Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Photoshop Tip – Create an Image Watermark

Make a Watermark Reminiscent of a Post Office Stamp Cancellation

In a older post I talked about using an image watermark in Lightroom to apply to your images.

Lightroom Tip – Using Image Watermarks

Finally, in this post, I’ll show you how to create the watermark image to use.

This watermark has two concentric circles with text between them and a set of wavy lines making it look like a post office stamp cancellation. The watermark also has a slightly grunge look.

To make it, start in Photoshop with a letter size image. I set mine to landscape orientation with a white background. This will make it easy to create a black watermark and I will be able to see it as I work.

Add a new layer by choosing Layer > New > Layer. This is a transparent layer on which you’ll place the circles.

Start with the Ellipsis Tool which shares a position in the Tools with the Rectangle tool – it is a shape tool – don’t use the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

Make sure that the option on the Tool Option bar is set to Path and hold Shift as you drag a circle on the screen.

When the circle is in position choose Window > Paths to view the Paths palette.

Select the Brush tool and select a brush. I used a Hard Round brush sized down to around 40 pixels.

Set the foreground color to black, click the Work Path in the Paths palette to select it and then click the Stroke Path with Brush icon at the foot of the Paths palette. This strokes the path with the current brush.

Click the Path Selection Tool which shares a position in the Tools palette with the Direct Selection Tool. Click on the path and it will select the entire path.

If the transformation handles do not appear press Ctrl + T (Command + T on the Mac). Hold Shift and Alt (Shift and Option on the Mac) and drag inwards to create a circle which is concentric with the previous circle.

Repeat the process of selecting the Brush, click on the path so it is selected and click to Stroke Path with Brush.

Click the Path Selection Tool and, with this smaller circle selected, press Ctrl + T (Command + T on the Mac). Hold Shift and Alt (Shift and Option on the Mac) and drag a little outwards to create a circle path for typing the text along.

Select the Text tool and hold the mouse over this third path.

Look for the text tool to show as an I-beam pointer with a bent line through it – this tells you Photoshop will align the text along the path.

Click once to anchor the Text tool to the path. Select the text color – in my case I chose black – and select the font and font size – I used Myriad Pro – 24 points. Type the text to use – I typed:

© 2012, Helen Bradley – projectwoman.com –

To enter © hold Alt and type 0169.

With the text selected display the Character palette by choosing Window > Character and adjust the tracking to expand the text so it wraps all the way around the shape.

You can draw your own lines for the cancellation lines using the Custom Shape Tool. First create a new layer then select the Wave shape and on the Tool Options bar make sure that it is set to Path.

Drag to make your curved lines.

Select the Add Anchor Point Tool (it shares a position with the Pen tool) and click once in the middle of each end of the path to add a point.

Target the Direct Selection Tool, click one at a time on the Anchor points you just added and press Delete – this breaks the 3 paths in half to make 6 paths. When the Anchor is selected it will show as a dark filled square.

Select your Brush and black paint and select the path in the Paths palette and click the Stroke Path with Brush icon.

Once you’ve done this you can add a grunge effect.

Start by hiding the background layer, target the top layer and press Control + Alt + Shift + E to create a flattened layer with transparency. Hide all layers but this top one.

If the lines aren’t dark enough duplicate this layer a few times and they will darken. Then merge all these duplicated layers

To add the grunge effect click Add a Layer Mask icon at the foot of the layers palette to add a mask to the layer. Locate an interesting texture image to use such as this one from www.mayang.com/textures.

Make it the same size as your image by choosing Image > Resize, deselect the Constrain Proportions checkbox and click Window and click your copyright image file to use its dimensions. Click Ok.

Now return to your Copyright image, click the mask to target it and choose Image > Apply Image. From the Source box select the texture image (it won’t appear in the list if it isn’t the right size), and then set the other options to suit so you get a distressed look to your copyright symbol. Click Ok.

