Archive for the ‘Photography Biz’ Category
HOW TO CREATE A WATERMARK IN PHOTOSHOP AND ADD YOUR LOGO OR NAME TO VIDEOS IN iMOVIE ’11Categories: Photography Biz
BACKGROUND :: OK, readers, here’s a short disclaimer: Like many of you, I’m new to the video world and am struggling with video editing basics. I began filmmaking with real film, and for convenience in multimedia production over the last 3 years, I have been shooting with a 5DMarkII. BTW, the results with this camera can be superb, but Canon never intended it to be used by serious videographers (if you’ve ever handled a real motion picture camera, you’ll know why).
Adding metadata to your stills and videos, especially ownership info, should be a fundamental step in your workflow. Unfortunately, others can easily remove this information. Social networking sites are among the worst offenders (see this Survey on the Controlled Vocabulary Forum). So to protect your work, it’s good practice to also add visual and/or cryptic watermarks, e.g. a Digimarc. Visual watermarks offer the best protection. Branding your media with visual ownership information entitles you to Copyright protection to the full extent of the law if anyone intentionally removes your identification marks.
While preparing video clips for this website, I needed an easy way to watermark videos and upload them to Vimeo. I’m not a tech-head, and I’m writing this to save others some pain along the way.
After a little research, I decided on iMovie ’11 (designed for Macs with Snow Leopard only). After wasting a lot of time on Apple’s website trying to find the information I needed, I ended up paying about $15 for the download. As part of iLife ’11, the program bundle costs $49. Users who know more about iMovie than myself recommend other programs for serious video editing. But iMovie ’11 does allow you to upload your videos directly to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, CNN iReport, MobileMe Gallery, or Podcast Producer – the one iMovie feature I was looking for. I prefer QuickTime Pro for trimming useless material from raw video clips and stay with professional editors armed with programs such as Final Cut Pro for creative post-production work.
After watching a popular iMovie tutorial on the Internet, I decided to try watermarking one of my video clips with our company logo. The logo looked crisp in Photoshop, but when viewed in iMovie and on Vimeo, it was out of focus and fuzzy. I could find no useful advice on forums and spent two days trying to find an answer. I watched two more tutorials on this subject and read related material in a book on iMovie. By themselves, none of these sources offered a clear explanation of how to create and add a watermark to videos. But by piecing information together from all four sources, here’s what I discovered works well.
USING PHOTOSHOP TO CREATE YOUR WATERMARK :: The following information is not geared to those using PS Elements. Using PSE would require a modified tutorial.
1. Create a new file in Photoshop (PS): File > New
Give it a name. Set the Opacity to Transparent, the Bit Depth to 16, and the Width and Height to the size of your video format, i.e. for HD-1080p, use 1920px x 1080px; for traditional TV formats, use 720px x 480px; etc. Use the format that matches your camera output specs. Set the resolution to 72ppi, but for branding videos, the resolution you choose won’t matter.
2. WORKING WITH A READY-MADE LOGO (logos that make good watermarks are bold and have little intricate detail – if yours is delicate or you don’t have a prepared logo, I recommend using PS’s Type Tool to create your watermark – and jump down to Step 3 below). Begin with an electronic file of your logo (preferably solid black and/or solid white) on a transparent background; and in PS, size its background to match the specs you used in Step 1 above. Be sure to adjust the size of your logo to nearly span the width or height of its background. Leave some breathing room around it, but to retain the logo’s clarity when you move it into iMovie, it must be large.
Now you have two files open in PS, one with the logo and one with a blank background. Using PS’s Lasso or Rectangular Marquee Tool, select your logo, click on the Move Tool, and drag the logo onto your new blank transparent canvas. You should be able to click on the logo and drag it around on the new background to reposition it if you want (but you’ll later see that it’s position isn’t very important at this time).
In the Layers Palette (Window > Layers), your logo will appear as a new layer above the transparent background layer. Highlight the logo layer, right click on it’s thumbnail, and choose Merge Down. You should now have only one layer, with your logo on a transparent background. Note that in the Layers Palette, when your logo layer is highlighted, you can move the Opacity slider to adjust the logo’s density/transparency. Skip down to Step 4 below.
3. USE PHOTOSHOP’S TYPE TOOL to create some combination of letters or words that identify you or your company. Begin by selecting the tool with the big “T” icon in PS’s tool’s palette. Choose a font that you like from the drop-down list. Avoid fancy fonts with fine lines; for watermarking, bolder is better, and I suggest using all capital letters.
