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Creating a sign for a building

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jayson palmerCreating a sign for a building
by on Aug 25, 2013 at 2:59:15 pm

Does anyone have any good tutorials for creating realistic signs for a building?
I'm trying to create a sign for a police station and my director keeps telling me it looks fake. His main complaint is the text looks pixilated when Shrunk.

Here are some techniques I tried. Created a text in After Effect and using Mocha Import and Red Giant Warp, corner pinned it. He didn't like that.

I then created a 3D Text sign in Cinema 4D (lining it up to the footage the best I could) and rendered out a still and then pinned that the footage. Same thing. He says the text looks bad.

I created a text sign in Photoshop and upped the DPI to a ridiculous amount to not loose quality and that hasn't worked.

So I'm stuck.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Darby EdelenRe: Creating a sign for a building
by on Aug 25, 2013 at 4:04:40 pm

It's hard to say without seeing an example of the footage but I would guess that your sign needs to be blurred a small amount. There's really no such thing as perfectly sharp when capturing with a camera. Also, depending on the settings there may have been some in camera sharpening so you could sharpen the sign a bit after blurring it (sounds odd i know).

Other things to look into are matching the noise in the live footage as well as lens distortion (Distort > Optical Compensation).

Darby Edelen

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Creating a sign for a building
by on Aug 25, 2013 at 5:22:54 pm

Like Darby I have a hard time giving specific input without some stills for reference. You definitely need to add blur to your sign and also try matching the grain with your footage - that will do wonders to blend stuff in. Use the footage itself ( a few still frames ) to create the textures for the sign in PSD. A quick way to match the perspective and light in AE directly while giving volume to your sign would be to use FreeForm Pro or ShapeShifter AE to create, extrude and light the sign.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Creating a sign for a building
by on Aug 25, 2013 at 7:17:59 pm

Which Corner Pin option are you exporting from mocha? Have you scaled any of the insert (text/signage) layers? I'm asking these because I am trying to ascertain why your insert layer looks pixelated.

Other than answering the Qs it will also be good to have a look at the Timeline. It will be good if you can post a screencap of your Timeline which includes details of all the relevant properties.


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jayson palmerRe: Creating a sign for a building
by on Aug 25, 2013 at 7:26:37 pm

Thanks guys. I'll try to get some screen shots up in a few hours.

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