Plane Anamorphism

Normally, drawings and photographs are seen by standing in front of them and seeing them ‘face on’. If the same photograph is seen ‘edge on’, the image appears distorted. Such distortion is called ‘Plane Anamorphism’. In this exhibit, picture of a familiar object appears distorted when seen face on. The distortion, however, disappears when seen from the position marked next to the board. Advertisement boards that appear on highways and tall buildings are prepared such that passers-by see undistorted pictures and text from their angle of viewing.

Certain paintings cannot be perceived correctly by viewing in a conventional way and the correct viewpoint for such paintings will be in a surprising location. One class of such paintings is called anamorphic art.

The word "anamorphosis" is derived from two Greek words ana , meaning "back" or "again", and morphe, meaning "shape" or "form".

To reconstitute the anamorphic images, it requires the viewer to use special devices or occupy specificvantage point.

Based on this, there are two categories of anamorhisms :

Mirror anamorphism

Certain paintings appear to be highly distorted when seen normally. But when a cylindrical or a conical mirror is placed at a particular position and the reflection of the painting in the mirror is seen there is no distortion. Such paintings are used by artists when they want to reveal the undistorted image to only those spectators who are aware of the method of viewing them properly.

Plane anamorphism

These images appear to be distorted when viewed face on. The distortion disappears when the viewer positions his eyes at a vantage point.

Huge boards used for advertisements use this technique to present an undistorted view of the image for the people who usually look at it from down.

Some common texts like SCHOOLZONE or CHILDREN CROSSING, certain symbols etc are written on the roads using the same technique so that the drivers who look at it from a certain distance can read them properly as there will be no distortion from those distances. It would otherwise be difficult for the drivers to take suitable action if they get to read this when the vehicle is pretty close to the text.

We can find the same technique used in sports stadiums. Brand names of certain companies will be written in a particular manner that they appear undistorted not to those on the ground but for the television cameras.

The images that are intended to be projected on the dome will actually have to be distorted in a particular manner as seen on a flat screen so that an undistorted version of the same can be seen on the dome.