How To Create Amazing YouTube Custom Thumbnail Images

Easy “how to” lessons so you can make custom thumbnails that get people watching your YouTube videos.
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 9/2013 English

Course Description

We all want more views on our YouTube videos. After completing this course you will be able to create amazing YouTube thumbnails that will compel viewers to watch your videos.

Everyone with a YouTube channel will benefit from this course. This course is separated in easy to view lessons.

No prior knowledge or materials are required for this course. To create your custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos, you will need image editing software. The download link for a very popular program is included in the lessons.

What are the requirements?

  • No prior knowledge or materials are required for this course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • After completing this course you will be able to design and create amazing YouTube thumbnails.

What is the target audience?

  • Everyone with a YouTube channel will benefit from this course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction
02:23

Ahoy, hello. I’m Rob, nice to meet you, and let me welcome you inside our sailboat.

Who should take this course?

Do you have a YouTube channel?

Are you thinking of making a YouTube Channel?

After completing this course you will be able to create amazing YouTube thumbnail images that will compel viewers to watch your videos.

02:22

Ahoy, hello. I’m Rob, and a big thank you for enrolling in this course.

Why should you listen to me?

Good question.

I have several YouTube channels, and my primary Partner channel has thousands and thousands of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of video views…so far.

Just Google Pirate Lifestyle and you will find me.

Pirate Lifestyle TV https://www.youtube.com/user/PirateLifestyleTV

For me, YouTube is a business. And I take it seriously. I want people viewing my videos and I am sharing the very important knowledge I have learned over many years, about custom thumbnail images, in this course with you. So you can motivate viewers to watch your video.

Section 2: YouTube Thumbnail History
05:48

Who Has The Ability To Upload Custom Thumbnail images?

As mentioned in the introduction, here, in this video lesson, is the important information about who has the ability to upload custom thumbnail images.

In the early days, YouTube picked the middle frame for the video thumbnail. Later, YouTube added two more thumbnail choices, selecting a thumbnail at the one quarter mark and the three quarter mark. For example, if the video was sixty seconds long, YouTube would pick the three frames at 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 45 seconds for the three thumbnail choices.

Here is the really awesome news about YouTube custom thumbnail images.

YouTube is going to the next level and making custom thumbnail images available to almost every channel.

06:02

Why are custom thumbnail images so important?

Why use a custom thumbnail?

Why do videos need high quality custom thumbnail images that accurately represent the content of the video?

The custom thumbnail is the marketing poster for your video. Most people will decide whether to watch your video, or move on to a different video, based on your thumbnail.

The thumbnail is the very first thing people see, when looking for videos to watch. On a mobile device it might be the only thing the viewer sees.

You should always create a custom thumbnail.

There’s a lot of confusion about what YouTube allows in custom thumbnail images. What is allowed versus what makes a thumbnail misleading?

The thumbnail should, “accurately represent the content.” YouTube doesn’t say or mean you must use an actual frame from the video. YouTube means the thumbnail must be representative of what is in the video.

Something I highly recommend is making, creating, a custom thumbnail for all of your past videos.

3 questions

A quick quiz to review the major points in this section.

Section 3: Thumbnail Image Design Guidelines and Technical Specifications
04:14

Thumbnail Image Technical Specifications.

Don’t worry, I will not get overly technical. But we do need to cover the basics.

YouTube uses the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Converting 16:9 to a decimal would be, 1.778.

You can use this information to make a thumbnail any size you want. Just pick a width and divide by 1.778, or pick a height and multiply by 1.778 to get the other value. You will need to remember this so you can create your custom thumbnail template for whatever size you decide to use.

The best dimensions for a thumbnail image are 1280 pixels by 720 pixels.

YouTube limits the size of a thumbnail image to 2 megabytes.

I recommend sticking with png as your first choice and jpg as your second choice.

02:26

This lesson is about Image editing software.

I almost did not include this lesson in this course. Why?

I do not want the course to be about the image editor I happen to be using.

I strongly encourage you to use the image editor of your choice.

In the PC world, the two most popular image editors, by far, are Photoshop and Gimp.

Gimp is free. I will include a link for the download to Gimp in the description for you.


http://www.gimp.org/

I use Gimp as my image editor and I will be using Gimp in the following lessons. You are welcome to use whatever image editor floats your boat. This course is about designing awesome and compelling custom thumbnail images, not my choice of image editing software.

02:59

Design guidelines for custom thumbnail images.

What makes a good thumbnail? What makes a bad thumbnail?

Your thumbnail images must be viewable, readable, and understandable in a variety of dimensions.

Thumbnail images appear in different sizes in different locations in YouTube and outside of YouTube.

What makes a thumbnail good or bad?

Keep the thumbnail simple is the key factor.

Use bright colors.

Use Close-ups. Zoom in on the subject.

