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Animation Prep Tutorial

How to provide images for animations, and shoot your own.

We suggest you browse our template menu of business cards as you go through this process. Those templates will give you more ideas that will assist you in finding the ultimate animation for your own unique business card or other animation card. We also offer some backgrounds and images for your design use. Go to "Animated Business Card Catalog". Click Here.

If you have a digital camera, you can take the pictures that you need for your own custom animation for your business cards and personal photo animation. Follow these simple instructions for making an effective animation.

A Typical Animation for business animation lenticulars:

These directions apply to most types of animation. The concepts remain the same regardless of subject. This tutorial will instruct you in creating a two image flip animation.

For a classic animation of a person smiling for a card you will proceed as follows:

  1. Ideally you will have a digital camera with at least 2 MB resolution. A camera with 'burst' mode is useful. A camera tripod is extremely helpful as well.

  2. You will need to take 2 pictures of your subject, one with a normal expression, the other with a nice smile. The camera must remain stationary and completely still. Your resolution should be 2 MB or higher. Do not use video mode. You also need a shutter speed high enough so that the action is not blurry in the still frames.

  3. Place your camera on a tripod, or brace it on a stationary object. Frame your subject as a close up of their face. Shoot the subject in front of a single colored wall or neutral background if possible. Have the subject alternately smile and not smile without moving and take pictures of each expression.

  4. Preview your 'smile'/'no smile' as a playback. If you are pleased with the result you will send us the two images and the text info for your card. We will then design a proof of your card.

  5. You can apply this same system to any similar image that can reflect change or motion.
    For example:
    An automobile dealership can take one photo of a vehicle with all the doors open and the lights on, and alternate it with the vehicle with the doors closed and lights off.

    A realtor may choose to use their business logo alternating with a picture of a house. You would only need to supply the logo and one photo of the house. Try shooting the house twice, once with lights on, once with lights off. This is best done near dusk when both the house exterior and interior lights will be visible.

    Use any clip art you find online. Two separate images can alternate on your card, or your business name can alternate with a clip art image.

    Use two of the same image, each in a different color. When your card moves, it will change from one color to another. This effect is most obvious when the image is large.

  6. You can email your digital files and text, or questions to For a more sophisticated, multiple motion animation, you can supply additional images that reflect intermediate frames of the action taking place. Remember that each shot must be taken with the camera completely still.

A Typical Animation for personal animation lenticulars:

Basically follow the same steps as above using from 2 to 6 frames. Have the aspect ratio (shape) of your animation match the size and shape that you are wanting. Our maximum size for 2-6 frames is 8"W X 6"H on 179 LPI. For larger prints on 20 LPI the minimum size is 8" X 10" and uses 2-3 frames.

See "Animation Prints" Price List.