VR Virtuoso Tipatat Chennavasin Reveals How Tilt Brush Got Its Name

by Joe Durbin • December 29th, 2016

Tipatat Chennavasin is one of virtual realities most notable emerging personalities. Tipatat frequents most VR-related events and his unique first name is well known to early VR enthusiasts. He is also a co-founder and general partner for the Venture Reality Fund — an early stage investment firm for VR startups. If that weren’t enough, Chennavasin is also a great Tilt Brush artist. Just take a look at this iconic sports moment recreated in immersive brushstrokes.

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There’s also this one of what I think is Santa Claus if he had a severe allergy to the number three:

What’s most impressive about both Tilt Brush and Chennavasin’s work in particular is not just the final product but the process of creation itself. Check out that process in action for a piece depicting I believe is Santa Claus if he had a severe allergy to the number three:

Now, for someone who’s major Tilt Brush credits to date include Straight Orange Line and Circle Beside Straight Orange Line, this is downright magic. Fortunately, Chennavasin is more than willing to share his secrets to artistic success.

Chennavasin’s experience with Tilt Brush began earlier than most. According to him:

“I knew some of the creators while they were working at double fine before Google. We started talking and they brought me in to show off one of the earliest versions of this thing called Tilt Brush.

It was originally called TiltBrush because the concept had you drawing on a 2D canvas that you could actually tilt as you drew. It was really the first creation tool for VR and it was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”

From that moment on, Chennavasin spent as much of his free time he could exploring Tilt Brush. Through his experiments he’s discovered several best practices that all aspiring VR artists should take to heart.

“My approach is to attempt a sort of 2.5 dimensional style,” Chennavasin explained. “The key is to always be thinking in terms of depth not necessarily lines. With the Muhammed Ali piece, for example, I drew the outline first and then physically moved to the profile to do the fills and color.”

Chennavasin says faces are a good way to practice mastering this depth-first mindset for your creations:

“When you’re drawing a face on a 2D piece of paper you draw a circle for the head lines for the moth and eyes all at one plane. But in TiltBrush what you should do is draw the outline of the head, then take a small step back and add the eyes, then take another step back and add the nose, then move slightly forward and add the mouth, etc. It may sound simple but these little changes in mindset and technique are what sets VR art apart.”

It’s also vitally important for artists to “stick to just one brush,” according to Chennavasin. Tilt Brush offers a multitude of brush options and Chennavasin believes new artists confuse themselves and overcomplicate their creations by switching back and forth needlessly.

Chennavasin still makes time to paint in Tilt Brush whenever he can. You can find his work on his YouTube channel, Twitter and personal website.

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