Use any photo or image

Position your device, and look at your screen while you trace the image!

  • Position everthing so it fits on the screen
  • Watch your screen while you draw on the paper
  • Enjoy your creation!

A steady hand, a little bit of practice

…and you’ll discover a talent you never thought you had!

Augmented Reality

On supported devices, draw from any angle!

Requires iOS 11.3 or later on iPhone 6s/6s Plus or iPad Pro and later. Works best on stable horizontal and vertical surfaces with good light and some visible surface detail.

Light Table

Trace directly on your screen!

Take advantage of your bright screen and trace the image directly.

So many creative possibilities

Your imagination is the only limit!

Video Sharing Screen

 

Learn to Draw!

Learn proportions and important lines by tracing photos of anything!

Amaze your friends!

Share a video of your freehand drawing! It makes a great personal greeting on their social media!

Create Something!

Create real one-of-a-kind artwork!

Trace on your Face!

Great for face painting or artistic makeup!

History - Camera Lucida

Tracing Projector is a modern take on an invention from more than two hundred years ago!

Camera Lucida consists of a mirror or prism that you position above the drawing surface. The mirror or prism reflects the object you would like to draw so that your eye sees the object superimposed on your drawing surface.

With Tracing Projector, you position your device above the drawing surface and aim your camera at the drawing area. Your device displays a photo of the object you would like to draw, superimposed on the camera view.

Learn more about Camera Lucida.

Camera Lucida in use drawing small figurine

Scientific American Supplement, January 11, 1879

Extremely happy

817gun – Oct 24, 2017

This is a great app. I needed a projector to make a Halloween costume pattern. Using this app and a little ingenuity I was able to trace out a large version of pict onto a large piece of foam for my costume. Thank you!!

Projector

RBlandis – Jan 11, 2019

I use, to transfer my artwork onto what I am working on. I am learning new uses every time I use, and with absolutely no problems. Use to put my artwork/drawings onto canvas for fine art to paint or onto T-shirts to airbrush. I plan to use for next vehicle I do. Use for drawing, paintings, fine or airbrushing art or just need to transfer something you are working on to save time. Thanks!!!

This is great!

Elizabeth_1217 – Apr 5, 2018

I have been currently been trying to find a new art style to impress my friends, and this will help a lot!

Easy to use


It’s easy to get started, and there are many advanced tricks you will discover as you draw more!

You’ll be amazed when you hold your device above a sheet of paper, and start to trace the image on your screen. Several built-in tools make it easy to focus on details, work in low light, and show off your creations with your friends!

Choose something to draw

As you enter Tracing Projector, you have several options to choose from. You can bring any image into Tracing Projector, or pick up where you left off.

  • Trace something from the collection of line art drawings provided with Tracing Projector. Choose from over 650 simple drawings!
  • Import a file from your Files library, including PDF files!
  • Use your camera to take a new photo.
  • Open a photo from your Camera Roll to trace.
  • If you have an image on your clipboard you can start with that too.
  • Pick up where you left off. Tracing Projector saves your drawing image during each session. You can also return to any image you’ve traced – you can find them in the Saved Files screen.

More options

The tool bar at the top of the screen gives you more to explore.

  • See the Help screen : Look for this icon throughout the app! Explanations for all of the controls throughout the application are available on the Help screen.
  • Change application settings : A variety of customizations are available. Control whether video is recorded automatically while drawing, automatically export snapshots and videos to your camera roll, control video speed, mute application sounds, and so on.
  • See your past tracing images, snapshots, and videos : Return to your previous tracing images, snapshots, and saved recordings to trace again, view, or share. If your recording was interrupted, you can combine videos using the Edit mode here.
  • Look for available upgrades : This is where you will find the add-ons described under Pricing below.
  • Visit the Tracing Projector page on Photility.com : It’s easy to return to this web page if you want to look for more information!

Choose your drawing mode

Once you’ve selected something to draw, you’ll choose how you want to hold your device while you draw. Be sure to check the Tutorial or Demonstration options to learn more!

