Bugging out: How to add your company’s logo to your YouTube video in Sony Vegas Movie Studio

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You can doctor up your YouTube upload in all sorts of ways to make it more search engine friendly, such as adding relevant keywords, a great title and description.  But what if someone shares your video or embeds it on their blog.  Subsequent viewers may not have as easy a time associating your brand with your video.

Adding a superimposed logo (or a “bug” as it’s known in the TV industry) to your video not only puts an ever-present stamp on it no matter where it’s viewed, but it also adds a simple extra level of professionalism to your end result.  As it turns out, it’s really simple to do in Sony Vegas Movie Studio, the low-cost editing program I recommend.  Though the following applies to Sony Vegas Movie Studio, the concept also works if you’re using the full Sony Vegas program as well.

  1. bugfigure01Vegas Movie Studio gives you three “video tracks” by default, and #2 is labeled “video overlay.”  This is the track where your logo will go.Think of multi-track video editing as a stack of elements you view from the top down.  Whenever you place a video element one track higher than another, it appears over the top of the lower element.  If we put another piece of video on a higher track, it will appear completely over the lower one.  If we put a graphical element like a logo on a higher track, it will appear superimposed over the video.  (If you put your logo on a track below the video, it will not be visible.
  2. Add your graphic file to our video overlay track.  Using the explorer tab, you can browse your computer to find where it is saved, and drag it onto your timeline into track 2.(Note: Vegas lets you use most types of image formats, including JPG, GIF, PNG and even Photoshop PSD files.  If you use a file with a transparent background (like PNG or PSD), only your logo will be superimposed over the video.  Flat, not-transparent files like JPG will always be square or rectangular in apparence, even if your logo has a solid-color background in the image.)By default, the new graphic element will only appear to be a few seconds in length on your timeline.  Hover your cursor over the center of either edge of the graphic element, click and drag it sideways to extend the length of the graphic element to fit your overall project.(Tip:  If you hover your cursor over the top corner of either side edge of any audio or video element on your timeline, your cursor will change into a “fade” cursor.  Click and drag into the interior of the element to add a “fade” of any duration to either edge of the element.  This will make any element gradually appear instead of being a simple harsh cut.)
  3. bugfigure02On the right edge of your graphic element in track 2, click on the “event pan/crop” icon, which is the upper of the two icons.  This opens the event pan/crop window, which gives you a working surface to resize and shift where your image appears in the frame of your video.
  4. Right-click over your logo in the event pan/crop window, and choose “match output aspect.”  This makes the selection lasso the same proportion as the frame of your video.  If you do not do this step, the edges of your logo may get cut off when we move your logo around.
  5. bugfigure03Click on the magnifying glass (the “zoom edit tool”) on the left edge of the pan/crop window, and right-click anywhere over your logo.  This will make our working area a bit larger, making it easy for us in the next step.  Click back on the standard arrow (the “normal edit tool”) again.
  6. Click and drag an edge of the selection lasso, making it bigger.  Think of the selection lasso as the overall frame of your video.  As we expand the selection lasso, we’re making your logo appear smaller within the overall frame.  bugfigure04Now we can click inside the lasso’ed selection box and drag it around.
  7. Drag the selection box, positioning your logo into one of the lower corners of the box.  You should be able to see in the preview window where your logo appears as you drag it.  Make your final size adjustments by expanding or contracting the selection lasso, and drag the selection into its final placement.  You have now placed a “bug” into your video!  (You can now close the pan/crop window).Note: In figure 5, I show the bug being placed in the lower right corner of the video, which is where you usually see bugs on television.  You may want to consider placing your bug in the lower left corner instead if you plan to upload your video to YouTube.  bugfigure05Often, YouTube will superimpose its own logo on your video, and their logo may clash with yours.
  8. As an optional step, you can modify the “opacity” of your bug if you wish.  This will make it appear slightly faint over your video instead of fully opaque.  To do this, click on track 2 in the timeline to highlight it.  Then choose from the top menu “Insert > Video Envelopes > Track Composite Level.”  This creates a purple line at the top of track 2.  bugfigure06When it is at the top of the track, the opacity of elements in this track is 100%.  If you click and drag the line lower, it lessens the opacity.  You should be able to see how this affects the appearance of your logo in the preview pane.

When you publish your video, your logo will now be permanently superimposed.  The above steps can also be used to superimpose other graphics on your videos, such as images of things you are talking about.  You can get creative with video overlays instead of just using Vegas’ built-in text generator when you want to place a subject’s name on the screen.  With Sony Vegas, the only limitation is your imagination and creativity!

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