Camera Lucida: The iPhone App for Artists

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iPhone App Screenshot

Frequently Asked Questions

It has been speculated than many great painters of the past have used devices such as this to create their masterpieces.

Q: How do I hold the iPhone or iPad in place over my drawing while I sketch?

There's no right or wrong way, but we usually just find a vase about 12-18 inches tall and place it on that with the camera pointing at your drawing. Some of our users have built their own mounts out of repurposed document holders. You can go crazy with design ideas, but we often just stack up some books and use a bit of masking tape to stop it from slipping.

Q: Does Camera Lucida App support landscape mode?

As of version 4, Camera Lucida supports landscape mode! On the iPhone, you get some great rotate features that allow you to fill the whole screen with the image, and on the iPad, the image automatically rotates as you reorient your device.

Q: When I zoom or pan in on an image in my image library, why is the selection window a square rather than a rectangle?

Sometimes I like to leave in the old FAQ questions just to show how far we've come! With the new version of Camera Lucida, you have complete control of the zooming, panning and cropping. You even get a save feature to make sure you can stop your drawing and come back to it exactly as you left it.

Q: What happened to the "roll" and "library" buttons?

We'd love to ramble on about the newer, sleeker interface, but the simple answer is "it's no longer needed". Notice we also did away entirely with the settings page? All of the app's features, such as the transparency slider, are dynamic.

Q: The image manipulation functions are cool; but they're hard to understand. What gives?

As of version 4, the image manipulation functions found by pressing the toolbox icon work on the image you currently see rather than the original image. This allows you to stack effects on top of one another. At any time, you can revert back to your original by hitting the first button on the list.

Q: Seeing the picture detail and my pen/pencil at the same time is difficult. Is this normal?

There are several ways to optimize the view that you are seeing. Using the transparency slider is the easiest way to make sure you find the proper balance between the image you're drawing and your work in progress. Also, if you are drawing fine details such as those found in a portrait, make sure your picture is as large as possible since the size of the iPhone screen becomes the limiting factor. Finally, ensure that your work area is well lit as this will make for the clearest viewing.

Q: I was drawing and my screen went blank. Is this normal?

Yes, the iPhone's power save settings are still in effect. Simply touching the screen will make the image reappear. You can adjust these settings from your iPhone's setting page. When your settings are properly set, Camera Lucida will stay on until you shut it off.