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Lenticular Art Submission Guidelines


The following, in conjunction with the General Art Guidelines, outlines the production specifications and additional charges for the successful completion of your lenticular project.

What Is Lenticular: Lenticular is a unique printing process that creates the illusion of three dimensions, moving images, morphing images, and images that change instantly from one to another.

At the center of the process is the lenticular lens material. This material is made up of parallel rows of optical lenses that magnify and show to the eye only a small portion of the image printed under it. In order to control the small slice of the printed image that the lens magnifies and shows to the eye, the images under each row of lens are sliced up and correctly aligned for the lens through a process called interlacing.

With our process, the properly aligned interlaced image is printed directly to the lenticular lens material at very high resolution—500 line screen or greater—on a 6 color Heidelberg CD74 UV printing press. Once the lenticular lens and interlaced image are combined the desired effect is created adding a WOW factor to the promotion.

Standard Lens: Our lenticular lens material has from 60 to 100 rows of lens per inch or LPI. We most commonly use 75 lpi material.


3-D takes advantage of the fact that we have two eyes that see everything from a slightly different perspective (parallax) to create the illusion of 3-D. To understand how this works, do the following simple experiment. Hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb up. Close your left eye so you’re looking through only your right eye. Mentally note the position of the background behind your thumb. Now open your left eye and close your right eye. Looking through your left eye, notice that the background has shifted. This shift is referred to as “parallax”. Each eye sees a different view of your thumb and the background. When these views are combined in your brain you see a 3-D view of your thumb. With 3-D lenticular, the image is constructed so that a different version or view of the print is visible through the lens to each eye. This allows your brain to register what your eyes are seeing as 3-D depth. The rows of lenticular lens are aligned vertically and as the view shifts from side to side, each eye is presented with its own slightly different perspective of the objects on the mousepad, giving the impression of true depth.

Flip allows two pictures called “phases” or “frames” to be printed on one mousepad. As the viewer moves, the visible picture changes from one image to the other. Horizontal lenticular lenses focus on one or the other image as the view shifts from top to bottom. Art elements may be included in both frames so they are always visible.

Motion/Morph/Animation/Zoom mousepads are similar to flips, but use more than two pictures or “frames” arranged in a sequential order to create the illusion of movement (Motion & Animation), transformation (Morph), or an image increasing or decreasing in size (Zoom). Generally, a common background is used with only certain elements changing in each frame.

Multiple Effects can be included on one mousepad. A common combination is the 3-D/Flip which combines the 3-D and Flip lenticular effects. One or both images in the flip can be three dimensional.

Art Services: Due to the nature of lenticular printing, art charges, when required, can only be determined after reviewing the requested project – Call for pricing.

UV Offset Lenticular Set-Up: All lenticular prints are completed by printing direct to the lens using a state-of-the-art 6 color Heidelberg CD-74 UV printing press – Call for pricing.

Lenticular Proofs: There are two types of press proofs for lenticular prints. First is the economical grey scale proof – $100. This shows the lenticular effects in clear black & white and comes with a calibrated color printout for color reference. Second is the full color press proof – $625. The grey scale proof is used most often.

Lead-Time: For a complete discussion of lead times, please call or email. In general, lead time is 10 working days from receipt of approved art for a production proof and 10 working days from receipt of approved art or proof approval for the completed job. Rush service is available subject to project requirements and scheduling.


All Effects:

Send layered Photoshop files for best results.
• Avoid thin lines, especially going the same direction as the lens.
• Avoid type smaller than 14 points.
• Since the lenticular lens only shows the eyes a small portion of the underlying print at any one time, very small elements such as thin lines, small text, and some portions of smaller text may actually disappear from the visible image as the finished print is moved.
• Avoid solid color, black, and white backgrounds. Use a busy or textured background or a common background when practical.

• All images submitted for 3-D pads must be layered files with all elements editable – no placed images. All images are converted to layered Photoshop files before processing; so, submit art as a layered Photoshop .psd file when ever possible. Layered Illustrator or Freehand files can be used but will be converted to a Photoshop layered file before processing. Image resolution should be 300 ppi or higher.
• Avoid solid color, black, and white backgrounds. Black or very dark backgrounds reduce the sense of depth. The background in a 3-D print must contain some sort of image or texture in order for your eyes to register a difference in position for the rest of the image elements in the picture.
• Create as much “visual” 3-D and perspective in the original picture as possible. The more 3-D the image looks to start with, the better the 3-D lenticular effect. In general, foreground elements are larger and lighter and background items are smaller and darker. Good color contrast between elements also helps. If elements have their own perspective shaped with shadows and highlights, exaggerating these properties will add depth.
• Overlap elements when possible. Image elements that overlap even slightly provide additional position reference points for the images printed in front of or behind them increasing the sense of depth.
• In 3-D prints there is one special layer called the “zero layer” or “key plane”. This is a layer in the print that is shown in the same position to both eyes so it doesn’t shift or change position when the printed pad is moved. This zero layer is always the clearest printing layer in the print. Art elements such as logos or type that you need to be very clear and not affected by the image shifts required to generate the 3-D effect should be positioned on the zero layer or close to it. In 3-D space, items printing closer to the zero-layer are clearer and become less sharp as they move into the foreground and background of the picture.
• Add 3/8" of width to the background image bleed.
• Custom shapes can be interesting but remember that the foreground and background images will shift right to left as the printed pad 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 and may appear cut off in certain views.
• 3-D counter pads are always printed using vertically oriented lens material.

• Avoid solid color, black, and white backgrounds – photographs or busy, noisy 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 move the pad up & down. Since both images are present under the lens, some bleed through or “ghosting” of one image into the other is usually present. The effect of this ghosting is minimized when busier images and backgrounds are used which mask or hide the ghosting.
• Avoid flipping from one high contrast element to another. Flipping from a red ball to a white square, for example, would not work well as the red ball will surely ghost into the white square. Flips work best when the general color, shape of elements, and contrast of the from and to pictures are similar.
• Keep the backgrounds the same when possible while flipping individual Images or text of similar shape and color.
• In the case of motion or morph effects, use the minimum number of pictures or frames required to create the effect.
• These mousepads are usually printed using horizontally oriented lens material.
• Art files for these effects need not be layered but should be high resolution and must be editable. All images are converted to Photoshop .tif files before being processed. Image resolution should be 300 ppi or higher.

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