Lenticular printing creates depth and motion using printed images and magnifying lenses.
If you’ve ever found a hologram in a box of cereal or witnessed a movie poster or print ad whose image seems to morph depending on your angle of sight, then you’re familiar with lenticular printing. Lenticular printing is the process by which an image gains depth and motion by using two or more images and a series of magnifying lenses to produce the illusion of motion or change. While lenticular printing was first introduced in the 1940’s, modern technology has refined the process and enabled people to create lenticular projects at home.
To create lenticular print projects you must have a photo printer, since lenticular printing requires two or more images that will morph into one in-depth or animated picture. Make sure the printer is an ink jet printer. A Cannon, Epson or HP printer is recommended.
Photo paper is an important ingredient for lenticular printing. Since your project’s objective is to create depth and motion, high-quality printing is necessary. You’ll want a heavy photo paper that can produce high-resolution images. For best results, opt for high-gloss paper.
To make your lenticular image “move,” you will need a lens kit. The “lens kit” is actually one sheet made up of very thin magnifying lenses. This lens kit will be adhered to your image once it is printed. Several online retailers sell lenticular lens kits.
Lenticular Print Software
To create the images needed for lenticular printing, you will need adequate software. For simple at-home projects, Adobe Photoshop will help you skew your photo into several slightly different images that will create the “motion” typical of lenticular images. For larger-scale projects, there are several software programs available for purchase online.
Once you have printed your images and adjusted your lens, you will need a laminator to “glue” the project together. A laminator will adhere the lens to the image to finish your project. Alternately, some lens kits come with adhesive backing, making the laminator unnecessary.