December 6th 2022 (Quest)
Project Lead, Art Director
Denis "Wataru" Patrut
Gesture VR is a drawing app with an emphasis on figure drawing. It offers artists a private virtual drawing studio where beginners and professionals can practice and improve their drawing skills anywhere at any time. Artists can choose to draw either on a digital 2D paper pad or in the 3D space around them. The app features over 100 high-quality photogrammetry scans of real models and allows artists to adjust the lighting, rotation and pose durations. Draw alone, or invite up to three friends.
Gesture VR is a project by Canadian artist: Nick Ladd. He has been a proponent of VR art since 2017 when he got his first headset and discovered the magic of software like AnimVR and Quill, tools which he used to create numerous animation and illustration projects. He believes that VR will revolutionize the creative process and empower artists with its fun and user-friendly approach to 3D. To help artists get into VR, he has created dozens of free tutorial videos and taught workshops worldwide.
As an art school alumni, Nick understands the importance of life drawing classes and how valuable they are to developing one's skills as an artist. Gesture VR was conceived as a way to introduce artists to VR drawing in a fun and familiar way, while also providing a new avenue for artists to sharpen their skills from the comfort of their homes.
In September 2019, he created the first prototype by importing 3D models in Quill and drawing them in 3D. Although simple, this showed promise and spurred the development of what would become Gesture VR.
Within a few months, Nick partnered with his friend Denis Patrut (Wataru Kanzaki) and together, they began building a proper prototype from the ground up using the Unity game engine. The Oculus Start program accepted the project, which allowed the team to get hardware and support to assist with development. The prototype was completed in March 2020 and shortly after moved into full-fledged production with the addition of an experienced VR developer: (Nicholas Saunders). It's been over two years since the initial prototype, and Gesture VR is nearly ready to open its doors to artists around the world.
The Drawings: Sketch in 2D on the paper pad, or draw in 3D in the space around you. Draw with pressure sensitivity to make your lines thicker/thinner and darker/lighter depending on how hard you push.
The Models: Gesture VR features over 130 unique poses from over a dozen different models. These poses are 3D scans of real, professional models representing various age groups and body types. Also available are some miscellaneous models including a skeleton, a horse, and anatomy guides.
The Studio: Choose from three environments: the traditional art studio, the white void, and the black void. The traditional studio is modelled after actual figure drawing classrooms, complete with decorative objects that you can use to do studies.
The Sketchbook: Every time you open Gesture VR, you create a new page in your growing sketchbook. You can add or delete pages from this sketchbook and revisit past drawings.
Multiplayer: In the spirit of a real Figure drawing class, you can connect with up to three other artists and draw together from either the same model or different ones. This feature can be used to showcase your sketches, practice together, share tips and tricks, and most importantly, just chill.
Sharing: Artwork created in Gesture VR can be captured as 2D snapshots using the camera or exported as a PNG ready to be shared online.
Passthrough: Artists can enable passthrough mode on Meta Quest devices for a unique drawing experience that will allow them to draw from a virtual model with real-world paper and tools.
"Multiplayer VR Drawing App ‘Gesture VR’ Aims to Make You a Better Artist in Real Life"
-Scott Hayden, Road to VR
"VR drawing app Gesture VR launches Dec 6th"
-Julian Horsey, Geeky Gadgets
"Life modeling app ‘Gesture VR’ now available on Steam and App Lab"
-Sam Sprigg, Auganix