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    First person shooters have been getting perspective wrong all along

    Linear perspective is the overarching method of representing 3D objects on a 2D plane, just like how games show up on your gaming monitor (opens in new tab). It encompasses the one, two, and three point perspectives you probably learned about in school, and has been the major leading perspectival schema in art since it’s conception, way back in the fifteenth century. 

    Now, Robert Pepperell of the Cardiff Metropolitan University in Wales (via New Scientist (opens in new tab)) is making us question everything we understand about how perspective should be represented in video games.

    The current standard of linear perspective was developed by architect, poet, and humanist, Leon Battista Alberti. He’s widely considered the father of Early Renaissance in the art world, and popularised the linear perspective techniques which are still used by architects and artists alike today (game artists included) when trying to capture accuracy and realism in a scene. 

    If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a technique that gives the illusion of depth and volume as you draw parallel lines back from each corner of a 2D object to merge at certain points (the vanishing points); there’s one vanishing point for one point perspective, two in two point perspective—you get the idea.

    (Image credit: Robert Pepperell et. al)

    They were tested in a range of formats and a varying field of view, and had to answer in multiple choice each time over 72 different images.

    The research showed that people have an issue with overestimation with the standard linear perspective, whereas the natural perspective did make it slightly easier to determine the distance, especially when it came to wider field of view.

    Pepperell’s research has come to a head with startup company, FovoTec (opens in new tab). The front page claims the software can deliver “a far greater field of view and a more accurate sense of depth, space, and movement.”

    So if you’ve been trying to use a wider field of view in games with your super curvy wide angle monitor, and have been having trouble with the perspective, then Pepperell may just have found one impressive solution. It should also make for a more realistic, immersive take on the first-person gaming perspective, too.

    The research correlates with Chiara Saracini’s work (opens in new tab) at the Catholic University of Maule, which says computer models have been totally messing up our perception of distance. Though she has her reservations that this is the definitive answer to our FOV woes, since there was still a fair deal of overestimation happening. Still, things can only get better from here.

    As seen on PCgamer

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