Camera Lucida: Use Your iPhone’s Camera To Help You Draw On Paper



Back at the end of May I wrote about a great Kickstarter project which updated the Camera Lucida. The Neo Lucida is a prism on a bendy stick that you can use to superimpose the scene in front of you onto a sheet of paper so you can “trace” around real objects.

In the post I wondered if there was an app that would use your iPhone’s camera to do the same thing, but then – as usual – I didn’t read any comments. Reader Golan pointed out that the app is called Camera Lucida, and as of this weekend it has updated to v7.0.

The new version brings zoom, and can also preserve the alpha trasnparency of any imported image. But what does it do?

Camera Lucida lets you take a photo of the scene before you (or load one you took already) and it then superimposes a live camera feed over the top. Thus, you point it at a blank sheet of paper and as you draw on that paper in real pen or pencil, you see the image and your sketch on screen together.

I gave it a go and found it pretty unintuitive. My advice would be to put the iPhone on some kind of stand if you mean to do this properly, otherwise your drawing won’t match up with the picture.

I’m also not a fan of drawing from photos. What’s the point? We don’t see the world through one eye like the camera. And the camera already does a fantastic job of recording a perfect image – why trace it and try to make an inferior version? The whole point of drawing from life is to put what you see onto paper or canvas or wood or whatever.

What I liked about the Neo Lucida, and therefore any actual physical Camera Lucida, is that it aids the eye in looking at a real scene, removing the tricks of perspective that our brains introduce when we look at things.

So the app still doesn’t exist. To be clear, what I want is an app which takes a live feed from the iPhone and shows it on the iPad’s screen, and then lets me draw on that screen.

Anyone know anything? E-mail or tweet me, because I tend to forget about the comments.

Source: iTunes