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Digital Painting... inside VR games.

General / 03 January 2018

A few weeks ago I came across a video of an incredibly interesting concept - inserting your desktop with painting software into VR and painting directly from the virtual environment.


Floatharr, an amazing artist, blew everyone away with this beautiful piece painted from a virtual aircar:


Floatharr is using an Oculus Rift with the new Core 2.0 update which has a very cool new feature of letting you access your desktop - and any software - in VR. 

If you have a Rift and Core 2.0 you are all set - put that window somewhere comfortable and paint as usual on your drawing tablet.

If you have a Vive, like me, you'll need an additional piece of software called OVRdrop. While it's a little bit clunkier than the Rift version, it works perfectly and is compatible with most SteamVR games - including Google Earth VR. 

Floatharr's earlier comment about Skyrim VR got me thinking. I have Fallout 4. Why not try it out? I set up OVRdrop to be floating just above my real-world Intuos tablet and set forth into the wasteland to find an interesting scene.

So, this is the most cyberpunk thing I have ever done. Weirdly and more importantly, besides the raiders, super mutants and the race against the incredibly short in-game days (less than an hour), it feels remarkably like painting from life.

I've never been much of a painter - especially from life - so it's been kind of incredible sitting down and dedicating time to observed drawing, even of a game world. Here's a collection of work I painted from inside Fallout 4 VR:

It's genuinely an amazingly fun thing to do and it has change the way I play and appreciate Fallout 4. I'm so excited I can bring a sketchbook into games now :)