Flemish primitive and Byzantine representation in Rhino

Rhino includes 3 and 2 point perspective view and a parallel projection option. However, there also exists a fishbone system, a term coined by art historian Panofsky. This representation was used by the Flemish primitives and Byzantine artists. This representation can also be obtained in an algorithmic way 002-moNGeometrija2016_Huylebrouck.pdf (1.8 MB) . A little Grasshopper program shows how, for a simple box: for positive values of the parameter ‘position observer’ and with the object in front of the vertical projection plane one gets the Flemish fishbone representation. For negative values and with the object behind the vertical projection plane one gets Byzantine representation Flemish_Byzantine_Persp2.gh (25.3 KB) . Could someone make a plug-in for this? It would be a first for a computer drawing program to have this feature.


What would be the advantage of this projection?
Other than as a curiosity, what problem or work-flow issue would it solve for you?

Thank you for your interest. There are many reasons to implement this feature:

  1. Excitement: When Faraday was asked what the use magnetism was, he replied: “What is the use of a new-born baby?” And why do people climb mountains? Because they are there. Artists are seldom asked why they do what they do, but mathematicians have to justify themselves. In short: why implementing that new feature in Rhino? Because Rhino can – unlike perhaps other computer drawing programs.

  2. Historical reasons: the logo of Rhino is a rhinoceros drawn by Dürer, as to show the program allows drawing what one imagines – because that rhinoceros doesn’t of course represent the real animal. Dürer never saw it, but he drew it the way he was told it looked like. If Rhino’s logo refers to an artist like Dürer, it would be appropriate to pay attention to Dürer’s fellow artists: the Flemish Primitives or the Byzantine iconographs.

  3. Completeness: in Rhino, there is 3 and 2 points perspective and parallel projection. What were the reasons to include 2 points perspective and parallel projection – theoretically 3 points perspective suffices! So why is there no Flemish and Byzantine perspective? It is one way or the other.

  4. Culture: for a program like Rhino, appreciated by artists and architects, it would be good to show interest in cultural aspects such as the paintings by the Flemish primitives or the iconography in Eastern Europe.

  5. Originality: I have been teaching now for over 25 years to architects and they DO use other perspective representations in their sketches. It even has become a kind of fashion. Nobody is impressed anymore by a flashy 3D computer drawing. One can see that everywhere! My colleague Arch Jan De Vylder, a top architect, uses what he calls the “Musti perspective” because early drawings of that Musti cartoon used a kind of stretched perspective. And he is not the only architect or product designer using a ‘deformed’ perspective to get an original representation (in a sketch, because no computer program can, at least, until now). Until some 15 years ago, one could show off with perfect 3 points perspective presentations, but that is no longer the case.

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Hi @Huylebrouck @John_Brock
Great post and work thanks for this valuable contribution. I wish you well in your research.

I would appreciate these systems and one other system being put on the wish list and making it into rhino at least as make 2d options if they can’t be screen modes. These systems along with spherical perspective projection, ala Andre Barre and Albert Flocon, which I requested years ago would really help me in my designs. I am drawing my artwork still the traditional way using 2d in rhino which actually makes spherical perspective possible as the radii become too large when drawing in the real world. It’s tedious to do plans then project them into spherical perspective but thanks to rhino is doable. If there would be these projection options it would make my work much more explorative. I could only image if we could have a spherical system for the 3d viewport would open up new and different ways to show clients layouts and ideas and create artwork that takes us outside of the “normal/accepted” western idea of space.
Rhino’s a computer program it should be able to do all types of perspective systems.
At least these systems should make it to the wish list.

Dear 3dsynergy,
Thank you for your reaction. Yes, you’re right, spherical (and cylindrical) projection should be included too, but I didn’t want to overdo it (though it would be easy to just replace the ‘vertical projection’ plane I used in my Grasshopper file by half a sphere or cylinder).
Yet, I preferred to go step by step. It will already be very difficult to convince the Rhino engineers and computer scientists to include another projection system apart from the 3 and 2 perspective and parallel projection. “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over” is an appropriate saying in this case.
Most engineers and computer scientists never heard of other representations because they are not included in their training (note I have no issues at all with engineers or computer scientists, I am a mathematician, they are ‘family’) and ‘unknown is unloved’, isn’t it.