At Oculus Connect 3 David Imel and I had the opportunity to test drive Quill, as well as get a sneak peak at Dear Angelica – the latest story experience from the Oculus Story Studio. So what exactly is Quill? In short, it is a VR painting tool for artists and illustrators. Built in collaboration with an actual comic book artist, the tool is designed to be easy to learn but powerful and flexible enough for professionals.

We’ll admit that at first glance this felt a lot like the popular Vive app, Google Tilt Brush. For example, the virtual tool panel in the left hand for changing colors and other settings felt very familiar. That said, the addition of easy object scaling and layers made for a deeper experience than you’d find with Tilt Brush.

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In other words, Quill brings you the ability to modify just select elements, one at a time, giving artists much more control. In many ways, it kind of felt like a comparison between MS Paint and Adobe Photoshop. Sure, Paint can resize images and even do some basic painting and drawing, but it’s certainly not deep enough for those who need a true professional tool.

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Basically, Tilt Brush is for ‘everday Joes’, Quill is for serious artists. Speaking to Oculus Story Studio creative director Saschka unseld, another big difference is that if you seen an image created in Tilt, you know where it came from – because the program has its own style. With Quill, its the opposite. Artists have full control and the program itself has “no opinion”, it’s just a tool that the artist can bend to its will.

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With Oculus putting Quill into the hands of more artists, it should mean more great, artistic story telling experiences in the not too distant future. One of these is Dear Angelica, which will we only saw a brief preview, we have to say it looked pretty compelling.

Both Quill and Dear Angelica are expected to debut sometime around Sundance Film Festival in early 2017.

 

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