Add a new layer and press Control + Alt + Shift + E to create a flattened version of the image on this layer but maintaining its transparency. Make all other layers invisible and crop the image close around your shape.

Then choose File > Save As and save it as a .PNG image to use in Photoshop or Lightroom as a copyright overlay.

If you select the top layer and press Control + I you’ll invert it to make a white version of the copyright image that you can then save as a second .png file.

Make sure to also save your file as a .psd file if you think you might need to make changes to it – for example, to change the date – a .png file is flattened so it won’t be easy to edit – a .psd file will be much easier to update.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Lightroom – Copyright Watermark Bulk amount of Images

If you have thousands of images to add a copyright watermark to, you can use Lightroom to do this very quickly. This video shows the workflow to use to import thousands of images into Lightroom and how to export them and create your own watermark to add to them. This is a minimalist workflow designed to process a lot of images very quickly.

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can copyright in bulk the images as you export them from Lightroom. One of my blog readers recently contacted me and asked me how easy it would be to add watermarks to a series of images that they had. And so this video is for them and for anybody else who’s considering applying a watermark to a lot of images all at once. And my suggestion is, and she had something like two and a half to three and a half thousand images, is that Lightroom is the tool to use.

So I’m going to get started and I actually have a folder of images that I am going to import into Lightroom to show you exactly how it will work. So I’m going to click on Import and then I’m going to select the folder that contains the images that I want to import in. So this would be the folders that contain the two and a half thousand or so images that this particular reader has. So I’m just looking for my particular set of images. And I know they’re here. So all I’m going to do to start off with is just to select the folder of images. And it’s these Cornwall images that I’m going to import. Now I’m going to add them to Lightroom. And in this case because I want to do this very quickly because all I want to do is to add watermarks to them, I’m going to select Minimal as my previews because that’s going to render everything very, very quickly. And because I want lots of images I’m going to deselect Don’t import selected duplicates. So all I’m going to do at this stage is now to click Import and bring those all into Lightroom.

Now the images are coming into Lightroom and I can start getting ready as soon as they’re in to export them with their watermarks. Now some of these are portrait orientation and some of them a landscape. That may or may not be an issue. I’m going to select the first image and Shift click on the last so that we can export them. I’m going to Right click and choose Export and then Export again. And this takes me to the Export dialogue. So the first thing I need to do is to determine where I want to export them to. So I’m just going to put them into a folder in my My Documents folder. And I’m just going to create a brand new folder for them. But I’m going to select My Documents as the location, and I’m going to put in a subfolder called watermark. And then I will check if I want to rename my files. I don’t want to rename them. The idea of this is to get in and out as quickly as possible.

I can convert them if they were not JPGs and I could select the quality for them. Again 85 percent quality might be sufficient. If you’re that particular reader 100 percent quality might be your preferred quality. I can resize them or not. So if I want to leave them at the exact same size I just deselect everything.

What we’re most concerned about here is this Watermark option. So I’ve got it selected, and I’m going to click it, and I can choose Edit Watermarks. So this means that I can now create my own watermark. So I’m just going to delete what’s here. I’m going to press and hold the Alt key as I type out 0169 on the keyboard because that gives me the copyright symbol, and I’m going to type my copyright text. And I’m going to do two lines. And it’s Helen Bradley, projectwoman.com. And you can see it up here and it’s up there because that’s where I’ve got it positioned right

now. Here’s the anchor. If I wanted it down the bottom corner I could place it there. And then there’s an inset which is inset off that option.

So I could push it further down into the corner if I wanted to or not. It looks like it’s also centered right now. And no it isn’t. It’s right justified. So we could left justify it or center it if we wanted to. And we can also resize it either by dragging on its sides or we can drag it just to make it bigger if we wanted to. So I’m going to inset this a little bit horizontally and a little bit vertically. But you could see that we have a lot of power in where we place it.

