Lenticular Postcards

Animated printed visuals from specially prepared graphics, that allow the viewer to see different images depending on the angle at which they view the postcard.

The use of both imagery and lens material are inseparable when it comes to making the desired effect come to life in a lenticular print. The image itself is a composite of two or more graphics that are interlaced together. The lens is a unique plastic that is made up of individual lenticules that must be perfectly aligned with the interlaced image underneath it in order for the effect to work. Based on the angle of the viewer, each lenticule acts as a magnifying glass to enlarge and display the portion of the image below. Many lenticules working in harmony form the entire lenticular image. In this way, lenticular print can appear to show motion or even three-dimensions because each eye is viewing the lenticular print from its own angle.

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The first step in lenticular design is to choose the effect that best suits your graphic or the message you are trying to communicate. Lenticular effects can be just about anything you can do with video, and some things you can’t such as 3D. Some of the most popular effects include flip, animation, morph and zoom. We can separate these into 5 main groups.

3D: giving new perspective…

Objects within an image are layered to give the illusion of depth and perspective.  Unlike 2 dimensional design, using this lenticular effect allows graphics to appear more realistic.  Lenticular 3D can be incorporated into most images or design styles.

Tip: Color choice and placement play a large role in the optimum 3D effect.  Neutral colors in the background work best.

For 3D effects, the lens is a little bit thicker than the flip and motion samples.  It is because different lenses are required for the different application. Generally, we will use 100-3D to create 3D effects, and use 75 LPI for motion, zoom, flip and morph.


Flip: making a quick transition…
A dramatic swapping of two images – each vanishing and then reappearing from one to another.  Using this lenticular flip effect is most beneficial for demonstrating ‘cause and effect’ or even ‘before and after’ comparisons.

Tip: To maintain sharp contrast between the elements, limit the flip to only two images. The most dramatic visual presentation will result with fewer frames. In flip animation, less is definitely more.

Avant Card’s Cloud Atlas postcard is called flip because it changes immediately from one image to another image.

Animation: Bringing print to life…
With a series of images coming together to create an animation much like a short movie clip, this is the most complex lenticular effect. The illusion of motion actually comes from either a selection of video frames or sequential still images. This lenticular animation effect is great for emphasizing body movement or mechanical action.

Tip: While all master video formats can be used, digital beta cam is the best source material to ensure high quality motion.


Morph: Transforming before your very eyes…
The conversion of one image into another is used to create the illusion of transformation. This lenticular morph effect can be used for showcasing a product or feature that may change or create change.

Tip: It is important the images are of a similar shape and color density. Elements that are not similar enough can cause one image to appear faintly over the other (known as ‘ghosting’) when only one image should be seen.

The morph below is changing from a tiger turning into a lion. Customers just need to provide the two first and last images and we will help you generate the middle images.


Zoom: Moving to the forefront…
The illusion of movement from background to foreground to create the effect of ‘leaping out’ or ‘jumping back’. A lenticular zoom animation can consist of one or more objects, or even a full image. This effect works best for highlighting elements such as products, logos or important messages.

Tip: Cool, darker colors in the background and warmer, lighter tones for the element in motion tends to produce the best zoom effect.