Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Depth Perception in Pictures/Film
Heiko H. Hecht
Depth perception in general can be understood as a reconstructive process that interprets the retinal image in our eye such that a three-dimensional (3-D) object arises in our mind. Pictures and films can also provide vivid impressions of depth. This pictorial depth differs in nature. It is a constructive process of its own and presents an additional level of difficulty. Normal vision allows us to glean information about an object's shape and color as well as about such things as its spatial relations, its mass, and its potential danger. Normal vision typically reconstructs the real-world object which gives rise to the retinal image with admirable precision. This is possible because our visual system is able to resolve the many ambiguities present in the retinal image. Pictorial depth is both more confined and broader than normal depth. Figure 1 illustrates the nature of the (re) constructive processes in pictorial viewing To ...