Add a sign to a nondescript building?


I have 0 knowledge of cgi. I’d hire someone. For now, I just wanna know if this is possible. I’m making a short film that includes a scene at a record label. (Not a real label, of course.) I’d like a shot of a building exterior, with a made-up name somewhere on the facade or marquee. Take this pic for example. Instead of saying “earl’s court station” it’d say the name of a made-up record label.

A few questions. Could this be done convincingly with a still shot? Could it be done convincingly with a slow panning shot? And as far as the actual filming goes, would I need to cover the intended sign area with green screen material?



Yes, it’s possible. If the camera isn’t moving, and you don’t have any moving objects getting in front of the sign, it’s something you could teach yourself to do in a day or two. If the camera is moving, or you have stuff moving directly in front of the sign, it gets trickier, but still pretty simple as VFX shots go.

You’ll want to cover the old sign with a green screen if you have stuff moving in front of the sign.


Cool. I don’t intend to have anything moving in front of the sign.

Any recommended FCPX plugins for this?


I have no clue if you could do it in Final Cut or not; it’s certainly not FC’s strong suite. I’d recommend renting After Effects.


With a still shot, all you do is take 1 still frame into Photoshop and Photoshop your imaginary record label sign into the frame.

Then you make the frame area around the portion of the building with the new sign a single flat color that can be keyed out - green for example.

In FinalCut or other editing software, you overlay this Photoshopped still frame onto your moving footage, and use a chroma key function to get rid of the green area around your record label sign.

Quite easy to do.

With a moving shot, things get far more complicated, because you will need to camera track/matchmove your new sign into footage with a moving camera.

You’ll need software like AfterEffects with its Mocha tracker to pull this off.

If you’ve never done this before, you might want to hire someone who knows how to do this.