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ASSEMBLING REALITY MYTHS OF COMPUTER GRAPHICS Giotto the inventor of 3D This is how Frederick Hartt the author of Art A History of Painting Sculpture Architecture a widely used textbook describes the importance of Giotto di Bondone the first giant in the long history of Italian painting In contemporary Italian eyes the step from Cimabue to Giotto was immense in that weight and mass light and inward extension were suddenly introduced in a direct and convincing manner 503 Giottos miracle lay in being able to produce for the first time on a flat surface three-dimensional forms which the French could achieve only in sculpture For the first time since antiquity a painter has truly conquered solid form 504 When the students in an introductory art history survey course which uses Hartts textbook were asked to compare Giotto and Cimabue they described Giottos achievements in a somewhat different language Giotto first achieves strong 3D effect Cimabue is still 2D while Giotto has much more of 3D I believe that they were referring to 3D computer graphics imagery For them it had already become the yardstick by which the realism of any visual representation is to be measured In his history of vision in the nineteenth century Jonathan Crary suggested that the rapid development and diffusion of various computer graphics technologies in the 1980s constituted a transformation in the nature of visuality probably more profound that the break that separates medieval imagery from Renaissance perspective Crary 1 3D computer graphics is one of these technologies Its ability to simulate three-dimensional images of both existent and imagined objects and environments has proven to be useful to education and advertising business and the military science and entertainment industry Usually the viewer sees these simulated objects as images on a flat screen however new interfaces are being developed virtual reality computer holography to enhance the illusion of their three-dimensional presence Realism
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