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David Hockney's 2001 book Secret Knowledge of the Masters, reignited the debate on the use of optical devices for constructing perspective images in the Renaissance. In it, he brings his insights as an artist to the debate. This paper explores his thesis in terms of its implications for 3D computer graphics. Just as technology informed the Renaissance artist on ways of seeing and representing natural phenomena, 3D computer graphics today uses algorithms to simulate these same phenomena. For both, various techniques are used to make the images produced seem real or at least real enough. In the case of the Renaissance artist, painterly techniques were used to generate the illusion of clarity. For 3D computer graphics, mathematical algorithms are used to simulate many of the same effects. Striving for realism is a common theme. However, while the Renaissance artist never lost site of their role in interpreting what they see, 3D computer graphics is supposed to be underpinned by the certainties of its apparent scientific veracity. But is this certainty deserved or is it merely that science and art are intertwined in ways that mean one is reliant on the other?