Lightroom: Allow transparent PNG files for watermarks or overlays

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 7 years ago
  • Implemented
  • (Edited)
Tranparent png's would be incredibly useful when used as an overlay on a print or a slideshow while allowing the underlying image to show through. This could be used for custom greeting cards, trader cards, and posters, adding faux frames and borders to images, and many, many more uses.
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Sean Phillips

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  • excited

Posted 7 years ago

  • 4
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Gene McCullagh

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Hi Sean!

LR already let's you use PNG files with transparency for watermarking. Transparent PNGs also work as Identity Plate overlays.

What would be useful is more control over how they are placed and transformed.
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Sean Phillips

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Wow. I was about ti write back to say that you're crazy (although I would have been more polite than to just say it) because I know I've tried this before. But you're right, it works. It's a bit flaky, but it definitely works. I'm not sure what my problem with it previously was... thanks for pointing this out Gene!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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The bit that's missing is PSD files for watermarks, although they are allowed for ID plates which is a weird mismatch.
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john beardsworth

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Isn't there an important point here? Someone with plenty of Lightroom experienced didn't know or recall the half-baked way in which you have to add an overlay? Lightroom can and should do this much better.
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Sean Phillips

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I think that to take this on the surface (ie. that I forgot exactly how to use a certain feature) would be misguided. Lightroom is a complicated program and I don't expect to be able to remember every little thing about it.

The takeaway is that I was trying to do something that the program is not designed to do by using a workaround. I'm trying to publish cards and books using templates with apertures for images. Any good book publishing program handles this with ease, as does Apple Aperture. It's a feature that vast hordes of Lightroom users want and I certainly hope Adobe are working on it.
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john beardsworth

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It's certainly no criticism of you, Sean! Why should anyone be expected to remember workarounds for something that the UI should offer in a straightforward way?
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Sean Phillips

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Agreed!
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Mark Sirota

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FWIW, Victoria, you can use PSD watermarks with LR/Mogrify.
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ChelseaB

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When I upload a PNG watermark, it still has the white backround in Lightroom, but not in Photoshop CS5. Any idea why?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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How are you saving your png? (From Photoshop? save for web? Save as?)
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Anthony JF

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Write a comment...
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ChelseaB

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I believe the girl who did them for me saved from from photoshop.. how SHOULD it be saved?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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You'll want to save with Photoshop, either use Save As... and choose PNG or use Save For Web and select PNG32 as the format.
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ChelseaB

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OK so from Photoshop CS5 I have the option to save as a PNG which still gives me the white backround upon uploading as a graphic to the Lightroom Watermarks. Or else When I save for Web I have the options of PNG 8 or PNG 24.. I tried both and they give me a white backround as well when uploaded... Do I need to change anything else upon choosing one of those in the Save to Web? Like there are boxes clicked that say perceputal, diffusion etc... Thanks for your help in trying to get this sorted out!
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Gene McCullagh

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Hi Chelsea!

In both cases there is a transparency checkbox that needs to be checked. Also, make sure there are transparent sections in the image. If the preview doesn't show transparency then the final file won't have any transparent areas either.
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Anthony JF

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So you mean that there is a way to load transparent images? I'ma try other stuff to see if youre right...