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GFX Guide - Thumbnails [Photoshop]

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Thumbnails guide!


After a suggestion from [member="Phoenix"] i decided to make a guide for our up and coming YouTubers on how to make simple, but effective thumbnails.


1. Let's get started!


First thing we will do, is get a background for our thumbnail.


So since a lot of our youtubers like to use very simple thumbnail designs we are going to use the same thing


First thing we do is we open the background of our image which we can get by simply googling thumbnails




2. Stylising


Once we have selected our background, we can begin stylising our thumbnail, that is adding text, renders etc.

We are going to begin with adding some text




Now that we have placed our text and are happy with it, we can move on. But a couple of things before that. The header aka the server name should be the biggest and the following less important text should be smaller. For coders this would be something like <h1>..<h6> headings (html).


(Tip: The text placement is important as it should be the first thing the person sees when looking at your thumbnail. Try to not clutter the text in one place, but at the same time don't space it out too much. For the DreamScape text i have made the letters D & S 10 points bigger from the rest of the text.)


3. We have our text placed, but it seems bland doesn't it ?


Well this is where styles come in. Styles are stylizations that can be used for anything any where.


To add or create a style:


*How to add a style




There are a some premade styles on Ps that you can use or download new ones. But personally i like to make my own styles.


*How to make a style




We select our text layer and press this button at the bottom.




We press blending options.




Here we can start messing around with the making of our layer style.


I won't go into detail on what each of them mean since it would take too long.


We will simply go through the main ones.




Gradient overlay is what brings color to our style, now there are many different pre-made gradients we can use. You can mess around and see what the different blending modes and options do. For this tutorial you can simply copy what i have done above.




^ Gradient Overlay ^


This is simply 3 colors. Black/Dark Blue/Light Blue/White


I won't go over what the upper two black color do since you can test it yourself.


Next is adding a drop shadow.




This will make our text pop out more and make it more visible.


You can mess around the top options such as distance, spread etc. but i would suggest leaving quality option alone until you know what they mean and have tested it yourself.


Now we move on to adding a inner shadow.




Same as drop shadow this will give more depth and make the text pop out more. You can copy the above preset, this one makes a very slight inner shadow that is just enough to see it, but not choke it out.


And that concludes it. This is all you mainly need to know about making very simplistic styles.


Now since i was not happy with my initial Gradient Overlay i will simply add a color overlay, which is one solid color.




We can press "Ok" and that will exit us out of the window.


To save our layer style for later use we simply click in any free space in our layer style selector. While still having chosen the layer on which it is applied




Now we can use the layer style we have made as many times as we want!


We apply the layer style to all of our text layers, and the image should turn out something like this.




This is still very bland and boring isn't it ?


We can fix that by adding some renders!


(Explanation: Render is an image without a background.)




And that's it! Now our thumbnail is done, and looks quite good. You can mess around with the various different styles and options that are available on Ps, but this is how you make a basic thumbnail for your youtube videos.

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Dude that's awesome! Very detailed and awesome guide.

It's just great to see that you've really did put effort in making this thread, it's definitly helpfull for new Youtubers.


It isn't that hard to create those thumbnails, you just need to invest some of your spare time in it and you'll become better in making those by the day, and since that's something which is with everything. You need to learn it and then you'll get better every time.


Thanks for this amazing thread, i'm really happy with it!

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