SpiceFX 6 OverlayFX Wizard Puts Logos & Graphics Anywhere You Want!
Windows Movie Maker only provides a single video track, which has long limited its creative power to overlay images atop a video clip. Advanced Movie Maker users could resort to tricky XML coding to get around the overlay limitation, but the process is non-intuitive and awkward at best.
Now such pain is in the past. OverlayFX™ gives you the power to EASILY and VISUALLY create Movie Maker overlays. Overlay ANY imported still-image on your scene, such as a logo, externally-created title, lower-thirds, custom frame, or graphic (conversation bubbles, holiday symbols, etc. -- the possibilities are endless!). Then you can fine-tune the overlay position, adjust its transparency, fade in/out, and visually enhance the overlay in compelling other ways in the Wizard. It's like adding a whole new track to Movie Maker! In fact, you can apply up to SIX overlay effects to the SAME clip -- to overlay several different still-image graphics at once, if desired. So it's really like adding up to SIX compositing tracks to Movie Maker! WOW! New in Version 6: Reference image choosing directly from your source video, dozens of pre-made custom frames and lower-thirds overlays included, set preview duration exactly, improved help, and more new features.
OverlayFX also is a great supplement to our TitleFX Wizard in SpiceFX. TitleFX adds terrific new text capabilities to Movie Maker's standard titler. But sometimes you may need more flexibility in your text looks such as mixed fonts or colors -- as shown in the examples towards the bottom of this page. The solution is to create the text/title in a graphics program such as Photoshop, then use OverlayFX to layer the image easily on top of your clip! The overlay file can be in bitmap (.bmp), PNG (.png), TIFF (.tif) or Targa (.tga) format. (See the purple box below for tips about how to prepare the graphic file.)
Tutorial: 6 Easy Steps to Using OverlayFX
Double-click the Wizards for Movie Maker icon on your desktop (installed by our demo or purchased version). Or choose it in your Start > Program Files > Pixelan menu. Then the Wizards window will appear. If necessary, choose OverlayFX effects from the top submenu to see the below.
1. Click the Add Overlay button to choose a frame, lower-thirds, logo, or other graphic file you want to overlay. (See the purple box below for tips on how to prepare an overlay graphic for this Wizard.) Optionally, click the Reference Clip button to load a still-image of the background video (.wmv, .avi, or .mpg format) or photo (.bmp, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, or .pct format) you will use with the overlay, for reference to better position the overlay.
TIP: Reference images are ONLY for reference in a Wizard. They are NOT part of your custom effect. The Movie Maker TIMELINE is where you will apply the exported effect to any clip.
2. Drag the preview's center cursor to adjust the overlay's position, if needed. Or right-click to set a position precisely.
3. Click Transparency, Depth, Border, and Shadow/Glow buttons to change the overlay’s visual qualities interactively. To choose a custom color for Border or Shadow/Glow, click the triangle in the lower corner of those buttons.
4. Click the blue Play button to see the overlay’s fade in/out. Fine-tune with the Timing button. Adjust the preview's duration by clicking the blue duration indicator under the preview.
5. To create more than one custom overlay effect, click the Bin button to select another bin, then repeat steps 1-4 above. Forty bins are available.
6. When you are done creating overlay effects, click the Click here to export button to send your custom OverlayFX effects into Movie Maker. Re-start Movie Maker, then they will appear in Movie Maker’s Effects list (at the TOP of the list) as "OverlayFX 01" "OverlayFX 02" etc., ready to be dragged onto any video or still-image clip in the Movie Maker timeline.
IMPORTANT Note: When preparing a graphic that you intend to overlay with OverlayFX, in your image editing program be sure to save the file as a bitmap (.bmp), PNG (.png), TIFF (.tif) or Targa (.tga) file which includes an alpha channel (thus is a 32-bit file). The alpha channel tells OverlayFX which areas will be transparent. Also, if the graphic is smaller than your full-screen, in your image editing program be sure to place the smaller graphic within a full-frame-size (empty) background. For example, if you intend to have a small logo in the lower right corner of your scene, make a 720x480 graphic (or similar full-size canvas at the same frame size as your intended final movie output) with the logo much smaller in the lower right corner of that (otherwise empty) image.
OverlayFX Effects -- Tips and Tricks
Note: All of these tips are also in the built-in Help panel that appears with OverlayFX.
