Immersing students in a 3D world of possibilities
Basic Drawing is a requirement for Yale School of Art art majors and may be taken as an elective by all other majors. “They're learning about line, surface, texture, proportion, one- and two-point perspective, chiaroscuro [concepts of light and dark], and other traditional drawing concepts,” she says. Once her students have covered the basics of introductory drawing, she introduces them to Tilt Brush and VR.
Tilt Brush offers different brushes, effects, and tools for students to paint virtual creations in 3D. Because most of her students have never experienced virtual reality before, Vossoughi spent one class showing them how the Tilt Brush app and controller work with the HTC Vive headset. “It’s not difficult for them to learn how to use. In fact, it’s amazingly intuitive! Once they get the Tilt Brush basics down, they’re ready to go.”
“Students are learning how to draw what they see, which is challenging,” Vossoughi says. “Making something flat that is originally spatial can be a difficult task. With Tilt Brush, students literally draw in space using their bodies and line in a spatial, physical way. It can be used to explore formal elements like line, shape, color, and texture in a different and new way. In a drawing class for example, it is difficult to explain the concept of line following form or a directional line. Having students literally create forms in space as though they are using wire really helps them understand that concept. This is one way in which Tilt Brush is a tool that is literally an in-between (2D and 3D) drawing space.”
In her Visual Thinking course, Vossoughi has students scan and import a two-dimensional collage into Tilt Brush. “Using color theory concepts, students can modify or expand upon existing color schemes,” she says. Some students animate their collages by adding starbursts, sparkles, shooting rays of light, and other Tilt Brush effects. “Also, they are able to scale up their small collages and work ‘huge,’” she adds. “They can draw on the front or the back, turn them around and upside down, eventually export them for print, then paint or draw on them again.”
The goal of using these tools, says Vossoughi, “is not finding an endpoint, but opening things up—giving students an expanded sense of what’s possible in drawing and visual thinking. It’s exciting for them to use Tilt Brush and VR to create their own process—something that never existed before. The exploration that can happen is limitless.”