How Does Watermarking Work?

Image Watermarks

When you watermark an image, Rezolve makes tiny changes to the colors in the image. These changes are made in a pattern – like a QR code. Rezolve-enabled devices can detect the pattern, but the patterns are usually not visible to the naked eye.

The following image has not been watermarked. It is shown at its original size (left) and zoomed in (right).

Next you can see the same image watermarked. At it’s normal size, the image looks identical to the non-watermarked version. However, on the right you can just about make out the pattern of the watermark when zoomed right in.

Watermark Strength

The ‘Strength’ setting (available by clicking ‘Advanced’ after uploading your image) controls the amount of change made to the colors in the image.

A ‘weaker’ watermark of 3 or 4 will make only small changes to the image colors. Weak watermarks have the advantage of being very hard to see with the naked eye, but there is also a possibility that the watermark will be hard to detect in low-light conditions.

A ‘stronger’ watermark of 6, 7 or 8 will make larger changes to the image colors. Strong watermarks have the advantage of being very easy to detect in all sorts of conditions, but there is also the possibility that they could be seen with the naked eye (depending on the image being watermarked).

Images with lots of detail, color and texture will ‘hide’ any strength of watermark well, whereas an image with lots of smooth areas of even color may have trouble hiding a stronger watermark. Black or white cannot be watermarked at all.

Advanced: Image Color Formats

Because Rezolve makes changes to the colors in the image, the color format of the image is very important. There are two main ways that color information is stored in an image:

  • RGB  – Color information is saved as a mix of red, green and blue
  • CMYK – Color information is saved as a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and black

If you are watermarking a TIFF image then you can use either RGB or CMYK for the image color mode. However, if you are using a JPG image, then you can only use RGB – CMYK JPGs are not supported.

Audio Watermarks

Rezolve Audio Watermarking transforms your audio tracks into instant consumer engagement opportunities by embedding inaudible identifiers which can only be detected by Rezolve-enabled devices.

The Rezolve Audio Watermark is added as a series of very small changes to the frequencies contained within audio data, spread across the entire audible frequency range of the audio file. These changes are made in an identifiable pattern, like an audio barcode, which Rezolve-enabled devices look for, identify and act upon. The watermark is added in such a way that the listening experience is not affected at all (unlike other watermarking technologies, which insert ‘hidden’ data as a high frequency pattern which then has to be masked).

Audio watermarking works best with audio files that are ‘dense’ and contain large number of frequencies (e.g. TV and radio ads with speech and/or music, infomercials, pop and rock music). This is because there is a broad spread of audio data for the watermark to be added to. Conversely, audio files that have sparse frequency usage or a lot of silences are less suitable for watermarking, as the watermark will be more difficult to detect.