Graphics Tips & Tricks
General Artwork Design Guidelines:
The information listed below is helpful for all lenticular projects.
Lenticular lens only show your eyes a small portion of the underlying print at a time. Very small elements, such as thin lines and small text, may disappear from the visible image as the finished lenticular image flips/shifts.
• Avoid thin lines (especially going the same direction as the lenticular lines).
• Avoid type smaller than 14 points.
• Avoid solid colors, especially black, and/or white backgrounds. Use a busy or textured background or a common background when practical.
• Make sure all art files are editable whenever possible, this is especially true for 3D and Zoom lenticulars where layered files are used to create the effect.
• Avoid flipping from one high-contrast element to another.
Specification Checklist for all Artwork
Artwork files should be a minimum of 300ppi in resolution at 100% or more of the print size. Images from the web are often low in resolution, causing blurriness when blown up to 300dpi, and contain too much noise to print well. All images are converted to layered Photoshop® files before processing; so, submit art as a CMYK Photoshop® .psd file when possible.
All Artwork Tips
• Make sure to have a minimum 3/8" bleed. (1" horizontal bleed if using a 3D effect)
• Submit color targets printed from final files.
General Flip Lenticular:
Flip Lenticular is one of the most basic and rewarding lenticular effects produced. A Flip Lenticular is when you have two or more images interlaced together. When the lenticular lens is attached, you are able to see each image separately when viewing from various angles. Here are some helpful hints that will make your flip effects a huge success.
• Avoid solid colored backgrounds; especially black and white. Photographs or busy images work best. Unlike turning a page to reveal a second image, flip images become visible when the image under the lens comes into view as you tilt the print up and down or left to right. Since both images are present under the lens, some bleed through (ghosting) of one image into the other is usually present. The effect of this ghosting is minimized when busier images and backgrounds are used, masking/hiding the ghosting.
• Avoid flipping from one high contrast element to another. For example, flipping from a red ball to a white square would not work well as the red will ghost into the white. Flips work best when the general color, shape of elements, and contrast of the two images are similar.
• When possible, keep the background design/colors the same while flipping individual images, color and text of similar shape.
• Flips work best when they are printed using horizontal-oriented lens material, which focuses on one image or the other image as the view shifts from top to bottom.
General 3D Lenticular:
A 3D Lenticular is a holographic effect produced when placing a lenticular lens over a 3D interlaced photo. Good 3D Lenticulars produce a visual canvas for the viewer to explore, bringing a new dimension to your promotional product. The following tips will help you produce realistic depth in your 3D artwork.
• All images submitted for 3D printing must be layered files with all elements editable: do not submit placed images. Submit artwork as a layered Photoshop® .psd file when possible. Layered Illustrator® or Freehand® files can be used but will be converted to a Photoshop® layered file before processing. Image resolution should be 300ppi or higher.
• Avoid solid colored backgrounds, especially black and white. Black or very dark backgrounds reduce the sense of depth. Backgrounds with an image or texture help your eyes register a difference in depth between other elements and the background.
• Create as much "visual" 3D and perspective in the original picture as possible. The more 3D the image possesses, the better the 3D lenticular effect. In general, foreground elements are larger and lighter when background items are smaller and darker. Good color contrast between elements also helps. Elements with their own perspective, shadows and highlights, can be exaggerated to add more depth.
• Overlap elements when possible. Image elements that overlap, even slightly, provide additional position reference points for the elements printed in front of or behind them, increasing the sense of depth.
• In 3D prints, there is one special layer called the "zero layer" or "key plane". The zero layer is shown in the same position to both eyes, causing the element not to shift or change positions when the printed piece is angled from left to right. The zero layer is always
the clearest layer in your lenticular print. Art elements, such as logos or text that needs to be clear and unaffected by the lenticular
shifting, should be positioned on the zero layer or close to it. In 3D space, items printing closer to the zero layer become clearer, when
elements printed farther from the zero layer lose clarity.
• Custom Die-cut shapes can be interesting but keep in mind that the foreground and background images will shift right to left as the
printed piece is moved. Custom shapes that try to capture a floating foreground or background element will not work as the printed
image will move in relation to the die cut edge, appearing cut off in certain views.
General Animation Lenticular:
An Animation Lenticular is similar to a Flip Lenticular by interlacing two or more images together. Tell your story with animation that entertains and communicates. The following guidelines will help you prepare art for successful animations.
Tips for Animations
• In the case of motion or morph effects, use the minimum number of pictures or frames required to create the effect.
• Animations can be submitted as a sequence of images (recommended), or as a movie clip file such as a high-res .mov, or .avi. Low-resolution movie files will not work.
• For zoom effects, please send the image at it's smallest, and largest state. Zoom effects work best on a common backgrounds using layered files so the zooming element is editable.
• Morph effects can be generated with two images, or a sequence of images.
• These products are usually printed using horizontally oriented lens material.
Lenticular pieces involving more than one effect are designed best by knowing about each effect you plan to use and design for it. If you plan to use 3D and a flipping effect, or motion with a zoom effect, read the tips for both types of effects, along with the general tips for all artwork.