Sprayscape from Google turns your phone into a wild VR photo collage maker


Sprayscape is Google’s latest virtual reality app for Android. It’s also an odd mix of photo creation and art as the app is designed to create wild-looking image collages that can be viewed in a full 360-degree perspective.

Sprayscape itself is Google’s own contribution to its Android Experiments program, which puts the spotlight on apps that are designed to break out of the norm with some creative and innovative features. In this case, Sprayscape uses your Android phone to smash up and even “spray” photos that you take inside a virtual sphere that can be shared later with others.

Google says that the app uses the company’s Cardboard SDK to access a phone’s gyroscope data. When Sprayscape is opened, you simply move the camera around and touch the screen to take a picture of what’s in front of you, and it’s placed inside the sphere. Pressing your finger on the phone’s display while you move your camera around “sprays” an image in the sphere, like paint from a spray gun.

See also: The best VR apps for Google Cardboard

While the app stores the collected images in a flat panorama, it’s turned into a 360-degree sphere when it is shared with someone else. The shared Sprayscape collage can be viewed in a virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard, or you can simply move, pan or tilt the smartphone around to get  the full effect.

Google says:

The GPU makes it all possible. On user tap or touch, the camera feed is rendered to a texture at a rate of 60 frames per second. That texture is then composited with any existing textures by a fragment shader on the GPU. That same shader also creates the scape you see in app, handling the projection from 2D camera to a 360 sphere.

Sprayscape is now available from the Google Play Store, and the company has also released the code for the app as an open source project for developers to access for themselves. The code can be downloaded at GitHub. What do you think of Google’s latest VR app for Android? Do you plan to use it to make your own psychedelic photo collages?

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