Developer: Leap Motion
Created: June 11, 2018
Requires: Windows, Oculus Rift/HTC Vive

This virtual reality app requires the use of an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, a mounted Leap Motion Controller (using the VR Developer Mount or unofficial alternative), and the Leap Motion Orion software.

Paint is an application developed to remove as many barriers between ideas and creation as possible. Simply reach out your hand and pinch your fingers together to create a ribbon in mid-air. Switching colors, undoing a stroke, or changing the brush thickness is equally accessible with just a tap of a wearable interface.

You might start with some crazy squiggles and flat drawings in the air. But then you start to think in three dimensions. Sketching trees and roses and mountain landscapes. Your creations start to take on new shapes and scales. Before you know it, you’re looking at a large-scale sculpted creation.

Paint is also a demonstration of expansive wearable interfaces that allow you to access greater functionality. Place one of the widgets anchored on the side of your hand into the world, and it will expand into a full painter’s mixing desk.

Along with being a fun creative experience, Paint showcases an alternative approach to interaction and interface design. With Blocks, we showed a concept of physically direct interaction. In Paint, the fundamental interactions are direct, but also abstract. Its interfaces are a step above the simple hand-anchored buttons in Blocks, expanding upon the concept to create multi-level capabilities and interaction.

Pinching in the air to spawn a ribbon is a profoundly unreal interaction, and yet feels natural in VR. Like dancing or musical performance, it brings you into the moment with raw creative possibility.