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11 24 2014


Virtual Images | By Jordan Falk

In traditional graphic design we are taught to balance imagery and text with “negative space”.  Negative space is important to help drive viewer focus to specific areas of a composition, balance out busy or vibrant areas of a composition, and give the viewer’s eye a place to rest.

Traditional media only allows for composition in two dimensions, a horizontal (x) and a vertical (y) axis. Positive and negative space are generally defined as the existence or lack of message-driven content in a composition within the x and y plane on a flat surface.  With the addition of a third depth (z) axis, a designer should reconsider how to incorporate positive and negative space into their design.

Auto-stereoscopic 3D (stereoscopic 3D without the use of glasses) allows the viewer to have the sensation of looking around or behind objects.  Because of auto-stereoscopic 3Dsuccessful 3D compositions are typically busier than their 2D counterparts. By adding additional visual elements to a 3D composition, the designer allows for increased interaction between elements on multiple planes of depth, thus improving the 3D effect.  There is additional negative space along the “z” axis in a 3D composition and the viewer will still get a pleasing sense of negative space behind and between elements on different planes of depth.

In short – a 3D lenticular design should be “busier” than a 2D design to make effective use of the medium.  The extra visual real-estate provided by the z-axis will provide additional negative space between objects on different levels of depth.

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