Painting VR isn’t an incredible new Tilt Brush competitor.
It isn’t about sculpting 3D assets or swiping a brush through virtual space. It’s actually just about bringing the traditional experience into headsets. Yes, that thing we used to do in the ‘before’ era – actual reality. As simple as that sounds, it works so well you wonder why no one had already done it.
Due to release in early access on Oculus Quest App Lab on May 5th for $9.99, Painting VR feels like Boneworks with a paintbrush. That is to say it has all the physics of VR interaction worked out but, instead of painting hallways with zombie brains, you’re painting a canvas with, well, paint. Check it out in action below.
Now I’m not artistically gifted in the least bit, but Painting VR’s accessibility, quality, and mesh of ideas that break reality exactly when you want them to really struck me as something special. In the beta I tried, I found myself in front of an enormous canvas, equipped with the kinds of tools and space most artists dream of having access to. There’s no need for the virtual menu to summon brush types – you just teleport over to the one you want and pick it up.
Crucially, Painting VR gives you options in how to approach your piece. Want the authentic experience? Then use a switch to raise or lower the canvas, or teleport up to the top of a platform to reach higher areas. But, if you want the logical sneaky VR shortcuts, a quick push of the thumbstick forwards will elongate your brush handle, letting you adjust out of reach elements at a moment’s notice.
It’s the feel of the painting itself that really works, though. Push a brush up against a wall and it’ll bend exactly you expect it to, allowing you to make strokes that feel authentic to the touch. I was really impressed with how in control I felt whilst making strokes, and could only imagine what works actual painters could conjure up with these tools. Even using a spray can produced realistic dribbles that ran down the canvas.
Developer Oisoi has big plans for the future, too. The early access launch comes with a set of basic brushes but, over the course of the next 12 months, the team plans to add new tools, more reality-defying options like a zero gravity mode and, eventually, multiplayer support and studio visits. For now, you can follow the team’s work over on Discord or head to the official website.