Nvidia and Adobe have teamed up to develop a 3D painting app that is sure to become an essential tool for modern art forgers. The software accurately simulates the 3D texture of oil paints and how the bristles of a brush work to spread it on a canvas.

If you’ve ever taken a close look at an oil painting, it doesn’t look like a flat 2D image that comes out of a color printer. The painting has depth and texture, and artists often use thick, exaggerated coats, in a technique called impasto, to add another dimension to their pieces. by Vincent Van Gogh Twelve Sunflowers is a well-known example.

Nvidia and Adobe’s Wetbrush system allows artists to interact with simulated oil paintings in real time using a stylus on a touchscreen, without ever getting their hands dirty. By treating virtual oil painting as two different types of particle simulations, the software also doesn’t require a super computer to calculate an artist’s brushstrokes in real time.

Virtual paint can be smeared, stamped, cured, and mixed with colors just like the real one. Not only does this allow hobbyists to try out their oil painting by hand, it also allows a more experienced artist to create a mockup of a larger room without having to waste a canvas. All that’s missing is a virtual Oculus Rift experience that involves cutting off your ear, so everyone can pretend to be the next van Gogh.

[Nvidia via The Verge]

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