Its opacity is 100 percent. And I always suggest that you do apply a shadow to your text because the shadow will help its readability if it’s over a lighter background. So I would normally put a very, very small shadow. And you can change the angle so that you can make the shadow come from whatever angle that you want it to come from. I prefer mine to come from about 30 to 45, something like that, so it’s coming in from this angle here. And if you’re happy with that that’s all you need to do. So you click Save. And we’re going to save this. And we’ll call it test watermark, you can call it whatever you want your watermark to be called, and I’ll click Create. And it’s now being selected as the watermark for my images.

I’m going to select to after export to show in Explorer. But literally at this point we could have two and a half or three and a half thousand images selected and they would all be ready for export. And all I do is click Export and now they’re going out. They’re exported out of Lightroom. And when they appear in that folder in My Documents, which we’re going to see in a minute, here it is now, they’re all going to have the watermark on them. So if I double click on this image we’re going to see that the watermark is in place.

So that’s how easy it would be to apply a watermark. If that were all you wanted to do and you had thousands of images to do it with, that’s all you need do to watermark your images. Bring them into Lightroom, don’t even bother rendering big previews, just use the minimal, select to export them, click and create your watermark and then just click Go and Lightroom will just go and do it all for you.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. Please if you have any questions feel free to pose them to me. I’m quite happy to make videos to answer questions. Look out for more of my videos on this YouTube channel. And follow me at projectwoman.com where you’ll find more tips, tricks and tutorials for Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator and a whole lot more.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Photoshop – Postage Style Copyright Stamp

Create a cancelled postal stamp watermark to use in Photoshop and Lightroom. See how to use the path tools to create the watermark and then save it as a png image with a transparent background so it can be used over your images.
This is the video explanation of the blog post on the same topic which you can find here:

Click Here for Photography School Tip Blog Post

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a postage style copyright stamp that you can use on your images. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can create a copyright symbol like this which is a couple of concentric circles and some wavy lines and text. And it’s got an overall texture to it.

This is a tutorial that I created for digital-photography-school.com when one of my readers there was having a bit of difficulty following along. So that’s why I’ve created this as a video tutorial. And because of this I’m going to be doing it step-by-step as I did it for that particular tutorial on the Digital Photography School site. And you’ll see in the comments here just below the tutorial I’ve given you a link to that site if you want to follow along.

So the first thing that I did in that tutorial was to create a brand new image. So I’m going to do that now. I’m going to choose File and then New. And I’m going to do a letter size image, landscape. So it’s 11 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall, and it’s 300 pixels resolution, RGB color and the background contents are white. So I’m just going to click Ok. And here’s our starting image.

Now we’re going to add a new layer so I’m going to have my layers palette visible. So if you don’t have it visible choose Window and then Layers so that you can see it. And we’re going to add a new layer and we do that by clicking this little icon here. It’s the Add New Layer icon. It looks like I clicked it twice. So I only want one new layer here. And we’re going to draw our circles using the Ellipsis tool. And it’s here in the toolbar so let’s just have a look and see what we’re looking for.

We’re looking for this tool here. It’s the Ellipsis tool. And when you choose it you want to choose Paths from the tools option palette. Now the options are a little bit different in earlier versions of Photoshop. There are three icons here and you want to make sure that you click the icon that says Path when you mouse over it. They’re the exact same options. They just deliver differently. And this is Photoshop CS6’s version so I have Path selected.

I’m going to drag to draw an ellipsis, but you can see that this is going to be a sort of oval. I want it to be a circle so I’m going to hold Shift as I draw it. And if it’s not in the correct position before I let everything go I’m going to hold the Spacebar and move it into position, let go the Spacebar and just make sure that I have the outermost of my circles created. And when it’s dead right, I’ve still got the Shift key held, I’m going to let go of my Left Mouse button.

So now I have a circle the shape of this outer circle that we’re going to use. Now this is now going to be colored in and we want to stroke this circle. And we do this by going here to the Paths palette. Now the Paths palette you get to by choosing Window and then Paths. And the topmost path is going to be called your work path and that’s the one that you’re working with. This is this circle here. We want to stroke the circle with a brush so we’re going to go and select a brush to use.

