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Lenticular Images

Everyone has seen simple Lenticular images, although be unaware of it, but far better and more effective ones are also available, that most have not seen.

So what can we do with Lenticular images:-

  • Flip cards (children's toy) - you change the viewing angle and 2 or more images are shown at different points.

  • 3D static photo - that as you walk or move about you see different sides of the person or view.

  • 3D moving images - for example a portrait of a person or pet where as you walk around a room the face moves to follow you.

No glasses are required and they work for everyone.

Lenticular images are not a single picture but a number of photos where you see different images  as you stand or move to different positions. The separation of your eyes means that you will, in any event, see different images to each eye in most cases, which gives the 3D effect.

Taking the images

You can take the images by using a single camera and moving it along a sliding rail or moving camera track. Or for static 3D images you can take live action images, by using a series of cameras connected together, that go off at the same time, or a special device that is in effect several cameras in a single box.

For an image that is to follow you as you move, the person or pet looks at the camera for each shot as the camera moves, a treat on top will encourage pets and children to look in the right direction.

Extra images between the ones you have taken can be computer generated to increase the number of images that you have.

How the Lenticular image works

Simplified, what we do is to use special software that compresses the image into a series of small vertical strips, and to position these strips in sequence so you get one of each image before starting again and going around this pattern until we have all the images squeezed into the normal width of a print. Onto the print, of the print produced we put a special plastic sheet, that is a series of small vertical lenses, these magnify the compressed strip back to appear normal.  The image we are seeing with one eye is a series of these strips magnified up so they now make up a normal photo, when we move a little we see the next photo and so on. Using two eyes we see two near images and this produces a 3D effect.

How we produce it

Making Lenticular images requires special software. In theory you could do it with Photoshop or another editor but it would be difficult and take many days to achieve. The problem is in getting the pitch right, so that the compressed images and lenses line up, but a program can do this easily.

There are several programs that will help with this, doing a part of the task required, such as creating the interlaced images, adding in between shots, running tests to get the images the right size for the lens. We will soon have another article looking at this in more depth, and where to source the lens sheets from.

See Also our 3D Section for more articles and projects on this topic.


By: Keith Park   Section: 3D Section Key:
Page Ref: Lenticular_images Topic: 3D  Last Updated:01/2010

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