The history of Stereo-3D


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ancient times


Even though human beings were drawing pictures already ages ago, it was not before ancient greek cultures that perspectivical elements were used by artists. Perspective is in fact one of the most important depth cues. It took several hundred years more to really understand and establish the rules of perspective.


Ancient thinkers were surprisingly concerned with questions on human factors and vision. Aristoteles (384 - 322 BC) for example, found that the images of each eye are a little bit different and still there is only one proper image be seen in the end. Then there was the famous greek mathematician Euklid (about 322-285 AD) researching the geometry of the two human eyes. At this time acedemics were trying to find out if both eyes are used simultaneously or in an alternating manner. Aristoteles

The astronomer Ptolemy (about 100 - 170 AD) experimentally determined a layer, crossing the fixation point of the eyes. Only on this layer the eyes can geometrically see a single image. It took around 1500 years that this layer got a name by the belgium physician Aguilonius - the name "horopter". Ptolemy also found that any object being fixated by two eyes is seen from a perspective between the two eyes. This perspective today is called "cyclopean view".
Galen Greek physician Galen (129 - 216 AD) was dissecting dead bodies and therefore knew that the optic nerves are crossing behind eyes. He suspected that to be the reason for binocular fusion and single vision. However, he yet did not understood the principle of stereopsis.
Later, around the first millennium turn, the famous arabic scholar Alhazen (965 - 1039 AD) was concerned with optical phenomena. It was him, who layed foundations for modern approaches on human vision, e.g. eye convergence and monocular depth cues. He already knew about motion parallax as well as relative size. Alhazen





ancient times | early modern age | age of inventions | 3D meets cinema | tumbling 3D | digital 3D boom


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