Until now, drawing or painting a decent image required one of two things: either actual skill or a lightbox upon which a finished photo could be traced onto a fresh sheet of paper. Thanks to modern technology, though, both those things are a thing of the past (for the casual doodler, that is). SketchAR uses a smartphone’s own camera and augmented reality technology to overlay an image onto a blank sheet of paper where the ‘artist’ can then sketch it by hand.
The video below offers an excellent example of how the app works, but anyone who has used an augmented reality app will know what to expect — it overlays something onto the real world, but you can only see it on your phone’s display. The idea here is that the user picks an image, holds the phone up over the medium with one hand, then traces the image onto the actual paper or wall, etc, using their other hand.
SketchAR explains that users must use the app in a bright environment for it to work correctly. In addition, the user needs to draw four ‘special circles,’ which need to be visible to the phone’s camera. This will help the app locate the paper and keep the image where it is supposed to be, otherwise tracing would be difficult. The team also says that its app can be used with ‘smooth white walls,’ opening the door for painting murals and such.
SketchAR explains that its app is designed for ‘those who have always wanted, but could not draw.’ It can also be used by artists who want an easy and portable way to put their sketches onto a large surface, such as a wall, without using a projector. The app is available for both Android and iOS, though oddly enough it says it is incompatible with my Galaxy S6, so your experiences may vary.