Adobe Photoshop: How To Make YouTube Thumbnails | Melanie Greenwood | Skillshare

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Adobe Photoshop: How To Make YouTube Thumbnails

teacher avatar Melanie Greenwood, Designer & Founder of Vision City Studio

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction To YouTube Thumbnails

    • 2. How To Create YouTube Thumbnails

    • 3. Project and Thank You!

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About This Class

My name is Melanie Greenwood and I'm a graphic designer, illustrator and founder of Vision City studios. I offer full service design to clients in corporate companies and in the music industry. I get asked to create YouTube thumbnails a lot and thought I would share my quick and easy way to create these thumbnails for you.

Updating these images will give your YouTube page a major facelift and up your professionalism. Thumbnails that are consistent on your channel will help bring a sense of style and overall branding to your YouTube page. 

Create a consistent style for your YouTube Channel with these simple techniques within Adobe Photoshop CC.

I hope you enjoy this course and learning this fun, yet effective new skill.

Please feel free to ask me any questions. I'm always happy to help my students! 



Meet Your Teacher

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Melanie Greenwood

Designer & Founder of Vision City Studio


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1. Introduction To YouTube Thumbnails: Hi, guys. Welcome to my core somehow to create thumbnails for your YouTube channel. In this course, I'm gonna show you a really simple and effective way to create thumbnails in photo shop. See, see that you can build really effective thumbnails that create an overall identity and brand within your YouTube channel. This is one way to keep people coming back to your channel and to increase your visitors. If your overall YouTube experience looks unified as one voice as one brand, it's gonna really increase your overall visitors as well as people coming back to learn more and to see more of what you're creating. So maybe you're a blogger, or maybe you are a band, an artist or you're somebody who wants to teach on YouTube and you want to create some males. They're going to really serve the messaging of what you're trying to say. I want to encourage you to take this course because I have designed it, and it's such a simple way so you can follow along with me and Photoshopped and you'll be doing it in no time. So I hope you join my course. I look forward to teaching you this new skill 2. How To Create YouTube Thumbnails: Hi, guys. In this video, I'm going to show you how to create YouTube channel thumbnails. Now, it's really important when you're building a YOUTUBE channel to having a consistent look among all your thumbnails for your videos. So in this case, I'm going to be creating a thumbnail for a music video called Fearless by Manifest. So I want to create something that's kind of along the same lines of what I've created for him in the past. So I'm just gonna show you this is one of his songs called Edge of my Life. Here's another one called Let You Drive. Okay, so ultimately, there's something consistent happening among these two video our video thumbnails. Basically, I've got a logo, the manifest logo. I've got the name of the song and I've got the background imagery. Okay, same thing in this one. I've got the logo name of the song in a background image. They both both have a sort of cooler tone in in images as well. So this all just helps to build your channel, and I find this really helps people have a return of visitors and also to build a falling on YouTube. It just makes your overall YouTube channel look more professional. Um, And to re emphasize your brand, So what I'm gonna do first? First of all, I'm working in Adobe Photo Shop CC. That's as of 2015. Right now, it's June 2016. But this is the most current version of photo shop. You can use earlier versions as well. But I find in general, photo Shop is the best place to build these thumbnails because you need to have the exact pixel dimensions that YouTube gives us. So, um, in order to do that effectively, I would say working Photoshopped. So first things first, we're gonna go to file new, and what we're gonna do is we're going to create a new document or a new page that's going to be the same dimensions that YouTube is requesting for thumbnails. So in my case, it is going to be 12 80 by seven twenties. I've already put this in here just because I was already setting up for this video. Okay, so doesn't really matter the resolution, because it really just needs to be 1200 are 1280 pixels in with by 720 in height. You're going to keep the color mode in RGB and the background and all this other information doesn't really matter because I'm going to be changing all that. So that's basically enough information for now when I say OK, and now I've got a new thumbnail that's ready to be filled and to be set up, and I know it's the right size. So what I'm gonna do first as I'm gonna find my background image. So I'm gonna go file open and I'm gonna go find my image for this new video this new videos called Fearless. This video was shot underwater, so we want to highlight that with the thumbnail. So now I've got this photo opened and what I want to do is really simple. I'm going to use the move tool, which is up here on the top left. It's are you could just click V and I'm going to grab this. Actually, I have to unlock the vit the layer here, So I'm gonna just click on the layer, make sure it's unlocked, and now I can basically grab it moving around. I'm gonna grab it and kind of carry it over to the top of this tab and then pull it in to my thumbnail. So again, I just just to show you again, I just grabbed it. I took it up to the top here, and I pulled it right back down into the thumbnail window that I just created. And I've got to I'm just gonna get rid of one of them. Certainly both of them. Okay, so I'm gonna go to the file that I pulled in, and so now I have it. I can move it around and I'm gonna go command T. That's the command for me to transform this. So while holding down my shift button, I'm gonna grab one corner, and now I can just basically size it. So maybe I want to shrink it down a little bit, just, like in really uses much of that photo in my background. So I'm happy with that. I can just say OK or click return. So there's my background, which I'm happy with, and now I'm going to get the logo. So even pull in a lot of different file formats into photo shop. So say if you're working on it with a team of people, and you're you know, designers send you logo. You can open that logo into photo shops to say, as long as it's not in a ay file as long it's not like an illustrator file. Um, you can pull it in if it's an E. P s a pdf if it's a J peg. If it's a PNG, a variety of different formats, if it's a gift, But ah Tiff. So a lot of these