What is Lenticular?

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. (See below: How it Works)

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

How It Works

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 plastic. 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: 2D (Flip) and 3D. Additionally, you can combine both Flip and 3D effects.

2D (Flip) images 

If two images will be combined (called a 2D (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 2D (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.

Basic Flip

Basic "Flip" effects are the most common effects that can be produced by Lenticular graphics. A "flip" or "view" refers to each image that is interlaced into a Lenticular graphic. A "Two Flip" forms the foundation of flip effects, and results in two images "flipping" back and forth as the viewing angle of the printed piece is changed. Two-flips are the most dramatic of the flip effects, and are fantastic for demonstrating Before-and-After, Old-versus-New comparisons, etc.

Multi-Flip Effects

More than two images can be interlaced together to produce "Multi Flip" Images. In addition to two-flip image transitions, you can employ three or more image transitions. Special effects like "Zoom" and "Animation" can be achieved utilizing the multi-flip technique.

Animation & High Definition Lenticular

Animation effects mimic the smooth movement of video. HD Lenticular(R) from Big3D provides the highest image resolution available anywhere -- imagine reproducing 5-15 seconds of High Definition footage in a Lenticular postcard -- its like video in your hand!


Zooms and morphs are special multi-flip effects that look just like they sound. Zooms give the illusion of all or a portion of an image moving forward and backward, and Morphs are the conversion of one image into another.

3D Effects

3D Lenticular is truly a spectacular and unique application of lenticular graphics. The illusion of depth is so convincing that the viewer is captivated by the realism! To create a 3D image, all the elements in the 3D "scene" are placed in separate layers. Special digital processing is employed to create depth and volume to those layers. When the processed image is viewed through the Lenticular lens, the 3D depth is perceived -- all with the naked eye!


The most complex of all Lenticular effects: Flip effects with 3D! Imagine images zooming and or flipping, all with 3D depth!