Google has a wild new app that lets you paint in virtual reality

Google virtual reality tilt brushGoogleA three-dimensional artwork created using Tilt Brush.

Virtual reality is best-known for its gaming applications — because who doesn’t want to really fly a TIE-fighter, or do battle with a demon at the gates of Hell, or race around the streets of Rio in a supercar?

But there’s plenty of other potential applications, from tourism to training. Facebook, with its Oculus Rift headset, is betting big on the potential social aspects to virtual reality. 

This week, Google launched a new app that shows off VR’s potential in an unorthodox field: art.

Tilt Brush is a new VR app that lets you paint in three dimensions — with spectacular results.

Google has its own rudimentary VR headset, Google Cardboard -- it's just a smartphone, cardboard box, and two lenses. But Tilt Brush isn't available on it.

Google

Instead, the app is available to download on desktop gaming platform Steam, and works with the HTC Vive virtual reality headset.

Google

Tilt Brush allows you to move around a virtual space as you create artworks with a variety of brushes controlled via motion-sensitive controller. Despite the name, it's probably closer to sculpture than traditional 2D painting.

Google

'Your room is a blank slate,' wrote Google product manager Andrey Doronichev in a blog post. 'You can step around, in and through your drawings as you go. And, because it's in virtual reality, you can even choose to use otherwise-impossible materials like fire, stars or snowflakes.'

Google

Source: Google Official Blog

The app costs $30, or £22.99 in the UK, on Steam.

Here's one more artwork created in Tilt Brush.

Google

And here's a video showing some professional artists giving it a whirl.

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