Anamorphic Art with a Tilted Cylinder

Erika Gerhold, Angela Rose


Anamorphic art is created by taking a distorted image and reflecting it off a mirrored surface so that from the viewer's vantage point the distorted image appears correct. The term anamorphic comes from two words that mean "change again" and dates back to as early as the Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci created the earliest known examples of anamorphic art. Current day artists, like Kurt Wenner and Julian Beever, use anamorphic art to create three dimensional illusions with sidewalk drawings1. This project focused on catoptrics or mirror anamorphous. In mirror anamorphous, the distorted image is placed around a mirrored shape to alter a distorted flat image into a correct three dimensional picture on the object. The techniques used are mainly vector calculus and inverse ray tracing to develop a series of formulas to achieve the illusion. Specifically, start with a mirrored cylinder whose central axis was not perpendicular to the horizontal plane and a viewing position above the plane. For each pixel in the original image, imagine a ray was traced from the viewer to the pixel. Then calculate the induced reflections to both the plane and a containing box, thus resulting in the distorted image. In this paper, the methods and mathematical details of the catoptric anamorphic process for a tilted cylindrical mirror will be discussed.


Anamorphic; Reflection; Vector-calculus

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