This is the final proof-of-concept video from 2009, made to illustrate True Reverse Perspective. The scene was modelled and rendered in a camera-hacked version of AoI [ ], Peter Eastman's open source, java-based 3D package.

In Reverse Perspective the expected visual rules are inverted, so close objects are small and far objects are big. This is not only true for whole objects, but their structure as well. So the near points of an object are closer together, relative to its far points, which gives the flared-out look of the buildings, and the scene as a whole.

Essentially, the positions of the vanishing-point and the focal-point are swapped. So now we are at the vanishing-point, where geometry shrinks to nothingness, and the focal-point lies some distance ahead, beyond which objects scale to infinity.

The effect is achieved entirely in-camera. The scene and models themselves have no unusual scaling, they're laid out in a normal / perpendicular fashion; the way the camera 'sees' the scene is altered to create the effect. Perspective is truly reversed.

[ Updated below ] As simple a concept as this is, it seems to not have been attempted before in CG, certainly with the intent of making a consistent, explorable Reverse Perspective environment*.

There are precedents however; painted Russian Orthodox Icons sometimes featured what is called Byzantine-perspective in the buildings and backgrounds - as a way of describing God looking out at the world, through the painting. It's a beautiful concept; a God's perspective.

Further, an artist named Patrick Hughes sculpts in what he describes as Reverspective. His work is optical-illusion, and based on reversing parallax and precession, rather than actually altering perspective.

I have some more videos, including various test videos and a silhouette-effect demo. And I will add more, documenting my recent work on implementing the RP effect in Maya via the API.

- Links to the original (informal) paper on implementing TRP, in two parts (PDF):
1. 2.

- Link to a more recent paper on implementing TRP in the Maya API, has some good background info on Reverse Perspective and is more technical (PDF):

* Further research notes that Viktor Massalogin made a screensaver that rotates simple geometry in RP mode, in 2003. That said, [see below for updated info] I am unaware of anyone attempting a full environment in RP on purpose, but I can't imagine it hasn't happened, at the very least accidently, when people were developing computer-visualization algorithms and writing game-engines.


David R. Belmonte has contacted me below with links to his Perspectiva Inversa work (both CG and paint). He has done excellent work in exploring this effect, and predates this project by some 10 years! I hope he'll return to this area of CG in the future and help show off the potential of the technique.

Here's some links to his work (also check David's second comment below, for links to more RP inspired work by different artists):

Scott Grodesky has also worked in RP (paint) and contacted me. More fantastic work linked:

RP with real optics: (Russian) (English translation from Russian)

Daniel Piker

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