• Mike & Andy

Open Brush is now on Steam!

We're excited to announce that Open Brush is now on the Steam Store! We thought we'd take this opportunity to explain more about the features that have been added to our fork since Tilt Brush became open source earlier this year, and where we plan to take Open Brush in the future. If you want to skip all that, here's our Steam page:

Thank you to TheSabbyLife for the beautiful trailer!

Mixed Reality Capture Support

VR Rosie performing with Open Brush Mixed Reality!

The original release of Tilt Brush had some basic support for mixed reality, but suffered from blending issues with darker strokes. We're pleased to announce that we have integrated full LIV Mixed Reality support, courtesy of the LIV team!

To enable it, simply launch LIV, select the Manual tab, and target Open Brush. Select

SDK: Normal (Masked FG Premultiplied) and you're all good to go!

We've also added Mixed Reality support for our Quest version, courtesy of Fabio! You can follow Oculus's official tutorial here, or you can try out Fabio's (open source!) Reality Mixer iOS app. LIV are also working on their own implementation of MRC for Quest!

Fly Tool

A new form of locomotion for your scenes! Make sure you're in Advanced mode, and select the Fly tool from the panel. Reach out and pull the trigger to fly around your scene like your favourite heroes. It's our new favourite way to move around! Thank you for this awesome feature Lachlan!

Coming Next

Now that Tilt Brush is open source, it can be free forever, and expanded in any way that creators and developers can come up with. With Open Brush, we want to empower everyone to create amazing art. Here's some of the features we'll be adding in the future:

Icosa Gallery Integration

Along with ending support for Tilt Brush, Google also announced that it is shutting down Poly, a service for uploading and sharing your creations, primarily from Tilt Brush and Google Blocks. Tilt Brush brushes are severely under-supported by other 3D web engines, and we didn't want to lose our ability to easily share our creations.

Therefore, we are also creating an open source replacement for Poly called Icosa Gallery. Users will be able to import their Poly libraries (in the short time we have left!), and most importantly we will integrate Icosa with Open Brush to restore upload services after Poly has shut down. While it's a sad time for the community, it also opens a bright new future. We have some great plans for Icosa, which we hope to share with you soon!

User Brushes

Creating brushes right now is hard. You have to download the repository and Unity, and set up a number of new resources (You can follow Lachlan's amazing tutorial for this here). What's more, these brushes are only available in your build of Open Brush.

We are working on a system that allows users to create their own brushes without requiring the source code, and can be loaded into any version of Open Brush! These brushes are derived from an existing brush, and can customize, the size, pressure, texture, material, and more! These new brushes can (optionally) be embedded inside your .tilt file, so that your sketches will look correct when you share it with the world.

Later on, we plan on having a brush library on Icosa Gallery, allowing users to upload and share their brushes with other Open Brush users!

If you're feeling adventurous, you can check out our progress so far on GitHub.

Moving to Unity XR

Tilt Brush was one of the first major VR tools, releasing in 2016. As such it's had to adapt over time to new headsets, SDKs, and a rapidly changing VR landscape. The codebase has a robust interface layer to manage all the small changes from SDK to SDK. Unity 2019 is the last version of Unity to support the SteamVR SDK, which would leave Open Brush stuck.

As part of our maintenance on Open Brush, we're working on moving away from this system to Unity's new XR Plugin Framework. This will create a new interface layer that works with a wide array of HMDs, and allows any future headsets to easily be supported! One of the supported plugins is OpenXR, which will maximise the amount of devices, whether VR/AR/MR, that Open Brush can run on. We can't wait to bring Open Brush to many more platforms in the future. We're already working on some - more news on that soon.

Future Plans

We've got some crazy, exciting and sometimes rather strange features being worked on by our contributors. We'll write about these in more detail in a forthcoming blog post but there's an API to allow procedural generation and user plugins, there's a revolving stroke tool, a "select by color" filter, some geometry and pattern generation tools, grid and angle snapping, a versatile mirror and symmetry tool and even more things on the drawing board.

Get Involved

If you're a C# coder or shader wizard then you'll be able to jump right in. Lachlan's tutorials are a great place to start: but we've got other info in various places. Join our Discord and we can point you in the right direction. (we promise to get the documentation more organized soon!).

If you're not a C# or Unity dev don't despair. Two upcoming features will allow people of all different levels of experience to customize and extend Open Brush. Keep an eye on the User Brush Feature and the API.

And if all you want to do is paint in VR then you can still help out by spreading the word about Open Brush on social media (links below), testing features and beta versions and by simply showing your work to the world so everyone can see the potential of immersive art.

Thank You!

Firstly, thank you for reading this far! We wanted to say that we're overwhelmed with the amount of support and encouragement we've received for Open Brush and Icosa. We're determined to keep these great tools and services alive so that the amazing content created in these VR platforms can be preserved and expanded.

An especially big thank you to all of our backers, who are helping to keep our servers for Icosa running! If you like what we are trying to achieve and want to help, we are on GitHub Sponsors and Open Collective. Sharing our social links (below) would also be a huge help! Hosting this amount of 3D content won't be easy, but we're going to give it everything we've got. We have some plans for how everyone can help with this in the future, if you want to find out more please join our Discord!

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