Mixed reality

This Quest 3 Demo Uses Mixed Reality to Level Up Your Drawing Skills

Learning how to draw just got way easier.

Pencil! app on Meta Quest 3
Pencil! / YouTube

Learning to draw can feel like a daunting task, but the Quest 3 is here to help. A team of developers figured out a fun way to teach the techniques and skills of drawing with the help of mixed reality.

A mixed-reality app called Pencil! offers interactive drawing lessons using the Quest 3, as seen in its demo, which is similar to Pianovision, an app that gamifies piano lessons.

A Better Way to Learn

The app was designed by a team of developers including Stephen Rogers, Bill Ramsour, Ian MacKenzie, and Gabriel Williams for the Meta Quest Presence Platform Hackathon. Impressively, Pencil! was designed in a few days, but it already looks like a useful tool for aspiring artists.

“I've always wanted to learn how to draw and we saw an opportunity to be able to create something that could help a lot of people,” Rogers told Inverse. “I was definitely inspired by Art Academy, a Nintendo DS game, and thought it would be the perfect fit for [mixed reality].”

Unlike the Nintendo DS game, Pencil! is limited to just pencil and paper as mediums. The app guides you through drawing lessons by overlaying guides over your actual paper and helps you with step-by-step instructions. It’s designed to be beginner-friendly since some of the initial lessons cover concepts like shading and perspective, but there are still tools for those who want to improve their existing skills.

Beyond the basic lessons, there’s a free draw mode that lets you reference 3D models generated in mixed reality. You can even use yourself as a model and set up specific poses to get some practice with tricky human shapes and curves.

The mixed reality capabilities of the Quest 3 have opened up tons of possibilities.


Coming Soon

Rogers told Inverse there isn’t a release timeline for an app yet, but the team plans to put out demos through its Discord very soon. Looking ahead, the developer added that they have a large catalog of lessons to draw from that range from beginner to advanced concepts. On top of that, the team is looking into adding the ability for users to import their own images or models.

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