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Arm Chair Perspective Preferences

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image of Art & Perception

Do generic observers in their free-style viewing of postcard-size pictures have a preference for specific modes of perspective rendering? This most likely depends upon the phrasing of the question. Here we consider the feeling of ‘presence’: does the observer experience a sense of being ‘immersed in the scene’? We had 40 Italian naïve participants and 19 British art students rate three types of rendering of ten ‘typical holiday pictures’. All pictures represented 130° over the width of the picture. They were rendered in linear perspective, Hauck maps, and Postel maps. The results are clearcut. About a quarter of the participants prefer linear perspective, whereas the Hauck map is preferred by more than half of the participants. Naïve observers and art students agree. Architectural scenes are somewhat more likely to be preferred in perspective. Preferences are not randomly distributed, but participants have remarkable idiosyncratic affinities, a small group for perspective projection, a larger group for the Hauck map. Such facts might find application in the viewing of photographs on handheld electronic display devices.

Affiliations: 1: 1 University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Tiensestraat 102, Box 3711, 3000 Leuven, Belgium ; 2: 2Experimental Psychology, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands ; 3: 3Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sassari, Via Roma 151, 07100 Sassari, Italy ; 4: 4Cardiff School of Art and Design, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff CF24 0SP, UK

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