Frequently Asked Questions FAQ > Questions About Design > I have this picture, can you turn it into a decal for me? (background information)

I have this picture, can you turn it into a decal for me? (background information)

The simple answer is yes. But first, some background information.

Have you seen those shows like CSI or James Bond movies where some tech guy takes a fuzzy photo and within a few minutes ‘blows up’ a license plate number so it can be read?

Sometimes this is possible… but not as seen on TV. I’ve been in this business over a decade and I’m sure even the government doesn’t have software that can do the ‘clean ups’ or enlargements that we’ve all seen so easily and matter of factly accomplished on TV.

So, what is possible? Well with some fancy software and cutting edge algorithms, a computer might guess what license plate numbers are possible from a fuzzy picture. But even then, an artist would have to sit down for some time consuming computer drawing to turn the photo into anything realistic. Have you ever taken a picture that’s on your computer and zoomed in real close and seen all the little pixels. That’s all the CSI tech is working with. That is all that is there… nothing more. If it is not there to ‘clean up’ it has to be redrawn. This redraw, besides requiring a good working knowledge of computers (a geek), requires an artistic flare (an artist). These are two mindsets hard to come by in one person.

How does this relate to the above question? You may have already guessed. Yes, taking a little picture that you have and turning it into a decal is possible. But the better the quality to start with (that is, the higher the dpi and size) the better (and cheaper) the end product. A poor quality or small image can get expensive to replicate as a decal.

HOWEVER, we can take even the smallest of images and turn it into billboard if needed. How do we do it? We simply print out the image and give it to our resident artist to draw / duplicate by hand. Then this new image is scanned into the computer to be converted into a decal file format. As you might guess, this can get a bit expensive for some.

On the other hand, if we are given a good quality image to start with (again, size and dpi are what matter), we can run it through our fancy software and cutting edge algorithms and within a few clicks, in true CSI style, we’re done! The cost? Free.

What determines whether the tech does the job for free or the artist redraws (which can get expensive)? It all matters, again, on the quality of the artwork we are given. So give us the best that you have and we’ll get together a quote.

(here is an example of this in application)

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