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How To Watermark Your Videos In Windows Movie Maker

By Jessica Cam Wong2010-07-24

how to watermark videosIf you’ve always been fascinated by how well some YouTube videos or commercials turn out that you wish to make some of your own, why not try Windows Movie Maker to warm up your video-making skills? Lots of YouTube gurus seem be doing so. Authoring your own videos can be fun and time-consuming at the same time, so if you want to protect your work, make it more distinguishable and even professional, you should consider adding your signature.

I certainly wish I did back when I fansubbed a music piece with some (as I was told later) metaphorically incorrect translations and later laughed when I saw the exact same, incorrect lyrics I had spent hours researching for in another similar video. As you can tell, there’s no real harm in spending a few more minutes protecting your work. It may even get you more motivated when you see your own logo in your videos that you’ll continue making videos!

So before we start with the tutorial, note that the first part of the tutorial focuses on adding simple text-based watermarks, and for the second part, we’ll add an image watermark or logo into our video using the code from some brilliant users at the Movie Maker Forums.

Adding A Text Watermark

If you want a simple text watermark, not a logo, of your username or name in the lower portion of your video, you can get started right away with one of the built-in Titles.

First, start up Windows Movie Maker. Press Ctrl + I (or click on Videos under Import in the left sidebar) to import your video from your computer.

how to watermark videos

Drag your video to the timeline. Click on Title and credits under Edit in the left sidebar and then, click on Title on the selected clip.

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Type your username or the text you want to appear as your video watermark.

watermark videos

Click on Change the title animation and choose Subtitle that appears under the first Titles, One Line section at the top of the selection box.

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If you wish to position your watermark near the bottom right or left, click on Change the text font and color and choose the icon to align text right or left. You can change how transparent or opaque your watermark, as well as your font style (e.g. make the text bold or italicized), size and color.

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Once you like what you see in the Preview (please note that the video player may take a few seconds to display any changes), click on Add Title.

Using the resizer (which appears when your cursor hovers on the edge of the title in the timeline), drag it across the length of your video.

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You can preview your final video if you’d like, otherwise, press Ctrl + P (click on File > Publish Movie) to save the video to your computer.

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This is what the product looks like with the simple text watermark.

Adding An Image Watermark Or Logo

First, if you haven’t already, create your image watermark. If it has a transparent background, it would look even better, so use Photoshop, GIMP, Paint.NET or most web-based image editors to achieve a transparent background (which the built-in MS Paint can’t do). Save it in .PNG or .GIF format in >C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX\.

If you don’t have the Shared or the AddOnTFX folder, just create the folders with those exact names. You may also save your image in .JPEG format but note that it can’t contain a transparent background. If you already have your logo saved in your computer, make sure it is saved in either file formats, or you can create a new copy and save it as a .PNG or .GIF file in >C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX\.

Now head to this FX Archive page and select either Windows XP Logo Creator or Windows Vista Logo Creator depending on your system.

Select the location in the video where you want your logo to appear.

Then choose the Screen Size which you can quickly find out by looking at your video file’s properties under Dimensions. If your video has different dimensions, just choose the closest numbers or (follow the original forum thread to learn how to modify the code). Then type in the dimensions for your image watermark or logo file.

Now, in the Logo filename, where the default name is image.gif, type whatever the name is for your watermark or logo file, which you saved previously in .PNG or .GIF in >C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX\.

In the Name of Title field, you can name it something like MyLogo. Copy the text that appears underneath.

Open Notepad, paste the text in and save as a mylogo.xml (choose All Files (*.*) in the drop-down menu for the Save as type field) in the >C:\Program Files\Movie Maker\Shared\AddOnTFX\ folder.

Open up Windows Movie Maker (or if you have it open, restart it to see the new MyLogo), import your video, drag it to the timeline and choose Titles and credits.

Choose Title on the selected clip and in the text box under Enter text for title, input a single space (this is important!), and click Change the title animation.

You should see MyLogo in the options. Select it and click Add Title.

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Using the resizer (which appears when your cursor hovers on the edge of the title in the timeline), drag it across the length of your video. You can preview your final video if you’d like, otherwise, press Ctrl + P (click on File > Publish Movie) to save the video to your computer or share it with others or on YouTube!

If you look really hard, there’s actually more tricks that good ol’ Movie Maker has to render a pretty professional video, like the Zooming effects. Do you use Windows Movie Maker or do you prefer another video editor? Let us know in the comments about your preferences and why!


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