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What is a lenticular? Remember the old cheesy postcards that you move back and forth and the image changes -- well, the process has gotten better and cheaper. Working with images created by Industrial Light and Magic (kelp forest) and Illusion Arts (coral reef) we commissioned World Holographics in Los Angeles to create a desktop cardboard "table tent" featuring these two lenticular prints, giving the same effect as you see below.

Two of the biggest names in Hollywood special effects have joined in on this campaign by providing the computer animation shots used in creating a Public Service Announcement for television (in the works) and to create the lenticular prints here.

George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic donated the ten second kelp forest shot, modifying digital fish models from "Star Wars: Episode I."

Illusion Arts, owned by Hollywood effects legends Syd Dutton and Bill Taylor, creates effects shots for everything from "The Time Machine" to "The Fast and the Furious." They donated the coral reef effects shot.

To learn more, view the short film, "Ghost Forests"



The Slow-Motion Decline of Coral Reefs

Artwork by Illusion Arts

1960 - the coral reefs of the Caribbean used to look like this -- clear blue water, plenty of healthy branching corals (brown structures), urchins (black pin cushions), large schools of game fish such as Nassau grouper (left foreground), an abundance of Caribbean reef sharks (center), and parrotfish (all the other fish) grazing algae.

Today - coral reefs of the Caribbean have been wracked by disease (branching corals and urchins), coastal development (reduced visibility), coral bleaching (dead coral), and overfishing.

Is it really this bad? In many places, yes. Ask any veteran diver who can recall how rich and full of life Caribbean coral reefs used to be. Ask any marine biologist who has watched the reefs decline, or any underwater photographer who finds it increasingly difficult to find reefs worth photographing in the Caribbean.



The Slow-Motion Decline of Kelp Forests

Artwork by Industrial Light and Magic


1960 - the kelp beds of the California coast used to look like this -- packed with large fish, including giant sea bass (right center), sheephead (center), white seabass (top right), and horn sharks (lower center). The rocks were covered with abalone (bottom).

Today - the kelp forests of California are now "ghost forests," largely devoid of thebig fish. From gill netters of the 1950's to the live-fish fisheries of the '90's, the big fish are gone. Abalone have been so heavily overfished that there is no longer a commercial fishery for any of the five species. Two species are now believed to be on the brink of extinction.

Did the kelp beds ever really look as packed with fish as the 1960 image? Without a doubt. The fishing effort has been long and sustained. In 1932, over 200,000 pounds of giant sea bass were harvested. In 1928, sheephead landings totaled 370,000 pounds. Landings of white seabass in 1922 amounted to over 3 million pounds.

Today almost no fishery remains for any of these species. There are simply few big fish remaining.