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Ten Tips to Achieve a Great Lenticular Image

Every project that comes our way is a little different and has its own unique challenges. It is always best to talk to us about what you would like your image to do and even better, show us a sketch or rough draft. That said, there are certain steps you can take to make your lenticular image the best it can be.
So without further ado, here is the list!

1) 3D lenticular vs. motion lenticular

Your first choice will be to decide whether you would like a 3D piece or an animating piece. Although it is possible to achieve a little of each, most images are one or the other. This is because the lenses run vertically in a 3D image and horizontally in an animating image.

2) Less frames is always better!

The more frames that appear in your image, the less clearly the frames will be separated from each other. A seven frame image will have more ghosting between frames than a two frame image. Sometimes ghosting can work to your advantage; an animation of water flowing should not “click” though the frames. It will look more natural if it smears. But more often, bleed hurts. Try to use the least amount of frames you can and still tell the story.

3) Keep “changing” images low in contrast

This one is important! Avoid having any part of the image change from black to white. If you have a black cat walking across a white background, the black ink from the first frame will not disappear into the white background and you will see the cat at all positions all the time. Avoid having the parts of the image that are animating contrast in color, and when possible keep the foreground lighter than the background.

4) Up/Down works better than Left/Right

It is fact! In lenticular animation, images that animate when tilted up/down work better than animations that are left/right. In this case “works better” means that you will see each frame more clearly from every other frame. Especially in lenticular postcards

5) Keep part of the image stable

Lenticular animations work better if parts of the image are not animating. The stability highlights the movement and gives your eye a frame of reference. When every part of the image is animating the effect can be a bit disorienting.

6) Keep text size above 10 point

Avoid fine lines and small text. Fine lines will break up under the lens creating a pixilated look that will render your text unreadable.

7) Make sure there is texture in each element

Depth only exists relative to another element. To understand that some elements are in front of another element, both elements need to show themselves. The best way to do this is to make sure that all elements (especially backgrounds) have texture. A solid color with no pattern does not create good depth.

8) Complete each element on a separate layer

Imagine an image featuring a dog in front of a wall. If we pull that dog forward, you will see around his edges and see the cutout of a dog left in the wall. This is why it is important to complete each layer; failing to do so leaves a gap when the elements are
separated onto different planes.

9) Be a copycat

Take a look at our samples. See what others have done to create a good image and copy the idea! We are not saying to copy the artwork, but don’t feel bad about borrowing concepts like separating your image into four windows or using animating text. Lenticular is still in its pioneering stage and it can only evolve by borrowing the best ideas and making them even better.

10) Keep your eyes on the prize

Keep in mind that what matters is how your customer is going to react when they see the entire image. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of whether the font is perfect or whether the 4-frame animation is working better than the 5-frame animation. In the end, your customer is going to see your message animating or standing out in 3D and say “Wow, cool!” That’s the point of producing a lenticular image, to create excitement and convey a message.