• To show an overlay for the entire duration of a clip, instead of fading, click the Timing button and choose the “horizontal line” preset from its palette.
• To apply an overlay for only part of a clip’s duration, split the clip into a couple of pieces in the Movie Maker timeline (use Movie Maker’s Clip > Split command) where you want the effect to start/end, then apply the exported OverlayFX effect only to the desired piece.
• To choose from dozens of pre-made lower-thirds and frames we have provided as extras, click the Add Overlay button, then click the Pixelan Examples button at the right side of the Open dialog box.
• To overlay multiple graphics in the same clip... since Movie Maker allows up to six effects per clip, you can overlay multiple layers of graphics with OverlayFX. Create your overlays, each saved in a Bin, then export and apply several to a clip in the Movie Maker timeline.
• To revise a previously exported OverlayFX effect in Movie Maker: 1. Revise the effect in this Wizard. 2. Click the Click here to export button. 3. Re-start Movie Maker. 4. Drag the SAME effect onto your clip to replace the prior version. Important Tip: Revisions will NOT affect any other project. Each Movie Maker project file retains the Wizards information that was active at the time of applying it, no matter what Wizards changes occur later.
• To load a Reference Clip image that has a different format than the Wizard can show (thus a clip that is not in .wmv, .avi, .mpg, .bmp, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tga, or .pct. format), place the video clip or still-image in your Movie Maker timeline, display a desired frame in the Movie Maker preview window, then choose Tools > Take Picture from Preview. This will save a separate image file on your drive. Then load that image into a Wizard by clicking its Reference Clip button.
• To copy/paste a Bin's effect to another Bin in the same Wizard, right-click the Bin. This is handy to organize your effects and to create several variations of a complex effect.
• To undo/redo, click the small buttons at the window's top right corner (if active). Up to 100 undo/redo levels are possible -- great for experimenting with different looks.
• To optionally append up to 16 characters to an effect’s name to help you remember its intent when viewing Movie Maker’s list of effects, use the Add to Name text box.
• To change the Wizard’s preferences, such as preview duration, video format (NTSC or PAL), aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9), and more, click the white Preferences button at the bottom of the window. For best preview accuracy in the Wizard, match the video format and aspect ratio to your Movie Maker project. These values will not alter your exported effect; they are only for the Wizard’s preview.
• To save a favorite OverlayFX effect (or a set of effects), click the Save Favorites (disk) button. To load it later, click the adjacent Load Favorites (folder) button. Note there is no need to save a favorite unless you intend to use the same effect in a future project, because each Movie Maker project file holds all Wizards info applied in that project. That remains true even if you later use the same Bin to make a new custom item for a different project.
• To clear only the currently displayed effect, or all effects in this Wizard, or all exported items in Movie Maker from this Wizard, click the yellow Clear (minus) button at the window’s bottom. Clearing all exported items is how you can create a fresh set of custom OverlayFX effects for each new project. Note that existing projects will still retain their earlier OverlayFX effects unchanged.
• To exit the Wizards, click the green Save and Exit (check mark) button in the lower corner of the window. Although you must re-start Movie Maker each time you export items from a Wizard, you can keep the Wizards window open for reference or further changes. Fine-tuning the overlay effect is then much easier!
SUPERB Creative Control -- Just a Few Easy Clicks!
Below is an overview of SOME of what is creatively possible with the OverlayFX Wizard for Movie Maker. Keep in mind that all of these options/choices SYNERGIZE to give you virtually an infinite amount of Movie Maker overlay looks -- all possible with just a few clicks! To see first-hand OverlayFX 's creative power, download our demo, which is a very easy download and automatically installs into Movie Maker -- no technical know-how required!
• Adjustable Transparency for More Subtle Looks. Sometimes a more subtle look for a graphic or logo or text layer is what's most desirable. No problem with the Transparency button in OverlayFX. An easy way to solve text or logo watermarks in the corner of your Movie Maker video.
• Enhance with Depth, Border, and Shadow/Glow. Visually 'pop' your Movie Maker overlay in HUNDREDS of possible ways by combining the many choices available in the Depth, Border, and Shadow/Glow buttons. No need to waste time switching back and forth with an external graphics program trying to reproduce the same enhancements. Just a few examples are shown below.