR". IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Sam Machkovech (April 5, 2016). "Learning how to VR with Tilt Brush, HTC Vive's killer app". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  21. ^ Sam Machkovech (September 12, 2015). "How a Disney artist's deceptive VR demo still heralds a new digital art future". Ars Technica. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  22. ^ Baig, Edward C. (April 10, 2016). "HTC Vive: amazing VR, real world challenges". USA Today. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  23. ^ Suellentrop, Chris (March 19, 2016). "7 Virtual Reality Highlights From the Game Developers Conference". The New York Times.
  24. ^ NBC Left Field (March 8, 2018), Why There'd Be No Time Zones Without Trains | NBC Left Field, retrieved May 2, 2018
  25. ^ "BEST OF QUEST 2020: A LOOK BACK AT THE YEAR'S TOP VR GAMES + APPS". Oculus Blog.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "CELEBRATING THE OCULUS STORE 'BEST OF 2019' AWARDS". Oculus Blog.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "Tilt Brush | The Webby Awards". Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Tilt Brush - "Tilt Brush" Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017". www.adforum.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  29. ^ Kerr, Chris. "Tilt Brush named Best VR Experience at Lumiere Awards". Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  30. ^ "Cinequest VR Awards". www.filmfestivals.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  31. ^ "At CES 2017, here are the 'Innovation Award' winners". USA TODAY. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  32. ^ "Announcing the 2017 Winners of the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards". SXSW. March 15, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  33. ^ AIAS. "2017 Immersive Reality Finalists". www.interactive.org. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  34. ^ "The Vivey Awards: Best of HTC Vive 2016 – The Results Are In". Vive Report. January 10, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  35. ^ "Announcing The Winners Of The 2016 Innovation By Design Awards". Fast Company. September 12, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "CICLOPE FESTIVAL 2016 – WINNERS – Tubepress demo | Ciclope Festival". www.ciclopefestival.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  37. ^ "The top 10 best of VR in 2016". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  38. ^ "UploadVR's 2016 Game of the Year Winners". UploadVR. December 30, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  39. ^ "Best of 2016". Android Central. December 27, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  40. ^ "The Best Tech of 2016". www.animationmagazine.net. January 8, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  41. ^ James, Paul (October 9, 2016). "2016's Proto Award Winners Revealed, Tilt Brush Receives Top Honour – Road to VR". Road to VR. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  42. ^ Technologies, Unity. "Awards - Unity Awards 2016". awards.unity.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  43. ^ Technologies, Unity. "Awards - Unity Awards 2015". awards.unity.com. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  44. ^ Lang, Ben (September 24, 2014). "'Tilt Brush' Surprises with Best GUI at Proto Awards – Let's You Create VR Paintings with Depth". Road to VR. Retrieved November 29, 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]