Learn more about 3D lenticular printing

No doubt you have ever passed in front of a sign or a billboard and you have noticed that the image that appears changes form as you move. No, it is not a video, it is a lenticular image.

Lenticular printing is a technology with which a three-dimensional image can be displayed in a flat 2D format. Thanks to this technique we can create an illusion of depth or movement in printed images. Some examples of lenticular printing are spinning and animated effects, such as winking eyes, or advertisements that change their message depending on the viewing angle.

McDonald’s advertisement in a bus stop shelter

Although it may seem to be a very modern technique, the history of the lenticular image has its origins at the end of the 16th century. Many painters tried to capture visual effects in their paintings. By 1500 some artists created images that played with perspective by painting effects with two images divided into strips on different sides of a corrugated support. The technique was called tabula scalata, literally translated as “ladder board”. References to this artistic method can be found in Shakespeare’s plays and other literature of the time.

 

Tabula scalata oil painting from 1580, archive of the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland.

 

THE PROCESS OF LENTICULAR PRINTING

Lenticular printing is a multi-step process that involves creating a lenticular image from at least two images and combining them with a wavy lenticular lens that allows light to reflect in different directions.

Once the different images are assembled, these are then flattened into individual frame files and then digitally combined into a single final file in a process called interlacing.

From there, the interlaced image can be printed directly onto the back (smooth side) of the lens, or it can be printed onto a substrate (ideally a synthetic paper) and laminated onto the lens.

As we can see in the diagram, the parallel lenses of the plastic film are aligned with the image interlacing and thus when changing the viewing angle, either the green or the red image will be seen.

EFFECTS THAT WE CAN OBTAIN WITH LENTICULAR PRINTING

Depending on the type of process carried out, it is possible to achieve different lenticular effects.

  • FLIP FLOP EFFECT: This effect combines two or more images and the result is the change between them.
  • ZOOM EFFECT: This effect gives the image the sensation that a part of it is zoomed in or out.
  • MOVING EFFECT: This is the effect that allows us to give movement to one or more objects in the image.
  • MORPHING EFFECT: This effect gives a sensation of gradual change from one image to another. It is often used to show the effects of time on people or things.
  • 3D PANORAMIC EFFECT: This effect creates a spectacular sensation of depth in the image. It is one of the most used effects.

 

3D lenticular images are perfect for advertising campaigns, since they provide a surprise factor and involve the consumer to perform an action. These images allow to increase the information that you want to offer to the public, catch their attention, curiosity and achieve impact.

Contact with PCG

If you need a personalised quotation or would like our team to provide you with assessment for your projects, please feel free to contact us. We are a team of professionals from the sector that will look after your project from beginning to end.

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