Google's Tilt Brush Heads To Oculus Rift

Google announced that Tilt Brush, its virtual reality painting app, is now available for the Oculus Rift. This is the first time the app has expanded to a new platform; it was previously exclusive to the HTC Vive, and Tilt Brush hasn't even been released for Google's own Daydream VR platform yet.

Oculus Rift likely got priority over Daydream VR because of the Touch motion controllers. Tilt Brush is all about free expression--people can use different lighting effects, dynamic brushes, and other features to make art that wouldn't be possible without VR. This requires freedom of motion, and with the HTC Vive's controllers and the Touch motion controllers, Tilt Brush can avoid the pitfalls of traditional input methods like a mouse or game controller.

Not that Google simply ported Tilt Brush to the Oculus Rift. The company said in a blog post that it made some changes to accommodate the platform:

We redesigned interactions to take advantage of the Oculus Touch controllers. For example, you can easily highlight which button you're touching on the controller and get an indication of what it does just by resting your finger on it. This makes it easy to see exactly what button you're about to press while using Tilt Brush.Painting isn’t just visual. Thanks to the Rift’s built in headphones, you’ll be fully immersed from the moment you enter Tilt Brush's virtual canvas. Different brushes create different sound effects, and they become a vivid part of the experience through your headphones. We love using audio reactive mode with Rift headphones and seeing strokes come to life with light and sound.

Google also said it "recently added features that let you rotate and resize your work" to "make it more convenient to paint." And the app's expansion comes shortly after Tilt Brush Toolkit debuted in January to let people incorporate their work into other VR experiences. Between these two announcements--plus the ability to share paintings via YouTube so people without VR can enjoy them--it seems like Tilt Brush is becoming a hot VR commodity.

Tilt Brush is available now from the Oculus Store for $30. HTC Vive owners who didn't get the launch bundle (which included Tilt Brush) can find the app on Steam for that same $30.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.