Create a PNG - or background-less - Watermark

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In this review blog post we'll go over how to make a PNG or background-less watermark. I say review because we covered it in a tutorial that you can watch here. But I always think it's beneficial to have a video and written instructions.


So to start, you want to have an image open in Lightroom - any image. Then simply right-click (or control + click) on the image to open the context menu. Next, you'll want to head to the Export option and select "Export..."


Next, scroll down to "Watermark", making sure that the option is checked, and click the double arrows. Then, select "Edit Watermarks..."


If you then select "Graphic" you will be prompted to open a JPEG or PNG file. Above is a watermark using a JPEG image. As you can see it has a white background and is not the effect we are going after. What we want is a PNG with NO background.


To create a PNG you want to open Photoshop . Next, open your Logo file - which can be a JPEG.


When you open your file it will be the"Background" Layer and have an eye next to it. The next step is VERY important. You want to COPY the Background layer by clicking on it and dragging it to the lower right where the page with a turned up corner is - let go and you will have a copy of your background. 


Next, uncheck the Background Layer by clicking on the eye to the left of the layer icon.


Now you'll want to select the background pixels, in this demonstration the white pixels. To do this the best option is go up to the "Select" Menu and choose "Color Range".


You will then see a dialog box with options for selecting. I suggest setting the Fuzziness to 200 or there about as this will create the most contrast for the selecting pixels and make a more accurate selection (assuming you're working with Graphics or Text). Now click on the area in the preview box that has the pixels you want removed. Click "OK" and then you'll see the "marching ants" going around the area that you want to remove. Next, very simply click the "Delete" button and the background pixels will be deleted, leaving only the logo.


Once you have your pixels removed it's time to create your PNG file. This is quite easy, actually. All you need to do is go to the File Menu and click "Save As..." Next scroll down to the PNG option and click that and then click save. Be sure to save it to a location that you will remember. 


Now you want to create a Watermark with your new shiny PNG file. So head back to Lightroom and repeat the steps to creating your watermark. Be sure to click "Graphic" and then click the "Open" button (on a PC your file browser may open automatically).


Fianlly, locate your PNG file and select "Choose" to add the file to your Watermarks. Adjust size, location and opacity how you'd like and click "Save". Your PNG background-less watermark can now be added to any image you export in the future. 

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