Friday, 28 July 2017

Google Blocks Lets You Make Gorgeous Low-Poly VR Art

Google Blocks Latest Virtual Reality App

The latest virtual reality app by Google called Google Blocks allows users to make colourful 3D models in Virtual Reality or VR and has recently been available for free on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It is supposed to be spontaneous enough for beginners to use, but at the same time it is fully featured to help make artistic models, similar to the ones Google has gathered in a gallery that is online. Users are able to export objects and can view them online itself, or can also place them in 3D scenes both inside and outside virtual reality. Visitors are also able to spin objects around to generate animated GIFs that can be downloaded, on Google’s site.

Blocks is a recent one of the many design tools that work inside VR. It is on the same lines as Oculus’ sculpting app Medium and corresponds to Google’s popular Tilt Brush 3D painting tool. You can also use both of these together as you have the ability to export art from both Tilt Brush and Blocks. However, the art style appearance is very different. On one hand Tilt Brush gives the delusion of sculpting with paint and light whereas Blocks lets you create low-poly art in a colourful style that is used by Google in its Daydream VR interface.

Sadly for Google Daydream users, Blocks is at present restricted to only high-end headsets, which have complicated hand controls and let you move around creations. But this may not always be the case as Google is now making available all-in-one Daydream headsets that could compete with the Rift and Vive’s feature set.

Virtual Reality creators envisage a future in which users can build fantastic environments with beautiful objects in it. But in order to do that, these objects have to be created by somebody and for this a basic knowledge of 3D modelling software is needed. Google, through its design tool Blocks, seems to have found a solution to this setback.

With the help of Blocks, Google aims to give the freedom to its users to use VR and create, share and modify 3D objects promptly and without any hassle. At present, the time it takes to build a 3D object is so tiresome and it is near to impossible to achieve it.

What Google Blocks creators have done is learn about the textures and lighting and just use the most fundamental colours and shapes to see how far one can get. The user interface of Blocks depends on the motion-sensing controllers of the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, it is not available for mobile users at present.

Blocks may appear to be less proficient than Oculus’ own VR sculpting app, Medium, which is powerful, but because of its minimalism it is more user-friendly. Intricately detailed objects have low-poly aesthetics which maintains high visual consistency as well as performance.

A lower count of polygon enables the 3D objects created in Blocks to run on not only powerful VR headsets such as Vive and Rift but also on low-cost, phone-enabled assembles like Google’s Daydream View or Samsung’s Gear VR. Google Blocks is therefore a fun tool to use and like Tilt Brush a brilliant introduction to VR.

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