different file formats, you can just basically go file and then open and the exact same way we opened our image. Um, that's the way you're going to open it and then pull it in. So the exact same process that I just did The other photo is what you're gonna do for the logos or any other elements that need to be within your thumbnail. So in my case, I need to have that logo. So what I'm gonna do is just because I've already set this up and it's already size perfectly. I'm actually just going to grab it from this file. So just to show you how to do that, I'm just gonna go up here to the logo file. So now I've got the logo. I can move it around. I'm just gonna do that same thing. I'm gonna pull it up to the top tab and pull it right back down. Okay? So that way I'm really being consistent and true to where it waas and how it was set up on the last one. If I really wanted to be super techy and superstar like perfect as faras my alignment, I could actually go back to my other file format and go command are. And that way I have rulers and then just pull in. I can pull in town, um, my guides from the sides and just find out exactly where that wasif I wanted to do that. Then that way I could line things up and make sure things were exactly where they need to be. Okay, so it's really up to you how consistent you want to be. But you don't have to be, like, totally consistence for his exact placement. I mean, it really is a design choice, and it's totally subjective. So in my case, I'm around, um you know, 0.75 in and about 4.5 down So let's do that. Let's go. Command are about 0.75 in. So the ruler is really an awesome little tool to help us see where we're at and about 4.5 down. Let's let's just stick to where we were at their We really want to be consistent. And now I've got my logo. I could move that around. Okay? I could move my photo around if I want a little bit. I could move that over. All right, so now we're getting a lot closer. Now, if I want to remove these guides, I can just go command. Ah, what is that? It's a colon command colon. And then that disappears. So you know what? I'm gonna actually move this down a little bit. It's kind of going to his face. Don't think you'll really appreciate that. And maybe I'll just make this a little bit bigger. So he's not totally getting his chin cut off by this logo. Okay, so you get the idea. Basically, you can kind of feel around until you're happy. And now I need to add the title. Now, some people kind of think just put an image or just put the logo and that's enough. I find that if you don't add the title of a song, I mean, that's what people are looking for. So save your musician. People want to know the exact song looking for not just your logo or the name of your band . So make sure to include your image of your face or some kind of an image of you are some of that represents your band, um, the your logo and also the name of your songs. So I'm just gonna go back here because I've already selected the phone and everything I want to use. But I could also just start typing whatever I want the other one. So I was gonna go ahead and grab this file. I'm on that. I'm on that layer and go back up here again and pull it into this one. So I'm gonna align. It's similar to how the other one is. And again, this is just consistency. This is me being kind of anal about it. But you can really do whatever you want. You don't have to be as consistent. And I was gonna type in the new name of the song I was gonna tab it and kind of tap it with my arrows. Here, line it up. You know, if I really wanted to, I could change this font. I could do something completely different if I wanted to. I could just select it, just like the way you wouldn't word by going to the type tool and then selecting it. And you can go up to your top here tab. It's got a list of fonts. You can go ahead and click the down arrow and select a number of different fonts. And I wanted to change it up a bit. I could do that. I mean, it really depends on what you want to dio. Now, in my case, that's not what I want. So if I say I made a mistake, I could go into my history and go into window history, And I could just go backwards to say if I have made a big mistake and I want to edit that, I can go backwards And there you go. I've got my edit type tool. I go back again. Now I'm back to where I want to be. So that's unease. E way to correct yourself. If you've made a mistake, you can just go into window history. And that's how you do that. Okay, so now we're pretty much getting there as faras. What we want to look like for this video, this is pretty much now ready to be saved. So first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna save this as a PST file. The reason why I'm gonna do that is because I wanna maintain these layers in case I want to come back in and change it later. So go file, save as. And I'm just gonna say this as fearless video thumbnail. And that's a PSD file photo shop file. So save okay, so safe. And I'm also gonna save it as a J peg. The J peg is actually going to be the file that's uploaded. So now I'm going to flatten this file so that it can be saved is a J peg. So I'm going to go up to the top little box here, which is a little looks like a bunch of lines and a box. I'm to click on that and go all way down to flatten image, and it's gonna ask me, Discard hidden layers. I'm gonna say OK, and I, as you can see, it's one file called Background, and I'm going to go ahead and file save as change it to J. Peg. Impressive. It's gonna ask you a few different options here. Do you want it to be a maximum size? I would say yes, just to keep it as the top file quality it could be. Even though it's on the Web, we want it to look as great as it can and then say OK, and there you have it. Now we're done. So now we have a new manifest, fearless thumbnail for his new video on his YouTube channel, and this is the way you create thumbnails. 3. Project and Thank You!: Hi, guys. Thank you again for taking my course and how to create thumbnails for your YouTube channel . I really hope you've enjoyed. It's a quick course straight to the point, and by now you should know how to create your own thumbnails. This is an awesome techniques that you know how to now brand your YouTube channel. This will absolutely add character, identity and a sense of style to your YouTube channels that doesn't look like everybody else's channel. Go ahead and create your own thumbnail, using not only an image but text, as well as some formal logo or branding. And go ahead and post that in the project section for skill share so we can all see your awesome thumbnails that you're creating. I love to hear your review on this course as well, so let me know how you felt about this course. Did you enjoy it with It's something that was useful to you. Please let me know in the review section, and as always, I'm available to you guys. You have any questions? I'm happy to answer those for you. I look forward to seeing your awesome thumbnails