Spatial transfiguration : anamorphic mixed-reality in the Virtual Reality panorama

Brisbin, Christopher A. (2007) Spatial transfiguration : anamorphic mixed-reality in the Virtual Reality panorama. In 24th International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand [SAHANZ], Panorama to Paradise: Scopic Regimes in Architectural and Urban History and Theory, 21-24 September 2007, Adelaide, South Australia.


Spatial illusion and immersion was achieved in Renaissance painting through the manipulation of linear perspective’s pictorial conventions and painterly technique. The perceptual success of a painted trompe l’œil, its ability to fool the observer into believing they were viewing a real three-dimensional scene, was constrained by the limited immersive capacity of the two-dimensional painted canvas. During the baroque period however, artists began to experiment with the amalgamation of the ‘real’ space occupied by the observer together with the pictorial space enveloped by the painting’s picture plane: real and pictorial space combined into one pictorial composition resulting in a hybridised ‘mixed-reality’. Today, the way architects, and designers generally, use the QuickTime Virtual Reality panorama to represent spaces of increasing visual density have much to learn from the way in which Renaissance and baroque artists manipulated the three-dimensional characteristics of the picture plane in order to offer more convincing spatial illusions. This paper outlines the conceptual development of the QuickTime VR panorama by Ken Turkowski and the Apple Advanced Technology Group during the late 1980s. Further, it charts the technical methods of the Virtual Reality panorama’s creation in order to reflect upon the VR panorama’s geometric construction and range and effectiveness of spatial illusion. Finally, through a brief analysis of Hans Holbein’s Ambassadors [1533] and Andrea Pozzo’s nave painting in Sant ‘Ignazio [1691-94] this paper proposes an alternative conceptual model for the pictorial construction of the VR panorama that is innovatively based upon an anamorphic ‘mixed-reality’.

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ID Code: 12274
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS (190500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Christopher A. Brisbin
Deposited On: 31 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:38

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