Lenticular means, “1. shaped like a biconvex lens; 2. of or relating to a lens; 3. convex on both sides; lentil-shaped.”

In the world of collectibles, “lenticular” usually refers to a type of printing that creates a three-dimensional image through the use of a lenticular lens. The resulting images reveal changes in depth or motion as the viewing angle changes. (“Lenticular” doesn’t refer, despite the frequent use, necessarily to the image, but to the use of the lens effect.)

The technology, invented in the 1940s, was often used to create little optical illusion toys found in Cracker Jack boxes (the winking eyes, for example), but as the technique has evolved and improved, it’s found a home in the movie industry. Lenticular printing creates those nifty movie posters that appear to move and change as one walks past them, changing the viewpoint, the kind of posters that might show a Dr. Jeckyll who morphs into a Mr. Hyde as you walk past.

The effect is achieved by combining multiple images with plastic that has integrated molded lenses and working with slices of the images to create a layered, complex effect. For more information on the details of lenticular printing and the variety of formats, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_printing.

Artists also work with lenticular lenses to create images like the one below. The following are three views of a lenticular work by Yaacov Agam. (p4a item # D9766397)

Hollie Davis, p4A Senior Editor

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