In a world defined by the fast-growing XR opportunities, many developers dream of the opportunity to build their own 3D experience. For some time, the idea of being able to create 3D models for VR experiences was reserved only to the most advanced tech companies, using the right high-end software.
However, as VR becomes more and more mainstream, so does the development environment. Google, one of the world’s largest tech companies, isn’t strong in the concept of opening the door to tech enthusiasts.
For years, the brand has provided solutions to people interested in machine learning, AI and IoT. Currently, Google also offers technologies specially designed to facilitate VR construction, such as the convenient Google Blocks.
What is Google Blocks VR?
Google Blocks is a convenient development solution designed to make creating 3D models fun, easy, and accessible to everyone. Like many of Google’s assets, Blocks is beautiful and simple, with six tools for users to choose from, allowing them to create complex or basic models as needed. The tool options are:
Eraser grab shape stroke paint change
Available on HTC Vive and Oculus Quest, Google Blocks opens the door to endless creative opportunities for today’s developers. The modeling app removes complexity from sculpting in VR and overcomes some of the challenges of previous creation platforms.
In particular, 3D paint applications like Tilt Brush are great for creating 3D meshes, but they do not follow the general workflow of 3D modeling programs and are not self-contained.
Alternatively, sculpting programs such as those offered by Oculus are usually voxel-based and are only suitable for specific use cases. Google Blocks was introduced as a kind of alternative branch of 3D modeling in the VR world.
In addition to painting and drawing, you can spawn different shapes and then use the VR controller to manipulate edges and faces. This was something most developers couldn’t achieve before.
Google Blocks brings the possibilities of VR development to the world of CAD and architectural design, so it can appeal to a wider audience. You can also visit the Google Blocks website to see some of the work created by existing artists.
Google Blocks Review: Benefits
Google aims to keep the Google Blocks experience simple and make it as accessible as possible to a wide range of people. The idea of blocks is to allow anyone to make something in VR.
However, if you really want your design to happen in this area, you may find that you need to have enough experience with 3D modeling.
In particular, there are some restrictions on what you can actually control when it comes to shape movement and edge interaction. It also clearly lacks the advanced features that you might need if you’re trying to create something specific in the VR world.
However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Due to the lack of advanced features, Google is giving more people the opportunity (and confidence) to start experimenting with VR creation. The advantages are:
Multiple creation modes: Choose from 6 tools, so you don’t just draw and move things like in previous modeling apps. You can create and manipulate shapes, grab parts of your designs from different angles, and experiment with multiple edges and lines. If you’re not happy with what you’ve created, you also have the option to erase it. Complete 3D Exploration: If designers and creators are the first to start their 3D modeling ideas, Google Blocks allows them to see their work in new ways. The ability to roam the work you create makes it much easier to think about how the various details need to be displayed. There is certainly more scope here for building 3D CAD models. Easy Sharing: As an additional benefit, Google guarantees that you can easily share your work with others on your team. You can provide access to the model you created via a link, or export an animated GIF to show someone a 360-degree vision of your idea. There is also an option to export .obj. Extensive Community: If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, access to a community library full of work from other users of Blocks is great. Interactive galleries are also a great way to understand how to make certain parts of your own model work. Accessibility: As mentioned earlier, Blocks by Google is for everyone, so it’s naturally simple and easy to access. This technology is available on both Oculus Quest and HTC Vive headsets.
Oculus Blocks Review: Verdict
There are ups and downs in designing for applications like blocks. On the downside, it lacks many tools such as layers, conversion tools, and Boolean values, which can be required for a wider range of design tasks.
Also, because the block experience is intended to be as simple as possible, there is a limit to how much you can actually do when working with each shape or design.
However, while blocks may not be sophisticated, there are still many possibilities for your app. This application is a fun way to try out the basics of prototyping, 3D design, and creative planning.
You can explore and realize creative ideas like never before so that people on your team can actually interact with them.
As a gateway to 3D modeling, Blocks get the job done and provides a fun way to see what a VR design is. Build different models to share with your team quickly, conveniently, and effectively. Even better, you can actually enjoy it while doing it.
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