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Google today is unveiling new prototypes it has developed for Tilt Brush, a 3D painting app that’s available for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset.

It’s a lot of fun to use the app on your own. But if a video preview is any indication, Tilt Brush will get really cool when you can use it with someone else.

“It’s amazing how collaborating in the same space makes the virtual feel real. We think you’ll love this one, so we’re exploring ways to develop this concept further,” Google Tilt Brush creative director Drew Skillman wrote in a blog post. Skillman arrived at Google as a result of Google’s acquisition of Skillman & Hackett, the development studio behind Tilt Brush, last year.

Also, Google has developed a way for users to design their own avatars. So as you move, the avatar representing you moves in 3D space, too.

Designing your own avatar in Tilt Brush.

Above: Designing your own avatar in Tilt Brush.

Image Credit: Google

Google figured out a novel way of giving users a peek at their surrounding world while using Tilt Brush — but not so much that the experience becomes full-blown augmented reality. It’s sort of like being stuck in a car with snow on the windshield and when you clear off some, you can see out. The trick relies on the Vive’s front-facing camera.

The Portal Brush prototype for Tilt Brush.

Above: The Portal Brush prototype for Tilt Brush.

Image Credit: Google

“Although it only refreshes at 30fps, it’s a playful way to stay connected to the real world,” Skillman wrote.

It’s important to point out that these are just prototypes, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll become available to everyone. But then again, Google did end up shipping the fascinating audio-reactive brushes for everyone after first testing it out internally.


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