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Help needed: how to customize watermark location during export

Participant ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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Hello, I'm familiar and comfortable using the watermark editor to control where my watermarks should show up while exporting an image.

Problem - I have a request from a client to place the watermark a bit to the right of center for a specific set of images.  Roughly 1/3 of the distance from center towards the right edge.  And for the images they're talking about, their request is cosmetically correct.  The images will be viewed by a national audience, so it's critical to get this right.

The problem: 
If I opt to use "center" in the watermark editor, there is no option to offset from this.
If I opt to use right edge, the max offset is still not nearly close enough to push the watermark towards center.  The image is 16x9, so there's a very wide gap between center and right edge.

Is there any other way, in Lightroom Classic, to have more control on the watermark placement?

Thanks!
Jerry

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Community Expert ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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No, I think you have explored all the options.

 

Assuming that you are using a graphic, you might be able to create a PNG that fools LR. For example, the file might have what looks like a blank area on one side, but which actually contains a neutral-coloured pixel. LR would then position it including this area, but no viewer would notice the pixel.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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There are a couple of things you can do within the current method of watermark placement, by making a differently named variant watermark for use in this particular requirement.

 

If the watermark is text based, you can shift it horizontally by adding spaces before your text. Spaces added after are ignored. So to go adjustably left of centre, position it bottom left and add the needed number of spaces your the text, in effect pushing it away from that left corner. To go adjustably right of centre, position it bottom centre and add the needed number of spaces before your text, in effect pushing it towards that right corner.

 

If the watermark is graphic based, in the form of a PNG file with transparency - you could save another copy of this PNG graphic which has a larger empty area on the needed side, and then refer to this other PNG by name in a variant watermark setup.

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Participant ,
Jan 19, 2024 Jan 19, 2024

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Some updates for everyone (thanks for your suggestions).

First - a clarification: I'm using a PNG that has our bug.

Following the above suggestions, I created a new PNG that was simply wider (same height), with the actual graphic on the left side, and blank transparency to the left.  I also max'd out the horizontal offset in LR to help push the resulting watermark as far from the right side of the image as possible.  

My default placement for all our watermarks has alwasy been bottom right corner, or centered vertically, also on the bottom of the image.

Problems:  
1. Since I'm keeping the PNG size option "proportional" enabled, this means the final look of the watermark shrinks significantly as I keep adding blank space to the PNG to push the watermark further away from the right edge.  This makes things impossible to manage as the absolute distance between the watermark and the right edge of the image varies significantly, because of the next point:

2. I need to produce 3 different crops for the set of images I'm trying to release.  8x10, 5x7, 16x9, since the client wants all 3 versions for various reasons.  Normally this would be a no brainer if the bug was always in the center or right corner.

But - the resized/expanded PNG that works for the 16x9 fails for the 5x7 as the watermark is now close to the image center.  Even worse for the 8x10.

I really don't want to have to create 3 separate watermarks, trying to figure out the right amount of blank space to get this to all work for the resulting versions is a real PITA.

The alternative is to manually watermark these in PS, but that's not overly attractive either.  I'm spoiled by LR.  Normally I just "export" and out pops the image+watermark perfectly, now or 3 years from now.  This problem prevents that nice bit of predictable "automation".

I stopped doing manual watermarks years ago, b/c LR was a goto predictable solution.  Until now.

Hoping someone who knows this stuff better than I seem to can help.  And... my client's clock is ticking.

Thanks, everyone.

PS:  Just added the three files (with the recipient's name redacted) so you can see what I'm talking about.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 20, 2024 Jan 20, 2024

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Another thought: you can make a full-image-shape PNG with the logo at the size and placement you want, and apply that as a Loupe Overlay. This shows up in exports. Downside, you would need to select different PNG whenever the aspect ratio or orientation changes (the Loupe Overlay image is I think auto scaled to fit inside image width, and then centred in image height).

 

A further thought: record the addition of your watermark graphic into a PS Action, wrap that action into a PS Droplet, invoke the droplet as postprocessing step in your LrC export setup.

 

If you were to suggest "it shouldn't be this hard", I think many might agree with that!

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Participant ,
Jan 20, 2024 Jan 20, 2024

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Thank you, Richard!

Waaaaaay back (years ago), I had a massive boatload of PS droplets that did my branding.  The problem was, those didn't scale to match the dimensions of the source image.  So, like what I'm dealing with here, if I had 3 different crops/aspect ratios, I had to guess which droplets to use for each version of the target file.  And many times, I still had to manually tweak the placement using PS.

This got even uglier depending on if I wanted to include the copyright © symbol (commercial vs. portraiture preferences), and what size the watermark needed to be.  It's actually a huge hierarchy of hoops to jump through.

For now, I've spent the entire day creating PNGs for the 3 different sizes, along with defining watermarks and presets in LR - for just one point size version of the brand.

And YEAH!  It shouldn't be this hard.  Most of today's time (waster) could have been avoided if we were simply allowed offset values when a watermark is centered.  Offset this the same way that right/left edge options are...  OR - provide a much larger value of offsets from the right/left edges!!!

Thanks for weighing in!

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