A New Model for Perspective: Patterns of Perspective Change and the Ecology of Point of View and Resulting Image

By Axel Roesler.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Ecological perception examines how the role of an observer in motion affects the interpretation of images. While the principles of perspective have been extensively studied in regards to the meaning of images and the image maker’s intent, the majority of studies have only focused on the single image. This paper incorporates motion into the study of perspective and provides a new conceptual model of perspective to identify patterns of perspective change by using cues for location in the image taker’s point of view as the basis for the interpretation of an image in perspective.

A new model of perspective provides the framework for the spatial analysis of images. The relationship between point of view and image is encoded as perspective distortion in the image. Patterns in this distortion provide cues for the location of the point of observation relative to the stage under observation. Knowing the relationship between viewer and stage provides the cognitive framework for the spatial understanding of the stage represented. Perspective not only reveals the construction of the image, but perspective represents the relationship between viewer and stage encoded in the change of perspective when the point of view is relocated relative to the stage under observation. The new model of perspective captures patterns of perspective change as the basis for the interpretation of spatial properties in the viewer/stage relationship. The new model overcomes the limitations of the single perspective image that can present a perspective from a point of view, but that cannot show the point of view as the origin of the line of sight that is positioned perpendicular to the image—outside the image plane. Interpretation cues in the change of perspective fill the gap between image and anticipated point of view at the origin of the image. This understanding not only encompasses what is visible, but the model provides clues for what is obstructed from view and can be revealed by a relocation of the point of view.

Keywords: Perspective, Ecological Perception, Cognitive Science, Design, Remote Perception, Patterns, Perspective in Motion

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.99-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.602MB).

Dr. Axel Roesler

Assitant Professor for Interaction Design Adjunct Assistant Professor for Human Centered Design and Engineering, Division of Design, School of Art, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

Dr. Axel Roesler is an Assistant Professor and Chair of the Interaction Design Program at the Division of Design at the University of Washington. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Systems Engineering with a specialization in Human Centered Design from The Ohio State University. He also holds an M.F.A in Industrial Design from The Ohio State University and a Diplom in Industrial Design (equivalent to M.A.) from Burg Giebichenstein, Hochschule für Kunst und Design (University of Art and Design) in Halle, Germany. He came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar in 1998. Recent research projects address interaction design and cognitive support in decision-making aided by health information technology, new interaction design directions for the commercial flight deck, new concepts for interacting with procedural instructions and task plans, and an interface framework that applies principles of perspective to control remote views into dynamic spatial settings. Industry partners and research collaborators include Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, Group Health, and the Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies at the UW School of Medicine.