Google open sources Tilt Brush VR software as it shuts down internal development

As Facebook and Apple begin to fire up more projects in the AR/VR world, Google has spent the last year shutting down most of their existing projects in that space.

Today, the folks at Google announced they had ended active development of Tilt Brush, a VR painting app that was one of virtual reality's early hit pieces of software. The app allowed users to use virtual reality controllers as brushes to construct digital sculptures and environments.

While the company will not be pushing any new updates to the app, they did announce that they will be open sourcing the code on github for developers to build their own experiences and customizations. Google also notes that the app will continue to be available in the app stores on VR headsets.

"[W]e want to continue supporting the artists using Tilt Brush by putting it in your hands,"a blog post from Google reads. "This means open sourcing Tilt Brush, allowing everyone to learn how we built the project, and encouraging them to take it in directions that are near and dear to them."

Google acquired the small studio behind Tilt Brush called Skillman & Hackett back in 2015.

Earlier this month, Tilt Brush co-creator Patrick Hackett announced he was leaving Google and would be joining the studio I-Illusions, the game studio behind VR title Space Pirate Trainer. According to LinkedIn, co-founder Drew Skillman stopped working on the VR project back in 2018 and now is part of the Stadia team at Google.

Last month, Google shut down Poly, its 3D object library which allowed users to share digital art including design made in the Tilt Brush software.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment further.