How does lenticular printing really works


Lenticular Printing is a unique method which can be utilized to make a unique 3D or any animated image. This method can either employ several pictures to make the appearance of the 3D image or animation as the lenticular image is moved in forward direction, downward direction or side to side direction or to multiple layers of a single image to create a 3D appearance.


The term lenticular printing can get quite confusing for those who are new to this term as it is derived from the material used and the techniques used for printing the image. This method includes the printing a 3D image or animation onto the piece of plastic, which is formed from the tiny lenticules, which are in essence minute lenses.

Even though most of the people are unfamiliar with the name, it is highly likely which everyone has encountered few types of lenticular pictures in their lifetime. The method and effects can be any combination of motion, stereoscopic depth (3D), and the sudden changes.  


Just how its name is confusing, the process might seem confusing too regarding how does lenticular printing really work? However, the answer is much simpler and is not complicated at all when seen in complete depth. The method of lenticular printing starts with the company or printing house take any digital image and slice it into smaller strips.

The sliced strips of the image are then interlaced together in different or alternating order to create a fused or unique picture or pictures. When looked distinctly, the composite or altered image looks totally unique from the original image. However, this is time when the special lenticular lens comes in. By printing the altered image onto the back of the lenticular lens, a lenticular printing company or pritneign house can make an image which looks like they move or give an image a greater depth of field so that it gives off a 3D image look.

The mechanics behind the working of these images is because of the special lenticular lens. When it is preparing an animated picture, lens diffraction causes the person to be enabled to see only the stripes from one image at one time and the other image strips when viewed from the other angle. This gives the appearance of different animations when viewed from different angles.

Very similar but slightly varied effect creates the appearance of stereoscopic depth in 3D lenticular pictures. In this matter, the lenses diffract the light in a way each of the person’s eyes looks a slightly different pictures which tricks your brain into looking depth.


The lenticular images and techniques bring a lot of confusion because of the fact that the method can be used to achieve two totally different styles and types of images which are animated and stereoscopic 3D.

The lenticular printing applies on a lot of range of printing and similarly, lenticular animation can apply to a wide range of distinct types of pictures. All of the variety of these gives of an appearance of movement as a person walks past the image or move upward, downwards or side by side. The most basic type is images is the flip image that basically alters back and forth among one image and another based on the viewing angle.

Various images can also be layered together to form a the same effect and if enough images are interlaced together, it can form a quite lifelike animations. Furthermore, by layering increasingly larger images together, a lenticular picture can be created which gives the impact of zooming in or out.

Contrasting to the animated images, a 3D lenticular image won’t give the appearance of movement and looks the same no matter which angle it is viewed from. Instead of interlacing together layers of the multiple images into one single image is separated into multiple layers. This method of interlacing together layers, it can be used to make the appearance of depth among the various elements in the picture.

When making animated lenticular pictures, the original digital pictures can be split either vertically or horizontally with the lens and then matching that direction. This selection impacts whether the animation will occur the viewing angle alters from left to right or up to down. Most people decide to split the images horizontally so that the animation will occur as the card is moved in up, down or sideways direction as this choice tends to work better. However, if the piece is going to be showed when people are walking by it, the natural choice will be a vertical lens for left/ right animation. Since, people are walking, they can’t jump up and down to look the variations in image. Stereoscopic 3D lenticular pictures are always sliced vertically and thus feature vertical lenticular lens. 

The fundamentals of lenticular printing are not that complicated. But it do require skill and knowledge to practice and learn how to properly interlace the images so that they match the corresponding lenses and getting great results take a lot of experience. As it is important to choose an experienced lenticular printing company or printing house to ensure perfect results.


The name and the process confuse most of the people however, the process is simple and basic as discussed above. Multiple images are sliced into vertical and horizontal strips which are then interlaced together in various patterns and angles. So, that when the picture is looked various angles it seems as if the picture is moving in some direction. It requires certain special lenses; these lenses got their name because some of them just happen to look like a lentil and are called lenticular lenses. There are multiple types of images formed by this technique. It has been innovated with addition of various kinds of lenses and to produce 3D images and animations.