OS X tools for overlaying a copyright notice over a film
November 24, 2004 10:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm involved with a "currently in post-production" motion picture. I've got a MPEG of the film (although I can convert to any needed format), and need to overlay a text copyright notice over the entire film so that its visible at the top or bottom of the screen. Can anyone suggest tools for doing this under OS X?

Free/shareware/donationware tools would be preferred, as we don't have the budget for Apple's pro-level video software. I've been doing a lot of work with iMovie and ffmpegX. :)
posted by mrbill to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Using Imovie, you could make a strip subtitle with it on, but I don't think you can use one to go the entire length of the movie. You could put them every X of seconds or minutes. The one problem with using Imovie to do this is that it handles titles weirdly in my opinion (I haven't used it in a few months but when you add a title it has a strange way of dealing with the clips you add titles too).

I can tell you that in Pinnacle LE (a program my boss bought- not my first choice) it would be as simple as creating the title, then just stretch the title to last the whole length of the video.
But Pinnacle LE isn't free.

OR, if you way of transfering the video to XP, you could use moviemaker (included with XP) and just stretch the title to last the entire length.
posted by drezdn at 10:38 AM on November 24, 2004

Final Cut Express is only ("only", in comparison with FCP), $300. And well worth it, IMO, especially because making iMovies do something like that is far too tedious.
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:53 AM on November 24, 2004

Response by poster: hopeless romantique: This is one of those "doing stuff out of the goodness of my heart, on zero budget" projects. If the movie makes a profit I get a percentage, but neither the producer or I have the budget right now to lay out on FCE. Unfortunately I missed the "trade in old Adobe software for a free copy of FCE" deal about a year ago.

Thanks for the tip about Windows MovieMaker - I've got a Windows box available that I can dedicated to that for a couple of days. Hopefully it will allow saving in something other than Windows Media format.
posted by mrbill at 11:07 AM on November 24, 2004

How about this thingy? I've never used it, but it came up in a search. $30 is a little better than $300 at least.
posted by stefnet at 11:14 AM on November 24, 2004

I bet you could do it with my old favorite, MPlayer and it's side kick, Mencoder.
I know there is a way to add subtitles to a movie. Whatever you choose to use, that's probably going to be easier than a static copyright notice.

MPlayer is the movie player arm of the program, MEncoder is the re-encoder, which is *probably* what you need to use, although I'm not positive.
posted by RustyBrooks at 11:39 AM on November 24, 2004

Cleaner 6! Add "watermark" - will be on entire movie. Plus, you can make it perfect size (still looking good) for all sorts of viewings, DVDS, web, whatever. It's what cleaner does best. Drop any iMovie .mov/.mpeg on cleaner set your settings, wateremark would be under "image" and off you go. The watermark should be a .psd file.

can be found on those networks but you didn't hear t from me and might as well buy it as it's very useful
posted by dabitch at 11:41 AM on November 24, 2004

sorry, forgot the link: Cleaner 6.
posted by dabitch at 11:43 AM on November 24, 2004

Best answer: if you are able to suffer using windows, there's not much that virtualdub can't do. can certainly burn in subs, and I believe there is even a logo/watermarking filter available.

also, it's free.
posted by dorian at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2004

yep, logo filter
posted by dorian at 12:29 PM on November 24, 2004

I second and third VirtualDub. Your easiest, free-est solution! Plus, it was developed in my old hometown.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:36 PM on November 24, 2004

Response by poster: Dorian: I keep a Windows box around for when I feel a need to be sadistic. That's perfect - thanks a ton. askmefi++
posted by mrbill at 1:10 PM on November 24, 2004

ImageMagick is an old group of open source tools for image manipulation. It's not the easiest thing in the world to use to traditional mac folks, but it's a great toolset of command line tools for image manipulation. Here's how to overlay text on images. Getting your mpeg back to frames and back again would then be the issue.... OS X users love the command line, right?
posted by superchris at 7:25 PM on November 24, 2004

Response by poster: A followup - Quicktime Pro will do it with a little bit of tweaking by hand.
posted by mrbill at 7:41 PM on November 28, 2004

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