Clyde's WATERMARK B-GOEN Un-patented Method

Discussion in 'FH2 Photo Mode' started by ClydeYellow, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. ClydeYellow

    ClydeYellow

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    Prefaction (which will also likely be the longes section of this tutorial because I tend to be verbose)

    As you may already know, ladies and gents, watermarks have been a blight for Forzatographers since time immemorial (well, actually, since they released FM2, but I digress). They cover up things and make our shots look a lot more like they came out of, well, a videogame and we can all generally agree they're a bad thing.

    Forza Horizon 2 originally shipped without the devilish feature, and a heavenly choir played as the community rejoyced. But then, for no apparent reason but to spite us, Playground Games/Turn 10 decided to reintroduce the dreaded huge, ugly-as-sin logo to our beautiful and less beautiful shots with a patch released in 23/10/2014. Tears were shed and promises of vengeance made.

    But what if I told you that there is a way to remove the ugly watermark without much hassle and with no knowledge of photo retouching tools?


    Table of contents

    1. Getting rid of your watermarks
    2. ???
    3. Profit
    (I never got the hang ot this part)

    Requirements

    • FH2 (and all the necessary to take and import to your PC a shot);
    • GIMP (which you can download here)

    The method

    Well, it's simple. You need to take the shot you want in game and save it. Do not quit the photomode or alter the settings afterward. Thanks to the magic of the X1 you can actually turn off the console, but that's it.

    As an example we're going to use this photo. Its name is test003 (because it was the third shot I took while trying this method - I am that creative).

    [​IMG]

    It's a mighty fine shot, if I can say so myself. Makes me yearn for a tall glass of a cold, hoppy beer and a powerslide at 180 MPH, but I digress.
    Notice that the watermark is there. Staring at you. Mocking you. Ignoring your accomplishments and laughing at your failures. He knows your fears, your weaknesses. And he got some mean yo mama jokes, too.

    Now here starts the part where we start puching this miserable soab in the face.

    Still there in the photomode? Good. Now what you need to do is to rotate your camera exactly 180°. Not 179.9, nor 180.1 - exactly a half turn. If you changed something, or by mistake you move the camera, start over. A bit of patience may be required at first. Then take another shot and save it separatedly. I actually called it test003flip. Download both shots from fm.net and using any tool of your choice (Windows Image Viewer will do) flip the second again.

    [​IMG]

    You may already see where we are heading. As a matter of fact, if you already know how to use GIMP and never thought of it you may have just facepalmed yourself so hard we'll talk in a couple of years, when you'll wake up from the coma you just induced yourself.

    Save both photos on your PC and open GIMP. Select Files>Open As Layers (pict. 1), and choose both of your pictures (pict. 2).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now comes the tricky part for the uninitiated. You'll need to create an Alpha Channel for the top layer; this will basically allow you to cut the half of the photo with the watermark visible so that the relative, un-watermarked side of the other photo will show in its place. Yay! Why half? Well, that's because apparently under the layer there's a gradient. They have to make things that complicated.

    To add an Alpha Channel, in the dock labeled as Layers - Gradients right-click the top layer and select Add Alpha Channel.

    [​IMG]

    You're now ready to make magic happen. With the top layer still selected, select the half of the photo in which the watermark rests, and cut it by selecting Edit>Cut.

    [​IMG]

    See? That's what the game would've given you pre-23/10/14 patch.

    All that's left to do is to flatten the image so that it will be ready to export. Select Image>Flatten Image to do this.

    [​IMG]

    Voilà, done. Now it's ready to be exported by clicking File>Export... and uploaded, or further edited, or whatever. The finished result will look like this - no watermarks, no seams, no pink unicorns and no Volkswagen Jettas in sight!

    [​IMG]

    In about 45 seconds, you have created an independent strong photo who don't need no watermark, which is like curing cancer for Forza pictures. That means you should totally get a Nobel Prize for Forzatography!

    (I never got the hang of how the Nobel Prize works, either).

