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Is Lenticular in Your Future?

(January 2006) posted on Thu Jan 05, 2006

New software from HumanEyes turns 2D images into 3D


By Stephen Beals

And this is also where the new 2D-to-3D technology comes in:
With it, you can bypass the capture process and convert existing
standard images in most common formats (TIFF, EPs, JPEG, etc.)
to 3D. It does so by using algorithms to create the necessary
depth parameters and different angle viewpoints. It will certainly
take a while to figure out the best way to create images from
existing 2D images for optimal 3D effect, but any good prepress
operator should be able to handle this without much of a problem.

As far as output goes, it's quite possible to print the images
on standard existing wide-format printers without modification.
The interlaced images look like a visual hodgepodge without the
lenticular lens material on top, of course; the operator uses register
marks on the output print to line up the lens material, and
that brings the images into visual resolution. The lens material
and the print must line up precisely and be glued together with
an optically clear adhesive to achieve the best 3D effect.

A variety of flavors

The HumanEyes software comes in several flavors, as well as
price points. The Litho version fetches $15,000 to $30,000,
and a Digital-Print version"?dubbed Studio 3D"?is priced at
$7000. Also available is a Mini Studio version priced at approximately
$3500, although this can only create images up to 17
x 24 in. (keep in mind that 1:1 imaging is critical to ensure the
image and lens pitch precisely match, so enlarging the final
image is not usually a viable solution). The software is dongleprotected;
all versions are upgradeable.

And HumanEyes (www.humaneyes.com) is not the only
company out there looking to make lenticular more accessible
to print providers. Other producers of lenticular software include:
3DZ (www.3dz.co.uk), based in the UK, offers its LCK Virtua 3D, a
"lenticular construction kit." And 3DPhotoPro (www.3dphotopro.
com) in Vancouver is selling its PhotoProjector software and
also distributing in North America the Variograph software from
the Siberian Innovation Technological Center.

In the near future, you can expect to see more 3D work at
trade shows, airports, shopping centers, and grocery stores
near you. And since getting involved in the technology has gotten
so much easier, shouldn't some of this work be yours?

Stephen Beals is (bpworkflow@verizon.net), in prepress
production for more than 30 years, is the digital prepress
manager with Finger Lakes Press in Auburn, NY.


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