Lenticular Image Interlacing

Lenticular gives a motion or 3D effect because the lens can be used to focus on distinct images, each in unison. Similar to a movie that has frame after frame of still images flashed quickly a raw lenticular image (viewed without the lens) will appear as if it is more than one image.

To create a lenticular first all the frames (for animations) or angles of viewing (3d) are created.Frames for 3D lenticular are organized and located typically in layers of a photoshop file or similar platform equivalent.  In the case of animations it is typical to have each image as a separate file, although users accostomed to creating easy aniommations in an image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP may still prefer to store frames as layers. Software can then be used to separate thin slivers of each layer, layers are then reorganized. For a 3 frame sequence (Frames 1, 2, 3) each of the three images may be broken up into 5 slivers (A,B,C,D,E). They are then interlaced in the following sequence:

3D lenticular works on the same principle but instead of each image behind a different frame of animation it is a different angle of viewing for the same scene.

Assuming each sliver gets 1 pixel this means at a minimum the above example would be 15 pixels. However when broken into slivers the overall dimensions of the image are generally keep the same to avoid any distortion. The result is that each image is actually 1/5th of the quality to be expected from an equally sized non-interlaced image. This means that even if using high definition video or imagery some degradation is expected and normal. It is simply unrealistic to believe that a 40 frame animation on lenticular the size of a smartphone will ever compare to an LCD output display. For every 40 pixels the LCD can display the lenticular can only show 1, solely because of interlacing.
There are some softwares that will do the interlacing for you. I expect these are a good start but not a replacement for a world class digital artist that truly understands the intracacies of depth and perspective.

Lenticular Image Creator

Also available are a number of great blogs following digital artists focusing on 3D imagery.

Youtube is fantastic for explanations including this one that shows the whole process from initial picutre to final interlaced image.

Back to 3dEngr’s 10 Things about Lenticular


  1. When I save a Photoshop file as a PNG, I have the option of “interlaced” or “no interlaced”. When should I choose the former? And when should I choose the latter?

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