How do I make lens-shaped 3D images

Simply design fascinating photo effects yourself

There is something fascinating about images that you can create with lenticular sheets. Now just make more of your photo ideas. With the lenticular sheets you create with the Flickering technique funny or informative animations, sensational effects, original greeting cards and with the 3D technology Real three-dimensional images that make any normal photo look old and flat.

How does this work?

At first glance, both effects have little to do with each other, but are based on the same principle: The almost invisible, tiny elongated lens bars on the surface of the special film allow the eyes to see different images depending on the angle of view of the photos. That sounds more complicated than it is at first sight. "Lenticular" simply means "lenticular", hence the name of the foils.

The film surface is very slightly ribbed, with the small bumps like elongated magnifying lenses Act. If you look at the film, you will always see an enlargement of the image under the film through the lens. The trick now is to put narrow strips of image under the film of different photos alternately arranges.

In the diagram this is initially shown with 2 different images, as would be exactly the right thing for a simple wobbly image with two alternating images. Since the lines have to be very fine, cutting them into strips and arranging them alternately is best done with special software that is included with the starter kits for lenticular sheets.

The software can "mix" up to 9 partial images, but first we will consider the simplest case with only two partial images for the purpose of explanation. You transfer two image files to the software, A and B. The software now cuts the images into many fine strips that are just half as wide as the lens strips on the film. Now the strips are put together alternately, the 1st, 3rd, 5th ... strips of picture A and the 2nd, 4th, 6th ... strips of picture B. This increases the resolution of the pictures in the halved in one direction, but the proportions of the images are retained.

The resulting image, which the software can print out to match the slide formats, looks pretty confusing. But if you now put the foil on it for a test, you can already look at your work. The films are self-adhesive on the back, but as long as you don't peel off the protective film, you can experiment at your leisure.

If you align the film exactly, you can only see the stripes of picture A or only the stripes of picture B, depending on the viewing angle. You don't see the stripes of the other picture, you don't see any gaps either, because the lens effect of the foil lets you see the narrow stripe enlarged to the full width. The impression of the original images A or B is created again.

It all depends on the direction!

The exciting 3D effect can occur if you crease the film perpendicular arrange from top to bottom. Then at the same time your left eye can see a different image than your right. For the perfect three-dimensional illusion, the underlying partial images must be recorded from the corresponding perspectives. Either you photograph directly from two different angles, or you photograph an object on a turntable. Since you have to change the position of the camera or the subject without otherwise changing the subject, you can only do this with a tripod and not, for example, with moving subjects such as people or animals.

But you can also manipulate photos in image editing programs to get 3D effects. To do this, you create the drawing files from planes that position them slightly differently from one another. For example, leave the background of the picture unmoved and move objects in the foreground to the right or left for the drawing files, and the objects will appear later in front of the background layer. Now hold your thumb about 10 cm in front of your monitor. Now alternately close your left and right eyes and observe the differences between the two "images" you see.

Depending on the eye, you can see the thumb in a different place or behind the thumb in different areas of the monitor. Conversely, in the same way, in the case of the 3D image, a spatial impression is created from the two different partial images. With a stereo look, our brain immediately calculates the spatial arrangement of the objects and their distances from the differences between the two partial images that the two eyes see. The software also combines these partial images into one, which is then printed out under the film and then creates the 3D impression.

With the shaky images simply arrange the lens lines of the lenticular sheet horizontally from left to right. This means that your two eyes and the lines are arranged in the same way and both eyes see the lenses from the same angle, so they always see the identical partial image at the same moment.

Now tilt the wobbly image a little up or down, both eyes suddenly see the other part of the picture. By wiggling up and down, you can fade back and forth between the two images. Let your creativity run free: switch between photos and text for greeting and greeting cards, between different photos to show chronological sequences, before / after pictures e.g. of blossoming flowers, cartoon animations, movements, speech bubbles, insights into closed ones Objects

As already mentioned, not only 2 partial images can be combined with the software, but even up to 9 images. This allows you to create finer transitions, more varied processes, even more perfect 3D illusions.

So you first create your various drawing files, have the software combine them for the appropriate format and print them out. Now try out the effect with one of the foils before you finally stick it - if you like everything - on the software CD you will also find detailed instructions for the individual steps and important tips to make your first attempts easier.

When ordering, please note the formats and the direction of the foils:With the material for a landscape-format business card as a wobbly image, you can also create a portrait-format 3D photo.

The possibilities are limitless!