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RuTC Awarded Grant for Google’s Virtual Reality Paint Tool

Monday 21 November 2016

Richmond upon Thames College has successfully secured a grant of £3500 for their art department to turn their hands to a new digital way of drawing, painting and designing. Back in July 2016, Alice Swinhoe, Art Lecturer at Richmond upon Thames College, began to investigate Google’s new virtual paintbrush; an innovative virtual reality ‘Tilt Brush’ tool which enables artists to paint the life-sized 3D space around them. The tool is supported by HTC's ‘Vive’ headset and hand controller, which allows artists to create brush strokes using a virtual paint pallet.

Alice applied for a grant with the David Tyler Trust, a charity dedicated to promoting educational facilities for experiment and training, and succeeded in securing funding for the tool. Along with the virtual paint brush itself, the grant has allowed RuTC to purchase a supporting computer, new hardware, software and licencing. Additionally, RuTC has equipped a studio with soft floor mats, ensuring a safe environment for students who will now be using Google and HTC’s virtual reality headset to paint, create sculptures, design fashion pieces, produce computer games and create video art. RuTC’s Art, IT and Health and Safety departments are now working together to ensure students are maximising the benefits of the virtual tool.

John O’Shea, Vice Principal at RuTC, commented “we are extremely grateful to the David Tyler Trust for funding the purchase of such a futuristic tool; it has allowed RuTC art students to gain rare experience in virtual reality, which will no doubt open doors to incredible opportunities for students post-college. RuTC passionately utilises technology platforms and digital tools for students to excel in their chosen industry. Our success in securing funding for Google’s virtual paint brush reflects this and also complements similar projects including our Student Entrepreneurship Programme and the Tech Hub at Richmond Education and Enterprise Campus, which will launch in 2018.”

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