3D Lenticular: the evolution of the gif

Brooklyn-based trio The Saline Project are best known for creating music videos for the likes of Eminem, 50cent, and The Cure. Now a new art project sees them looking to evolve the gif format to something they’re calling 3D lenticular…

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Brooklyn-based trio The Saline Project are best known for creating music videos for the likes of Eminem, 50cent, and The Cure. Now a new art project sees them looking to evolve the gif format to something they’re calling 3D lenticular…

The Saline Project comprises the talents of brothers Adam and Ben Toht and Jesse Roff. They won an Emmy in 2002 for a Google Earth style title sequence for documentary Mortal Enemies (before Google Earth had been conceived), and they were commissioned by ABC to make a title sequence to 110 Stories (below) which involved manipulating photographs taken on 9/11 in New York to give them depth.

110 Stories from Jake Guttormsson on Vimeo.

Creative Review: Tell us about your new project and why you’re excited about it.
Ben Toht: Monsters, Villains, Heroes and Victims (MVHV) is a series of thirteen 3D lenticular images which we’re in the process of creating in our studio in Brooklyn. We wanted to explore the parameters of the gif within our CGI /Photographic world and came up with these HD offerings that are both aesthetically art pieces in their own right, but have an additional dimension and depth. The plan is to do a show in New York, release them online, and we’re going to make an “art app,” so people can see them on their phones and ipads.

Adam Toht: We really love this series – if someone else was making these images, we’d be their biggest fans. I guess that’s the whole point of making art. You make what you really want to see and have put out into the world. It will be fun to see how people react to the series.

CR: Tell us about the methodologies involved creating these images and why you’re labelling them “3D lenticular”.
BT: Really the images are photo collages, made to give the illusion of depth. And lenticular seems to be the word for that technique, so we’re going with it.
AT: We photograph and do everything (costume, hair, makeup etc) in house at our studio. we cut up and dimensionalize the photograph in computer. We design the background using location photos we’ve taken over the years, and 3D models. Creating the space and getting the dimension right has been one of the most difficult parts. We now have somewhat of a system established, but each one has had its own set of challenges.

CR: What do you envisage these kinds of images being used for?
AT: So much. As soon as we had finished the first one in this series, I found myself walking through the subway tunnel and realising how flat all the posters and advertisements looked. It felt a little like seeing into the future. What if billboards, posters, ads, photographs–what if so many of the images you take in in daily life had this dimension? We just dimensionalized an image for The Hives for their recent record and it looks pretty great.

Obviously, we would love to go on just making fine art series of these things full time, but there seems to be endless possibilities for dimensional images.

The web is obviously a place where you can immediatley see a lot of 3D images like this, but the more video billboards go up, the more this technique can be used. It could be pretty great actually.

CR: Do you have a date and venue lined up for the exhibition yet?
AT: We want to time the release so it coincides with Halloween. We’re talking to some people about showing in New York, but we’re still sorting out how we want to present the images. We’ve looked into some 3D printing techniques (as we’d love to make reproductions), but we haven’t fallen in love with any of them yet. The images are huge–over seven feet tall. The best presentation that we’ve seen so far is on large, high definition screens. They look amazing there. Like windows into another world.



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The August Olympic Special issue of Creative Review contains a series of features that explore the past and present of the Games to mark the opening of London 2012: Adrian Shaughnessy reappraises Wolff Olins’ 2012 logo, Patrick Burgoyne talks to LOCOG’s Greg Nugent about how Wolff Olins’ original brand identity has been transformed into one consistent look for 2012, Eliza Williams investigates the role of sponsorship by global brands of the Games, Mark Sinclair asks Ian McLaren what it was like working with Otl Aicher as amember of his 1972 Munich Olympics design studio, Swiss designer Markus Osterwalder shows off some of his prize Olympic items from his vast archive, and more.

Plus, Rick Poyner’s assessment of this year’s Recontres d’Arles photography festival and Michael Evamy on the genius of Yusaku Kamekura’s emblem for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

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  • http://trafficdigital.com Mark @ Web Design London

    Another example of how awesome GIFs can be when they’re not used to put a sparkly corner on a diamond company’s logo. Great work, I like these ones nearly as much as I liked this: http://creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2012/june/reanimated-gifs-matthew-divito

  • Brad

    I’ve been creating 3d lenticular images for 20 years. Check out our stuff:

    Various Effects you can achieve with lenticular, either by themselves or in combination:

  • ad

    These are not true lenticulars, it’s just photos cut into layers then animated.

    Real lenticulars should be captured with several lenses

  • Don Toht

    Trying to be unbiased to my brilliant nephews’ work, these are absolutely fantastic! Living here in
    London and taking the Tube, there are a growing number of video advertising screens being placed on the walls of the escalators up to street level. Currently sporting ads from liquor to theatre, I see these as the perfect vehicle for something like this. The 3D impact would be even more enhanced by the fact you are on a moving escalator. Well done, SP! DT

  • http://zaxisprints.com Harvey Jewett

    That’s great that more designers and artists are looking at using this 100 year old medium. Hope you get a good venue and good revues. I’d love to see lenticular become more mainstream.

  • http://www.wearealight.com Alight Design Agency

    Fantastic! GIFs that don’t automatically fall into my ‘blind spot’! Love the content too. Pure Ed Wood Plan 9 From Outer Space!

  • http://www.illuminessence.co.uk William Watling

    Lenticular is the name of the lens you put over the photo to give the 3D images their depth after they’ve been interlaced by software. As a 3D photographer this is what I specialise in. There’s dozens of examples on my website.

    Don, you will see these as glasses free images in London soon as many advertising co.s are using glasses free 3D TVs to show 3D advertising.

    See http://www.illuminessence.co.uk Will

  • http://www.artpromotivate.com Graham Matthews

    Awesome gifs! I love the cool effects… Enjoyed the article too.

  • Soulreaver
  • http://www.rdforms.net Rich

    Yeah evil Gif’s!! Like where this gif’s Business is going though. Could be cool in digital heaven!

  • http://Mironart.tumblr.com Miron

    My 3d art

  • http://www.hypernovadesign.com/services/3d-modeling Martin 3D

    Amazing GIFS, the best I have seen so far! Would even though of doing similar effect before!