The Magic of Virtual Design

Following from my previous article about the creation of music through human movement by use of the mi.mu gloves, I came across another mind-blowing innovation in technology. This fantastic tool again, allows the user much more freedom for their creativity and design.

Innovation and Creativity

The C-HR festival of innovation and creativity was brought to Berlin for the first time this autumn. Situated in Mitte, the festival was host to a collection of art exhibitions, installations, workshops and music evenings. While everything in the festival was extremely engaging, the section that captured my attention the most was the virtual reality room with the tilt brush by Google.

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For those unfamiliar with it, the concept is as follows: the user has a pair of blackout goggles and a controller in each hand – one has a palette of different textures and colours, and the second is the paintbrush, so to speak. The user is then able to swipe through a selection of textures – paint splatters, neon lights, fire, electricity, cartoon lines – the list goes on. Selected brush in hand, you have the power to paint the 3D space all around you. With complete freedom to move, the entire room provides a 360° canvas for anything the user is inspired to conjure up. It feels like magic; sweeping the sky above with twinkly virtual stars and flooding the floor beneath you with colourful electric pulses. As an artist, I cannot express how exciting this experience was and I am still buzzing from it, even days later!

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With my first try, I had fun simply experimenting with the different tools, then later I tried to create actual structures. Obviously it requires a bit of practice to be able to perfect your technique, as with using any real medium such as paint, ink or clay. Unfortunately for me, it was a popular feature of the festival so I didn’t have much time to play about with it, but that did not stop my mind from exploring all the environments I would love to create – an Alice in Wonderland style environment, a maze, a virtual utopia…

 li_9827A Future of Inspiration and Design

Coming away from the experience, my creative mind and inspiration has gone spiraling off into all the imaginable possibilities this tool could create. Artists and architects alike would have such incredible freedom to create their work with the tilt brush, and indeed I believe many have begun to already. As with the mi.mu gloves, the most brilliant factor of this technology is the fact that it is so much more personal; there is no computer barrier between the creative hands of the artist and their digital product. With the user physically moving to create the visual image, it feels as connected as painting literally with a brush and paints.  Improvements still need to be made to the technology in terms of resolution, access and other technicalities, however it is very exciting to imagine what the future of art could hold with this kind of tool being developed.

I created all images above using the 3D tilt brush during the C-HR festival.

 “Your room is your canvas. Your palette is your imagination. The possibilities are endless.” – Tilt Brush by Google

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