The effects of changing projection geometry on perception of 3D objects on and around tabletops

Miguel Nacenta, Mark Hancock, Carl Gutwin, Sheelagh Carpendale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Displaying 3D objects on horizontal displays can cause problems in the way that the virtual scene is presented on the 2D surface; inappropriate choices in how 3D is represented can lead to distorted images and incorrect object interpretations. We present four experiments that test 3D perception. We varied projection geometry in three ways: type of projection (perspective/parallel), separation between the observer’s point of view and the projection’s center (discrepancy), and the presence of motion parallax (with/without parallax). Projection geometry had strong effects different for each task. Reducing discrepancy is desirable for orientation judgments, but not for object recognition or internal angle judgments. Using a fixed center of projection above the table reduces error and improves accuracy in most tasks. The results have far-reaching implications for the design of 3D views on tables, in particular for multi-user applications where projections that appear correct for one person will not be perceived correctly by another.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11
Number of pages54
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2016


  • Interactive tabletops
  • 3D perception
  • 3D representation
  • 3D visualization
  • Projection
  • Point-of-view
  • Center-of-projection
  • Fish-tank Virtual Reality


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