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Add visual overlays

Using Microsoft Expression Encoder, you can insert a visual 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.

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.

Timeline (blue) with visual overlay

Video overlay

To add 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 can't 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 window, click the Enhance tab.

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

  4. Navigate to a video file and, when you locate the file, click Open. The visual overlay appears in the Preview panel with green lines bordering it, and a green track appears in the Timeline over your media content, with the name of the overlay file in the track.

  5. To adjust the left, top, width, and height dimensions, and to retain the aspect ratio of the original file as you adjust the overlay, click Maintain Aspect Ratio, and then do one of the following:

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

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

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

    tip noteTip

    You can resize the overlay image as the main video plays.

  6. To adjust the image transparency, in the Add 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 it to the left or down to decrease the value.

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

  8. If your visual overlay includes an audio track, and you want to adjust it, drag the Volume value to the right to increase the volume, or drag it to the left to decrease the volume.

    NoteNote

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

  9. If necessary, click Show advanced properties Ee341426.2f8a79a9-68d2-4878-8b75-c76ceb921b3b(en-us,Expression.40).png to access the remaining options.

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

    • On the Apply to menu, click Whole Sequence to apply the overlay to the entire 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, type the respective times (relative to the video duration) at which you want the overlay to appear. Alternatively, in the Timeline, you can drag the playhead to a new location, and then, in the Duration section, click either Sets the overlay end time to the current playhead position Ee341426.50cf0e83-5e38-471b-a62c-81aa4f4acb28(en-us,Expression.40).png or Sets the overlay start time to the current playhead position Ee341426.50cf0e83-5e38-471b-a62c-81aa4f4acb28(en-us,Expression.40).png 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 between loops of the overlay, type a length in the Overlay Looping Gap box.

  11. If you want the overlay to fade in and out, type the appropriate duration in the Fade Duration section. Alternatively, in the Timeline, you can drag the playhead to a new location, and then, in the Fade Duration section, click either Sets the fade in duration using the playhead position Ee341426.50cf0e83-5e38-471b-a62c-81aa4f4acb28(en-us,Expression.40).png or Sets the fade out duration using the playhead position Ee341426.50cf0e83-5e38-471b-a62c-81aa4f4acb28(en-us,Expression.40).png. Expression Encoder calculates the fade relative to the start and end times of the overlay.

  12. If you want to return to the settings that appeared when you imported the overlay image, on the Visual overlay options menu Ee341426.c043ff11-e91a-4d07-bccb-0d6f50e7d3cb(en-us,Expression.40).png, click Reset.

To replace a visual overlay

  1. In the Media Content panel, select the video that includes the overlay that you want to replace.

  2. If you can't 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, in the File box, type the path where the new overlay graphic is located, or click Browse The browse button to browse to the new file.

  4. When you locate the file, click Open to replace the existing file. Expression Encoder retains the settings that you chose for the previous overlay.

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