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.
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).
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.