Sketch any 3 dimensional object or scene using a laser pointer


I recently spent a night sleeplessly unable to erase an etching by Albrecht Durer from my mind. The etching illustrates two men working together around a table. The man on the right is drawing a picture of a lute in perspective on a vertical easel. The man on the left is holding a pointer at the end of a string; the opposite end of the string is weighted and threaded through a screw eye in the wall behind the artist.

I found this to be an inventive way to accurately render 3D objects in perspective. I’ve wished to experiment with this technique but was certain I would not find a helper to hold the pointer. I lay in bed imagining various ways to clamp the string to the subject to be drawn. After several iterations of an idea I realized I could mount a laser pointer to a tripod thus eliminating the string holding helper! What a revelation.

This time-lapse video is of my first attempt playing with this idea. I mounted the laser pointer to a tripod and created a hinged door easel which swings the picture in and out of the laser pointer’s beam. The process is relatively clear. Swing the door out of the way of the laser, point the laser at a feature of the object, close the easel in front of the laser beam, mark the point on the canvas, and repeat a zillion times. This experiment proved a feasible way to draw most anything visible in perspective.

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