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Subject: "Holographic" lenticular counters and box minis rss

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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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I've been pondering ways to make box minis (such as used in Attack Vector: Tactical)
more realisticly 3D (e.g., so only 1 view is visible at once, and maybe the image stays centered, etc.) and thought of a neat idea that would work for both box minis and counters. First I had the (rather obvious, in retrospect) idea that one could use holograms to print box minis that looked like real minis. Now, thinking about it, holograms won't work for box minis because you'd still have multiple images visible on different faces (the image in each face stays centered in that face as it rotates). Also, the common ones are silver and rainbow-ey. Then I remembered those pseudo-3D/morphing cards with a grooved plastic front... I looked them up and they're called "lenticulars," and they would do the job pretty well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular) They'd be perfect for flat counters and pretty good for 3D box minis: (made correctly) the image would not only rotate but would appear to slide around (four faces of) the box, thus, when viewed from along the center line of the major axis of rotation, the image would appear (as diagrammed below) to be geometrically centered inside the box, even when viewed from an edge!

(ignoring the box faces, this is also how a lenticular counter would shift if you moved your head right and left above it).

From a cursory search of the internet, lenticular printing seems to be pretty widely available, and sheets are sold for inkjet printers, so it may even be affordable to the common gamer. The 3D effect weakens off the center line, which is fine for counters but would still be quite nice for things with a primary axis like "Cardboard Heroes"-style people or naval vessels (I was thinking that you'd want the ship to look correct from side to overhead, rather than front to side, which would be good for people minis). I think a three-sided prism shape would be best, because the equilateral triangle shape would fix the angles of the sides in a proper orientation to mesh seamlessly, with the angle of 3D effect being around the three faces (while keeping the angles near-perpindicular at oblique viewing angles). (See follow-up post for printing recommendations and a link to a home kit!)

It seems pretty doable, and pretty nifty! Somebody do it!

Gorno
 
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Bwian, just
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As I recall, the publisher of the game you picture looked into holograms. But he couldn't make the economics work, even for a high-end add-on. Another approach was those crystals with small laser-induced bubbles, usually seen around Christmas with little unicorns and angels and stuff. I think that was a slightly cheaper alternative, but still not cost-effective.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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I'm "bumping" the thread since I edited the original post and added new illustrations of the concept.

Gorno
 
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johngorno wrote:
From a cursory search of the internet, lenticular printing seems to be pretty widely available, and sheets are sold for inkjet printers, so it may even be affordable


Have any links with prices? I looked into this a couple years ago for a photography project, but it all looked pretty expensive for small quantities.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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LurkingMeeple wrote:
johngorno wrote:
From a cursory search of the internet, lenticular printing seems to be pretty widely available, and sheets are sold for inkjet printers, so it may even be affordable


Have any links with prices? I looked into this a couple years ago for a photography project, but it all looked pretty expensive for small quantities.


I'm a big picture kind of guy! I can't be bothered with issues of practicality! The sites I found in a quick search were for printing shops and only gave prices for a minimum order of 1000, like 600$? but I just found this home kit that seems to include software, 40 page-sized lens sheets, and a cold laminator for 160$ -- "Home Illusion allows anyone with a 600DPI or better Inkjet printer and a computer print 3D and animated images." (the 3D glasses are just to use to preview the image on your computer!) http://store.photo-illusion.com/ Certainly, for a business, that's quite affordable, if a bit much to just fool around with. The sheets seem to be ridgeless, but I wouldn't swear to that. The sheets seem to be about $1.50 each, so if you packed a page with wall-to-wall faces/counters to be cut out (no wasted area for flaps or scrap areas, as the thick lens material couldn't tuck anyway), it would be pretty reasonable! Since the lens has some heft, you wouldn't need to print on cardstock, so you'd save on that. (For a box mini, the idea would be print the four "side" panels side-by-side so they could be cut out as a group, scored, then wrapped around and glued onto a plain box mini superstructure. The two ends could either be seperate panels on the lenticular sheet or simply plain-printed, since they wouldn't cooperate with the sides for a seamless 3D effect.)

Gorno
 
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Martin Gallo
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This sounds like a cool idea to me. Let me know if you ever get past the research phase.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Thanks! At $160 dollars, it would be a very long wait... I watched their online demo movie, and I'm sure it would work: their software seems to allow you to manipulate and preview the images very thoroughly, so while it would take some practice to get things right, it looks like a sure thing. Another neat thing is that you can test a page printout without having to fix it to a screen: they include at least one sheet without an adhesive back to calibrate the printer, which could be used to check without wasting a lens.

It would be pretty neat to have battleship counters that gave you the side views from the side, and the top from the top! Not to mention that you could photograph a painted mini, then effectively clone it! Way cheaper than any (decent-looking) mini.

Gorno
 
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