Watermarking Photographs with Paint Shop Pro
We've received a number of e-mails recently asking how to add a watermark to an image. Actually this technique, asked for under many different names, is relatively easy with Paint Shop Pro's layering capabilities.
This much sought-after effect adds a ghostly image of a name, copyright, company symbol, etc., to an existing image making it difficult to copy and use the image without the artist's permission.
Here's how it works:
Open the image you want to watermark, or protect.
If you have an existing watermark file, open it too. If not create the signature, copyright info, or watermark file using black on white.
If the watermark file you wish to use is not in black on a white background you should either recreate it or change the image so that it is only black and white (no levels of gray, either - just black and white).
Figure 24.1 shows the image I'll use. It's simply a version of the GrafX Design logo with all of the colors converted to black.
You may find, with the two images opened side-by-side, that your watermark image is either too small or too large. If this is the case choose Image, Resize. Doing so will bring up the Resize dialog box (see figure 24.2).
You can safely use most of the default settings. What you'll obviously want to change is the setting that will decide the new size of your image.
I chose to use the "Percentage of Original" option and, as you can see from figure 24.2, I chose to set the new size to 50 percent of the original. This was an eyeball guess, but it worked out well. You may have to try changing the settings a couple of times to get it right for your watermark/image combination.
TIP: If, after resizing your watermark, you're not happy with the new size, just choose Edit, Undo to bring it back to the original size and try a different value.
Once you've got the watermark file to the size you want, choose Selections, Select All to select the entire watermark image.
Click on the title bar of the photo or image you wish to watermark to make it the active image.
Choose Edit, Paste as New Layer to paste the watermark file into the photo as a new layer.
Figure 24.3 shows the watermark image pasted into place as a new layer in the photograph of the Balloons photo.
If your watermark, like mine, doesn't fill the entire new layer you'll have to fill the space surrounding the watermark in with white.
To do so set the foreground color to white, select the Flood Fill tool, set the Fill Style to Solid Color in the Controls palette and click somewhere within the area that needs to be filled.
You should now have a black logo, signature, or whatever you chose as your watermark, on a white background. All of this should be in a new layer above the original photo you want watermarked.
The logo needs one effect applied to it before it is ready to be used as a watermark. The needed effect is the application of the Emboss filter. To apply the filter choose Image, Other, Emboss. The effect, seen in figure 24.4 gives the logo (or copyright symbol, or signature, or whatever) a raised appearance.
Note how the white areas have turned gray and how the black symbol, which has also been colored gray, now has a black border along the left and bottom edges and a white border along the right and top edges. The effect of the white and black outlines on the gray fool the eye into believing that the symbol is now 3-dimensional in nature and that it is actually raised off the gray background.
The final effect, which will change this grayscale layer into a watermark that will allow the image to show through, yet protect it from copying, is to change the Layer Blend Mode (see figure 24.5) of the watermark layer in the Layers palette.
NOTE: There are several Layer Blend modes available. These different modes can produce many amazing effects. I suggest that you play around with the modes to see how they affect a layer's interaction with the layers below it. Alternately, you may want to read "Sams Teach Yourself Paint Shop Pro 5 in 24 Hours" for a more in-depth look at Layer Blending Modes.
Often you'll want to simply leave a layer's blending mode set to Normal. In Normal mode any non-transparent areas completely cover the same areas in the layer(s) below. However, for the purposes of creating a watermark, the Soft Light mode is just the ticket.
The Soft Light mode renders the gray areas completely transparent allowing the underlying areas in the layer below to show through. It also mutes the white and black areas of the layer which, while leaving some of the lighter and darker lines from the Emboss effect showing, allows the image below to still be seen. All of this combines to create a watermark effect from the uppermost layer over the original photograph thus giving it some degree of protection when placed on a web site.
To change the Blending Mode from Normal to Soft Light, click the button next to the Layer Blending Mode pull down menu and choose Soft Light (see figure 24.6).
Figure 24.7 shows the final result of placing the GrafX Design logo as a watermark over a photograph of some hot air balloons.
Many web sites that offer stock photographs use this technique to protect their copyrights: now you can too.
Happy digital painting...
Be sure to check out some of our other Paint Shop Pro tutorials.