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Overlays

Cc294691.alert_caution(en-us,Expression.10).gifImportant:

Some features described in this topic are available only if you have Expression Encoder 2 with Service Pack 1 installed. If you have not installed Service Pack 1, you can download it from the Download Center and then install it on your computer.

Using Microsoft Expression Encoder, you can insert a visual or audio overlay for your video. A visual overlay is a static or moving image that is displayed on top of your video as the video plays. An audio overlay is an audio file that is played on top of or in place of the video audio file as the video plays.

Usually, visual overlays are small enough not to interfere with the action of the video, but they are readable, and they are displayed in the lower corner of a video file. Overlays are often company logos, station identifiers, or short advertisements, but they can be any recognizable graphic that you want to add to your video for any purpose. Designers also use semi-transparent overlays to watermark their videos.

For overlays, Expression Encoder recognizes both still and moving image source files. Still image files must be formatted as .jpg, .bmp, .gif, or .png files (.png files usually produce the highest quality overlays). Moving image files can either be WPF canvas XAML animations or movie files such as .wmv and .mov files. Expression Encoder also supports movie files rendered with alpha channels, such as QuickTime alpha files.

Make sure that you don't create a file that is so large that it obscures the video action. Also, make sure that you create a file that is large enough to read, if legibility is your intent. You can put the overlay anywhere on the image, and also specify its opacity, when it appears, and the amount of time that it is displayed. You can create your still image overlays in most drawing applications, including Microsoft Expression Design 2. As for video overlays, you can create and animate those also in Expression Design 2, or you can render an animation as a QuickTime alpha file from any application that supports QuickTime alpha.

To use a visual overlay

  1. In the Media Content panel, select the video to which you want to add the overlay. You can add an overlay to only one video at a time.

  2. If you cannot see the Enhance panel, on the Window menu, click Enhance to select it. If the panel is selected but not visible, on the right side of the application, click the Enhance tab.

  3. In the Visual Overlay category, click the Add Overlay check box.

Cc294691.alert_note(en-us,Expression.10).gifNote:

If the Visual Overlay category is collapsed, click the arrow to the left to expand it.

  1. In the File box, type the file path where the overlay graphic is located, or click the Browse button Cc294691.1abd50b6-f3d3-4903-b72a-b0807daa7755(en-us,Expression.10).png to browse to the file.

  2. When you locate the file, click Open. The visual overlay appears in the Viewer pane with green lines bordering it.

  3. To adjust the left, top, width, and height dimensions, and to retain the original file's aspect ratio as you adjust the overlay, click Maintain Aspect Ratio, and then do one of the following (you can resize the overlay image as the main video plays):

    • In the appropriate boxes, type the dimensions or locations that you want the overlay to have.

    • In the appropriate boxes, click the value and drag to the right or up to increase the value, or drag to the left or down to decrease the values.

    • In the Viewer pane, drag one of the four green-corner points around the overlay image to resize it. Drag the image to reposition it.

  4. To adjust the image transparency, in the Overlay section, do one of the following:

    • Click the Opacity box and type a new value.

    • Drag the opacity value to the right or up to increase the value, or drag to the left or down to decrease the value.

  5. If your image is on a solid background, select Use Transparent Background to remove it. This command samples the pixel color at the 0,0 coordinates of your image, which is in the upper-left corner, and removes that color from the image.

  6. Drag the Volume value to the right to increase the volume, or drag it to the left to decrease the volume.

Cc294691.alert_note(en-us,Expression.10).gifNote:

This volume value applies to audio track of the visual overlay file. To adjust the original audio file for the video, see Preprocessing options.

  1. Set the Duration options according to the following instructions:

    • On the Apply to menu, click Main video only to apply the overlay to the imported video, but not to the leaders or trailers. Click Whole Sequence to apply the overlay to all of the video, including leaders and trailers. Click Custom to set a specific duration for the overlay to be displayed.

    • If you chose to specify a custom duration, in the Start and End boxes, enter the respective times (relative to the video duration) at which you want the overlay to appear. Alternately, in the viewing area, you can drag the playhead to a location on the Timeline and then, in the Duration section, click the respective Update button to set the time to the playhead location.

    • Select Loop Overlay if you want the overlay to play back from the beginning once it reaches the end of its duration. The overlay will continue to loop for the length of the video. To specify a time limit for the looping process, enter a length in the Overlay Looping box.

  2. If you want the overlay to fade in and out, enter the appropriate duration in the Fade Duration section. Alternately, in the viewing area, you can drag the playhead to a location on the Timeline and then, in the Fade Duration section, click the respective Update button to set the time to the playhead location. The application calculates the fade relative to the start and end times of the overlay.

  3. Click Reset to return to the settings that appeared upon import of the overlay image.

An audio overlay is an audio file that is played over the video file that you have encoded. You can adjust the volume for the original video file, for the audio for the visual overlay if it also has an audio track, and for the audio overlay, thereby combining as many as three audio streams in the output file. Expression Encoder supports the following audio file types: .aiff, .m4A, .m4B, .bwf, .mp3, .wav, and .wma. You must have Apple QuickTime installed in order to use .aiff, .m4A, and .m4B.

To use an audio overlay

  1. In the Media Content panel, select the video to which you want to add the overlay. You can add an overlay to only one video at a time.

  2. If you cannot see the Enhance panel, on the Window menu, click Enhance to select it. If the panel is selected but not visible, on the right side of the application, click the Enhance tab.

  3. Expand the Audio Overlay category.

  4. In the Audio Overlay settings category, click the Add Audio Overlay check box.

  5. In the File box, type the file path where the overlay audio file is located, or click the Browse button Cc294691.1abd50b6-f3d3-4903-b72a-b0807daa7755(en-us,Expression.10).png to browse to the file.

  6. When you locate the file, click Open.

  7. Drag the Volume value to the right to increase the volume, or drag it to the left to decrease the volume.

Cc294691.alert_note(en-us,Expression.10).gifNote:

This volume value applies to the audio overlay file. To adjust the volume of the audio track of the visual overlay, return to the Visual Overlay category and adjust the volume there. To adjust the original audio file for the video, see Preprocessing options. Set the Duration options according to the following instructions:

  • On the Apply to menu, click Main video only to apply the overlay to the imported video, but not to the leaders or trailers. Click Whole Sequence to apply the overlay to all of the video, including leaders and trailers. Click Custom to set a specific duration for the overlay.

  • If you chose to specify a custom duration, in the Start and End boxes, enter the respective times (relative to the video duration) at which you want the overlay to play. Alternately, in the viewing area, you can drag the playhead to a location on the Timeline and then, in the Duration section, click the respective Update button to set the time to the playhead location.

  • Select Loop Overlay if you want the overlay to play back from the beginning once it reaches the end of its duration. The overlay will continue to loop for the length of the video. To specify a time limit for the looping process, enter a length in the Overlay Looping box.

  1. If you want the overlay to fade in and out, enter the appropriate duration in the Fade Duration section. Alternately, in the viewing area, you can drag the playhead to a location on the Timeline and then, in the Fade Duration section, click the respective Update button to set the time to the playhead location. The application calculates the fade relative to the start and end times of the overlay.

  2. Click Reset to return to the settings that appeared upon import of the overlay image.

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