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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Blending a Logo into a Photo

Adding a logo to an existing image is an extremely popular technique (recently I've seen logos added to the bottom of swimming pools, tennis courts, race tracks, and buildings), but often it's obvious that the logo was added digitally, usually because the designer didn't work to blend it in—they just stuck it there and that's how it looks—stuck there. Here's how to hide your tracks.

  1. Open the photo to which you want to add a logo.

  2. Figure 8.85

    Quick Tip: Load those sets, baby!

    Back in Photoshop 6, Adobe introduced loadable Presets (collections) of Brushes, Patterns, Shapes, etc. What was nice, rather than digging through dialog boxes to dig up sets buried in folders on your computer, now you could load these presets right from the palette's drop-down menus. What was bad was the quality of those presets. They were, (and I'm being as kind as possible here) incredibly lame. Adobe fixed that in Photoshop 7 and now includes lots of usable shapes, patterns, brushes, and other presets.

    Not only that, there are many more sets than in Photoshop 6. So if you haven't loaded some sets in a while, it's time to take another look.

  3. Open the logo you want to add to the image and drag it into your image (as shown). If the client has provided you with an EPS of their logo, go under the File menu and choose Place to add the logo. The logo will then appear with a bounding box around it, so you can size it appropriately while it's still a vector logo. Press Return (PC: Enter) to rasterize the logo onto a layer.

  4. Figure 8.86

  5. Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up Free Transform. Rotate the logo to match the angle of the pool. Next, hold the Command key (PC: Control key) and click-and-drag the top center point to the right to skew the logo a bit to the right (as shown). When it looks about right, press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in your transformation.

  6. Figure 8.87

  7. In the Layers palette, change the Blend Mode for this layer to Soft Light to help it blend into the water. When you're doing this technique, using a logo of your own, Soft Light might not be the right mode, so press "v" to switch to the Move tool, then press Shift-+ (the plus sign) to rotate through the different modes until you see one that looks right for your logo.

  8. Figure 8.88

    Quick Tip: Save that mesh!

    If you're a Liquify user (and I know that you are), Photoshop 7 lets you do something previous versions did not—you can now save the mesh that you create and apply it to another image. So what's the big deal about that? Well, you could apply your Liquify adjustments on a low-res version of your image, save the mesh, then apply that same mesh to a high-res version of the same image. This has some very interesting implications (none of which I can think of at this time, but I've always wanted to use that sentence).

  9. To help make the logo look a bit more "underwater," go under the Filter menu, under Distort, and choose Ripple. We'll use the default settings of 100% Amount and Medium Size. Click OK to apply a ripple effect to your logo.

  10. Figure 8.89

  11. Last (and this is a surprisingly critical step, even though it's so simple), lower the Opacity of your logo layer by quite a bit (I lowered mine to 50%) to complete the effect. Most designers trip up by leaving the logo at 100% Opacity. This is what makes the logo look "slapped on" and is a dead giveaway that it was added after the fact, so don't get caught—lower that Opacity.

  12. Figure 8.90

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