How to Use PowerPoint to Create Amazing Thumbnails for YouTube | David Hartley | Skillshare

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How to Use PowerPoint to Create Amazing Thumbnails for YouTube

teacher avatar David Hartley, I'm a musician based in London, UK.

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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

6 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Background

    • 3. Foreground

    • 4. Text

    • 5. Export

    • 6. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

If you're looking to create amazing thumbnails for YouTube and Skillshare then this class is for you!

This is a class for beginners, the only requirement is having access to Microsoft PowerPoint.

By the end of this class you will be able to create beautiful, striking thumbnails in a variety of styles using only PowerPoint.

Meet Your Teacher

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David Hartley

I'm a musician based in London, UK.


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to this class. Something a bit different. Today, we're going to be looking at how to create amazing thumbnails using just PowerPoint. This is a class of complete beginners. You don't need any skills or any other software. We're just going to be using PowerPoint and I'll guide you through everything that you need. Your project for this class is to create your own thumbnail. So we're gonna be going through everything step-by-step. And then at the end, you'll have your own thumbnail, which you can then upload as the project and I can't wait to see them. So that's all there is to it. Let's get started. 2. Background: So here we are in PowerPoint. We're going to begin with a blank presentation. Let's get rid of these boxes here so we have a completely blank stopped. And the first thing that we're going to want to do is to come up to Design and check the size of our slide. And we want this one, we want 16 to nine widescreen. This is a suitable size for YouTube and skill share. Really any thumbnail that you are going to be using. You want to use this one, Hey, widescreen, 16 to nine. So once you've got this, We're ready to go. And I'm going to go onto the internet and we're going to find a background. First of all, I like to use this website here,, their royalty free photos that you can use for anything. And let's just type in background and see what comes up. I'm looking for something quite subtle, nothing too in your face. Just a nice little a nice little colorful background. I think this would be quite nice. So I'm gonna click on this one. And then up here, we want to download the fullest resolution that we can, the original size. And then this will download, I'm using a Mac, but I'm sure on Windows this will go to your downloads folder as well. So now we're gonna go back into PowerPoint and we can just drag this background unto us light. Now you can see the moment that it is not the exact size. So I'm just going to take it to the corner and just fill it out that you can see that it's just about filled out now. And I like to just crop this back so that we're using the exact same size. And this is looking quite nice, is nothing to, to Vibram, but it's a nice little colorful backdrop that we can use. 3. Foreground: The next step is to find something in the foreground. And I like to use a human face if we can, somebody smiling or another kind of emotion is really powerful. So again, we're gonna go back onto Let's see if we can find someone smiling. See, find something that might be suitable. We don't anything that's, we're gonna be removing the background. So anything that's quite easily fixed into the background might be quite difficult. So this one's quite nice. It's got to clear backgrounds. That's this fund will be nice, lovely smile and clear backgrounds. So let's take this one again, download the original size back into PowerPoints, and drag this one in. Now PowerPoint does have a tool for removing the background. You can see that it is, it's up pay on the picture format tab. However, once we click on it, you'll see that it doesn't do exactly what we want. Yeah, it's taken away the bottom parts of her body, which is not ideal because when we, you know, we want to have the bottom parts of the body as well. So, and this happens quite a lot for a lot of images. You can give it a go and PowerPoint. But what I recommend doing is going back into Chrome. And to be using this website, remove dot Vg, and this removes backgrounds from images. And I've found this to be probably the best free way of doing it. So we're going to just drag this photo onto the websites. Here it is. And here we go. We've got the full foreground, but none of the background. It is possible to download the high resolution, but you need to pay for that. So you're welcome to do that if you like. But for now we can just use the low resolution and that will be perfectly fine. So now this is downloaded, we can go back into PowerPoint and we can drag in a new image with the transparent background. This is looking really good. So let's find a suitable size for this. And again, I'm looking up here. This is almost my my way of seeing what the thumbnail is gonna look like. And I really like this moment. Let's get a bit more of the flowers in. This is perfect. Might be a little bit bigger because a smile, it's quite important. Okay, I think that's great. And this is overhanging here, but don't worry, that's not going to