Chapter 3. An Ancient Renderer Made Modern

3.1. A Dürer Woodcut

In 1525, Albrecht Dürer made a woodcut demonstrating a method by which one could create a perspective drawing of almost any shape (see Figure 3.1); in the woodcut, two men are making a drawing of a lute. In this chapter, we’ll develop a software analog of the method depicted by Dürer.

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Figure 3.1: Two people using an early “rendering engine” to make a picture of a lute.

The apparatus consists of just a few parts. First, there is a long string that starts at the tip of a small pointer, passes through a screw eye attached to a wall, and ends at a small weight that maintains tension in ...

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