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Lenticular Printing Part 2

Acancarter

I'm retired and living in Northamptonshire, so plenty of time for photography.
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Lenticular Printing Part 2

10 Jan 2021 9:22AM   Views : 180 Unique : 122

Printing, Folding and Mounting

Yesterday I talked about preparing a lenticular image on Photoshop. I pasted a test image, of squashes in various states of decay, where the second image was an inverted (negative) of the original, with the aim of producing a graphic abstract image when viewed head on. I found that around 10 slices per image (so 20 in the composite) worked well, giving a printed image that could easily be handled and folded.

I love printing. It is my preferred end for any image Iíve taken. Prints are tangible, interactive, high resolution, detailed, rich in colour, texture and tonalityÖ Iím really missing printing for club meetings and external competitions, so any excuse to have a project involving printing gets the thumbs up from me! Iím lucky enough to have an Epson P800, which is a fantastic beast of a printer, and surprisingly economical to run as it has large ink cartridges. The print quality is so good it doesnít come anywhere close to limiting the quality of my photography. The lenticular prints need to be quite large, but even if you can only print A4 donít give up. You can join multiple sheets easily along the hidden valley folds to give pano widths! You could also use external print services for this.

I tried a prototype of Johns image using simple actual (physical! with a craft knife) slicing of the two images then reassembling them on a folded card board. This was to see if the idea worked at all artistically, and was really quick to do. I was certainly encouraged, and still have the prototype on my print viewer. The main problems were the white lines that appeared down all the peak folds/joins, and the difficulty of preparing an accurate mount board. Time to move on and try folding the composite sliced print!

I found out quite quickly that a matte print was much better than a semigloss or lustre print for this. Inevitably any innacuracies of angles or folding showed up in reflections from the print. A lenticular print is also a bit more challenging to illuminate for viewing, but becomes very easy for matte paper. I love printing on quality matte paper, even if you donít quite get the colour vibrancy or deep blacks that you do on lustre papers. The P800 has to switch inks for Photo and Matte blacks, so is a bit of a barrier to keeping switching. Iím now set up for matte and really enjoying the renewed experience!

Folding your beautiful new print takes a bit of courage! Lesson 1, donít try and partly scribe the fold lines with a craft knife! Too easy to cut right through the print! Lesson 2, use a good heavyweight paper, preferably 300gsm or more. Leave the print to dry and wear cotton gloves if you can to avoid finger marks. I didnít try this, but maybe a coat of print guard would be a good idea.

Avoiding scratch marks and ragging on the peak folds is really important. The peak folds are best made from the back of the print, the valley folds from the front. I start with the valley folds, and Ďscribeí these with an empty ball point pen, maybe two or three times, so that the print folds easily. I'm sure 'crafters' have much better tools for this! The valley folds arenít as visible as the peak folds. As the peak folds need to be from the back, you need to mark where these need to be. I found that nicking the edges of the print from the top, so I could align the scribe on the back worked very well. Donít mix up the valley and the peak folds! Donít have a cup of coffee too near the print either (Iíve done bothÖ). Keep the print on a clean white surface as the ink side will be down when scribing the back, again with an empty pen (although a full one is fine for this!)
At this stage it should be clear that the print will fold, as you should be able to see the scribe marks as indentations. Try a fold!

Before folding up the whole print, trim the edges as needed as this will be difficult after folding. Also MEASURE the print. As the folds will be at 90 degrees, the overall mounted print will be squareroot 2 (1.41) times shorter than the actual print. It helps if you mark the board you are going to mount the print on with lines where the valley folds should be; these need to be at 1.41 times the width of a single printed slice. Fold the print one ridge at a time, pressing down along the fold lines. Just like Origami! With the matte paper it seemed to work really well. Indeed, the whole print would concertina up so it would fit in a tube.

When mounting, it is easy to twist the print or let it sag when mounting. Take time and be as accurate as you can. Work from one end, aligning the valley folds with the marks and fix; I used a drop of glue on each end, beyond the printed area.

The print could be framed, or matted using a normal board for display. The slight shadowing you will get at the top and the bottom somehow enhances the 3D feel.

In the next few days I will try and make a new copy of ĎEnter the Foldí based on the aspects I now know how to improve, and photograph each stage.

Thanks for the interest in this project Ė I hope you try this out. It has been very rewarding and great fun!

The images attached are John's 'Enter the Fold' straight from the printer (2 overlapped A3+ sheets) with suitable blurring for the blog, and a folded version of my 'Sliced' image, mounted on a board. You can see where I haven't got the folds exactly right...next time!


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Comments


dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1778 England
10 Jan 2021 10:28AM
The practical detail of how to fold is really useful.

I'll be interested in ways to mount on a curved surface (am I influenced by watching YouTube video of a Horizont camera?) - the way that you see the images changes, of course, as the shape and closeness of fold varies. Again, experiments with different angles may be interesting...
John - a couple of thoughts... I think 60 degree peaks would work, so the underlying images would be seen 30 degrees off the normal, rather than 45. This might make viewing easier. It would need the two images to be anamorphically stretched to compensate the viewing compression. That would be very straightforward. Mounting on a curved surface and retaining a coherent (ie not banded) image when viewed from the side I think would require each slice to be individually stretched in width to compensate for the curved geometry. It might make the image 'snap' into registration over a narrow angle of view, and at a specific viewing distance. Make the viewer work harder, which would be interesting. A bit like the anamorphic skull on the famous painting Holbein's The Ambassadors! Need to get the compasses out and make a few sketches.
dudler Plus
17 1.5k 1778 England
11 Jan 2021 5:00AM
And I shall play with the print...

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