  • Tripod Mode: This is the simplest mode - you’ll need to hold your device very steady, and parallel to your drawing surface. Use a tripod, a stack of books, a drinking glass, or some other means to prop up your device where you can see the screen and also reach the drawing surface.
  • Light Table Mode: If your paper is thin enough to see light passing through your paper when you hold it up in front of a light, and your device screen is big enough to hold the image, this mode could work great for you. You’ll use the brightness of your screen to project the image through your paper so that you can trace it directly!
  • Handheld Mode: If your device is iPhone 6s/6s Plus or iPad Pro or later, and running iOS 11.3 or later, congratulations! You’ll be able to use the Handheld mode. This mode uses Apple’s Augmented Reality framework to keep track of the drawing surface while you hold your device. You can move around somewhat freely while you draw. Important: Your device is not tracking the paper; it’s tracking the surface it’s on. Make sure the surface is horizontal or vertical, and fix your paper in place using tape or paperweights. Since your device is tracking its position using both camera and orientation sensors, you’ll need to be able to hold it far enough from the drawing surface that it can see most of the drawing area while you work. Works best on stable horizontal and vertical surfaces with good light and some visible surface detail.

Now there’s just a little bit of set-up before you can start to draw.

Tripod Mode

Your device screen will shift to a view where the image you’ve selected is overlaid with whatever your device camera is pointed at. Try dragging the image around on your screen. You can move the image with one finger, and change the size and rotate it with two fingers. The same goes for the camera view.

  • Get your device physically into position where the camera shows the area you want to fill with your drawing. Now move and resize the tracing image so that it fills the space you want to draw into.

  • Position the image on your screen so you can see what you’re doing. Use one finger to reposition the tracing image or the camera view. Use two fingers to stretch, pinch, or rotate the tracing image. Tap twice quickly to reset the position and size.

  • Adjust for Perspective. If your device isn’t perfectly parallel to the drawing surface, your final result will be distorted - larger where the paper was farther from the camera, smaller where it’s closer. Use the Oblique tool to account for this. Get the image approximately into place, then activate the Oblique tool and move the corners to adjust the image.

Light Table Mode

Your device will shift to a view where the image you’ve selected is displayed on a bright white background. Try dragging the image around on your screen. You can move the image with one finger, and change the size and rotate it with two fingers.

  • Position the image on your screen so you can see what you’re doing. Use one finger to reposition the tracing image or the camera view. Use two fingers to stretch, pinch, or rotate the tracing image. Tap twice quickly to reset the position and size. Keep the drawing away from the edges of the screen - your device supports special gestures when you swipe from the edges and you don’t want to accidentally activate those while you’re trying to draw!

  • Make sure you can see the image through your paper. Hold the paper over the screen and use the slider to increase your screen brightness until you’re comfortable to be able to trace the image.

  • Hold the paper steady. The glass screen on your device is very slippery and it can be tricky to keep the paper from sliding around while you draw. For best results, try using a couple pieces of painter’s tape - wrap it around to the side or back of your device which isn’t as slippery.

Handheld Mode

Your device screen will shift to a full-screen view of what your device camera is pointing at. Follow the animnated prompts on the screen, which will guide you through these general steps:

  • Normal Tracking - Watch the blue rectangle as you wave your device around slowly in the air above your drawing surface.

  • Surface Detected - The blue rectangle will flash solid when a surface is detected. Continue moving your device to make sure the blue rectangle is tracking the surface correctly.

  • Tap to Place Image - At this point you can tap the screen to place the image on the surface.

  • Position the Image - Drag the image around with one finger, or use two fingers to change its angle or size. If your device detected multiple surfaces, you should be able to find the desired surface by dragging the image around.


Start Drawing!

Look for the “lock canvas” icon on the toolbar. - Once your image is in place on your drawing surface, you’re ready to start drawing. Touch the “Lock Canvas” button to lock the image in place the drawing surface. Now, you can us two fingers to zoom in on your drawing area, and the image will stay put. This allows you to trace fine details of the image.

Peek at your work - Use the slider at the bottom of the screen anytime to change the transparency of the tracing image until you can see both what you’re drawing and what you’re tracing. If your device supports Force Touch (iPhone 6s and later) you can press hard anywhere on the screen to “peek” through the tracing image to see how you’re doing.

