To use Tilt Brush creations in Enduvo requires some understanding of the creation and export process that may involve outside software in order to fully optimize your work. This article will cover how to familiarize yourself with the basics of Tilt Brush and how to bring your work from Tilt Brush to Enduvo (with some steps between using free, open-source software).
- Processor: CPU: Intel i5-4590, AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better
- Memory: 4+ GB
- OS: Windows only (7.1 or later)
- Headsets supported: Rift and Rift S, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality
Learning the Basics
Tilt Brush, like other VR creation apps, uses an interface that puts all the various tools and menus you’ll need on your supporting hand, and the active tools on your primary. In order to familiarize yourself with the various tools at your disposal, utilize the tutorial available to you in the application. To find the tutorial, make sure you are in advanced mode (highlight the sketchbook icon beneath the 3 panels on your support hand to reveal 6 icons arranged in a circle. The advanced mode toggle is lower left). Once activated, from the same menu, navigate to Tools>More>Tips ‘N Tricks. This will open up an overview of the various controller functions and some useful tips to help with your workflow.
For additional tutorials, Check out the Google VR & AR Tilt Brush Tutorial playlist on Youtube here. In particular, the guides and selection tutorials are quite useful in familiarizing new users with tools that can help streamline creation. For further documentation and community forums, visit the Tilt Brush Help page here.
What Can You Create in Google Tilt Brush?
Google Tilt Brush differs from other VR modeling and sculpting applications in that you are primarily creating individual flat planes (strokes) in 6 degrees of freedom, rather than creating and combining volumetric shapes. This is important for the type of work you will be able to produce. So while Google’s companion VR creation app Blocks deals in geometric low-poly, creations in Tilt Brush will have more of a painterly flair due to the stroke based work-flow.
There are many brush options in Tilt Brush and several that have various dynamic properties such as effusiveness or animation. It should be noted that these effects will not carry over when exporting to Enduvo. Additionally, Tilt Brush uses vertex color information, which Enduvo does not currently support. In order to properly render a Tilt Brush creation with the correct color information in Enduvo, outside software is necessary to convert vertex color data to image texture. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will cover a brief overview of the steps to accomplish this using Blender.
Exporting and Converting Vertex Color Data to Texture Maps
Tilt Brush differs from other VR software in that, upon export, there are no settings to choose. Instead, there is a single export button that will create a folder within your default Tilt Brush export folder that contains your project in a variety of 3d file formats. These formats include: FBX, GLB, JSON, and USD. Currently, Enduvo supports both FBX and GLB, but not JSON and USD. However, the program we will be using to convert our color data, Blender, only supports FBX from this list, so we will use this format going forward.
Before beginning the process, ensure you have Blender version 2.79b installed on your PC. The current version of Blender, 2.8, does not allow for baking vertex color, so it is essential that you install this version. Blender 2.79b can be downloaded here.
Once downloaded and opened, delete the default scene by selecting all (press A while in the main viewport) and pressing delete. Then navigate to: File>Import>FBX(.fbx) and select your Tilt Brush FBX file.
Once you have imported your Tilt Brush project, with your mesh selected (an orange outline will appear around the edge of the active selection), press tab in the viewport to switch from object mode to edit mode. Once in edit mode, your object should be highlighted orange, indicating an active selection. If not, press A to select all. With all vertices selected, press U to bring up the UV unwrap menu. Select Smart UV Unwrap from the list. Leave the default settings unchanged in the prompt box that appears and click ok to create your UV unwrap. In the upper right hand corner of your viewport are three diagonal lines. Click and drag these out to split the viewport in two. On the right viewport, navigate to the dropdown menu with a cube icon, and switch to the UV/Image Editor. With your mesh still selected on the left viewport, you should now see your UV unwrap on the right.
At the bottom of the UV/Image Editor, select the plus sign button to create a new image. The default dimensions are set at 1K, but you can adjust this image size to the resolution which you prefer as this will determine the resolution of your image texture. Press ok to create your image once dimensions have been set. From the properties editor to the right of your UV/Image Editor window, select the camera icon to bring up the rendering options. From the “bake” section at the bottom of this menu, open the dropdown menu that says full render and change it to vertex color. Press the “bake” button above and if no problems occur, you should see the image texture appear in your UV/Image Editor. Select the image menu at the bottom of the UV/Image Editor and press “Save as Image” or press F3 to save your image texture.
Now that your texture has been created and saved, all that is left to do is to create a material to which the texture will be assigned, and re-export your FBX from Blender. From properties, select the materials tab (checkered circle icon) and press the button that says “+ new” to create a new material. From the 3d viewport on the left of your screen, enter edit mode by pressing tab and select all by pressing A. With all selected, press the assign button under the material tab in properties to assign the material to your mesh.
Once you have assigned the material, navigate to the texture tab (checkered square icon) next to the material tab and press the “+ new” button to create a new texture. From this panel, you should see a button that says “open.” Press this and select the image texture you created from your system.
You should now see the image texture previewed on the material you created if you navigate back to the material tab. From here, you need simply export the file via File>Export>FBX. With that, your model is now ready to be imported into Enduvo.