Imagine if you could paint life-sized three-dimensional brush strokes and walk around your canvas in a virtual space. Monique Lansell (9M) is the very first St Michael’s student to do just that.

Released in 2016, Google Tilt Brush is a 3D painting application, designed for motion interfaces in virtual reality, which allows students to create artworks in spaces that weren’t possible before.

St Michael’s Learning Technologies & ICT team have been experimenting with this software in conjunction with HTC Vive equipment to identify learning opportunities for various faculties in the School.

Learning Technologies Technician, Mr Edward Wong identified Tilt Brush as an immersive art experience and another medium for students to utilise in Visual Arts studies.

‘Since demonstrating this technology to the Visual Arts faculty, we have also identified other applications such as Virtual Graffiti art, 3D modelling and architectural software,’ Mr Wong says. ‘The Humanities faculty are currently investigating using this technology for explorations in geospatial studies.’

Monique was selected to assist in trialling Tilt Brush, which she describes as a limitless experience. ‘I put the goggles on and used two hand-held digital controllers,’ Monique explains. ‘I pulled the trigger and it would then draw whatever I wanted; I chose to create a dragon. It was really immersive and so much fun.

St Michael's Grammar School

‘The dragon took me a couple of hours to complete. I created it in the first week of last term’s school holidays – Mr Wong had all the equipment set up in The Gipson Commons. I found a way do to a time-lapse of the project when I had finished drawing, so the movement you see in the video is me walking around the dragon while it was loading,’ Monique reflects.

The immersive experience this technology provides can eliminate the distraction for students during their creative processes.

‘Students have the opportunity to be finely tuned into what they are producing,’ says Mr Wong. ‘It is a complementary toolset that extends students and allows them to create pieces of art that weren’t previously an option for them.’

Monique’s exploration of virtual spaces has given her an additional layer of insight into artistic creation.

‘Virtual Reality can definitely provide new perspectives on how you take on the world,’ Monique says. ‘It’s really important to have art in culture to express yourself, and we have to remember art is also history.

‘I’m very new to this technology, and it’s something I can keep growing with because there are so many possibilities – it’s limitless.’

We look forward to seeing what’s next in the Virtual Reality space for the St Michael’s community!