Hong Kong Skydrive challenges human perception by transforming images of a transient landscape into abstract shapes and movement into depth. Form, time and stereoscopic depth become variable properties in this visualisation.
This project is situated at the junction of visual perception and related cognitive processes. It investigates how visual cues such as motion parallax, binocular vision and binocular rivalry affect the human ability to perceive depth in a scene. The sense of space, magnitude and range of perceived depth and the apparent scale of a scene are determined by those properties. Looked at in combination, they form a complex network of interrelated phenomena. Stereoscopic depth perception is based on the principle of binocular vision and the cognitive process of stereopsis in which the brain estimates depth within the visual field based on the disparity of two slightly dissimilar images presented to the visual cortexes by both eyes. The amount of perceived depth is determined by the disparity level, within a range limit. Exceeding this limit leads to binocular rivalry, a phenomenon that occurs when two dissimilar images are presented simultaneously. The observer is only conscious of one of the two images at a time, one is dominant, the other is suppressed, every few seconds the perceptual dominance will switch.
Hong Kong Skydrive represents a novel visual framework for the study of visual perception with a focus on sensing depth through binocular vision in a dynamic constructed scene. Hong Kong Skydrive utilises two effects. One being the mirroring of the imagery along a horizontal axis, to direct the attention and focal point along the horizon line and to remove the reference to the ground plane. This also tends to make the scene appear more abstract which I found is helpful to focus on the visual perception and not the “narrative” of the transient landscape. The second effect introduces stereoscopic depth by using successive frames as stereoscopic image pairs, made possible by the lateral movement of the camera. This way, the inherent motion parallax of the tracking shot is translated into depth. The speed of travel defines the binocular disparity in this 3D visualisation, faster travel causes the 3D space to increase in depth or volume, it opens up to the viewer.