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Concept# Parallel projection

Summary

In three-dimensional geometry, a parallel projection (or axonometric projection) is a projection of an object in three-dimensional space onto a fixed plane, known as the projection plane or , where the rays, known as lines of sight or projection lines, are parallel to each other. It is a basic tool in descriptive geometry. The projection is called orthographic if the rays are perpendicular (orthogonal) to the image plane, and oblique or skew if they are not.
A parallel projection is a particular case of projection in mathematics and graphical projection in technical drawing. Parallel projections can be seen as the limit of a central or perspective projection, in which the rays pass through a fixed point called the center or viewpoint, as this point is moved towards infinity. Put differently, a parallel projection corresponds to a perspective projection with an infinite focal length (the distance between the lens and the focal point in photography) or "zoom". Further, in parallel projections, lines that are parallel in three-dimensional space remain parallel in the two-dimensionally projected image.
A perspective projection of an object is often considered more realistic than a parallel projection, since it more closely resembles human vision and photography. However, parallel projections are popular in technical applications, since the parallelism of an object's lines and faces is preserved, and direct measurements can be taken from the image. Among parallel projections, orthographic projections are seen as the most realistic, and are commonly used by engineers. On the other hand, certain types of oblique projections (for instance cavalier projection, military projection) are very simple to implement, and are used to create quick and informal pictorials of objects.
The term parallel projection is used in the literature to describe both the procedure itself (a mathematical mapping function) as well as the resulting image produced by the procedure.

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