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Leveling the Lenticular Playing Field

(March 2007) posted on Thu Mar 15, 2007

How five wide-format print providers have upped their game in lenticular.

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By Kacey King

According to Dan Judd, the company’s lenticular marketing manager, a key step to Dynamic Images’ process is the horizontal enlarger, because it keeps the thousands of interlaced horizontal lines straight and allows a 30 x 30-in. horizontal image to be enlarged to 4 x 8 ft. This results in a very tight registration between the print and lens, which aids in image clarity and reduced ghosting between flipped images.

Now in its 22nd year of business, Dynamic Images occupies 70,000 sq ft of space and has 80 employees. It produces retail graphics, out-of-home jobs, and lenticular work for an array of clients including Abercrombie & Fitch, Clinique, and others.


Kacey King is associate editor of The Big Picture.

A lenticular primer

So what is lenticular exactly? It is essentially a printing process that duplicates the optical viewing characteristics that allow people to see in three dimensions. A graphic printed in strips, when lined up with a special lens of PVC or acrylic lenticules to focus people’s views at specific angles on the print, allows an image to appear to be 3-D or moving.

Moving images can be a "flip" image-where one image flips to another image as a person moves past or underneath a graphic; an "animation" that shows something in the graphic moving while everything else stays the same-such as a basketball bouncing up and down; or a "morph," where a graphic changes from one thing completely into another.

A key tool for producing all of these types of lenticular graphics is interlacing software, which takes the original art files and transforms them into a combined single image (images are ‘woven’ together). Once the interlacing is complete, the image needs to be matched with a specific lenticular lens that matches the type of lenticular job, the viewing distance it will be viewed from, and whether it will be displayed in an inside or outside environment.