Check out the tools! - Tracing Projector provides several tools while you’re drawing.

  • Work in good light : Use the flashlight to light up your drawing while you work! (Caution, consumes battery faster.
  • Lock the view : Tap the hand icon to lock or unlock the camera view to the tracing image so that you can position and resize them together
  • Lock the focus : If the camera keeps hunting for focus while you draw, tap the flower icon to lock the focus while you work. This stops the camera from hunting for focus and blurring your view.
  • Hide the Toolbar : Tap the menu icon to show or hide the toolbar icons while you draw.
  • Filters enhance your artwork : Try different filters to bring out different details and make your image easier to trace
  • Record a video : Tap the movie camera to record a video while you trace your image. You can share the video and amaze your friends with your drawing skill
  • Take a snapshot : Tap the snapshot icon to take a photo of your drawing while it’s in progress or when finished. You can share the photo and impress your friends
  • Trace on your face : (only available in Tripod mode) Tap the Swap Camera icon to switch between the back camera and front camera so that you can draw on yourself. Your tracing image is automatically flipped like you’re looking in a mirror.

Frequently Asked Questions

 


It doesn’t actually project!

Your iPhone doesn’t have the hardware to physically project an image onto a drawing surface. This is a virtual projector, overlaying the image you would like to draw onto whatever your camera is pointing at. Focus your attention on the image on your phone screen while you draw.

 

I’m using Tripod mode, and the image moves around when I draw

It can be tricky to hold the phone and page steady with only two hands. Find a way to prop up your phone above the page, on a tripod, a stack of books or a drinking glass.

Also, make sure you’re using the “Canvas Lock” button while tracing (the toolbar button on the far right) so that the tracing image and camera view move together as you zoom and move the view around on your screen.

 

I’m using Handheld mode, and the image moves around when I draw

Make sure you have good light and reference detail and a good horizontal drawing surface, and make sure you device can “see” the whole drawing surface so that it can keep the image in place. You can zoom in to enlarge the view of your drawing once you lock the image.

It can help if the drawing surface has some “reference marks” that your device can use to keep track of the surface. Little bits of blue painters tape can help too.

Remember, Your device is not tracking the paper; it’s tracking the surface it’s on. Make sure the surface is horizontal or vertical, and fix your paper in place using tape or paperweights.

 

I can’t see what I’m drawing

Make sure you’re working in lots of light!

Make sure you have lots of light! More light makes it easier for your device camera to track and focus on your drawing surface and show you what you are drawing.

If the focus is changing when you move your hand around on the drawing surface, you can use the Focus Lock tool to lock the focus. Take your hand away from the drawing, give the camera a moment to focus, then tap the focus lock tool.

Remember to adjust the transparency of the tracing image using the slider. This will help you to see the tip of your pencil while you draw.

 

It doesn’t seem to detect my sheet of paper

The app doesn’t track the sheet of paper; instead it detects the horizontal or vertical surface the paper is resting on. Make sure your surface is horizontal and you’re working in good lighting to make the detection more reliable.

It can help if the drawing surface has some “reference marks” that your device can use to keep track of the surface. Little bits of blue painters tape can help too.

 

Can I do anything useful in three minutes?

Three minutes is plenty of time to transfer the overall layout of an image onto your drawing surface, and adequate for smaller drawings that give you a sense of the app’s capability. Once you’re comfortable, consider upgrading to Full Functionality.

shopping_cart Pricing

 

timer

Basic

App Store Download

Free!

Draw three minutes at a time for quick sketches, and to learn how the app works.

Pro Bundle

In-App Purchase

$4.99 - Best Value

Includes everything from both add-ons: Full Functionality and High Quality Video.

Full Functionality

In-App Purchase

$3.99

Removes the three-minute limit, and enables Flashlight, Selfie, and Snapshot features.

hd

High Quality Video

In-App Purchase

$2.99

Adds high-resolution snapshots and video, and removes the Tracing Projector watermark.

What will you draw first?

Discover the artist inside you!

 

Tracing Projector runs on IOS 9.0 and later!

Download now and get started!

 

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