Picture Box Redux: New Perspectives on Pictorial Imaging
Artists have used the Picture Box to solve problems of near and far perspective in painting and drawing throughout history. It’s development dates back thousands of years with elements of its evolution evidenced in Prehistoric rock paintings from Europe and Africa and Ancient Egyptian Bas relief.
Picture Box elements have re-surfaced at various times, and in various art-forms including Stage Design, Photography, Cinema, and Animation.
Stage Designers represent far perspective on shallow platforms by positioning realistic props in front of painted back-drops. Photographers use depth of field to isolate foreground figures and blur background imagery. Film directors construct elaborate sets and choreograph complex camera movement to force perspective and point of view. Disney’s horizontal multi-plane camera allowed two dimensional images to be photographed in three dimensional space.
More recently, we have seen the Picture Box evidenced in Computer Graphics Imagery, (CGI) Objects are viewed by virtual cameras are rendered in a pyramid-shaped volume known as a viewing frustum; which is structured in many ways, not unlike, the Picture Box.
While technologies evolve and adapt, the Picture Box continues to provide a solution for representing near and far perspective in image making.
Keywords: Picture Box, Image Making, CGI, Animation, Moving Image, Photography, Painting
Lecturer in Animation, Research Institute for Art and Design