Watermarking images using GIMP

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  • Post last modified:May 27, 2023
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After having created images with hard work, you wish to protect your copyright on the images. Watermarking the images is an excellent method prevent any commercial misuse of images. And it can be done easily using the wonderful open source image editing software, Gimp.

We will look at the process of watermarking images with an example. Let's assume we have an image red-flower.jpg and a logo heritage-arts-logo.png as shown below:

Red Flower

Figure 1: red-flower.jpg
Heritage Arts

Figure 2: heritage-arts-logo.png

For the purpose of watermarking the logo on the image, it is necessary that the logo has a transparent background. If your logo does not have transparent background, you need to remove the background and save the image in PNG format. The watermarking of the image is done in following steps:

  1. Open red-flower.jpg in a gimp window. Also open heritage-arts-logo.png in another gimp window.
  2. With heritage-arts-logo.png as the active gimp image window, do: Select -> All and Edit -> Copy. That is, copy the logo into the Clipboard.
  3. Make red-flower.jpg the active image window. Using the Layers dockable dialog, create a new layer. Put the Layer Name as Watermark. Select the Layer Fill Type as Transparency. Alternatively, you can select Layer pull down menu and select New Layer. After this, you will have two layers, the Background layer showing the image and the watermark layer just created.
  4. In the Layers dockable dialog, click on the eye icon against the Background layer to make it invisible. Click on the Watermark layer to make it the active layer. The Watermark layer should be highlighted as a result of making it the active layer.
  5. Paste the logo from the Clipboard on the Watermark layer. Select the Move tool. Click Move the active layer radio button. Using the Move tool, move it to a place, where you wish to put the watermark. From the Layers dockable dialog, click on the small left arrow to get the Layers menu. Select Anchor Layer to anchor the pasted logo.
  6. Change the opacity of Watermark layer to 25 per cent. You can do this by using the Opacity slider and / or associated spin button in the Layers dockable dialog.
  7. This step is optional. It is useful if you set the opacity of Watermark layer to a low figure, say 10 per cent. With the Watermark layer still the active layer, select Filters -> Distorts -> Emboss. Select Function as Emboss. Use default values for Azimuth, Elevation and Depth. Click OK.
  8. Finally, turn on the Background layer by clicking on the eye symbol next to Background in the Layers dockable dialog. Save the image, say, as red-flower-new.jpg. The final image should look like like this. Please note that watermark has not been embossed in this case.

Final Red Flower Image
Figure 3: Image with Watermark



Karunesh Johri

Software developer, working with C and Linux.