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VDA Q&A: PaintLab


Rockjaw

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You've just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award... how do you feel?

 

Bart Burkhardt, LAB4242: I feel very honored and excited!

 

Where did the idea for PaintLab come from?

 

I remember when I was young going to the library looking for books about stereo photography. It was like I was naturally attracted to this technology.

 

This was amplified when I got a ViewMaster from my father, I still remember it, it made a deep impact on me. I also remember that I was fascinated about the 360 painting in The Hague called the 'Panorama Mesdag'.

 

Then later around 1995 I bought Virtual Reality magazines and I went to arcades to check it out.

My hope was to get a Forte VFX1, but I never got one and soon after VR disappeared from the radar.

 

Then 20 years later I was happy to see the light of the Oculus DK1 so I got one and started developing for it. 

 

I started to make a voxel based creation environment where you could paint cubes using the mouse and showed it at the Amsterdam VR meetup.

 

It was great but I really missed hand input and so I bought a Razor Hydra and started to explore what you can do with it. 

 

I created many experiments and found that creating things out of nothing in mid air was such a great feeling that I continued working on that. 

 

I gave the project the name Paint42 and shared builds to get feedback. I joined the Oculus Mobile JAM in 2015 with a GearVR port, but it didn't make the finals.

 

Then I got the HTC Vive and ported to this great platform and we renamed the app to PaintLab. 

 

How big is your team and how long did it take to develop?

 

The team is two, where I do development and Gijs helps with media and doing events.

 

Not counting the learnings it took 2 months to create PaintLab. 

 

Tell us something about PaintLab that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport?

 

We show PaintLab at events and found that its works great at festivals like the

. Music and VR painting go together great. 

 

We plan to do more events so if people are interested they can reach us at events@paintlabvr.com

 

Also PaintLab will be featured in the documentary 'Dream the Future' for the French TV-Channel CANAL+

 

The film will be broadcast beginning next year in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Canada, China, Finland and very probably in the USA.

 

This summer we had two days of film recording where also graffiti artist Zeky from Paris created a 3D artwork.

 

During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? 

 

One of the things that I didn't expect is that when you create errors in your code, these errors could do things visually that sometimes bring new ideas. 

 

What do you hope people take away from PaintLab overall?

 

I hope that PaintLab will bring people joy and offers a great way to create art. 

 

Are you planning future updates and adding more features to PaintLab? Or is there something new coming from the team?

 

Yes there are many updates in the works. We're experimenting with new effects and possibilities and we're actually fixing bugs to release these new features. 

 

After the update we will continue developing because its fun and want to improve the app and the possibilities are endless.

 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers?

 

My advice would be to listen to people but mostly listen to yourself. Do what you think is best, if you believe in something, and others don't see it, just follow your heart and create what you love. 

 

PaintLab is available now on Viveport.

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