LUCY is a magical drawing tool based on the classic camera lucida

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I had one of these as a kid back in the mid-60’s. Now it’s on kickstarter?


There’s an app for this…

No need for a kickstarter, this has already been done. you can just buy one. (and for less than backing lucy). That said, the eyepiece on the lucy looks considerably bigger. might be a lot easier to use.


I got mine when it was called the NeoLucida:


Did it have a really janky shaky looking arm? is that model in the photo drawing her hair she has draped over the viewer?

I like the idea but the implementation does not look like it will help one stay aligned for well enough to make a nice trace/drawing.

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You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on it’s back. The tortoise lays on it’s back, it’s belly baking in the hot sun, beating it’s legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?


I just watched the doc Tim’s Vermeer, which was good in many ways but totally left out this sort of history and didn’t talk to people from other viewpoints. Talk about parallax distortion.

The history posts on the neolucida site are useful.

As a commercial artist, we used enclosed vertical Lucy’s through the 80s until computers changed the game. But they’re still useful.


Nice link, thanks!

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I’m not sure what the differences are (I will watch the video shortly) but a very similar item is available from Lee Valley Hardware:,40725

Then there’s teh already Kickstarted and rnning NeoLucida that is most similar to the ancient Lucida:

…and I never did understand how one could “cheat” at art.

I acquired a free Lucygraph from my college 20+ years ago when they phased them out - an 8 foot tall monster. I had to abandon it while moving about here and there. I wish I still had it, even though it’s hopelessly obsolete.

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I got my Neolucida there too. Works! Kickstarters never go away:


Crayola made a Camera Lucida that’s easier to use, way cheaper and available now:)

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Artist David Hockney discovered this tool was used far more than art historians ever realized: Secret Knowledge (New and Expanded Edition): Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters and–Falco_thesis

Good to know. Lee Valley headquarters store is here in Ottawa, and the price looks comparable to LUCY (including filters).

I built and tested one of these myself after watching Tim’s Vermeer. Conclusion: Yeah, it works, as a way to learn to paint. It shortens the feedback loop for learning various techniques.

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