Google has shut down work on 3D painting app Tilt Brush, the latest in a string of VR disappointments

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Google has shut down work on 3D painting app Tilt Brush, the latest in a string of VR disappointments
A 3D artwork created in Tilt BrushChandana Ekanayake / Google
  • Google has confirmed it is halting development of 3D painting app Tilt Brush.
  • The tech giant said it would make the game's code available online.
  • But the move represents another blow to Google's virtual and augmented reality aspirations.
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Google has shut down its development of 3D painting app Tilt Brush, marking the latest in a string of virtual and augmented reality disappointments for the firm.

The tech giant acquired the firm behind Tilt Brush, Skillman & Hackett, for an undisclosed sum in 2015, praising its "innovative approach to 3D painting." At one point, it hired Tilt Brush Artists in Residence.

But on Tuesday, Google confirmed in a blog post that it would halt development of the product, instead making its source code available on code-hosting platform Github.

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"As we continue to build helpful and immersive AR experiences, we want to continue supporting the artists using Tilt Brush by putting it in your hands," the blog read. "This means open sourcing Tilt Brush, allowing everyone to learn how we built the project, and encouraging them to take it in directions that are near and dear to them."

Google released Tilt Brush for the HTC Vive virtual reality headset in 2016, and the program later became available on Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. The program allowed users to create colourful, 3D paintings and animations.

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Despite billions of dollars of investments from big tech firms, virtual reality is still struggling to break into the mainstream, and for most remains a novelty rather than a mature entertainment platform.

The Tilt Brush decision follows Google's decision to shut down a string of similar ventures, including VR headset Daydream, VR video production studio Spotlight Stories, and 3D content platform Poly.

A few weeks ago, Patrick Hackett, one of the co-creators of Tilt Brush, confirmed he was leaving Google in order to join I-Illusions, the games studio behind popular VR title Space Pirate Trainer.

"To my #TiltBrush community: You've been inspiring and encouraging and wonderful and I love you," he wrote. "I've made so many great friends over these years and am indebted to you forever."

Insider approached Google for comment.

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