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Monday, November 23, 2015

The Low Cost $60 Cintiq Alternative Hack

How does $60 bucks sound for an add-on that could work like a full blown Cintiq.
I should preface this by assuming you have a Wacom tablet of some type. Here we go.
I have been an artist working on paper for over 30 years. When affordable Wacom's hit the market
I could never quite get the hang of the parallax difference of drawing in one spot but seeing the lines appear in another location. I had had been shackled to seeing the line on the page as I worked.

I remembered a Kickstarter project called NeoLucida in which two gentlemen; Pablo Garcia & Golan Levin created a new spin on an optical drawing device which allows you to see a virtual image on a piece of paper. They created a portable version of a Camera Lucida which could clamp to any flat surface an allows you to trace a virtual reflection.


Well, I got to thinking, what if we were to point the device at a computer screen and see the virtual image reflected onto your Wacom tablet. Technically whatever you draw, you would see a virtual  projection onto the Wacom. The hunt was on.

The Kickstarter was successfully over but you can order the device through Amazon or Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/   (search NeoLucida)



I hunted on Ebay and with luck I found a like new device for only $39. I simply clamped the device to  a piece of wood (cutting board), put the Wacom on top and tried an experiment. I got it 80% right. My problem; I should have used a bigger board (obviously larger than the Wacom) and my USB cable for the Wacom was woefully short. Needed to back up farther but did not have the length. The angle of your eye needs to be spot on (see instruction link above). Lighting is critically because you want to be able to see your hand and the virtual reflection.


Found the link on the site that handles this issue:

I did manage to see a portion of the virtual image and draw to it. Having a USB extender cord would've  really come in handy. You should be able to perfect this and have a cool looking retro Cintiq alternative. Give it a shot. Share this post with your friends.

You can check out my original post here:

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Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

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