Click in the Type Tool’s color-picker box (top right) to choose a font color. I recommend using only pure black or pure white. If you’re working in black, go to Image > Duplicate and make a copy for use with white lettering. You’ll need both if you have an assortment of video clips to watermark, some light and some dark.
Choose a Point Size for your font from the drop-down menu. Click in the transparent background that you made in Step 1, and begin typing. It’s likely that your type will be much too small relative to the size of its background. PS allows you to enter your own numbers for Point Size, all the way up to 1296. So experiment, keeping in mind that you should try to fill about 80% of the field’s width or height with your lettering. You can reposition the type by choosing the Move Tool in the Tools Palette, and you can also adjust the opacity of the type by using the Opacity Slider in the Layers Palette.
4. ADJUSTING YOUR LOGO OR TYPE OPACITY allows you to create a semi-transparent watermark that can be read but doesn’t compete with your video. Much to my surprise, I have found that 15% opacity works the best on my video clips, but I have made and saved multiple watermark files at different opacities in both black and white. Blacks look the best over light videos and whites are ideal for dark videos.
5. NEXT, CREATE AN ALPHA CHANNEL by opening the Channels Palette (Window > Channels). Click on the small dotted circle at the bottom of this palette to “Load Channel as Selection.” Then click on the icon next to it (a square with a circle in it) to “Save Selection as Channel.” Then deselect the channel selection (Alt D). Be sure all Channels are visible (eyeballs showing), and highlight the new alpha channel at the bottom of the stack of 5 channels.
6. SAVE AS A PNG FILE by going to File > Save As > choose PNG, saved to your Desktop. You will get a message that says “This file must be saved as a copy,” so click Save. Choose None for Interlace Options. Your ready-to-use watermark will now be sitting on your Desktop as a PNG file. Save your working file too. You can use it to make variations of your watermark, e.g. some with different opacities.
ADDING YOUR WATERMARK TO VIDEOS IN iMOVIE ’11 :: Now for a few tips on using iMovie to apply watermarks and export videos to video-sharing sites.
1. Open iMovie ’11 and clear all video clips from the Project Window (I found that all clips in the Project Window—even those not selected—will be uploaded together when choosing Share > Vimeo).
2. Select “New Event” in left column
3. Go to File > Import Movies and select a video clip to import
4. Select entire video clip in iMovie’s New Event Window and drag the clip into the Project Window.
5. Drag and drop your PNG watermark from your Desktop onto the video clip now in the Project Window and select “Picture in Picture” from the pop-up menu.
6. Your watermark will appear as a small rectangle sitting on top of your video clip. Click in the rectangle to Select it and use your cursor to click and drag its left highlighted edge to the front of your video clip (assuming you want the watermark to begin when the video begins to play). This can be fussy to do, but keep trying if it doesn’t move as expected. And similarly, assuming you want the watermark to show to the end of your video, drag the right edge of this rectangle all the way to the end of the video clip.
7. Look for your watermark in the upper right corner of the video preview window. You’ll see small white corners marking the transparent frame you created in Photoshop. By clicking within your watermark frame, you can drag and position it anywhere you want within the video frame. And by clicking and pulling on one of its white corners, you can enlarge the watermark to suit yourself.
8. If you need to REMOVE an unwanted SOUND TRACK, this is a good time to do it. Just select the video clip, right click on it, and choose “Detach Audio.” An Audio Bar will appear below your video clip. Click on the bar to select it, and with a right click of your mouse, choose Delete Selection.
9. In the top iMovie bar, choose Share > Vimeo (or another site, such as YouTube).
10. A metadata menu will appear. Here you can add the clip’s Title/File Name and Description/Caption info. If uploading to Vimeo, I suggest leaving the Tags/Keywords field blank at this point – I could never get the iMovie Keywords to load properly in the Vimeo Tags field. So wait to do this in Vimeo after the upload.
11. Log in and Upload to Vimeo. You will be given Share options—choose one.
12. The upload and processing time depends on the length of your video.
13. IF YOU ARE A VIMEO USER, after uploading your video, go to your account. Under Videos >MyVideos you’ll see the video you just uploaded. Click on the SETTINGS button and here you will be given many important options (if you have a Vimeo Plus account), including Basic Info, Privacy, Credits, and Embedding, with explanations along the way. Under Basic Info, you can add up to 20 Tags/Keywords separated by commas (do not leave empty spaces after commas). Always end with SAVE CHANGES.
I hope this write-up proves useful to others. Feel free to share this information, but please provide a credit line (Thomas Wiewandt / wildhorizons.com), preferably with a hot link back to our website. ~ TW