Painting in Elite Dangerous VR

Hi Diary,

I’m way behind in updating some of the neat stuff I’ve been working on. I actually have a PAYING concept art gig! But the deadline for those images is in 7 days so I gotta get back to it. And an NDA stops me from talking about it anyway.

But check this out. My latest obsession is the video game Elite Dangerous. It’s a really great space flight simulator and it works in Virtual Reality! With my joystick/throttle and VR headset it actually feels like I’m in a space ship. Becky says I’m not allowed to quit my job to play this game all day but I totally would if I could. Space, in Elite Dangerous, is stunning. Nebulas and blue stars and colourful planets all surrounded by sparkling stars. I mean, I was space obsessed BEFORE I played this game – now I’m just unbearable to be around.

Unable to leave well-enough alone I had to do something silly and ended up creating my new favourite hobby. Painting in virtual reality from my space ship! Yup! Here’s the video:

I recorded all the paintings. Unfortunately the last one (two stars) didn’t work. I didn’t realize the screen minimized while I painted so all I got was 40 minutes of a still shot of my desktop. Whoops! And I tried to record myself talking here and there but it recorded the mic from across the room. Growing pains. The 2 stars shot is just me putting on the headset again when I realized it was minimized to exit the game. Got like 2 seconds of usable footage which is what you saw.

I used a program called Ovrdrop to bring the photoshop window into the game and I used my wacom tablet to actually draw. It actually wasn’t a big deal that I couldn’t see my hand. After only a few minutes I was just as comfortable drawing in VR as without. The video doesn’t show the resolution the way I saw it but it was actually decently clear (for VR). Everything was slightly brighter in VR but the final images looked cool either way I thought. I had to record the footage from the Windows Mixed Reality Portal to show both the game and photoshop overlay but at a lower resolution than the headset and game client. If I only record the game you don’t see photoshop. Just me staring at my legs for a few hours.

Here are the finished paintings:

I would be in there right now painting some more if I didn’t have that aforementioned job I need to finish. I finally saved up enough money in-game for my first ship (Dolphin!) and I upgraded the heck out of it. I can jump 30ly now. Gonna paint me a nebula! And a neutron star. And a black hole! And one of those space stations with all the trees inside! My to-draw list grows every day.

Also using the same trick I added my phone to the ships HUD. Haha. So dumb and neat and dumb. I recorded a 3 minute video. It has my stupid voice in it but I added subtitles so you can mute it. I mute it.

Ok that’s it.

Love Michael

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