Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watermarking--a wee tutorial

It's a sad truth. There are unscrupulous people out there who will simply right click and save a picture off of the internet and then paste it onto their site as their own. Or, worse yet, they upload it to Zazzle or Photobucket or similar, make a bunch of things with YOUR image and sell them. It happens. You don't want it to be your picture. Now, watermarks can be Photoshopped out, but it is a long arduous process and even if you remove it, the picture will never look as good as the original. It's a very good chance that someone who can't be bothered creating their own art to sell isn't going to have the time or skills to bother with all of that. Fortunately, adding a watermark to a picture is a lot easier than removing one!

Step one: Open your picture in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. You can also use Corel Draw. Immediately, before you do anything else, save the file under a new name.  Call it "picturewtrmk" or "picturecopy" something that indicates that it's not your original scan.  Now you can start editing.   Down in the bottom of your layers menu, there is a little icon that looks like a paper pad. Click to make a new layer.

Step two: From your tools menu, click on the "T" to make a text layer. It will show you the bounding box over your picture. Adjust the size of your text so that it is as wide as your picture.

Step 3: To get that copyright mark, open your character map. You can find it in your start menu under accessories. Select and copy the mark. Not all fonts have this mark so you may just want to use a regular font like Arial.

Type in your mark.* I usually prefer the Blackadder font, but I used Arial here so you can see it better. I also use white text because it fades well and blends with your photo rather than compete with it.

Now set your opacity to about 50%. If you have a lot of busy detail in your pic like this one, you may want to set it higher. Fiddle with it until it looks the way you want it to.

You want it to be visible, but not look like it was stamped over your picture. Sort of like it was drawn on there with water (hence the name.)

Then, flatten your image by choosing 'merge down' from the layers palette and save. 
And that's it.

This is what the US copyright office has to say about the subject:
* Form of Notice for Visually Perceptible Copies
The notice for visually perceptible copies should contain all
the following three elements:
1 The symbol © (the letter C in a circle), or the word
“Copyright,” or the abbreviation “Copr.”; and
2 The year of first publication of the work. In the case of
compilations or derivative works incorporating previously
published material, the year date of first publication of
the compilation or derivative work is sufficient. The year
date may be omitted where a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural
work, with accompanying textual matter, if any, is
reproduced in or on greeting cards, postcards, stationery,
jewelry, dolls, toys, or any useful article; and
3 The name of the owner of copyright in the work, or an
abbreviation by which the name can be recognized, or a
generally known alternative designation of the owner.
Translation: You write "copyright, the © or Copr." on it, it's yours for the rest of your life plus 95 years after. For more information you can go to: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf


Marsha Baker said...

Thanks for taking the time to share this. It was very helpful for me. I'm following you now! Love your stuff.

nomadcraftsetc said...

This is awesome! What a great tutorial-you explain things so well!

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