So I’m going to click on my Brush tool and then I’m going to select the kind of brush that I want to use. And I’m going to use a hard sort of brush here. So I’m going to select that brush. It’s a hard brush. And let’s just check and see from the original tutorial just how big it needs to be. And apparently it needs to be 40 pixels. So let’s just take it up to around 40 pixels. That’s 39, but that’ll be fine.

I’m going to set black as my foreground color. So I’ve set my brush and my foreground color and what I want to do now is with this path selected I’m going to choose the option that says Stroke Path with Brush. So that’s this icon here. So I’ll click it to stroke the path with a brush. Now I’ve got a funny sort of stroke here and the reason is that my stroke is set to something I don’t want it to be set to. So let’s just wind that back with Edit, Undo.

Then I’m going to right click on this Path option here and choose Stroke Path. And I want to disable this option here, Simulate Pressure. I just want to stroke it with the brush so I’m going to click Ok. Now it’s working the way I want it to. So now I have my path stroked, well at least the outside stroked. Now I need to use the outside to make the inside because it’s going to be really easy to make a concentric circle. To do that I’m going to click on this tool here. It’s the Path Selection tool.

This is the one I want and it shares a position with the Direct Selection tool. But it’s the black one, the Path Selection tool that I want, and I’m going to click on my path so it is selected. Now I want to transform this. And the transformation handles have not appeared so I’m going to press Ctrl T to make them appear. I want to drag in on this handle. But I want to make sure that I don’t lose the circle and I want to make sure that I don’t lose the fact that it needs to be concentric. So I’m going to just hold down both Shift and Alt as I drag in on this handle. So let’s Shift Alt and drag inwards. And you can see that what I’m doing is making a concentric circle. It has the exact same middle as the original circle. I’m going to let go of my Left Mouse button and then let go of the shift and the Alt keys. Now my work path here is a much smaller path so I’m just going to click the checkmark here.

Now I’m going to do exactly the same thing. I’m going to select my brush and I’m going to stroke it, make sure black is my foreground color, and I’m going to stroke this path with the brush. And I get the exact same effect. Now what I need to do is to make a path for my type. And it needs to be a little bit bigger than this inside circle. So again, I’m going to click this Path Selection tool. I’m going to press Ctrl and T to show my handles, I’m going to hold down Alt and Shift, that’s Option and Shift on the Mac, and this time drag out just a little bit so that I get a path for my type, let go of the Left Mouse button, let go the rest of the keys and click the checkmark. Now I’m going to add my text. And to do that I’m going to select my Text tool and then select my type. And I want to use Myriad Pro.

So I’m going to go down here until I find Myriad Pro. And I think the type that I suggested in the article that we used was about 24 points so I’m going to click that. I have black as my type color. So everything looks pretty good. I’m going to hold my mouse over the line, over this path that is still selected, and when I do you’ll notice that the I-beam pointer changes from this I-beam to an I-beam with a short of squiggly line. That means I’m typing on the path. So I’m going to click to do that.

Now the first thing I need to do is to add my copyright symbol. So I’m going to hold down the Alt or Option key and type out 0169 on the keyboard because that gives me copyright, and now 2013, and I’m going to type my copyright details. And I think I’ll do this all in capitals. And I’m using Helen Bradley, projectwomam.com. And I think actually I just want to put a www in there so I’ll just arrow back and make that change.

Now so far my type hasn’t quite stretched all the way around my words. So the next thing we need to do is to stretch it just a little bit more. And I’m going to do that using the Character Spacing tool. So first of all, I’m going to make sure that all my text is selected and then I’m going to choose this dialogue here which will get me to the Character Spacing dialogue. Now this is two dialogues.

