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Watermarking Your Media

Cleaner protects your content By Stephen Schleicher
Everyday more and more companies are putting video content on their site. Often it is in the form of a QuickTime movie, or streaming media files like Windows Media or Real. Providing content to viewers in this fashion is great as it allows the visitor to get more information than they would be able to simply by reading words.

The problem with some clips or streams you put on your website is that visitors can download your work to their hard drive, repost it on their website, or pass it along to others who have never been to your site. To make sure that you are getting the proper credit you deserve for your work, one way to protect it is by watermarking your media.

Cleaner 5.1.1 from discreet allows you to watermark your media during the encode process. Heres how to create a standard watermark.

In order to create a small bug logo in the corner of your screen first open Adobe Photoshop (or image editor of your choice, and create a blank canvas that is the same size as the final compressed movie. For this example, I created a canvas size of 320 x 240, with a transparent background.

Load your logo in and resize as needed. To create transparency in the watermark, use an alpha channel to define the transparent areas of the logo.

Make sure to create an alpha channel for your image in order for it to work in Cleaner. You can create semi-transparent watermarks by changing the alpha channel.

Save the image as an uncompressed PICT file with alpha channels.

In Cleaner, under the Image tab, you will find the option to set the watermark.

Place a check in the box and then click on the Set button to select the watermark image you just created.

With Cleaners Dynamic Preview (Control+D) you can preview how the watermark will look in the final image.

It is very simple to create a watermark to protect you work. You should also get in the habit of protecting your media files by including embedded information that can be entered under the Metadata section.

Add additional comments that will be embedded in your file under the Metadata tab.

NOTE: This tutorial only covered Cleaner 5.1.1 from discreet on the PC platform. As soon as we get Cleaner 6 for the Mac, well provide an update to this tutorial.

When not working deep in the labs of the DMN Central Division testing the latest and greatest software/hardware products Stephen Schleicher can be found at the local university teaching a few courses on video and web production. He can be reached at schleicher@mindspring.com. You can also visit him on the web at www.mindspring.com/~schleicher

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at schleicher@mindspring.com

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