Every person who picks up a paintbrush dreams of creating something unique and spectacular. Unfortunately, what follows is often a mess and a vision that is forced to change as the creation evolves. Most artists in the real world are faced with a limited amount of paint and canvas, usually limiting what they can do at one time.
When painting in virtual reality, there is no such problem, as artists are provided with endless supplies and reference materials before the brush even touches the canvas. Truly, the only limitation players will face is the boundaries of their imagination. Painting VR gives players all the tools at once – hands on from the start, which may seem a little daunting at first.
When players first launch the game, they’ll find themselves in an art studio that resembles the park from the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. This isn’t a bad thing, as it evokes a humble feeling. It feels like the player is an aspiring artist just working in any space they can find. The environments are immersive in many ways, and this helps players fully interact and move around.
When you first start up, there are many tools and menus that you struggle to understand or ignore altogether. When you first get used to the controls and mechanics, they seem to get in the way. Players may want to pay attention to the motion settings though. For unknown reasons, both controllers are used for movement by default when the game starts up.
The left joystick moves the player as if they were walking, while the right joystick is used for sharp turns and teleportation. This can cause more than a few headaches when the player keeps teleporting instead of turning. It’s cool that the developer offers both modes of transportation in Painting VR, but shouldn’t provide them at the same time.
The lack of any tutorial or any other guidance system is usually a nuisance in games, as players are often looking for clues in the dark. But in Painting VR, the lack of a tutorial is something we can note. Whether the player watches the short introductory video or not, the immediate sense of freedom encourages them to try whatever they want, and experimenting in this way is enjoyable.
When the brush first hits the canvas, it&rsquo ;s a real surprise. Every slight movement of the brush looks so smooth and responds to the slightest movement. It feels like the player is painting with a brush that reacts to every stroke, which is really impressive. Whether it’s the Quest 2 controllers or the game itself, it adds a whole new level of focus.
Enabling the web browser is such a small but important feature. The player can use it for reference drawings, but it also allows access to music. Nothing gets you focused on drawing like listening to your favorite songs while you work. Even untalented artists can relieve stress by drawing and playing along with music.
The web browser can utilize multiple settings to work with the player. The reference images uploaded to Google are often too small to notice the finer details. It would be nice if there was an option to enlarge the original image.
The keyboard also needs tweaking for people with shaky hands. Instead of being mounted under the browser, it would be much easier to use if it appeared in front of the player like it does when it’s time to save a creation. It would make it easier to use instead of having to point to every letter and slip at the last second.
Mixing is an important part of VR painting, as players only start with basic colors, with some minor exceptions. If a player wants to work with new colors, they will have to create them using different paint buckets in the store. It was fun to experiment with mixing colors, but it can get tedious if you constantly run out of buckets.
If your project requires more than a few colors, you may have to dump paint several times to get what you’re looking for. However, when you do this, all the colors you’ve already mixed are dumped, which defeats the purpose. If there was a way to get more paint mixing buckets or a color menu that allowed players to choose only the primary colors, it would make mixing much easier.
Overall, drawing in virtual reality is probably what many amateur and professional virtual reality artists are looking for. Logging in and seeing drawings on canvas, different textures, and experimenting with tools is a unique experience that rivals creating art in real life. In addition, the ease of exporting and sharing these paintings will further foster creativity as the community grows.