Daan Roosegaarde Creates World Biggest Lenticular Print At Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport

Walk through the departures hall of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and you’ll pass a long wall of drifting clouds. Your first thought: This is a very big LED screen. But it isn’t. There’s dimension to this cloudscape. There’s parallax. And when you stop moving, the clouds do, too.

Daan Roosegaarde creates world biggest lenticular print at Amsterdams Schiphol airport

What you’re seeing isn’t a display at all. It’s the largest lenticular print in the world-and a convincing one, at that.

‘Children often try to grasp it, but they can’t,’ says designer Daan Roosegaarde, whose studio created the mural.

The 367-foot shapeshifting panorama is his latest project. He calls it ‘Beyond.’ It’s meant to evoke the cloud paintings of the 17th century’s Dutch Masters.

Roosegaarde gives the classic tableau a modern update, with lenticular printing technology.

But this is no ordinary lenticular print. ‘We sort of pushed it to the extreme,’ Roosegaarde says (Beyond is currently under consideration for a Guinness World Record).

Like all such prints, Roosegaarde’s mural relies on cylindrical lenses called lenticules. These lenses refract light from images beneath them toward the viewer, but in slightly different directions-the key to simulating motion as well as dimension, though usually not both.

They’re also what give lenticular prints their telltale ridged surface. Lenticules overlay the uppermost layer at a density of 15 lenses per inch. Beneath the lenticules, layers of ink (more than 19 billion pixels, to be exact), and LED lights lend the print depth. Behind each lens is 60 flips1. You can think of flips like frames in a reel of film-the more frames you have the smoother the animation.

It would’ve been easy enough to install a video wall that does the same thing, but Roosegaarde says he wanted that analog feel. ‘Beyond’ is a permanent installation, and screens, he says, can look outdated after a few years.

The printed effect is subtle, but convincing.

Ultimately, Roosegaarde says he wanted to create a sense of wonder in what’s typically a no-nonsense environment. ‘There are some hidden stories in the clouds,’ he says, adding that if you look closely you’ll notice a one that looks like a bunny, and another shaped like the Netherlands.

Links: Wired.comStudioroosegaarde.net

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