This tutorial will explain how to configure a GIF to print as a Lenticular image. If you haven't read the Getting Started with Lenticular Printing, please do so before continuing with this tutorial.
The GIF feature in PBU offers the most versatile way to create lenticular images, as it can be used for standard flip lenticulars, 3D lenticulars from a slider using Burst GIF, or simple green screen single photo lenticulars from a pre-interlaced background.
Before we begin, we must stress that lenticular printing quality can vary from printer to printer, and even lenses sourced from different suppliers can look very different when applied to the same image. So we must emphasize that you must ALWAYS TEST your lenticular setup before you finalize your settings for your event. Our software is compatible with any windows printer, but some printers do not look as good with lenticulars as others. There are also printers that make great quality lenticular prints when the interlacing is printed in one direction, but not in the other (portrait vs landscape).
Let's start with a basic flip lenticular. To create a flip, you will need at least two separate images in your main GIF. These can be any two images you wish. Green screen and regular images are both valid. For flip lenticulars, I recommend not going above 3 images in the lenticular output as more will generally bleed together too much making the flip effect less pronounced. But you must test this for yourself, as it is possible the ghosted look may work well for your specific project.
One of the greatest benefits of Lenticular creation in PBU, is that you may create a GIF with many frames, but only use a couple of those frames for the lenticular print. This allows you to have both a standard GIF or GIF to video output to share digitally as well as a physical lenticular print! For information on how to create a GIF, please refer to the tutorial on GIF creation HERE.
Here are the settings we will be using for this tutorial:
Note that we are creating a portrait orientation image at 6 inches tall by 4 inches wide. We will explain why we are doing this in the lenticular settings.
To enter the lenticular configuration settings, click the Configure Lenticular button. In the new window check the box marked Save GIF frames as Lenticular and the following options will appear:
The first set of options are for whether you are creating a flip lenticular (the lines will be horizontal) or a 3D lenticular (the lines will be vertical). Remember that your lenticular lens MUST match the settings that you are using for your print or the lenticular will not work.
The lenticular lens we are using is a 40 LPI lens that is 6 inches by 4 inches with the lines running across the short side (this means when the lens is held in Portrait orientation, the lines are horizontal.) So we will be printing our lenticular in portrait mode. Let's first set the LPI to 40 to match our lens:
Now let's set the Width of our print to 4.00 inches and the Height to 6.00 inches. This is will make the lenticular print a portrait print so that it matches the lines of the lens:
We are using the same settings as our GIF settings, which means there will be no cropping. However, you can use different settings here if you want, for instance, a square digital output for social media, but you don't have square lenticular frames. If you do this, the software will scale and crop the GIF frames to the size of your lenticular print.
The next setting we need to adjust is the printer DPI. This varies from printer to printer (most dye sublimation printers use 300 DPI, but you should check the printer you plan on using at your event to make sure you are using the correct DPI for that printer).
Some printers (many inkjet printers for instance) allow for different DPI settings. Generally in this case, it is best to set the printer to the maximum recommended setting for your printer and then adjust if needed. If you have the printer you will be using at the event connected. You may use the Select from printer button to get the default DPI for that printer.
Once you have the DPI and the LPI set, the maximum number of images will automatically adjust. This is a the maximum number of images possible. That does not mean that this number of images will look best, only that this is the number of individual interlaced lines that your printer can fit into each lenticular lens line. You may manually reduce the number of images here, but you cannot go over the maximum.
We will reduce our number of images to 2.
In the Image # and GIF frame # columns we will select the first image, and assign it to our first GIF frame. We'll also select the second image and assign it to the second GIF frame:
If you were using a GIF that had more frames than the lenticular output, this is where you choose which specific frames will show up in your lenticular print.
If you reduce the number of images in the Number of images box, the software will automatically assign each image to the maximum number of interlaced lines possible. However, you can fine tune your effect by leaving the number at the max value, and assigning individual GIF frames to multiple lenticular images. For instance, say you want one image (e.g. a guest’s face) to be the dominant image and stay in the frame longer, but a second image (a logo perhaps) to be just a faded ghost image that shows up briefly when the guest moves the frame. If you have 5 lenticular images available, you could set the guest face image to the first 4, and the logo image to the last one. This kind of fine control allows for a much wider range of effects with your lenticular output.
That's it for the Lenticular settings. Hit OK twice to save and exit GIF settings. Select Auto apply in the GIF mode box and make sure our new GIF is selected. Click OK again to exit settings.
Take the two photos for your GIF and print it. The GIF is still shareable digitally, but a separate lenticular file is created that will be sent to the printer. Insert the printed image into the correct lenticular frame, or apply the lenticular lens to see the flip effect.
Here is the end result:
Congratulations! You have created your first Lenticular image from a GIF! Next have a look at our Lenticular Morph tutorial.