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How It Works

What is Lenticular?

Lamination Process Big3D uses several methods of lenticular production. Here, the Lenticular lens is being laminated to an interlaced print. The completed piece allows the illusion of depth and motion, without the need for viewing glasses or any other mechanical aids.

Lenticular 3D graphics is the process whereby you add dimension and/or motion to your printed marketing displays. "Lenticular" means "pertaining to lenses," and "lenticules" are the plastic lenses that create the illusion of dimension in depth imaging. Placing special lenses, or "lenticules," over a two dimensional print allows the eye to simultaneously view alternating sections of multiple images.

Lenticular 3D images do not require any special equipment to view, and are adaptable to many types of installations and uses. You can utilize Lenticular imaging for any project imaginable: Direct Mailers (fully USPS-compliant), Packaging (hang tags, labels, package wraps as well as 100% Lenticular containers and cartons), In-Store Retail Graphics, P-O-P, Posters, Murals -- any time you need people to stop and take notice!

Lenticular graphics are made up of two components: a lenticular lens, and a flat printed image. The lens is a sheet of material that feels like grooved Plexiglas. The grooves and ridges are actually lenticules which focus your sight on different parts of the underlying picture. The printed picture is actually made up of multiple pictures which are printed in alternating lines. A narrow band of each image will be printed sequentially with narrow bands of each additional image. The effect is actualized when mounted to a sheet of lenticular lens specially chosen for the desired effect.

There are two categories of effects that can be achieved with Lenticular imaging: Flips and 3D. Additionally, you can combine both Flip and 3D effects. To explore the different kinds of lenticular effects visit Effect Types.

An Example

If two images will be combined (called a 2-Flip), the composite print will include a narrow band of image #A, followed by a narrow band of image #B. That pattern of printing is continued (A-B-A-B-A-B) for the entire composite print. This process is called "interlacing." When viewed under the lenticular lens, a different view of the image is received depending on your viewing angle. This creates the special effect. Different lens patterns and materials are used depending on the size of the printed piece and the viewing distance required. This simple yet visually stunning 2-Flip effect is illustrated below in a job we did for a major client:

Image A Image B
Final Product

3D Depth Image 3D Depth images are a little more complicated. Parallax is the bio-physical phenomenon that allows us to perceive the world in three dimensions. Normally, parallax is produced by the separate viewing angles of our eyes. Our brain compares the different views, from right and left eyes, processes the data, and creates what we see as a three-dimensional world. Think of stereoscopic viewing. Remember looking through a ViewMaster®? Each eye would see a different slide. Each slide would be a different viewing perspective of the same subject matter, and via parallax your brain would perceive the composite image as having depth.

Using the same technique described for flip effects, vastly superior 3D Depth effects can be achieved by imaging alternating strips of the same image viewed from different angles. When an image interlaced for 3D is placed under a lenticular lens, we invoke the parallax phenomenon to trick the brain into seeing depth and volume in a two-dimensional image. Please note that this unique technique does not require any sort of 3D glasses to be worn to achieve the effect, just the expertise of Big3D and the magic of lenticular! Click here for more examples of lenticular effects.