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With the adaptation of VR into mainstream industries like gaming, medicine and journalism, VR has made a strong case for itself, and the demand is increasing exponentially by the day. The launch of Oculus Quest is another nail in the coffin for naysayers of VR, and it has never been more popular to create content for the headset. There are many ways to go about sculpting, painting and design. In fact, there’s actually some apps avialable that lets you do your content creation inside the headset itself.
2020 is proving to be a massive year for immersive 3D sculpting, editing and such in virtual reality, and Adobe’s recent acquisition of Allegorithmic shows us that there’s no indication of the pace slowing down. It won’t be long before the folks at the immersive technology department gets to work and shows us just how powerful, VR editing can be. It’s not just Unity that has a monopoly on this stuff anymore. The democratization of VR-based technology in all kinds of creative work is humbling to say the least.
Today we’re going to be listing some of the best 3D design apps for VR. Regardless of which headset you have, there should be something available for you to try. These are not necessarily apps that has been released this year, but rather a compilation of all the ones worth checking out. Let’s get to it:
Medium by Oculus is one of the leading 3D design apps for the Rift. Powered by a strong engine and designed to be used with the Oculus Touch controllers for an awesome tactile creation experience. Medium is easy to use and filled to the brim with features for you to polish up your creations before exporting them into your game engine of choice.
Gravity Sketch is an intuitive sculpting tool available for the Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. It comes out of the box with 6 expansive creation and design tools, a basic workspace panel and 4 environments for you to feel a home at while creating your artwork.
A Painter is an in-browser 3D design app built by the Mozilla team for painting and sculpting in VR. It allows you to get creative inside your browser, with plenty of creation tools available for you to unpack. A bit alternative, but we can appreciate the ones pushing the boundries of what’s avaiable without having to download actual software to your hard drive.
Tilt Brush was Google’s first claim to fame in the 3D sculpting and design space for VR. It allows you to paint with lights, shapes, colors and all kinds of special effects. It essentially feels like what you’d imagine to get if you crossed MS Paint with an episode of The Jetsons. Tilt Brush is an impreccable piece of software that has been utilized by artists and designers from all around the world, including this famous cartoonist veteran from the Walt Disney Company.
Unbound alpha is just flat out fun to work and design with. Think of it as a great big sandbox in which you and a friend can work on the same goofy 3D model at the same time in VR. In fact, you can have a whole scene of thousands of objects at the same time. Content created while in Unbound can be exported and 3D printed if that’s your thing!
Quill by Facebook is all about exploring a live canvas in VR, and have full control of every bit of it. If you are familiar with Photoshop’s layer structure and design, you’ll feel right at home here. The quality of its exports are off the charts, and the stroke post-export looks brilliant. A nifty little sketching tool.
Compatible with: Oculus Rift
Masterpiece VR is a sculpting tool that helps you design 3D objects and environments with friends and coworkers in virtual reality. It has received plenty of positive reviews since launch. If you have a friend who’s really good at creating artwork, you can even invite spectators to come along as spectators.
Blocks by Google is a 3D object creator by Google. It’s entirely free to use, and allows you to create beautiful 3D objects in no time. It’s primarily intended to use for low-fi objects but it does so very well. Whether or not you are classically trained in art and design doesn’t matter here. It’s simply that easy to use and get started with. Great first choice for you newcomers out there.
Kingspray might just be the cure for all the unwanted street art in our major cities. It gives the user the opportunity to go nuts with a few cans of paint in several environments. Prepare to feel like a virtual Banksy as you embark on a virtual tour-de-force of graffiti artistry and design.
Shapelab is an easy to use creation experience for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. It allows you to import, modify and 3D print your objects and designs from the comfort of your headset. With 10+ tools at the hand and numerous design environments there’s plenty of things to do.
Vivespray 2 is a different kind of design app, as it takes you back to the 90’s in what is one of the very best VR grafitti simulators out there. It’s currently available for all major high-end VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The game allows you to paint your masterworks on massive resolution walls. Heck, if you’re up for it you can even grab a can in each hand and go crazy, dual-spray style.
Paint VR really has it all down in the name alone. The app gives you control of an assortment of brushes, of which you can paint in virtual space. It’s a great intro to painting in virtual reality as the options available here aren’t overwhelming at all. Available on both the Oculus Go and the Samsung Gear VR, it’s a fine beginner’s choice.
Compatible with: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go
Developer: Coskami LLC
VR Canvas allows you to step into your drawings, and immerse yourself in your artwork by literally walking around inside your paint and strokes. Special effects include fire, smoke and an additional 14 on top of that, ready for you to pick up and take for a spin. There’s a relatively flexible brush settings panel that’s interesting to play around with as well.
Compatible with: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go
CoolPaintr VR is the first app on today’s list that’s available specifically for the PlayStation 4. It’s wonderful to see that there’s more to VR than just immersive games. The game utilizes a wide array of brushes, shapes, particles and much more for you to get creative with as you spend your time crafting immersive artwork.
Compatible with: PlayStation VR
Developer: Singular People
AnimVR is the first app on today’s list that actually allows you to import and animate right from within the headset. AnimVR allows you to dive right into it, crafting gorgeous environments, map out storyboards in 3D and even work with layers, transitions, music and much more.
Compatible with: Oculus Rift
Price: $30 – $35
Summary: 15+ Best VR Apps for Design Work & 3D in 2020
With that we make it to the end of today’s list of the best VR Apps for Design Work & 3D. We are aware that the landscape of content creation and sculpting changes from time to time, and we look forward to updating the list as more tools become available. The Oculus Quest for instance, is likely to have a tool of its own, and who knows what’s up next for the Vive! Stay tuned for more updates on creation tools, tutorials and the best of VR for creatives in 2020.