If you make videos, it can be really handy to add a logo or call to action.
iMovie allows you to easily add overlays — like logos, web urls, shortened links to landing pages, fun embellishments — to videos. These can appear at any point in the video, and run for any length of time. Today’s video will show you who easy it is to add and customise overlays.
WHY USE OVERLAYS ON A VIDEO?
Overlays are a great way to add information to your video in addition to what’s going on onscreen.
Think of the news in the evening. You’ll usually see text at the bottom of the screen showing the headline or the name of the channel or a logo in one of the corners.
So, how can you make overlays work for your videos?
You can use overlays to show:
- Your logo.
- Your website, blog, or shop url.
- Your name.
- The title of the video.
- A shortened or memorable url for a landing or sales page.
- A call to action.
- Instructions to supplement what you’re saying, particularly for how-to videos.
- Useful words or bits of information you don’t want to keep repeating.
- Fun embellishments like arrows, pointing down to encourage subscribing or speech bubbles for exaggerating a point.
This video will show you how to:
- Add a png overlay to your video timeline.
- Change the settings so the overlay shows the video underneath.
- Move and resize the overlay.
- Set the time the overlay appears and disappears.
THE STEP BY STEP
You'll need to have your overlays already created. They need to be in the form of a png file, so they have a transparent background. If you have jpeg files, you’ll end up with a white box around your logo or text covering up anything on the video beneath.
Making Your Overlay Available to Use
- With your iMovie project open and your My Media window showing, click on Import Media (Cmd/Ctrl I) or the down arrow at the top of the screen and navigate to where you have saved your png file.
- Select the file and click Import Selected to add it to My Media.
- It should now be listed inside your My Media, alongside your video and audio files.
- Highlight your overlay (a yellow box will appear around it) and drag it down to your timeline.
- You want the overlay layer to sit on top of the video layer.
Position the Overlay on the Timeline
- You can now make the overlay appear and disappear.
- Decide where on the timeline you want the logo/text to first appear.
- Highlight the logo/text box so you have a yellow outline.
- Drag the box so the left-hand edge lines up with where you want the overlay to first appear.
- Now drag and extend the right-hand edge of the yellow box and to the point at which you want the overlay to disappear.
Edit the Settings of the Overlay
- Now your overlay is on the timeline, you need to change it's settings so it appears with a transparent background. You can then reposition/resize it on the video screen and see the video underneath.
- With the overlay selected, click on the first icon above the video preview screen called Video Overlay Settings (two overlapping rectangles).
- Change the first dropdown box from Cutaway to Picture in Picture.
- The overlay will have shrunk and reverted to a transparent background. You’ll now be able to see the video underneath.
Position the Overlay on the Video Screen
- The last thing you need to do is position the overlay where you want it on the video screen.
- If necessary, resize the png by click on any corner and dragging. There is no need to hold down shift, as it will retain its proportions automatically.
- If you can’t see these options, make sure the overlay is selected (has a yellow outline) on the timeline.
- Once it is the correct size, drag and position it on the screen.
- When placing the overlay into position, bear in mind that as the video plays and the screen changes, you don’t want the overlay to cover up anything important.
EXAMPLES OF OVERLAYS
Here’s an example of a logo and a shortened url (sometimes know as a pretty link) added on top of the video.
- Adding a logo can give viewers a chance to become familiar with your branding. It's repeated exposure to a logo that makes it become recognisable. So, if you make videos, this is an easy way to reinforce your branding.
- If you want people to take action, for example visit a landing page or signup for a newsletter, adding a shortened url and having this on view while you are talking makes it easier to remember.
USING MULTIPLE PNGS
You can add any number of overlays at different points in the video. Perhaps you want the same message to appear briefly at the start and then reappear at the end. Just drag the same png down on to the timeline twice and position/lengthen them accordingly.
This might be useful if you have a lot going on in the video and you don’t want any of the action covered up. In the video above, I knew I had plenty of blank space available for my pngs. Depending on the video, this isn’t always the case. If you have an overlay appear during your intro and again at the end, it doesn’t interfere with the video but gets any additional information across.
Why not try something simple like your logo on your next video? Tuck it away in one of the corners to add subtle branding to your video.
Are you trying to build an email list? Why not try a web address to your sign up page? Try and create something memorable and short. If you use WordPress, Pretty Links is a great plugin. If like me you’re on SquareSpace, you can add a ‘pretty link’ via URL mapping.