The perspectives of synthetic holography

Jacques Desbiens
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The structure of a synthetic hologram is made of thousands of 3D computer graphic images corresponding to as much points of view on a three-dimensional scene. This technology brings back a perspectivist approach to holography. However, the multiple viewpoints of these holograms depart from the fix single point of view of classical perspective. To appreciate the entire space, the observer has to vary its points of view; he has to move, to walk. Holographic panoramagrams are indeed panoramas. In the history of imaging, very few occidental artists have undertaken the representation of space and volume from variable points of view, whereas this approach is widespread in oriental landscape painting. In this paper, we take a look at the history of multiple points of view perspective to seize the particularities of synthetic holography and better understand its place in the historical development of 3D imaging and holography. Searching in the texts of renaissance treatises on perspective and oriental treatises on painting, we can find several indications that the artists of the past centuries where aware of the necessity of representing multiple points of view and attempted to do so. From Jean Pelerin Viator and Kuo Hsi, the concepts of multiple viewpoints in spatial representation have found their way into synthetic holography, to create the necessary conditions for imaging space in its entirety.