Ixxy supports the Open Brush Collective

The Ixxy team are dedicated to the research and development of new tools, apps and skills to remain forefront of the digital landscape.

With over two decades as a Django/Python programmer, our founder and director Andy Baker balances his time as lead Ixxy developer with his obsession for VR and AR visuals. At the forefront of cutting-edge technology, Ixxy proudly champions this advancement, supporting its development by providing Andy's time to the project, marking a commitment to its progress.

Let's delve into the pioneering project which is a passion of Andy's : Open Brush

OpenBrush logo

What is Open Brush?

Quite simply Open Brush lets you paint, draw and sculpt in 3D space using virtual reality. Developed as a 'forever free' application by a collective of inspired minds, Open Brush can be downloaded from here.

Technically you'll need a 6-DoF ('degrees of freedom') VR headset. In reality, it encompasses any current VR headset with hand controllers.

This free app, Open Brush, allows you to unleash your creativity, choosing from a wide range of colours and an array of brushes and mark making tools. Your surroundings become your canvas, and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Example of visual made with Open Brush as shown on openbrush.app

A bit of background

Google originally developed Tilt Brush as part of their VR strategy. It grew into an award-winning product beloved by the creative community. However, Google shifted focus away from virtual reality as a business. The silver lining was the decision by Google to open up the workings of Tilt Brush making it an open source for passionate 3D art enthusiasts to develop further. 

Over last three years, a small group of developers including our director, Andy Baker, took up this challenge. From the beginnings Andy has been a prominent member and regular contributor to the Icosa foundation, which manages the application. Today, Open Brush thrives as an organisation with a growing numbers of technical contributors. The Open Brush collective has achieved 150,000 downloads and supports a community of over 3000 active users. The ethos behind the launch of Open Brush remains at it's core: an open source tool available free, enabling everyone to create their own art - community-driven and led.

Example of visual made with Open Brush as shown on openbrush.app

What's possible with Open Brush?

As mentioned, Open Brush caters to anyone seeking to create freeform visuals in a 3D space. It naturally appeals to individuals with compatible VR kit, offering a relaxing way to experiment with the tool's capabilities. After all, engaging in drawing in painting is widely acknowledged to promote wellbeing, and Open Brush seamlessly extends this experience into the digital realm.

Visual artists adore Open Brush, constantly pushing the boundaries of this emerging 3D technology. Take a look at Rosie Summers' You Tube channel and immerse yourself in the creative 3D canvases she creates.

Rosie Summers' VR Art Video

In other areas, we can expect to see Open Brush used in more areas as virtual and augmented reality becomes commonplace. It's technology lends itself beautifully to enriched educational content, from early childhood to university settings. Moreover, it can be utilised in art therapy to create sensory experiences and even aids set designers looking for a swift way to create a 3D spaces to communicate their design and production.

What lies ahead?

The future of Open Brush promises further developments in immersive and collaborative experiences. We can look forward to multiplayer functionality on the horizon opening up the possibilities to create, collaborate and engage in real-time within the virtual canvas. This new feature will revolutionise the way artists interact and work together in a shared virtual space.

We can also look forward to the integration of a system allowing plugins to facilitate the expansion of the application's functionalities in endless directions to open up potential use cases. With plugins, users can expect a more customised and tailored experience, unlocking creative possibilities.

Looking ahead, Andy Baker aspires to make Open Brush available on every device: 

I'd like it to run on every bit of hardware possible, making it easier for people to share their work and view others' work.

With the development of augmented reality technology on everyday devices such as smart phones, this development may not be too far off.

What we are sure of is Any Baker will be at the forefront of the Open Brush community, contributing as often as possible and enthusing about the next new feature!

Want To Find Out More?

If you would like to find out more about all things Open Brush you can take a look at the Open Brush page. You an also find out more on X @openbrushapp. If you want to connect with the community you can find them at Discord Open Brush

Ixxy provides a consultancy for those looking to incorporate the Open Brush toolkit into a project. Get in touch to discuss all things 3D art and more.

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