10 Tips To Achieve a Great Lenticular Image

There are certain steps you can take to make your lenticular the best it can be. Use these tips we’ve learned along the way to get started. 

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

1) 3D lenticular or Motion lenticular?
Your first choice will be to decide weather you would like a 3D piece or an animating piece. Although it is possible to achieve a little of each, most images show one or the other. This is because the lenses must run vertically in a 3D image and horizontally in an animating image.

2) When choosing the amount of frames to use, fewer is usually 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” through 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.  You can read more about how many frames to use here and you can read more about “ghosting” and how to design for it here.

3) Keep any “changing” images low 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’s a fact! In lenticular animation, images that animate when tilted up/down work better than animations that animate left/right. In this case “works better” means that you will see each frame separated more clearly from every other frame.

5) Keep part of the image stable
Lenticular animations work better if parts of the image are not animating at all. The stability highlights the movement and give 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 pixelated look that will render your text unreadable.

7) When creating a 3D lenticular, make sure there is texture in each element.

Depth only exists relative to another element. To understand that some element is 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 to it does not create good depth information.

8) When creating a 3D lenticular, 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 cool image and copy the idea! We’re 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: to create excitement and convey a message.

Lenticular Printing off the press - Lenticular Printing Technology

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Lenticular Design Guide
Lenticular Design Guidelines So you’ve decided to have us produce your lenticular! Now what? We encourage you to discuss your art and your goals with us.
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