Taco brings ocean to life with lenticular

Taco Visions tells PrintWeek how it transformed a brick wall into a mesmerising deep blue ocean floor with 3D lenticular printing.

02 Feb 2022 | By Aultrin Vijay

Mahesh Mahadkar with the art installation at Mangroves Cell

Mumbai-based Taco Visions has been mesmerising air travellers with its 3D art. The company's recent art installations at Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport and Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda International Airport have been enticing travellers and the industry alike.

Much of the credit goes to the printing technology opted by Taco Visions – 3D lenticular printing – rather than the conventional digital- and screen-printed graphics. 3D lenticular technology basically gives a three-dimensional perspective as well as optical illusion to the art.

However, the art displays at Varanasi and Raipur grabbed eyeballs of the Mangrove Cell of Maharashtra government.

TP Pandey, managing director at Taco Visions told PrintWeek, “Virendra Tiwari, (IFS) principal chief conservator of forests, Mangrove Cell, Maharashtra Government approached us with a vision to implement this medium of 3D lenticular for its Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre in Airoli, Navi Mumbai.”

Pandey said the officer was inspired by the 3D lenticular technology, “as it can be well utilised not only to beautify the walls, but also as a tool to attract and enlighten people towards the marine world,” apart from helping build interest and curiosity in the younger generation.

After several discussions with team Taco Visions, which included Pandey, Vinit Jadhav, principal – graphic art, Taco Visions; and Mahesh Mahadkar, creative director at Taco Visions, and after a site visit, it was decided to implement a 4D touch along with the 3D lenticular medium.

“We selected an entire wall with a dimension of 36 ft x 10.6 ft as a dedicated place to install the concept,” says Mahadkar. “Coming to its technical part, it was quite challenging to cover the complete wall with a single panoramic view instead of a photo collage. We had it in our mind that the viewer should enjoy the continuity of the entire panoramic underwater scene realistically and feel the essence of the ocean floor.”

Accordingly, the Mangrove Cell set a target of one month for completing the entire job. “Now, we started to visualise the actual images to be projected with respect to the proportions of the fishes and other marine creatures to be depicted,” he adds.

Mahadkar’s earlier trips to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands proved useful to visualise a panoramic image of the ocean floor with realistic colours, depth and dimensions, incorporating sea creatures of various shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, Vandan Jhaveri, assistant director of eco-tourism, Mangrove Cell, helped with the images of fishes such as blue tank fish, clown fish, lionfish, octopus and more to contribute to the idea with his expertise.

“To execute the job, we initially made a prototype to understand and give our client a fair idea of how things would look after implementing the concept. After their approval, we started working on the project,” says Mahadkar, adding, “Given the gigantic portion of the wall, it was not that easy to print the entire image in one go. Hence, we implemented it by dividing the image into nine parts and then combining it in a single panel framework.”

Each panel was processed individually with Taco’s own Pictoreal software for the expected 3D effect and later printed on an Epson 20070 Surecolor Printer, while the imaging and laminating was done on separate lenticular lenses.

“We are thankful as we had the valuable assistance of our expert Kiran Priyagi for calibrating our machines as per the required standards for achieving the perfection in the outcome,” says Jadhav. “We later assembled it in a way so precisely that there was not a single hairline gap left, which makes it difficult for the viewer to identify the separation in the panels. Instead, it seems like one continuous image.”

“After the installation, it seemed as if the entire wall was rejuvenated due to its treatment of additional colour changing effect in the 4D lenticular installation,” he added.

Mahadkar claims, “The viewers were awestruck for a moment as they felt as if they were exploring the amazing world of marine life.”

Pandey proclaims that Taco Visions will be keen in implementing such “mesmerising, educating and eye-catching” concepts to the world, “as we are not only keen for the quantum production but also for something that can be valuable to the society”.

“After all, imagination is just a seed and executing it is like cultivating new ideas and challenging one’s limits,” Pandey concludes.

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