Glossary of terms

2D to 3D Conversion / 3D Layer Depth

A process whereby multiple layers of different elements are interlaced together to create the illusion of three dimension.

Action Proof

A proof created on an imaging device (inkjet printer) during the concept stage of the lenticular project. This proof may not be color accurate or created to the target resolution of the printers proofer or platter, but is a cost effective way of fine-tuning the interlacing and planned effect prior to creating costly hi-res printer proofs. (These proofs should be viewed only for effect or action and not for color accuracy.)


The adjustment of a print so that the image stripes are parallel to the lenticule.

Alignment Bar / Image

A tool used on the press form that helps the press operator square the sheet to the print. The lines in the image run in the same direction as the lens. (This tool works much like a carpenters level.) The image should be CMYK and will also aid with obtaining color registration. This alignment bar / image / tool is NOT interlaced at the same pitch as the lens.


The use of multiple frames of sequential images put together to give the illusion of fluid movement-much like a short video clip.

Banding / Linear Banding

An unwanted pattern in the planned effect that runs in the direction of the lens. Depending on the effect, this pattern is static while the effect is taking place. This is primarily due to to a resolution mismatch between the interlaced image and the imaging device.

Binocular / Binocular Disparity

Seeing with two eyes. This allows humans to see the world in 3D depth.

Checkerboard Banding

An unwanted visible pattern that runs both vertically and horizontally. It is similar to linear banding but is caused by a resolution mismatch and the imaging device itself.

Color Leakage

An unwanted or poor registration between colors. When colors are not in correct registration alignment, one or more colors can appear to be out of time or become visible before the other(s) as the effect takes place.


The use of any printing process that prints directly onto the flat surface of the lenticular lens material. This is most common in offset printing.



Filler Space

In an interlaced print, a technique that utilizes a neutral stripe of printed information to separate multiple frames of images from each other in order to minimize "ghosting."


A lenticular effect that, in its simplest form, contains two images and shows them one at a time to the viewer as his viewing angle to the lens sheets changes. Images can have more than one flip effect.


The thickness of a sheet of lens.


Seeing two or more images at the same time from a single viewpoint in a lenticular image. This is caused by several problems including poor registration or a pitch mismatch, images with too much contrast, the use of too many images/frames, and/or exceeding the resolution capabilities of your output device in conjunction with a particular lens sheet.


The process of striping and arranging printed information to a given pitch to match a lenticular lens.


In a 3D image, the plane that appears to be most in focus with other planes appearing to be in front and/or behind it.


The use of just enough impression to allow ink to transfer from the blanket to the substrate. Too little impression will cause the image to appear to be cloudy or have breaks. Too much impression will cause dot gain and/or the lenticular sheet to stretch or be squeezed and augment.


The process of adhering a preprinted media to the lens sheet. It is commonly used to apply both photographically imaged and digitally outputted images to the lens sheets.

Lens Count

The number of lenticules-per-inch (LPI.)

Lens Sheet

A sheet of transparent plastic material that has been extruded, cast, or embossed with an array of identical parallel lenses.


Lenticular is a specialized printing process that allows depth, motion, or a little of each to be shown in a flat sheet of plastic. The effect is created using lenticules in the plastic sheet that serves as a decoder for the image that is printed behind it.


A single (or multiple) lens in a lenticular sheet.


Lines-per-Inch. In the lenticular process, this would also mean "Lenticules-per-Inch."


A lenticular effect that begins with one image which is then transformed in stages to a second, perhaps unrelated, image.


A lenticular effect that utilizes selected highlights of frames from animated illustrations, video, or film originals. The frames are displayed to the viewer one sequence at a time. The viewer is given an impression of movement from one frame to the next. see: Animation

Narrow-angle Lens

A lenticular lens sheet with a viewing angle between 15-30 degrees. Narrow-angle lenses work best for 3D effects.

Parallax / Parallax Shift

In a 3D image, the phenomenon where objects in a scene seem to shift relative to one another as the angle of view is changed. Objects closer, or in front of the keyplane, will be opposite objects behind the keyplane.


The exact count, or number of, lenticules-per-inch (LPI.)

Mechanical Pitch

The exact, and true, physical pitch of a lens. (Although a lens manufacturer may label their lens to be a 75 lpi, the true mechanical pitch will not be exactly 75 lpi. This is due largely to the fact that there are slight variances that take place during the extrusion or manufacturing of a lens.)

Press Pitch

The act of matching the printing press' output (or fingerprint) to the lens' pitch by performing a pitchtest on the same press that will run the actual product. This test will help determine the visual pitch number (or LPI) that will be used when interlacing the file that will go to press.

Visual Pitch

The working pitch of a lens at the planned viewing distance.


A pixel (picture-element) is the smallest component of a digital image. It represents a "sample" of an image, usually represented as a square or rectangle. It contains the color information for the portion of the image it represents but it can also contain other information, such as opacity. The more samples there are in an image, the more detail that image will have.



Printer's Proof

The proof that is generated by the printing company. These proofs are color calibrated to the printers system and presses.


The degree of curvature of the lens.

Refractive Index

The extent to which a lens focuses incoming light.


Alignment and/or placement.

Phasing Registration

The placement of the interlaced image to the lens. Phasing registration affects the angle by which the first frame of the interlaced image may be viewed. Due to many variables in the printing process, phasing registration may vary from piece to piece.

Poor Registration

See: Color Leakage

Press Registration

The alignment of colors to perfect fit.

Proofing Registration

The alignment of the interlaced proof to the lens.


The sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape, or other medium. In regards to DPI and Printing: The higher the resolution of your printer or image setter, the greater detail you can print and the better appearance of your output.

Screen Angle

The angle(s) at which the halftone screens are placed with relation to one another in order to avoid an undesirable moire pattern.


See: Interlacing


A computer "slice" of artwork represented by a row or column of pixels.


The unwanted "meshing" or "merging" of two images rather than a clean flip (which is the intended action.)

Target Resolution

The highest output resolution of the imaging device (inkjet printer, digital proofer, contract proofer, film setter, plate setter) or a divisible factor of that resolution. (i.e.; 2400, 1200, or 600 dpi.) The target resolution divided by the pitch value of the lens is what will determine the number of frames (for animation effects) or views (for 3-D effects) that will be used to interlace the lenticular art file for proofing and/or platting. By utilizing this formula, the interlaced file size will be closest to the targeted resolution.


See: Gauge

View Frames

A sequence of images, where each image represents a slightly different perspective view of a single 3D scene. When interlaced and viewed through a vertically oriented lenticular lens this sequence of images creates a 3D illusion.

Viewing Angle

A calculated angle of refraction inherent on a lenticular lens design that determines how fast or slow it is viewed.

Viewing Distance

The distance from which the final lenticular piece will be viewed. (For example, a lenticular postcard that is a hand-held piece will typically be viewed at 5-12 inches, where as a lenticular poster may be viewed at 2-20 feet.) Determining the precise viewing distance is critical to achieving a successful effect.

Wide Angle Lens

A lenticular lens sheet with a viewing angle between 40-55 degrees. Wide-angle lenses work best for "flip" and "animated" effects.


A lenticular effect that gives the observer the impression that the object is either moving from foreground to background, from background to foreground, or getting larger or smaller.