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Apparatus, method and medium for providing an optical effect

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #6481844.

An apparatus for providing an optical effect includes a processor for controlling the operation of the apparatus, and an interface for receiving image information including multiple image elements. The apparatus further includes a printing head (such as an ink jet printing head) including a first dispensing mechanism for dispensing a colored ink, and a second dispensing mechanism for dispensing a clear ink. The processor includes printing logic for instructing the printing head to print at least one image element on a base medium using the first dispensing mechanism, and to print at least one lens-like lenticule on the medium, at a prescribed position relative to the image element, using the second dispensing mechanism. The lenticule modifies a viewer's perception of the image element to thereby achieve the optical effect. According to one embodiment, the clear ink forms a substantially spherical projection. Also disclosed is a method for creating a medium having at least one lenticule printed thereon, as well as the medium itself.

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