At some point, you are going to do some work you either want to post online or send to a client for review, and you’ll want it to remain protected. One way is to watermark your work. Watermarking is leaving a faint design or signature that visibly identifies the owner of the work, while allowing the viewer the ability to see the overall piece. In this tutorial, I will show you a few methods (each building on one another) on how to create a stylish and effective watermark effect in After Effects CC.
Method 1: Lowered Opacity
Method 2: Bevel and Emboss
Method 3: Texturize
USING A LOGO OR TEXT
In most watermarking cases, you will have a PNG or Vector logo that uses transparent pixels and can be layered above your footage. If you don’t have one, you can create a new TEXT layer using the TEXT TOOL and typing in your full name as the watermark.
For the remainder of this tutorial I will be using the logo PNG file, but these steps will be just as applicable to the text layer as well.
METHOD 1: LOWERED OPACITY
This first method is a quick and dirty one if you are under a time crunch and need to get the file to a client rapidly. With your logo image layered above your footage, simply hit the ‘T’ key to bring up your OPACITY control and reduce the number to 50%.
If you feel 50% is still too distracting, you may want to play around with the OPACITY PERCENTAGE to get the level of watermark visibility you are looking for.
METHOD 2: Bevel and Emboss
Building off of Method 1, we are going to start to design a more aesthetically pleasing watermark that tends to be less distracting to the viewer or client. With the logo image selected in your LAYERS PANEL, go to LAYER > LAYER STYLES > BEVEL AND EMBOSS.
This gives your image a bit of a 3 dimensional edge we can play around with. In order to leave the beveled edge visible, go to your logo image and twirl open LAYER STYLES > BLENDING OPTIONS > ADVANCED BLENDING. From here, reduce FILL OPACITY to 0%.
METHOD 3: TEXTURIZE
For this method, you will want to start with a new version of your logo image that is unchanged and in its normal state.
With your logo image selected, you will want to precomp the layer by going to LAYER > PRE COMPOSE (choose ‘MOVE ALL ATTRIBUTES…’) and hit OK.
Now let’s add a new solid layer and put it in the background (LAYER > NEW > SOLID)
Back in our original composition, turn off the eye on precomped logo layer making it invisible. Then, in EFFECTS & PRESETS type in TEXTURIZE and DOUBLE CLICK IT to apply the effect to the comp.
In the EFFECTS PANEL, go to the TEXTURE LAYER drop down menu and select your logo precomp layer.
Finally, you can play with the TEXTURE CONTRAST and LIGHT DIRECTION in order to experiment and reach your desired results