Combining Images for Powerful Lenticular Prints

Why would you put a lens over a photo? To create one of the flip animations that are becoming so popular these days. These are often referred to as lenticular animations, or Flipographs to distinguish them from flat photos, which, too often, just sit there looking pretty. And why would you want to combine two or more of your photos into this new medium? Because they’re so cool, they make uniquely attractive gifts, and you can use them to create dramatic direct mail pieces that will never be tossed.

Because Flipographs have a high-impact plastic lens over them, they’re thicker, have more “body” or stiffness, and are more durable than regular prints. The print under the lens is made up of alternating stripes of each of the two images, so the image resolution is necessarily cut in half in order to put two different images in the same space as one would be. The resolution is cut in third when combining three images, and so on. These effects are less pronounced and the animation is more eye catching and dynamic if you choose your images with the following characteristics:

- Simpler images without a lot of detail clutter. Some details will be lost because of the reduction in resolution mentioned above.

- Images that combine well together.

o Contrast makes for a fun animation: before/after, large/small, young/old, up/down, scoring the touchdown/getting creamed in a pileup.

o Sequential images work well: each of three grandchildren, the process of getting dressed for the prom, a step-by-stop demonstration of how to do something, someone moving toward or away from the camera.

o A photo combined with a type message i.e. one image that says “Happy Birthday” and another that shows the birthday girl in a happy moment.

o A multi-image series (4 to 5 flips) of a similar action, like clouds moving across the sky, waves breaking, popcorn popping, balloons inflating.

o Two or more images that tell a story.

- Well-lit images, not muddy or grainy.

- Subjects that are in focus. Sharpen each image before submitting them for interlacing, if necessary.

- Normal contrast photos without blown-out highlights or blocked up shadows.

- An image size large enough to print at 300 dpi resolution at the size you want your finished print to be.

- A little boost in saturation, if necessary. (This step isn’t necessary if you’re going for a more subtle effect, but keep in mind that the plastic lens tones down the color somewhat.)

- Identical sizing of each image in terms of dimension, resolution, orientation (all vertical or all horizontal).

- Background separation. Add a “wow factor” with subjects that are crisp and clearly delineated from their backgrounds.

- Attention to cropping. What do you want your viewer to see first in this image? Make sure it’s bright, sharp, and the focus of attention. Put the second image’s focus in the same spot, so the viewer is paying attention to the same area of the print when the animation occurs.

The photos shown here were used as just one layer of a lenticular print. It’s impossible to capture the lenticular effect here, using jpgs.

To see samples of images that combine well, visit learn more about making custom lenticular prints in small quantity, visit

Combining Images for Powerful Lenticular Prints


Novato, United States

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Visit for examples of custom lenticular prints you can make from your own digital photos.

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