700quakerIncredibly beautiful well lit, high detail food photography and product photography are a hallmark of a great food blog post or review post. Unfortunately, images can get be ripped, duplicated, and stolen if you forget to add a watermark to the image.

A ridiculously exaggerated example of a highly watermarked image.  This image was grossly watermarked by Fine Ark Photographer  Nate Zeman   to show the extent at which watermarking can be taken.
A ridiculously exaggerated example of a highly watermarked image. This image was grossly watermarked by Fine Ark Photographer Nate Zeman to show the extent at which watermarking can be taken.

Watermark options? Well you can leave a small watermark in the corner of an image that can get erased, or you can ruin your image by plastering the name of your blog right through the middle of the focus of your photograph. What horrible options!

Well, we found a third option. That’s right – here in the offices of Remarkable Team LLC and AkronOhioMoms.com, we devised a new tool to place a 3D watermark inside of photographs. Yes it is a prop- and yes it is our logo- and no it doesn’t ruin the image- but it does shout MINE MINE MINE MINE.

We made this 3D Photography Watermark with 3D Printing

700quakerNo we have not yet purchased a 3D printer, but we have utilized 3D print services in the cloud.
There are a number of online printing services that offer on-demand designs from a variety of designers, as well as the means to let consumers submit their own designs. Much of these on-demand 3D print items are novelties, but they are all fun to browse through. Two sites that we have seen that have nice stores are Shapeways and Sculpeo.

Items are available for immediate print at online sites.  Image above taken from Sculpeo.com
Items are available for immediate print at online sites. Image above taken from Sculpeo.com

Although both stores offer the means to let you upload a 3D file form a 3D design application, Shapeways offers a number of different tools that allow you to create 3d models for specific applications, or as they call them easy creator apps.   The first on their list being a 2D to 3D converter.

2d-to-3d-1

aombw-What it lets you take:

  • Take a JPEG file in pure grey scale
  • Make sure that the image is about high resolution (We guessed super high at 600dots per inch at final size, but I think 300 would have been enough).
  • Set the clear background as white, the full depth colors as black, and the areas of different depths as different shades of grey.

What it turns it into:

A 3D model of your design, at a fixed full depth, with cut outs at lesser depths set at areas according to the different grey scale colors.

What questions it asks:

  • How tall should this be?
  • How deep should this be?
  • What material should we make it out of?

I chose not to print my design in brass, silver, or gold….  Just white plastic was fine- but you may want to consider something shiny, or colorful, or more translucent..

Our Experience having the AkronOhioMoms logo printed in 3D

The Akron Ohio Moms logo lends itself very well to 3D printing.  It is a thick logo, and fairly compact.  This provided a minimal cost, and a compact design that fits well into photography.  We ran into a small goof early on when converting the outline of Ohio into a decent looking outline.  Our initial logo was just a low resolution bitmap- and the outline was fuzzy.  Upon finding a new vector file and converting that over at a higher resolution into the JPG format in Photoshop-everything came off well.

The print was created and shipped for under $40 dollars.

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Using the 3D Watermark in Photography

materialsNow, as with any tool- you have to remember that you have it!  I have started keeping my 3D Watermark AOM block next to my props, and my photography backgrounds.  The size of roughly 1″ x 1″ x 3″ is a perfect size to fit on a plate, against a steak, or next to a smartphone.

Not only does this watermark save me a step of creating a digital watermark, but it’s size and shape lends itself to becoming part of the image.  This increases the value of my brand, and lets me declare image ownership without looking like I am only in it to thwart the thieves.

powerAlso, the 3D Watermark does not have to exist in focus.  Out of focus is certainly fine-  it is there to present ownership- and if it can be recognized, the job is done.  At least I think so.

 

I am super thrilled that I made this purchase and do not regret the money spent one bit.

 

Concerns about odd-sized logos

My husband and I have discussed at great length the effort of designing and having 3D images printed for our friends and new potential clients in the blogosphere.  Although a worthy effort, there are some logos that do not lend themselves as well to digital printing.  Why?  Script fonts and thin spread out multi-word logos can cover ‘large’ areas, and have weak points that could break, also thin faces may not look well with a deep logo.  This might be a hard thing to communicate to clients..

So here are our suggestions for 3D printing a logo as a 3D watermark:

  • Make sure that some part of your print fills the entire are of your logo- give your 3D print a 3D background, or a spine to ensure it sticks around with you for a long while.
  • Make sure the face of your logo- the top most letters, are as thick as or thicker than the depth of your design.
  • Stay away from shiny materials- your camera will hate it.
  • Add variety of depth inside the image- be creative- this isn’t some foam board cut out!!

 

Finally A Real Life 3D Print Application

3D Printing does get a LOT of buzz in technical, architectural and design circles, and there are some great applications- however, many of the applications for consumers involve custom earrings, custom vases, inventive iPhone cases, etc.. All cool, but of no amazing value. But coming across a 3D Application like this – where it has Monetary value for bloggers of all people, says that there is hope for this technology yet- hope beyond trinkets.

 Need some help?

Remarkable Team LLC owns and operates AkronOhioMoms.com.  We are a full service web, design, and content production company offering buffet style services ranging from web design, article writing, and graphic design.  We would be happy to help you with converting your logo to a 3D Watermark.  Contact Us.

 

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