The Art and Science of Depiction

Fredo Durand, of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science – Graphics Group, will be giving a talk next Tuesday afternoon, about his course, “The Art and Science of Depiction.”


The Art and Science of Depiction
Tuesday, October 16, 2pm Gates 392

(Visual arts, perception and computer graphics)

Fredo Durand

Computer graphics has long focused on photorealism. Recently, this goal
has been challenged, and different forms of computer generated imagery
have been explored, often called Non-Photorealistic Rendering. These
techniques attempt to imitate traditional media and permit the
production of images with “different” qualities. Unfortunately, these
“qualities” and hence most of the goals of non-photorealistic rendering
remain elusive. It seems logical to look in the visual art and
perception litterature to find maybe not only answers, but more
importantly questions and issues.

This talk will outlines the motivations and content of a
multidisciplinary class called “The Art and Science of Depiction”. It
explores perceptual and technical aspect of pictures, and more precisely
the depiction of reality on a 2D medium. The class was divided into 3
main interwoven themes. We first studied the human visual system and how
pictorial techniques relate to it. We then explored the intrinsic
limitations of a 2D medium (e.g. flat, static, limited contrast) and how
pictorial techniques attempt to compensate or accentuate these
limitations. Finally, we attempted to draw a classification of the
technical issues involved in the depiction of reality: choice of a
drawing system (such as perspective), a denotation system (which
primitives – lines, points or regions are used) and a tone system (how
are colors and tones assigned).

Fredo Durand, MIT-LCS Graphics Group
200 technology sq. NE43-242, Cambridge, MA 02139
phone : (617) 253 7223 fax : (617) 253 4640

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