Although technology has changed the way visual arts are created, some projects still call for a human touch. When it comes to designing plans, creating animations or making layout adjustments, pen and paper are often the best tools at hand; however, artists and architects alike alsoutilize light tablesto help with their work. Designing on a light table can make complicated work easier and aid in simplifying changes done by hand.
What is a Light Table?
Light tables are an easy and cost-effective way to trace pre-existing pictures, draft designs, or even reimagine photos and transfer tattoos. Structurally, they consist of a box with a hard, semi-opaque surface, often plexiglass or PVC, and a light(s) installed underneath. The lights illuminate the surface of the table, allowing the user to easily see through different types of materials, thus aiding them in tracing or editing over a picture or blueprint beneath. Since using light to draft illustrations and architectural drawings is quite common, there is a variety of light tables, sometimes referred to as light boxes or light pads, available.
Who Can Use Light Tables?
Any industry that is aided by hand drawing can find a use for a light table. From illustrators and tattoo artists to architects and engineers, many fields have employed the light table as both a personal and commercial tool. Since a light table is simply a hard surface with a light under it, it can function as a normal desk or easel. The light table can also aid in illuminating slides or X-rays. You’ll find a multitude of light tables in Hospital and Laboratory environments too. Light tables offer an unending variety of uses and all of these uses help make daily tasks much easier.
How Can Light Tables Help?
There is much more potential for light tables than illumination of diagnostic images. For architects, engineers, and both professional and amateur artists, using light tables for drawing can be an extremely useful time saver and assist in making projects more thorough and accurate. For example, if an architect is designing a multi-level building, she can use the light table to draft each level, drafting the outlines on separate pieces of paper. This makes processes more efficient by ensuring that architects only have to measure a blueprint once and also ensures that each individual floor’s blueprint has the identical dimensions to the one prior. The blueprints can also be stacked on the light table so that the architect can see how separate pieces will lay together in a three-dimensional fashion, and then the light can be turned off if changes need to be made without it.
What About Cost and Availability?
Since many people use light tables for illustrating and designing, they are very easy to come by. In general, they can be found in a variety of sizes; from affordable, small and thin, personal tables to larger, industrial light tables for commercial use that can be used by multiple people or specifically with the intent for oversized drawings and plans. Commercial light tables can be expensive, but companies may find that the cost will be offset by the ease offered for projects and time that employees save while producing drawings.
Though much work is now done on computers, many professionals do not yet realize how useful a light table can be to them until they utilize one themselves. Light tables offer numerous ways to assist work in a variety of fields and are readily available. Professionals may find themselves preferring to work with a light table once they have tried one, and will certainly continue to find a variety of uses for light tables in their daily efforts.