We use many different cues to obtain information about the three
dimensional shape of an object from its two dimensional image. The
most common is linear perspective, and this has been used by Renaissance
artists since the fifteenth century.
The Florentine artist Masaccio was one of the first painters to
use linear perspective rigorously. A wonderful example is found
in his fresco 'The Trinity' in the church of Santa Maria Novella,
Florence, completed in 1427. Researchers in Computer Vision under
the leadership of Dr Roberto Cipolla have
studied the mathematics involved in linear perspective and by this
means are able to invert the projection of the painting to recover
the three dimensional model from the painting.
Click on the photograph to 'walk in' to the scene
(Model created by Dr Antonio Criminisi)