Lenticulars – bringing print to life

November 1, 2011

in Print work

Lenticular printed image 2-way Lenticular Flip

We’re occasionally asked to look at producing lenticular items for our clients; these requests can vary from magazine cover mounts to short-run POS items. As technologies have developed across print processes, so lenticular printing has become less expensive to produce, more effective in its results and with a wider range of effects available.

We thought we’d take the opportunity of a blog post to explain a little more of how lenticular’s work and how you can use them.

How they work.

The key to great lenticular results is in the suitability of the imagery and the software used to process the images.  We will happily advise you on what can be done to make your creative work better in a lenticular format and once agreed the hi-res image is then split down into sub-images which are then weaved together to create a composite image. The composite image sits behind a lenticular sheet which consists of rows of domed lenses. For a 3-way flip, there would be three sub-images; when these are put together to create the composite they are done so in such a way that they match perfectly the position of the lenses that form the face lens sheet. The image below shows how this works with the green, blue and yellow areas representing the sub-images.

 

Historically, lenticular images were relatively expensive to produce as the printed composite base sheet had to be mounted behind the lens sheet. Nowadays, whether printing litho or screen, it is possible to direct print the image to the reverse of the lens sheet; making the product less costly. The lenticular face sheets are available in a wide range of thicknesses and lens widths and these are chosen subject to your effect, the resolution of the composite and how the item is viewed. For example a 62 lpi lens will be used for animated or flip images reproduced at A3 or above, whereas a 100 lpi lens is ideal for 3D images printing up to A4.

From bus shelter posters to business cards, lenticular images will always bring your print to life.

The flip-lenticular has been available for many years and it is only in the last few years where it has been possible to create 3D lenticicular images.  Creating sub-images from photographic images of a 3D model requires sophisticated camera mounting techniques but does give the best results.  Modern lenticular processing now makes it possible to create 3D effects from a layered 2D image, giving almost equally effective results.

For examples of different lenticular effects, click on the images below.

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