Digimarc® Guardian for Images Walkthrough

Step-by-step Instructions for Digimarc® Guardian for Images

Part 1: Registering

About Your Guardian ID and PIN

All embedding applications (i.e. the Adobe Photoshop plug-in) require a Guardian ID and PIN to start embedding. Every Guardian ID is unique and used to identify each customer. When you embed your Guardian ID into your digital images, the proper copyright information will be attributed no matter where they go.

Upon subscribing to Digimarc Guardian for Images, the contact information you enter as part of your subscription-whether it's your phone number, e-mail address or website URL — becomes associated with your unique Guardian ID.

Updating Your Registration Information

Please remember the password you specified when purchasing your subscription. Your Guardian ID and password are required to sign-in to Member Services, where you may view and edit your account information. After your collection is embedded, you can update registration information at any time without re-embedding your images. Simply sign into your account and make your updates. The new information is instantly available through your embedded images. Please note that your PIN is only required when configuring embedders with your Guardian ID. To sign in to your Digimarc Guardian for Images account online, please use the password you entered during registration.

Part 2: Covert Guardian IDs

About Guardian IDs

Digimarc Guardian ID is a special message embedded in your image by making subtle changes to its digital data. The changes to the image are so subtle that the Guardian ID is imperceptible, without impacting the aesthetic integrity of your work. Plus, it's embedded in a way that ensures it remains through file manipulations such as resizing and cropping.

How to Embed a Covert Guardian ID

This tutorial refers to the latest update to the Digimarc's embedding software, as first released in Adobe Photoshop CS4. If you are a using a different version of Photoshop, the principles are the same. Please check for the latest update to the plug-in.

A. In the menu, go to Filter > Digimarc > Embed Watermark

B. Enter your image information (copyright year in this instance), choose your image attributes, and set the strength of the Guardian ID. Be sure to click the "Change..." button to enter your own Guardian ID and PIN.

C. Enter your own Guardian ID and PIN, then click "OK."

E. Click "OK" to embed the Guardian ID with your selected attributes and ID number.

D. You will see a verification screen for the Guardian ID you just embedded. Click "OK" to close and you're done!

Reading a Guardian ID

You can read a Guardian ID on any previously embedded image in Photoshop. If a covert Guardian ID exists in the currently selected image, the dialog box displays the information embedded in the Guardian ID. If a Guardian ID does not exist in the image, you will get a simple message stating that no Guardian ID exists.

E. Open the image containing the Guardian ID, go back to Filter > Digimarc > Read Watermark

Choosing the "Web Lookup" button will take you to the Web Lookup for that Guardian ID, which connects to the Internet to bring you to the Digimarc Online Registry for the latest Web information about the image owner.

Production Tip for Batch Processing

The plug-in supports Photoshop actions. Subscribers can find information about actions in the Member Services TechToolbox. You can also consult Photoshop's manual to learn how to create a script and droplets. Always thoroughly test your script results before processing a large batch of images.

Part 3: Linking

When a viewer reads your Guardian ID, the Guardian ID communicates your copyright ownership information and your contact information through the Digimarc Online Registry, an online locator service for connecting photo consumers with owners.


By displaying your contact information, the Digimarc Web Lookup connects you with potential buyers interested in licensing your photo, another one like it, or even commissioning new work.

Whenever a Digimarc-aware application alerts the viewer that your photo contains a Guardian ID, you have the option to link directly to a Digimarc page where your contact profile or website address is immediately available, or you may specify a URL of your own.

Sign in to your account to choose your Web Lookup preference.

Part 4: Tracking

Digimarc Guardian for Images is total protection for your photo portfolio. And one of the critical ways you can ensure your work is safe is having the ability to know where your images are being used online with image tracking, powered by Digimarc.


Digimarc Search Service constantly crawls the web locating tens of thousands of protected photos and images each month. By viewing your report you are able to discover both authorized and unauthorized uses of your images migrating across the web. This gives you the opportunity to enforce your copyrights, and even the potential to turn unauthorized uses into licensing opportunities.

Part 5: Visual Watermarking

Sometimes you might want a visual indicator of your copyright as well. Digimarc covert digital watermarking is fully compatible with all versions of Adobe Photoshop, but do not provide visual watermarking capabilities within our plug-in.

Our partner, Adobe, already has this capability in Photoshop via transparent layers. Based on research and talking with customers, we believe Adobe provides a very good, flexible option to apply visual watermarks.

How to Embed a Visual Watermark in Adobe Photoshop

A. Open image.

B. Create new layer

  • Menu > Layer > New > Layer
  • This will be the layer you put your visual watermark on.

C. Type your copyright information, place your logo, or create a new design on this layer. Be sure to put your text or image on a contrasting area.

  • Type Tool Basics
    • Select the tool with the capital "T" from the tools palette, which normally appears on the left side of the workspace.
    • Using the text tool, click anywhere on your image to start typing.
    • When finished typing, click the checkbox at the top of the workspace or select any other tool to exit the text tool.
    • Click here for additional tips from Adobe

D. Adjust the opacity of the layer. In this instance, 40% opacity is used.

E. Export to an image format: Menu > File > Save for Web & Devices

F. For a high quality, visual watermarked photo, choose JPEG with 100% quality and click the "Save" button.

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