A small, lower resolution image seems ideal. Anyone who's even considering buying a full-res photo isn't going to see a 200x300 image and say "what the heck, I'll just take that instead." If they did, they weren't going to buy the original either.
And if you want to give the users a sense of the final resolution, you could take a corner of the image and show that at full-resolution, while making it clear in the UI that it's only a corner.
I do agree that a watermark is (strongly) preferable for choosing which individual images to buy - small details can make or break images, and this obscures a lot of the image. Just pointing out that there may be uses on the same kinds of sites.
For those who have turned meme-creating into a sport, watermarks and other attributable data are vital in seeing how that meme spreads. I know people that deliberately put a yellow 1px border beneath each image they share (and created) so that if they spot it somewhere else, both they and others can guess where it originated. There are other more sophisticated methods which I can't mention here for detecting meme spread, but watermarks are a big deal in the meme world.
I found that very funny in a austin power kind of way, like this is some sort of giant secret technology.
The most efficient methods of watermarking pictures in ways that are easy to detect, easy to hide for the viewer yet hard to remove for the copier are all well known and detailed on the internet, in fact wikipedia is a decent source before going into more technical content.
And in terms of "memes", this sort of watermark is most often done by individual users for reasons related to ego rather that copyright protection. Because the actual money making memes oriented websites will prefer the good old heavy duty watermark all over the picture, since it will be copied anyway they figure they might as well ensure the final viewer knows where it came from so he can look for it and get them new traffic.
I suspect this technique is how the Imagemagick author generated the noisy twigs image:
I hope they use a fixed seed for their random function when probabilistically covering parts of the image.
If not it might mean one could refresh the image a few times and get different parts covered. If so, you could then knit together a full image by combining just the uncovered parts.
For the blurred triangles I think it would take a bit more work but I'm fairly sure there are ways to detect which image has more edges based on which you can guess which is the blurred segment.
Yeah, the idea was that the preview would be generated on upload
Sometimes I’ve taken design drafts very far along, including manually removing the watermark, to see a full, if lower res, composite before deciding to license imagery for a final work.
That said there is some useful examples of working with imagemagic here and it does deliver on “more interesting image previews.”
Interesting work but I doubt it's what anyone buying these assets would want.
The triangles used a larger image as a starting point though.
Idle thought: Take a bunch of sample images, show them to humans, record heat maps of where the humans look. Use this data to train a GAN to generate heatmaps from images.
Feed the GAN a new image. Crop the image to keep the parts where the GAN "looks".
Thoughts? Any reason why it wouldn't work?
Sometimes it’s best to let the originator of the image control it.
Though it would be fun to try some automation..
Although I honestly was expecting all the images of women to get cropped to "boobs and face".