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..

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!!


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!

The Home Screen

Once you launch Tracing Projector, you’ll have a few options. Not all of these are always presented depending on your device, as explained below.

Tripod Mode or Handheld Mode

If your device is iPhone 6s/6s Plus or iPad Pro or later, and running iOS 11.3 or later, you’ll get to choose between Tripod and Handheld modes.

Otherwise, your device only supports Tripod Mode, so the choice is not offered.

  • device on tripod 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.

  • handheld device 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.

Choose a photo

You can bring any image into Tracing Projector, or pick up where you left off.

  • camera icon Use your camera to take a new photo.

  • photo icon Open a photo from your Camera Roll to trace.

  • clipboard icon If you have an image on your clipboard you can start with that too.

  • resume drawing icon 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.

  • safari compass icon Visit the Tracing Projector page on : It’s easy to return to this web page if you want to look for more information!

  • cart icon Look for available upgrades : This is where you will find the add-ons described under Pricing below.

  • folder icon 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.

  • gear icon 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.

  • help icon 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.

The Drawing Screen

Once you’ve selected an image to trace, there’s just a little bit of set-up before you start to draw.

Getting Started with 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 images 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.

Now, jump down to Start Drawing to continue.

Getting Started with 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.

Now, jump down to Start Drawing to continue.

Start Drawing!

unlocked canvas icon   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.

slider icon   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.

hand icon   Check out the tools!

Tracing Projector provides several tools while you’re drawing.

  • flashlight icon   Work in good light : Use the flashlight to light up your drawing while you work! (Caution, consumes battery faster.

  • locked canvas icon   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

  • flower icon   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.

  • three horizontal lines icon   Hide the Toolbar : Tap the menu icon to show or hide the toolbar icons while you draw.

  • filter icon   Filters enhance your artwork : Try different filters to bring out different details and make your image easier to trace

  • movie projector icon   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

  • paper and pencil icon   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

  • camera swap icon   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. Watch 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!

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




App Store Download


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

Full Functionality

In-App Purchase


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


High Quality Video

In-App Purchase


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

Pro Bundle

In-App Purchase

$4.99 - Best Value

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

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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