Exploring Open Brush on Zapbox with VR Rosie

Blog Author
7 min read
To mark the launch of Open Brush on Zapbox we got creative with talented VR artist Rosie Summers.

To mark the launch of Open Brush on Zapbox we headed to Leeds to get creative with VR artist Rosie Summers (AKA VR Rosie). While we were there we caught up on everything from her journey into VR art and the challenges it presents to the groundbreaking possibilities VR presents in storytelling and art.


VR Rosie puts Open Brush on Zapbox through its paces.


Q: How do you describe your job?

A: I consider myself a virtual reality artist and animator, but above all, I'm a storyteller. Initially, my artistic expression was confined to fine arts, particularly portraiture, where I explored narrative through the medium and texture of paint. However, the static nature of paintings eventually led me to seek more dynamic forms of storytelling, which I found in animation and later, virtual reality.


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VR Rosie gets started on her dragons head with Open Brush

Q: What motivated you to transition from traditional painting to animation and eventually VR?

A: Animation opened new doors for me to convey stories with greater emotion and vigour. I was captivated by how animation could transport viewers into stories, making them feel and live the experience. My pursuit for a deeper connection led me to virtual reality, where I could literally place viewers inside the narrative, allowing them to explore and interact with the environments I create.


Q: Can you describe the unique storytelling challenges and opportunities that VR presents?

A: Virtual reality introduces a unique narrative challenge because every viewer's experience can differ significantly. In VR, the story unfolds based not just on what I create, but also on where the viewer chooses to look and explore within the virtual space. This aspect of VR storytelling is thrilling yet daunting, as it empowers the audience to discover their own narratives within my creations.


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VR Rosie gets up close to add details to her dragons eye with easy scaling and movement

Q: How has your approach to creating art changed with VR?

A: VR has transformed my artistic process entirely. It allows me to paint and sculpt from the inside out, creating immersive worlds that I can inhabit and modify in real time. This shift from traditional, rectangular canvases to spatial, three-dimensional canvases has been revolutionary, enabling me to explore new creative possibilities and redefine my role as an artist.


Q: What was your first experience with VR like, and how did it influence your career path?

A: My first encounter with VR was through a simple Google Cardboard viewer. This rudimentary device offered a surprisingly deep and intimate connection with the virtual world, sparking my interest in exploring VR as a medium for art. It inspired me to delve deeper into VR technologies like Tilt Brush, which allowed me to paint in three-dimensional space and eventually share these creations publicly on social media.


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VR Rosie checks out the added detail on her dragon's head

Q: How do you see the accessibility and affordability of VR influencing the future of art?

A: Accessibility is key in democratising VR art. Affordable VR devices, like those integrated with smartphones, lower the barrier to entry, allowing more people to experience and create VR art. This broadens the audience and increases engagement, making VR a more viable platform for artists globally.


Q: How does mixed reality compare to virtual reality in your work?

A: Mixed reality offers a more social and interactive experience compared to the isolating nature of VR. Being able to see and interact with my surroundings while engaged in VR allows for a more collaborative and engaging creative process, particularly when other people in the same space are also connected in the virtual environment.



VR Rosie starts on her her dragon's fire breathing skills

Q: Any advice for aspiring VR artists?

A: For those looking to enter the world of VR, I recommend starting with the most accessible tools available. Explore different styles and techniques to find your unique voice in this expansive medium. VR is not just about technology; it's a new form of artistic expression that challenges you to think and create in entirely new ways.


Q: Would you recommend Zapbox for someone trying XR for the first time?

A: I’d 100% recommend Zapbox, it has the Six Degrees of Freedom, which you need in a virtual reality application nowadays. Whenever I get a headset, I'm always looking for that six degrees because it's so integral. It's so important to be able to interact with your surroundings and you just don't get from three degrees.


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VR Rosie adds dynamic flare to her finished dragon.

Getting Started 

To get started, grab yourself a Zapbox and download the Open Brush app. Don;t forget to share your thoughts and creations with us over on Discord, and let's keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible together.


Screenshot 2024-04-15 at 17.35.20Rosie Summers is a 3D animator and Virtual Reality (VR) artist renowned for her ability to bring characters and immersive worlds to life in entirely new dimensions. In her career as a live VR art performer, Rosie has collaborated with numerous prestigious clients including YouTube, BBC Studios, and The British Library. Her performances, often described as virtual magic, have captivated audiences globally, showcasing her exceptional talent and innovative approach to digital art.

Since 2015, Rosie has been an ardent advocate for VR and augmented reality technologies. She regularly speaks, leads masterclasses, and conducts workshops at notable festivals across the world. Her efforts focus on introducing new audiences to VR, demonstrating the transformative potential of these technologies. Rosie's dedication to her craft and her passion for expanding the reach of virtual technologies have established her as a leader in the field, inspiring countless individuals to explore and embrace the world of VR.