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  1. #1
    machiningfool's Avatar
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    Camera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.

    A year ago I came across a movie, "Tim's Vermeer", a movie for anyone remotely interested in art and how some of the artists in the 14th century might have created such masterpieces. Some, it is believed to use a device called a camera obscura. It was a lens or a hole in a box that projected an image on a surface. I won't go into detail because the movie explains it way better than I could. Shortly after watching the movie, I saw a program on the web that was made for the Ipad. The program is called Camera Lucida 8.0. It can be downloaded from Itunes. Cost is only 5 bucks. This is where the tool comes in. I saw that the people that were using the program on their Ipads were just setting the pad on books to draw or paint. Well I, being almost 71, wanted to sit and draw, so I made a drawing platform that sets on a 55 degree angle and is adjustable as to size of the drawing. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I kind of surprised myself by drawing and painting a little better than I thought. A real artist would make photo-type renderings. This program allows you to look through the picture that you have downloaded into the Ipad and also zoom in to really see and reproduce the detail of the drawing or painting. I am also providing a link to a video that explains the Camera Lucida 8.0. Also are three drawings that I made, not being an artist. I am adding two pictures of the final version of the stand and some measurements, sorry for the scribbling. There are two different Ipad holders, one for portrait and one for landscape. The Ipad holder can be adjusted up and down to change the size of the picture, closer for smaller drawings.Camera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.-img_0340.jpgCamera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.-img_0341.jpg Bob. Camera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.-img_0337.jpgCamera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.-img_0338.jpgCamera Lucida- a tool for non-artists, like myself.-img_0339.jpg
    Last edited by machiningfool; 02-14-2016 at 06:34 PM.

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to machiningfool For This Useful Post:

    DIYer (02-15-2016), kbalch (02-15-2016), Paul Jones (02-15-2016), PJs (02-16-2016)

  3. #2
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    Nice work, Bob!

    I was aware of Tim's Vermeer, but not of the Camera Lucida app. Very cool stuff.

    I've been a semi-serious photographer at several points in my life, so I believe I have an artist's eye for composition, but have absolutely zero drawing skills. Watching someone with the knack at work is like magic.

    Ken

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    Paul Jones (02-15-2016)

  5. #3
    machiningfool's Avatar
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    I was of the same thinking, but the camera lucida program is for a guy like me that has little drawing skills without a crutch like this program. Try it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and it is fun too. I mainly use the camera lucida program to scale the drawing or painting as to perspective and scale, and then wing it for the colors to come into the frame. Bob.
    Last edited by machiningfool; 02-15-2016 at 02:19 PM.

  6. #4
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Bob, thank you for the introduction to Camera Lucida. Now I am on a quest to learn more about Tim's Vermeer and what he has discovered. Very fascinating. Thanks, Paul

  7. #5
    machiningfool's Avatar
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    Yes, look up Tim's Vermeer on YouTube or the web or on cable. It is very interesting and educational, and to me amazing. Bob.

  8. #6
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks machiningfool! We've added your Camera Lucida Stand to our Photography and Videography category, as well as to your builder page: machiningfool's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:


  9. #7
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    Cool

    Neat.

    I may end up building one myself.

    No one is entirely sure what the Olde Tyme Masters did. I'd heard some folks theorize that Vermeer used a Camera Obscura which isn't precisely the same as a Camera Lucida.

    My sister is hooked on English Dramas and in one episode of "Midsummer's Murders" they featured a large Camera Obscura. The town was imaginary but the Camera Obscura actually exists.

    I got curious and Googled.

    Imagine a closed-in Gazebo. There is a cupola on the roof that has a lens resembling a periscope. Inside the lighting is low and a very vibrant image of the outside is recreated on a round white table about 30" in diameter—similar in concept to a projector screen. The image is bright enough that it resembles a TV Screen and of course the periscope/cupola can be rotated through 360o .

    There are several tutorials on how to build your own as well as at least one company to build one for you—if you go that route it is Expensive.

    There would be no reason to limit the Camera Obscura to a Gazebo. A dedicated small room of the house/garage/workshop would suffice. The neighbors might get a wee mite poogly about a Periscope tracking their movements—however innocently—but the actually moving part could be shrouded.

    You can also build a modest magnification into your Camera Obscura.

    I wish that I could afford to have one built.

    {I might be able to do most of it, but I'm no roofer and struggle with heights and the roof would need repair…}

    Vermeer almost certainly did not use the rotating cupola version.

    "Yes Girl with a Pearl Ear Ring—Please go stand in the garden and pose for me…"

    There are other versions and it is a fascinating field of Endeavor.


    Saxon Violence

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  11. #8
    machiningfool's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments. The first one that I built was with the little mirror and it worked, but nothing like the Camera Lucida program. It is like comparing a Wright Flyer to a Harrier Jet. I sure enjoy it and anyone that uses this program is sure to unleash the unknown artistic skills that one has. Bob.

  12. #9
    Paul Jones's Avatar
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    Saxon Violence,

    Good information on what could be possible. I like some of the English mysteries and the "Midsummer's Murders" is one of my favorites along with "Lovejoy" (as a kid, I was forced to see more than my fair share of antique stores throughout New England but was always fascinated as to what really goes on behind the scenes in the antique business).

    Thanks for the advice, Paul


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