Frame the content properly. The rule of thirds will help.

Avoid busy. Things like too many colors and patterns.

3 questions

A quick quiz to review the major points in this section.

Section 4: Creating Your Custom Thumbnail Images
12:14

Creating a basic design custom thumbnail image.

In this video, I will show you exactly how to create a basic custom thumbnail.

You will see every single step to design and create the thumbnail image.

We will be using an actual image from the video. We will select the frame of our choice, rather than using one of the three pre-selected thumbnail image choices.

This is a good option if you have a lot of videos, maybe 20, 30, 40, 50 or more videos, and you want to create a thumbnail image better than the pre-selected options. You want to get something done, fast.

02:38

Step by step instructions to upload your custom thumbnail image to your YouTube video.

Showing the three pre-selected thumbnails. Pressing the Custom Thumbnail button, and uploading the created thumbnail.

Explaining that it takes time for changes to propagate through the system. And eventually, the new thumbnail will appear everywhere.

The new thumbnail already appears in the Video Manager.

15:29

Creating a custom thumbnail image using a nice bright blue background.

In this video, I will show you exactly how to create a custom thumbnail using a special background. We will create our own thumbnail from scratch.

Using the gradient tool, we will make an awesome background for our thumbnail image.

We will use the Lasso Tool to select the content we want to use in our thumbnail image.

This is a great option when the image you want to use has a very busy background.

08:06

Creating a custom thumbnail image using a nice bright blue background.

In this video, I will show you exactly how to create a custom thumbnail using a special background. We will create our own thumbnail from scratch.

Using the previously created bright blue background, we create a custom thumbnail selecting part of a snapshot from the video.

This is a great option when the video is busy, and you really want to focus on part of the image.

We will use the Lasso Tool to select the content we want to use in our thumbnail image.

13:30

In this advanced lesson, we step it up and do some fancy work. We are creating images on a transparent background and saving them.

In this video, I will show you exactly how to create a custom thumbnail using a transparent background.

This is a great option when you really want to focus on getting creative and saving your hard work for future in other projects.

08:05

Creating a custom thumbnail image using all non-video content.

In this video, I will show you exactly how to create a custom thumbnail using images that are not contained in the original video.

You will see every single step to design and create the thumbnail image.

This is a good option if you cannot or do not want to use a frame from your video. We will use custom created content and stock images.

In this hypothetical example, we are making a custom thumbnail for a dolphin video. And we cannot use content from the video for this image.

Section 5: In Review
09:07

Checking the viewability of the custom thumbnail images at various sizes.

In this video, we will observe how the custom thumbnail images scale to different sizes.

We will take the custom thumbnail images we created in the previous lessons, and scale them down to as small as 67 pixels in height. This is the size the images appear in the suggested videos on the watch page.

We will even paste the small images to a watch page to see exactly what they will look like.

04:42

Testing and improving your custom thumbnail images.

The most important part of what you do on YouTube, the greatest form of optimization, is to love and have a real passion for what you’re making.

There is a good chance, at some point, it will be suggested you need to split test your custom thumbnail designs.

Unless your channel is really big, and I mean really big, split testing probably will not prove anything.

With your YouTube videos, it is always a good idea to review your metadata, the title, description, and tags along with the thumbnail, to see if they can be tweaked too.

Your goal is getting people watching your video. And your ultimate goal is to have fun doing it.

2 questions

A quick quiz to review the major points in this section.

02:08

Bringing it all together.

I hope you enjoyed this YouTube custom thumbnail course.

Now that you have completed this course, you know everything you need to know, to be able to create amazing thumbnail images that will compel viewers to watch your video.

You have learned the who, what, why, and how of YouTube custom thumbnail images. You have learned how your awesome custom thumbnail image will make for a better user experience.

Practice making a few thumbnail images, and then review this course. This will ensure you understand all you can about the course material.

If you have any questions, any feedback, please share it. I want to hear from you.

My goal, with this course, is to help you understand all there is to know about YouTube custom thumbnail images.

Please check out my YouTube channel, Pirate Lifestyle TV, and have a look at my custom thumbnail images.

Congratulations on completing this course, and thank you.

http://www.youtube.com/user/PirateLifestyleTV

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Instructor Biography

Dr. Robert Lee, Entrepreneur, Author, Google Geek, Pirate

Rob is a YouTube video makin’ entrepreneur happiest helping people live their dreams.

Rob has been an entrepreneur all of his life. He grew up in a small family business started by his grandfather.

Rob is passionate about living life and being happy every day. For the past eight years, he has been living on a 36 foot sailboat.

Education is very important to Rob. He enjoys learning and teaching. Rob tutors a variety of subjects online to middle school, high school, and college students.

Rob is a YouTube partner, creating entertaining, and informative videos.

Postponing your life far on down the road, is like saving sex until you're really really old.

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