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I'm designing a lenticular sticker to promote an album. I'm confused about certain fundamental aspects of the artwork preparation. I understand that I need to provide a distinct layer/image for each 'frame' of my lenticular image. However, I understand that one can have anywhere from 2 frames to 10 or more in one's lenticular image.

Question 1: What are the tradeoffs between few frames vs many frames?

I understand that many frames can result in a smoother frame-to-frame transition -- a smoother animation or a more realistic 3d effect -- but it seems to me that this smoothness may be achieved at the expense of sharpness or acuity. The printed image will be 300 dpi, regardless of how many frames. Therefore, more frames will mean fewer pixels per frame.

Question 2: Does it cost more to print more frames in my lenticular image?

It'll certainly require more design effort on my part to create 10 frames vs 2. Does it cost more to print one with 10 frames than with 2? Are there other tradeoffs?

Question 3: If I'm depicting a 3d object, how much rotation between frames?

I'd like my lenticular image to show a human figure from 3 (or more) different angles as you rotate it left-to-right. If you look directly at the sticker, you'd see the figure straight on. If you rotate it left or right, you'd see the same figure but slightly to one side. I realize that many frames means less rotation from one frame to the next. If I only had 3 frames in my lenticular image, how much should i rotate the figure between frames? 15 degrees? 30 degrees? Ideally, I'd like the figure in my image to rotate, on average, just exactly as much as the viewer rotates the card to see the different images.

Any advice or detail about how to design for lenticular stickers would be much appreciated. I'm prepared to make ten distinct images of my figure, each from a slightly different angle, if necessary. That said, I'd hate to go thru all the trouble if it will make a lousy image.

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  • Hi. Lenticular printing is quite a specialist technique. It might be worth your while asking your printer for advice, most are happy to help. They may already have an information/spec sheets which might answer many of your questions. As for costs, that's something you really need to ask your printer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 15, 2023 at 8:57
  • Ask 1 and 3 separately, ask 2 to your printer like Billy said :)
    – curious
    Aug 15, 2023 at 12:45
  • @BillyKerr I've been reading and I'm aware there are a lot of factors to account for. I've spoken to someone at World3D who was helpful, but provided almost no helpful guidance about preparing artwork. I've also traded emails with FlickSticker and they are very friendly, but I still have no idea of the LPI or viewing angle that will be used for my print job.
    – S. Imp
    Aug 17, 2023 at 23:50

3 Answers 3

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Before addressing your inquiries, I'd like to clarify that we are a San Jose-based lenticular printing company. I want to assure you that my responses will be impartial, and I have no intention of promoting our services.

Q1: The optimal number of frames depends on your desired visual effect, whether it's animation or 3D. For a 3D effect, around 15 to 20 frames are ideal. It also hinges on the type of lens you plan to use. Considering your product is a sticker, which typically involves small and thin lenses with high LPI (Lines Per Inch), even 10 frames can suffice due to the limited viewing angle. If you require animation, such as a flip effect, 2 images are generally sufficient unless individual frame sharpness is critical. Visual effects like morphing fall into the latter category, where you prioritize the transformation over frame sharpness. In this case, you can include more frames, like 10 or more.

Q2: In our case, we do not charge extra based on the number of frames. However, the optimal frame count depends on your specific requirements. Having more frames isn't always better; in fact, many of our clients opt for a 2-image flip effect.

Q3: Even with just 3 frames, you can perceive a slight 3D effect, but the transition between frames may be abrupt. I recommend using 10 frames. Instead of rotating the object, keep it stationary and capture 10 images in a straight line from right to left, with the first image aligned near the left side of your viewfinder and the last image near the right side. By interlacing these 10 pictures, you can achieve a reasonably decent 3D effect.

For additional resources on lenticular printing, I encourage you to visit https://www.vicgi.com. There, you'll find a wealth of information on the subject.

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Q2: I guess your printer would use the same lens regardless. But only your printer can tell for sure. Q1: More frames will give a smoother effect. It won’t effect perceived resolution, because the lens will isolate and magnify the same print area fraction regardless. The downside is that the separation between the frames will be less clear. That is: a higher risk that you see a blend of two consecutive frames. For smooth subtle animations that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Q3: only your printer can tell for sure, but according to Wikipedia, 45degrees is a common total view angle. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_printing

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Come on! A lenticular printing is valid for only a certain lens plate. You very likely get the lens, the printing and placing the printing behind the lens from a single source. Ask them how they want the images.

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