Google’s waning interest in VR has led to the demise of Daydream, Jump, and other iconic pieces of early VR software. But the company’s latest casualty, the Tilt Brush VR painting app, could live on to tell its tale. Google announces that it is ending support for Tilt Brush and, to our surprise, open sourcing the app for anyone to tinker with.
After acquiring Skillman & Hackett, the company behind Tilt Brush, Google launched the popular VR app to fanfare in 2016. It found a home on all VR platforms, and it will continue to be available on those platforms—just without Google support. Now anyone can find the Tilt Brush code on GitHub, modify it, and distribute it to their liking (well, you might want to read the Apache Guidelines before doing anything too ambitious).
Tilt Brush co-creator Patrick Hackett says that while “this may look like the end of Tilt Brush,” to him, “this is immortality.” The open-source Tilt Brush can enjoy a new life with fans, artists, and creators, who are already publishing modified versions of the software. Not to mention, Tilt Brush is an important part of VR’s history, and we can now archive its source code for people to enjoy in the future.
Google had to remove some data from the Tilt Brush code due to licensing restrictions, but you can still find information on this lost data on Google’s build guide. Anyone can alter this source code or release their own application based on Tilt Brush, so long as they work within the Apache Guidelines under which Tilt Brush was originally released.