There’s a paragraph and a character, and we want the character. And what we want is this tool here, this VA tool. And it’s a scrubby slider so all I need to do is to adjust it a little bit. And can you see that the text is getting bigger every time I drag on it? And I think I’m going to wind that back just a little bit because I could probably add a trailing dash to this. And that’s now all the way around that shape. And let’s just up that to bold because I don’t think it’s really quite dark enough for me. And if I’m using bold I’ll going to have to wind back up on my character spacing a little bit. And so now I’ve created my text on a circle.

Now the only thing that I’m a little bit concerned about is I think that this circle could be a little bit smaller. So I’m going to reselect my text layer here, and again with Alt and Shift selected, I’m going to drag inwards just a little bit to resize that circle path that the text is on because I just think it was a little bit on the big side. So I’m a little bit happier with my text now.

So we’re ready now to go ahead and to create the wavy lines. And we’re going to do that by clicking on the Custom Shape tool here that shares that toolbar position with the Ellipse tool that we used earlier. But this time we want Custom Shape. And from the Shape dropdown list here what we’re looking for is this wiggly line wave shape. Now this is shipped with Photoshop so you will have the wave shape. If you don’t have it in your collection you can click this little fly out arrow and choose All to add all the shapes or append all the shapes to your shapes collection. But this is the one we’re using.

I’m going to drag the shape onto my image and then use the Path Selection tool to just move it into position. Now at the moment it’s a series of closed paths and I want to open these paths. And I’m going to do that by clicking here on the Add Anchor Point tool. Unfortunately you can’t just delete points in Photoshop to open up these curves.

We first of all have to add a point in here that we can then go and delete to open it up. It doesn’t work otherwise. It’s a bit of a nuisance. But this is how we’re going to do it. So I’m going to click once with this Add Anchor Point tool on the ends up all of the shapes. And now I’m going back to the Direct selection tool. And I’m going to make sure that I’m selected on this point that I just added, so it’s black and everything else around it is not, and I’m going to press the Delete key. And that will just break that path in two. And I’m going to repeat that for each of these points.

So select it and press Delete, select it, press Delete, select it, and press Delete. Now if Photoshop is running out of memory if you’ve been using it quite a bit, you might find as I just did earlier that that was not working. Every time I pressed Delete the entire path was going. So I just closed down Photoshop and reopened it and went back to where I was working and it’s working perfectly. So now I have my lines. And you’re probably beginning to see a pattern here because this is just another path. And we can stroke it because we have our tool that we can stroke it with.

So I’m just going to go back and make sure my brush is selected. The same brush is selected, black paint, click on the work path so that I have it selected and now I’m going to stroke it. And that is giving us our lines. And so if you wanted to leave it at this point you could because everything is in place. But I’m going to go ahead and add a Grunge effect to it.

Now we’re ready to create our Grunge effect. And to create that, first of all what we need to do is to flatten the image. But in flattening it I need to remove the white layer from the flattened version. That is because later on when I will put this copyright image over my photograph I want the background to be transparent. So I want to keep this white layer out of the action right now. So I have two visible layers. I’m going to click on the topmost layer and press Ctrl Alt Shift and E to create a new flattened version of this layer. So this is the version that I’m going to use. And now I’m going to bring in a texture layer.

So I have a texture image open here, and I think it’s a really nice texture to use. So I’ve got the texture open. And to add the texture to this particular layer I’m going to select the layer and click the Add Layer Mask icon because that adds a layer mask to the image. And now this texture has to be made the exact same size as this image so I’m going to choose Image and then Image Size. And I want to resize it to the exact same size as this one.

So I can do that by just clicking Window and just pointing to the image whose size I want to borrow. And that’s apparently the size of this image here so I’m just going to click Ok. And because it’s a texture image it doesn’t matter that I’m skewing it a bit out of proportion because nobody really knows what a scratch is supposed to look like. Having done this, and it’s critical that you resize the texture to the exact same size as this image or you can’t use this next technique, which is to apply the texture as a mask.