    Q&A

    Q: Does this method work for all photos I'll take in Horizon 2?
    A: It should. Lens flares may pose a problem, tho; for some photos you'll have to find another way (or deal with the watermark). Also, smoke/dirt plumes may give some problems. It works in the rain just fine.

    Q: Does this method work on past Forza games?
    A: I actually have no clue. Feel free to try and report on it! It should work on FM4, but I don't know if the Magic EXXXTREME Rays of God in FM5 are symmetrical. The lighting of FH2 is undoubtedly far more advanced, and this could be what makes the difference AFAIK.

    Q: Can I use another application? I hate GIMP.
    A: Technically speaking, any layered image editor that allows you to create an alpha channel (which is fancy speak for "add transparency") for a layer should to the trick. And I'm quite sure there are some such editors for tablets nowadays.

    Q: I already knew how to do this from ages! This is nothing new!
    A: Go ahead. Point me to the same tutorial, written before today. As far as I know this could be a method used by all the top Forzatographers and I may be dumb for not knowing it. But I didn't write this tut for those who know.

    Q: Why go to such greath lenghts to remove watermarks?
    A: Because they killed my father, and now they must prepare to die.

    Q: Why is this tutorial is so poorly written?
    A: Because I don't know how to write tutorials, and have also taken one too many hits to the head.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  2. FosterG

    FosterG

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    3,626
    Nicely done Clyde, and thank you. I will try it because...they made my monkeys die! :dopey:
     
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  3. Skython

    Skython

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    That is absolute genius! I am now going to do this... If I remember to. :p
     
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  4. Populuxe Cowboy

    Populuxe Cowboy

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    How do you fine-tune rotating a picture? I try rotating it and the smallest tap on the controller D-pad gets me anywhere from .5 to .8 degrees of rotation. So I keep going back and forth and back and forth until I hopefully get to 180.0 degrees.
     
  5. ClydeYellow

    ClydeYellow

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    That's it. I haven't found a quicker and more precise way to do so. Unfortunately it was deemed inappropriate to adopt the same system in use with the Paint Booth.
     
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  6. ClydeYellow

    ClydeYellow

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    Hey, guys. Do you know what happens when you press the RB button before saving a photo?

    THE WATERMARK MOVES.



    The tutorial will soon be amended to keep this minor thing in mind. This will also make it significantly less time consuming and significantly more effective, it will now work with everything including lens flares and smoke/dirt plumes.

    How could I not notice this... Credit goes to Seps1974 who wrote it very casually on the fm.net forums.
     
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  7. Skython

    Skython

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    That... Is... The best news ever (unless you think about it :p). Unfortunately my next few sets will have to have watermarks, but I'll live.
     
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  8. Populuxe Cowboy

    Populuxe Cowboy

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    I thought I'd share how I remove the watermark on my Mac mini. I use a photo editing program called Graphic Converter. It's free, easy to use and works well.

    First, take two photos, moving the watermark on the second photo using the right button. It doesn't matter where you move the watermark to, as long as you move it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Save them to fm.net, then go to your gallery and download them. Give them distinct names. In this case, I named them cortina001a and cortina001b. Now open them up in Graphic Converter.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the watermark is in the bottom left of cortina001b. This is the one I'm going to change. Go to cortina001a, and highlight an area in the bottom left that will be large enough to cover the watermark on the other photo, and copy it. Make sure you go all the way down into the corner when making your selection.

    [​IMG]

    Now we go back to cortina001b and paste. The program will paste it dead center on wherever you place your cursor, so make sure you place the cursor deep into whatever corner you're going to paste your selection. That puts it perfectly in the corner without you having to line up anything.

    [​IMG]

    When you click outside the highlighted area, you'll see a perfect picture with no watermark. Just "save as" with a new name (in this case "cortina001" without any letters).

    [​IMG]

    Upload it to flickr or whatever image hosting site you use, and you've got a watermark-free image you can be proud to share that took you less than 3 minutes to create.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
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  9. disinfected

    disinfected Premium

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    Brilliant stuff.
     
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