Perspective as a graphic technique is much older than some think, dating back millennia. Ancient techniques were fairly straightforward, using angled lines in an “oblique” perspective, but without any particular vanishing points. But over time it’s developed a more rigorous mathematical basis, and a wider variety of techniques to accomplish it. Computers have since enabled us to use projection techniques that would be practically infeasible without them, like projecting onto complex surfaces, through pinpoints, or even projecting 4D objects into 3D space.

Capturing perspective geometrically allows us to interrupt the process of one- or multi-point perspective, and generate a product that we may not have originally expected. Below, Carl Lostritto of Rhode Island School of Design talks geometric perspective, Dürer, and the potential for projection to create unconventional imagery.

This video comes from Session 5 of Computing Form and Shape, a free online course which provides programming patterns and algorithmic thinking used in fields like graphic, industrial, and architectural design.

Computing Form and Shape: Python Programming in the Rhinoscript Library

Rhode Island School of Design