Friday, September 28th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

See Substance Painter running in VR via Oculus’s Hybrid Apps

Oculus has released a demo showing Substance Painter, Allegorithmic’s texture painting software, running in virtual reality, with a user editing materials using an Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch controllers.

The demo, which was recorded using an experimental build of the software created by Allegorithmic Labs, is intended as a proof of concept for Oculus’s new Hybrid Apps program.

Edit materials in virtual reality using Substance Painter’s standard UI
Announced at this week’s Oculus Connect 5 conference, the Hybrid Apps program is designed to enable desktop software to run in VR with “minimal UI and UX changes”.

It’s built on Oculus’s new Dash user interface, which turns the UI into an overlay accessible from any VR application, making it easier to switch between apps.

According to Oculus, “with a few code changes, desktop apps can incorporate a VR viewer enabling seamless transitions in and out of VR [so] there’s no [new] workflow to learn” when using software in VR.

The demo shows a user editing materials on a version of the robot from Oculus’s First Contact demo via the standard Substance Painter UI, presented on a panel floating beside the model in VR space.

It looks to be more a complement to a standard 2D workflow than a replacement for it: while the demo does show a bit of freehand painting, most of the edits don’t require absolutely precise positioning.

But while an Oculus Touch controller is probably never going to give you the same degree of precision as a standard stylus and graphics tablet, being able to switch in and out of virtual reality would enable artists to see assets up close – and, for VR projects, in the context in which they will be used.

Still an early proof of concept: no word on a commercial release yet
Oculus describes the demo as “a glimpse of where Dash … can go”: at present, there’s no word from either it or Allegorithmic on whether the technology will make it into a public build of Substance Painter.

Dash itself is available as part of Oculus’s Core 2.0 update, which came out of beta this week.

Read more about Hybrid Apps and the Substance Painter VR demo on Oculus’s developer blog