October 24, 2020

Google releases an algorithm to remove watermarks

2 min read

Google researchers have discovered a new algorithm that can easily remove the dominant floating watermark on the picture.


Recently Google research in the central site Google Research Blog published a way on how to remove the watermark of the picture, the site describes no matter how large the watermark area, can be removed to restore the picture to the “original” state. Which for those who specialize in the sale of picture material business is not good news.

But Google did not disclose to the public this set of procedures to remove the watermark, the algorithm published on the website has proved Google to remove the watermark. For most companies that sell picture material, such as Getty Images, watermarks are added to the display material, and only watermarks are available only after the user has paid for access.

Google has tested the use of Photoshop software to remove the watermark, which is a very complicated work for professional designers to use this method to remove the watermark takes 9 minutes. But in Google’s technology, they will download hundreds of photos of the same site, from which to extract the actual image of the watermark, and then use the subtraction algorithm for each pixel pixels to remove the watermark.

The study shows that removing the picture center watermark and the global watermark is completely kill the probability of almost 100%. But in the face of diverse background, colorful pictures, can only do dilution dilution.

According to reports, the bulk of the watermark is not stable, easy to be removed in batches, the current algorithm can also batch away the watermark.

However, Google said that this algorithm has another role, that is, anti-watermark method, which is a can not remove the watermark technology, the principle is to add more watermark to the watermark data, so that each pixel of the watermark is different Fuzzy degree. If the traditional method to remove such a watermark, the picture will be in the watermark where the place left obvious traces. Google recommends that Adobe Stock or other vendors who sell material consider using their new watermarking technology.


The research paper has been published at CVPR, held at the end of July, entitled “On the Effectiveness of Visible Watermarks”.