Watermarking an image won’t prevent someone from hotlinking or taking it for their own use, but at least the image will be branded as your own. This tutorial uses Paint Shop Pro 8 and creates a watermark that can blend in with the image. Yeah, I know it’s an old version but it works for me and I can’t afford a new version and definitely not Photoshop. (Santa, are you listening?)
1. Create a new transparent image. Size isn’t too important, you can resize it later. In my opinion it’s better to make the watermark image larger than you need and downsize it; it’s easier to work with that way. Set Matchmode to rbg value and tolerance to 0.
2. In black, enter the text you want to use as your copyright. If you want to use the © symbol, hold down Alt and type 0169 on the number keypad – the numbers at the top of your keyboard will not work. When you release the Alt key the symbol will appear. Not all font sets include the © symbol. Do not deselect your text.
3. Open the image you want to watermark. Important: Go to the layers menu and duplicate the image. You don’t want to permanantly mark your original. I then delete the original, the background, to avoid any confusion.
4. Right click on the top bar of the image you are using for a watermark, and select copy. Now, right click on the image to be watermarked and paste as a “new layer.” You can use the “move” tool to place it where you want it.
5. Using the fill bucket, fill the rest of the layer with white. You may have to fill the inside of letters such as p, d, g, things like that. You want to make sure everything except the letter outlines themselves are filled with white. You won’t be able to see the graphic you are watermarking at this point, but that’s okay.
6. Go to the effects tab, texture effects and use emboss.
7. Now go to your layers tab and select properties. The simplest thing to do is choose soft light, but you can play around with the other options, especially overlay, normal and hard light, by adjusting the opacity to see if you find one that suits you better. For a watermark that stand out more you could use normal and adjust the opacity to suit.
Once your watermarking is complete, save the file or export it. If you choose to export I suggest not using the wizard so you have more control over the size and appearance of the graphic.
The object is to make the watermark as unintrusive as you can while still branding your graphic. There are a lot of ways to create watermarks, but this one looks dimensional and allows the color from the watermarked image to show through.
The sample image is made by the above steps, except I did swipe the watermark image once with the soften brush prior to embossing. By using the rotate tool you can also have the watermark angled.