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    Capturing Signatures for ID's

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    zeusk
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    Posts : 144
    Join date : 2011-12-04

    Capturing Signatures for ID's

    Post  zeusk on Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:15 pm

    Photo-laminated Ids are done with a specialty Polaroid camera. As this is an older technology, these cameras turn up quite often on Ebay. The means by which these cameras capture your signature is as follows:

    You sign a piece a paper, and that paper gets put into a slot in the camera. On that paper is all your info, license number, name, address, everything that is eventually going to be put on the license. Its all bigger than its going to be on you license too. Id guess the font is about 12 pt type on the paper you sign (it eventually winds up about 9pt on the license)

    So when the agent snaps your pic, they are actually taking your pic and a pic of the card with all your info on it at the same time. That results in a polaroid pic of your id, which is cut with a die cutter and laminated. So your signature is actually photographed.

    Heres how I get the signature on the ID.

    1. Have them sign any piece of white paper.
    2. Scan it. I scan at 600dpi, my template is 1200dpi
    3. Crop as tight as you can to the actually signature.
    4. Convert to greyscale. (remove color information)
    5. Convert back to CMYK.
    6. Adjust Levels. Make the white totally white with the highlight eyedropper. Use the shadow and midtone adjusters to get the signature a little darker (it probably lightened up with ur first adjustment)
    7. Copy and paste into your template.
    8. Change blending mode for the signature layer to Multiply. This makes all the white area transparent.
    9. Line up over sig line and transform to the right size. The tops of the signature letters just about touch the bottom line of user info. Keep in mind that the person signs on that signature line with all the info present on the paper, so sometimes the signature will overlap the info, depends how big they sign. Youre instructed at DMV not to touch the letters and most people manage to stay in the area theyre supposed to. Even if you dont, they still go ahead, they dont make you sign a new piece of paper.

    Thats about it. I usually wind up stretching the sig a little longer too, it should take up at least half the sig line.

    So the signature isnt digital, none of the license is, its a photograph of your actual signature.

    Heres the hex of the color I use for the words: 52474F Even though they are black on the white paper, photographing them changes the colors and they are never dead black on the dl. Blur all the type layers (except the camera number over ur photo) too with a guassian blur filter. I blur about 2.0 pixels on a 1200dpi temp. Blur the sig to match, usually a little more than the type, like twice. Nothing printed on the ID is crisp, except for the 3 digit camera number on top of your pic.

    The hardest thing I have with NJ is getting the picture to look like a polaroid pic. Taking the pic with a digital camera creates way too much detail so I always scanned in a passport pic. Still couldnt get it perfect though. You have to remove all perception of depth, thru blurring, contrast and however else you can think of. The only way Ive gotten an ID to look exactly like a real one is by scanning in the pic off someones real ID. My friend got ahold of an old DMV camera, so I dont have to make them on my comp too much anymore.

    Oh another thing, the back of a NJ is actually printed right on the lamination, printing on a piece of paper never looks right. I have some real laminations so I never had to worry about that. Dont use bright white paper for the back either. Xerox makes colored paper, use the grey, its perfect and you can buy it at office max (or office depot, I get em confused)

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