Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Beginings of Your Own Watermark

I’ve gotten several requests about the watermark I add to my photos. I don’t like having to add it, but it’s required. I'm going to show you how to make your own and divide this up into two parts since I like to be detailed.

I struggle with branding all the time. Since I’m not a big name blogger, I like to change things up sometimes. Should I use a logo? Should I not? Should I use a color scheme?  Do I use pictures? Do they have a copyright? What is a copyright? Ugh, I know right?

IMG_1073 copy

So I came up with this watermark last year and I really like it. It’s functional and clean and easy to read. It doesn’t always match whatever shenanigans I’ve changed on my blog, but it stays consistent with my taste.Do what you love and forget the rest.

This is your corner of the internet, do what YOU want to do. When it comes down to it, it’s your blog, so do whatever feels right.

aviary.egg  on Aviary

We're going to use a free online editing tool from Aviary. You'll love it.

After registering with Aviary, you’ll click on the first button on the left that says “Image Editor” or “Phoenix” as Aviary has so cleverly named it. {All of Aviary’s editing applications are named after birds. How clever!}
Click “Launch Phoenix”

Once the editor pops open, you can select either a new document or open an existing file and find the image you want to use for your watermark. If you don’t want to use an image you can just open a new document. Here is the document I'll be using.


For starters, here is a screen shot of the tool bar located on the left hand side. This is how you’re going to make your pretties. P.S. You may want to click on the image so you can see the little icons.


I’ll go one by one to show you what exactly these tools can do.
#1. Selection Tool: This is going to be the button you click when you want to move anything. Whether that be a layer or clicking on other button.  If you are trying to do something, nine times outta ten you need to have this tool selected.
2.  Transformation Tool: When this is selected you can resize or rotate your image. Click on it. See the handles on the four corners that you can resize?  Keep in mind that if you click on another button it’ll ask you if you want to keep your changes. So it’s sorta hard to mess up with this one.  Tip: if you hold down SHIFT while you click and drag it’ll keep the image proportionate to its original size. Try it and you’ll see what I mean.
#3.  Square/Circle Selection Tool: This is for selecting {duh!} But if you want to say, crop the dirty laundry pile out of your photo, this is the tool you’ll use. {We’ll be using it for our project} On a side note—you can again use the SHIFT key to make a perfect square.


Oh, but I wanted to explain what “Feather” means.
When you feather something it’ll create a faded edge. Think of using feathering on a picture as KidNPlay is to the fade.


People may still use it but it’s not popular and it's a sign of someone inexperienced using a editing program. {I mean that in the nicest way!}It's a dead give away.

#4.  Lasso Tool: This tool makes selections. Selections are the marching ants you see when you use the square/circle selection tool {and this tool too}. This means whatever is selected {or marching ants} is the only thing that will be effected by whatever you do. So this lasso, for example, is freehand, which means there is nothing to guide the cursor {ie a square, or circle} and you can moce it freely to create whatever shape you’d like.


#5. Magic Wand: This is one of my favorite tools. It’s called the magic wand, because it can pick out certain areas and select it. Like this:


#8.  Shape Tool: I wish I could transfer all of the info I know about Photoshop {aka PS} into your brain. Because the shape tool {along with Paths} would blow your mind.  But, in a nutshell, use this tool to make objects. Like arrows, or hearts, or boxes, etc. whiling using pivot points in the shape.

#9.  Font Tool: The sweet thing about PS is that you can’t just start typing and expect it to show up on the screen. You’ve got to select this tool in order to type anything.  You can pick the size, color and font type {which is pulled from your PC, so you can use any font you’ve downloaded}

#10.  Smudge/Blur/Burn/Dodge Tool: I don’t even know how to start to explain this tool. It does so many things. One day, when you’re just messing around in Phoenix, click it and see what happens.

#11.  Color Pallette/Stamp Tool: This is a place where you can select colors for anything from font type to bursh color.  The stamp tool is a cool tool to uise but I’m not going to dive into the hour long explination I don’t think you want to read


One last thing and we can get going. The ‘layers’ window. This is pretty important to keep an eye on at all times. I’ve labeled the most important parts. The actually layers {the eye balls make then turn on and off. Makes them visible or not} The new layers button is itty bitty on the bottom, along with the Layer Filters and Trash button.

Here are a few pointers for what you mess something up or can't get something to “go”
-Check to make sure you have the layer you are supposed to be working active and awake {eye ball is showing}
-You don’t have the selections tool clicked
-Or you have a rogue selection somewhere you’ve forgotten about or is really tiny to see. {hit Ctl D}

A few sort cuts you’ll appreciate:
Ctl Z is Undo. Use it often.
Ctl D deselects anything you have selected. {Get rid of the marching ants}
Hold SHIFT down while dragging to stay straight and even
And  Control – or Control + will zoom your project in and out.

I know this is a lot of information to take in. Click on the pictures and get familiar with the buttons. I promise you, you'll be glade you did. Next up! How to make your water mark!

To Be continued...