Google’s Tilt Brush Heads To The Oculus Quest This Spring
The popular VR art tool will arrive on Quest with cross-buy support.
Facebook confirmed earlier today that Google’s immensely popular room-scale VR painting experience, Tilt Brush, is coming to the Oculus Quest headset this Spring. According to Google’s Product Manager Elisabeth Morant, the act of porting the application—released originally for SteamVR and the Oculus Rift—came down to simple performance improvements that were achieved using a series of basic, but effective techniques.
“Most of our work porting Tilt Brush to Quest focused on performance improvements,” said Morant during an interview with Tech@facebook. “Luckily, some decisions we made early on set us up for early performance wins. For example, instead of recreating stroke meshes on the GPU for every frame, Tilt Brush strokes are converted from their internal control point representation into geometry only once: either when the user first creates the stroke, or when the sketch is loaded from disk.”
“The GPU then just has to render a list of pre-generated triangles. Another early easy win for us was to switch over our stroke rendering from double-sided to single-sided, using the shader to draw the reverse side of the stroke, and instantly halving our triangle count.”
Of course, not every element featured in the original PC VR release is compatible with the Quest’s mobile-based technology. The poplar audio-reactive mode–a feature in which brush strokes pulsate and react to system audio–has been removed from the Quest version.
The bloom lighting effect that is responsible for the pleasant glow featured with some of the brushes has been affected as well. In order to conserve resources while still delivering that initial wow-factor for new users, the glow effect will steadily dim as you add more strokes to your project; eventually disappearing entirely from the stroke.
“When we learned that Oculus was building a cord-free standalone headset, we knew we had to bring Tilt Brush to Quest,” continues Morant. “This new form factor will unlock completely new opportunities for our artists to create. We’ve already seen dancers adopt Tilt Brush to visualize their movements in VR, but the opportunity for fully free movement and creation will lead to art that we never could have dreamed up before.”
For those looking to get into Quest development themselves, Morant recommends downloading Google’s Poly API for Unity. This will allow you to import your various Tilt Brush sketches and Google Block models directly into your Unity scenes for use in your game/experience.
Oculus Quest is expected to launch at the end of the month. Those who have purchased Tilt Brush for the Oculus Rift will be able to port their existing copy to the Quest for free.