A couple of days ago I posted a blog about a KickStarter project to build something called the NeoLucida, which will be the lowest-cost commercial camera lucida ever (see A Camera Lucida for the 21st Century).
Just to refresh our memories, a camera lucida is a drawing aid that allows you to trace what you see. This traditionally involves some form of semi-silvered prism that allows the artist to see both the scene and the drawing surface simultaneously, as in a photographic double exposure.
I've made my pledge to the KickStarter project so as to obtain one of these little rascals, but I'm on the second production run, so I probably won’t see my NeoLucida until the end of the year.
But wait, there's more, because someone posted a comment to my original blog saying that there was a camera lucida app in the Apple App Store. Initially I assumed that this app was for drawing on the iPad screen – I was thinking of something like a graphics application that allowed you to take a picture, fade it back, and then trace over it on your iPad screen … I was so wrong!
Now, you do use your iPad to take a picture (or to display an image that you acquired from elsewhere)… and you do fade the image back… but you don’t draw on the iPad screen. Instead, you use the iPad to superimpose the image over a live image of your drawing surface, and then you create the drawing using pencil and paper (or whatever technique you prefer).
Actually, it's easier to explain this using a video as follows:
I have to say that this is really, REALLY clever (Click Here to visit the app's website). And at only $4.99, I think it's an absolute bargain when you think of the hours of enjoyment you can get out of it. Yes, of course I've purchased a copy – this weekend I'm planning on building myself a stand to hold my iPad (instead of using a pile of books, or a glass as shown in the above video) and then I'm going to try a few sketches. I'll let you know how I get on…
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Please, PLEASE share your painting with us -- maybe showing it in different states of completion and demonstrating your use of this app. You can send the images to me at max@CliveMaxfield.com and I would love to post them in a follow-up blog.