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Leveraging Lenticular

(October 2010) posted on Thu Oct 14, 2010

Big3D captures depth and animation, along with the viewer's imagination.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Jake Widman

Murals to posters
The demand for lenticular graphics runs a wide gamut. The biggest single installation Big3D has done was in late 2007 for the Las Vegas branch of Starlight Tattoo. “They built a tattoo parlor and retail store inside the Mandalay Bay casino,” recounts Fitzhenry. “While it was under construction, they put up a wall to block off the area, and they wanted to dress up the wall with a lenticular graphic. They came to us with an idea for a 98-foot mural. We said, Sure, we’ve never done anything quite that big, but we can handle it.” [Editor’s note: See our April 2008 issue, “Superwide Graphics: Coming in Loud and Clear,” p. 50.] Also in Las Vegas, the firm produced graphics for a theater lobby in the Luxor hotel for the magician Criss Angel’s show.

Last July, Big3D produced three-dimensional posters for the Ernst and Young 3D Theater at Chicago’s Field Museum. “The museum came to us because they wanted to do a lobby display that would showcase the upcoming films and thought they should use 3D lenticular posters,” says Fitzhenry. “They had some basic artwork that was supplied as promotional posters, and they asked if we could work with the available art to create some dynamic poster imagery.”

Big3D produced three 48 x 60-inch backlit lenticular posters that were mounted on a freestanding backlit lobby display. Two posters advertise upcoming movies—Egypt 3D and Dinosaurs Alive!—and the third promotes the theater itself. Because they’re backlit, they’re printed on Duratrans instead of paper. [Editor’s note: See our November 2009 issue, “Lenticular Lobby,” p. 6.]

The process of preparing the artwork for the posters brought out some of the challenges in creating 3D lenticular graphics. Because such images require multiple “camera angles,” sometimes background elements need to be extended or created to fill in “behind” the foreground plane. “The museum was able to supply us with the Photoshop files that were used to print the flat versions of the posters,” recounts Fitzhenry. “Fortunately, they were layered enough that we could—with quite a bit of additional prepress work—cut elements apart and create additional planes, cloning in behind objects to fill the holes, to create as much movement and depth as possible.”