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Protecting Images by Blurring Them

Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Hi, I am a product designer and would like to upload images of new products on my website. However,

I want the projects to be protected and thought of blurring them with Gaussian Blur. I was thinking of uploading JPGs. Would this blurring add security or are there tools (apps, algorithms etc.) out there that could be used to reverse the filter?

Thank you!

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Community Expert , Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

As you suggested, you could blur an image to protect it. There are apps that purport to unblur images but none are that great at doing it.

Many people put a copyright mark on images, and you can also watermark images like stock photo companies do, for example:

image.png

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Community Expert ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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As you suggested, you could blur an image to protect it. There are apps that purport to unblur images but none are that great at doing it.

Many people put a copyright mark on images, and you can also watermark images like stock photo companies do, for example:

image.png

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Thanks Barbara, the copyright mark sounds like a good secondary otpion. Watermarking won't work for me because one can still see enough to reversengineer the product. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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The more techniques you imploy the harder it will be to steal images. I'm not into coding but I believe there is a way to disable right-clicking images on the web.

There are services, like Pixsy, that track the web for duplicates of an image. Of course, at that point the image has already been stolen.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 30, 2023 Mar 30, 2023

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There are ways for websites to disable right-clicking, but it’s easy for the motivated to get around that. In many cases, the way the code blocks a right-click is to put a transparent CSS layer in front of the image so that you can’t directly right-click on the image, or make a “you can’t download this” message pop up. But all someone has to do is look at the web page code to see where the image actually is.

 

Because the fact is, if you can see an image in a web browser, it has to be downloaded and cached somewhere on your computer. I am not a web developer but I don’t know of a way to show an image on a web page without sending the image to the web browser’s cache on the computer.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 30, 2023 Mar 30, 2023

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And... a printscreen does wonders.

I'd rather show parts of the items, like stripes, etc. With a find edges to make sketches of the rest, to give a graphical effect.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 30, 2023 Mar 30, 2023

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yeah...I have done stipes. I have done closeup shots that don't show the hole product but some interesting parts of it. The close up may be better because with stripes can be hard to discise a product that is very simetrical  - you can build the hidden part - your brain will build the hidden part in no time.  

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Community Expert ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Hi,

I am wondering why you are putting your images of products up on the web, if you are concerned about them being taken?

 

If you wan to blur the image, using Gaussian Blur would work well because as Babara said above, with enough blurring the "unblurring" programs can't detect how to sharpen it. 

Michelle

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Good question. I am trying to entice new costumers, manufactorers for furniture in my case, by making arising curiousity and pushing them to contact me. The second reason is to anounce to the visitors to my website that I am working and producing new products. Although blurred, visitors would be able to see that the team is continouing to be productinve. I hope this makes sence. 

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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wow, there is no edit function for the posts here...excuse my grammer in this case. 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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No problem! I've run into the same problem. I hit post and then see a glaring error! 🙂

 

Can I make a suggestion? There are website providers that will allow you to lock images, so people can only view them. I would recommend looking into one of them (I am thinking of sites especially for photographers--like https://www.photoshelter.com). It would not stop them from taking a screen shot, but they would not be able to download your original. As a designer, if I were looking at an image and it was blurred, I would pass right by. The human eye is almost in pain looking at a blurry image, that is why when it looks at an image, the first thing the eye does is look for what is in focus. I am not sure if blurring an image is going to get you the audience you are looking for.

 

You could use targeted social media to send invitations to prospective clients and send them to your protected website, rather than blurring an image that will not have the impact that your sharper image will have.

 

Just giving you my two cents. I hope you find a solution that works well for you!

Michelle

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Thank you for the suggestion!

Get Outlook for iOS<>

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Community Expert ,
Mar 29, 2023 Mar 29, 2023

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Digital blur is mathematical, so if the math that created the blur is known (or correctly guessed), it can be reversed digitally to some extent. Gaussian Blur is one of the most common and basic types of blur, so it should be one of the easiest to reverse. Do a web search for “unblur” or “reverse blur” and you’ll see many potential solutions, although they are not all equally effective.

 

If you wanted more secure obfuscation using Photoshop, you could try techniques like running an image through multiple blur types, inserting a non-blur distortion step such as the Mosaic filter (that blocky effect), or applying different blurs or filters to different regions of the image. That would make it harder to successfully reverse it, because someone would have to figure out the technique used in every step, and in the correct sequence. Photoshop has tools such as actions and scripts that can automate multi-step processes, and it also has batch processing so you can apply a multi-step process to many photos, such as an entire folder.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 30, 2023 Mar 30, 2023

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this is an awesom idea. I will add more than one filters to increase the protection. Actions and scripts and batch processing I haven't used but I will check it out and see if any of those tools can be helpfull to my workflow. Thank you for your advice!

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