So I’m going to click on the mask, and I’m going to choose Image, Apply Image. And if you don’t have the texture file the exact same size it will not appear here. So it does obviously appear here so that’s exactly what I want. I want to apply the texture to the image. And at the moment it’s set to Multiply blend mode. But I can test other blend modes and I can even test inverting the layer. So I’m just going to look for the best effect that I can get here.

In fact in the tutorial I suggested that we use Hard Light. So that looks like the one that we’re going to use, Hard Light. So I’m just going to click it and click Ok. And that gives us the sort of texturize look to our shape. And again, I was going to create this as a new layer so I’ll click on this layer and again press Ctrl Alt Shift and E to gives me a newly stamped layer. Well it’s not appearing to work right now. So let’s just add a new layer and press Ctrl Alt Shift E because that will work. And then we’re going to save this as a PNG image. But before I do it I think it’s going to be cropped because I think it’s a bit too big at this stage.

So I’m just going to crop down to get rid of the bits of the image that I don’t want and click the checkmark. And now I’m going to save this but making sure that I have this background turned off because I want it to be a transparent image. So I’m going to save it as a PNG image. So I’ll choose File, Save as, and I’m going to call this HB copyright, black, and PNG. And I’m going to make sure that I select PNG from this list here. And here’s PNG. So I’m going to select it and just click Save and click Ok. And that’s now saved as a PNG image.

Having done that I then want to make it white. So I’m going to choose Image and then Adjustments and then I’m going to invert it so what was black becomes white. And now if I just test this with a black filled layer behind it, you’ll see that it’s now a white image. So we could use that to go over the top of for example a very dark image.

So having created that I’m going to turn off my background because I want this to be a transparent image, and I’m going to resave it this time as a PNG. But this time I’m going to call it white. So again, this is going to be HB copyright, and it’s going to be white, PNG. I’m going to save it as a PNG image, and Ok. And so this is now the copyright image that I can use on my images in future.

I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video tutorial. And look out for more of my tutorials both on digitalphotographyschool.com and also on my own website at projectwoman.com.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Lightroom Tip – Using Image Watermarks

The Watermarking feature in Lightroom was significantly overhauled in Lightroom 3. As a result you can now add sophisticated watermarks to your images on export either to disk or via the Print and other modules.

Not only can you add a text watermark to an image but you can also add an image watermark – and that’s what this post is all about – making and using images as watermarks in Lightroom 3 and Lightroom 4.

Create the image

To use an image watermark in Lightroom you will need an image and for that you’ll need an image editor. You can use anything that can create .png images – Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are obvious contenders but basically any photo editor or painting program will do.

Unlike text watermarks you can’t set the color of an image watermark in the Watermark dialog so you need to get it right before you begin. For that reason I create two – one black and one white – which cover most situations.

I do this in Photoshop working on a transparent layer – the reason is that I want this transparency to appear in the watermark when it is placed over the image. So, even if I use a fill layer behind the watermark so I can see the design as I work, I’ll hide this before saving the image.

When saving the image I’ll save it as a .png format file – this flattens the image to a single layer but retains transparency – something that the .jpg format does not.

To create the image as a watermark open a module that has Watermarking such as the Print module. Click it to enable it and then choose Edit Watermarks from the dropdown list.

Click Graphic in the top right corner to select that as the Watermark Style. When prompted select the image to use. This image is dark so I chose the white version of the copyright watermark image.

If you cannot see the image, scroll down to the Watermark Effects area and adjust the Size so you can see the image. Set the desired size and placement using the Size, Anchor and Inset settings. Typically you will use the bottom left anchor point (or the bottom right) and move the image a little in from the edge of the photo.

Once you have the position and size correct you can save this as a Watermark you can use anytime in future by clicking the Custom dropdown list and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset and type a name for the preset.

In future you can select and use this watermark in any of the panels in Lightroom that support Watermarking such as the slideshow module here:

Helen Bradley