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Lenticular printing has been around for over a century, and it has greatly changed with new technology. It changes the printing landscape in many ways as it continues to grow. In this guide, you will learn about the basic terms, types, and different effects used in lenticular printing.
Lenticular printing relies greatly on the foundation of lenticular lenses, and the lenticular images they bear.
A lenticular image is created by combining two or more desired images to be used in the printing process. They are built using a thorough method called interlacing, where two or more images are divided into tiny strips. They are then combined as a single image through numerous specific arrangements. When partnered with the lenticular lenses, these varying arrangements shape how the desired effects are seen by the viewer.
For example, strips arranged horizontally will create different effects as opposed to the strips that are arranged vertically. The difference lies in the binocular disparity or the dissimilar image location of your eyes. Simply put, it affects how the images are seen individually by your left and right eye. This dictates the effect of the lenticular print.
By themselves, the lenticular images also control the effect. For example, different images are used when opting for the traditional lenticular printing effect called flipping. This is to show a sudden change in the images as needed.
However, for advanced effects like 3D printing, the image stays constant while the angles vary, creating the illusion of surface depth. By magnifying focal points and images, they also create the illusion of change, movement, or depth in their imagery.
When the desired effect is chosen and the lenticular images are processed, they are then printed for their intended purpose. From sports merchandises to business cards, lenticular prints have been in the spotlight. They graced the magazine cover of Rolling Stones and classic movie posters like Matrix and Species II.
Traditionally, lenticular prints are divided into three main categories depending on the angle variations required to change the images. They are as follows:
This triggers a visual illusion of depth called the 3D effect. When the 3D effect can finally be viewed without the use of additional equipment, there we have the autostereoscopy.
There are two kinds of 3D effects in lenticular printing. The first kind is the layered 3D effect. In this, the individual objects in the images are separated in layers, creating the illusion of natural depth from the inside.
The second kind is the volumetric 3D. Although slightly more complex, this effect produces a kind of realism that is unparalleled by other techniques.
3D effects are highly versatile. They can be incorporated into most lenticular design styles and images. Proper focal points and color considerations play a large role in 3D effects. Bright imagery for the foreground and neutral colors in the background are highly recommended.
These transitions are then placed in between the two original images to show the flow of gradual change. Lastly, with the image conversion that transpired between the two images, the illusion of transformation or morphing is created.
Morphing works best when the images are similar in structure. Color, shape, and background affect the morphing. When the images are not similar enough, they produce an unfavorable effect called ghosting.
Ghosting happens when an image vaguely appears on top of the other because of their huge visual difference. If the images are structurally similar, then the morphing will be clean.
Morph effect is mostly seen in product promotions. It is often used in showing changes in features like in facial soaps and skin cream advertisements.
The Zoom effect can consist of multiple objects and even entirely different images. Lighter tones for the moving focal points and darker backgrounds allow for a great effect with zooming.
Storytelling is important with animation effects. It shows a clear beginning and end to the motion, which works great when showing a passage of movement. When done correctly, the end product is similar to a very short movie clip.
What it lacks in elegant transition, it makes up in speed and simplicity. Less is more for flip effects, and for optimal usage, only 2-3 images are mostly used for the effect. However, the images to be used can be up to 6 in maximum.
Although simple in nature, it is still one of the most effectively eye-catching and versatile techniques in lenticular printing. The ‘classic’ style it bears makes it easier for viewers to connect to it rather than standard business cards.
Flip effects utilize images with large viewing angles so the observer clearly sees the changes that are appearing and disappearing. It also helps avoid the ghosting of the images. It is mostly seen in ‘cause and effect’ or ‘before and after’ product advertisements.
Of course, these methods require skill and industry experience as the creation of effect combinations can be quite complicated. For example, there are 24 individual images to tend to when a 3-flip effect is added to a 3D effect. Compared to a standard flip effect with only 3 images this is a big difference.
As 3D and flip are two of the most versatile effects, their seamless combination creates visually stunning and aesthetically pleasing designs. Some notable examples of this effect are 4OVER4.com’s 3D lenticular business cards and postcards. These business cards and postcards deliver visually balanced imagery while sending a clear message to its viewers.
Here at 4OVER4.com, we allow customers to visualize the grandness of their desired design. We execute it with as much brilliance and elegance with lenticular printing that will surely make your audience remember you.
3D lenticular business card designs and postcards are available upon order within the site. More complex designs such as 3D + flip combinations, 3D + animation combinations, and even 5D depth effects are available on custom projects.
So what are you waiting for? Create stunning full color, marketing materials with us and level up your business today!