be appearing on the thumbnail is only what's inside the blue box. Now what we want to do now is to really separate this foreground image from the background. So we're going to begin with the background. Double-click on that, and this will take us two formats area. You can also find this by going on picture format and then format pane. And then over here we click on picture, picture corrections. And I'm just going to reduce the sharpness probably about halfway. And this just bless the background slightly. If I do it too much, it becomes a bit too obvious what I've done and they really start to separate if it's completely sharp, they start to blend into one another. So about halfway is perfect and you get that quite natural depth of field. You might want to play around with some other options. You can play around with the brightness. But I think it's perfect as it was. And again, there's other options in PowerPoint. There's different colors, There's different effects. But I think what we've chosen is probably as good as it's gonna get. I'll, I love the colors. I left a little details and it's just started to separate from the foreground. Remember this is the focus area. This, this smiling face is what we want everyone to see. In terms of the foreground. Let's double-click on that and let's see what we can do with that. I don't really want to change too much about the actual photos. I'm not going to be changing the brightness or the contrast. But what we can do is on the picture format pane or tab, which format tab? We can click here, this little button pitcher effects go down to glow. And we want the maximum blow. It doesn't matter what color cuz we're gonna change that. You'll see that we've got this little outline. So I'm gonna go back and to glow. And then I'm gonna go for why it's I find white to be the best. You can see it starts to really separate the two now is, it's becoming quite clear how the Manchu focus, I'm gonna go back once again, blow options and overhead, this pain will appear. And I'm going to increase the size again too much and it starts to look a bit meticulous too little when you can't really see it. So again, I think that's a nice little glow around the edge. And if we look at our preview up here, we can really start see how easy it is to focus on the foreground. There are few other options you might want to play around with, although I don't really think there's too much we want to change. We really want to just keep things as they are and just try and make it clear where we want the viewer to be focusing when they see the thumbnail. 4. Text: The final step is to add some text. So I'm going to go up to insert text box and just draw my little textbooks. Now because I'm gonna be using two lines. I like to use two different textboxes. So I'm gonna type in my first text. And I'm going to be using this thumbnail for the actual class on skill share. So I'm going to use the words like this. I want something that is just nice and simple. Doesn't really repeat the title. But just something that the viewer can easily see. Make this nice and big. And then just copy and paste the exact textbooks. So we get this. Ok, that's great. Now, obviously at the moment this doesn't look too clear, so we're gonna change this up. One thing that is quite important to note, I think it's better to have the text on the left, especially if you're using YouTube. Because in this bottom right corner, you have the length of the video. It might say two minutes, 30. And you don't want your text to be obscured by this this timer. So I like to have the text on the left and the image on the right. First things first, I think we should make this white, so I'm going to highlight the text. And both of them make it white. In terms of funds. You can see a few that I've recently used here. Something that is, it's nice and easy to see quite, quite thick and quite deep. And I think I'm actually going to use banners. This is a font you can, you can find online. And you can see it's almost like a comic book kind of affects, just makes a text a lot easier to see when you have this, this quite clear font. This is already looking quite a bit better. Let's make this just a tiny bit bigger. And let me just slightly rotate this for a little effect. That would be quite nice. Gray and just position this exactly how I want it and I think that's pretty good. So now we're going to have the same effects to the text that we added to the image. We're gonna go into shape formats, text effects, and go out. And again, choose biggest one, go back. Change the color to white. Select the other one below. And change the color to why this is starting to be big clear now, which is great. One last thing is we want a text outline. So again, without text highlighted, I'm just gonna select that the full one. This is starting to look really clear now you can see and I'll preview just how easy it is to read the text and how clear it is to see the image. The background is provides a lovely color backdrop, but doesn't distract from what we want the View at C. So you can feel free to play around with any other effects you might like. You might want to change the color of the text. He might want to add some other effects, a shadow over different glow. But I'm really happy with just how simple and how easy it is to create a great looking thumbnail like this. And perfectly suitable for all kinds of videos. 5. Export: The final step is two. So we're gonna go to File Export, file formats, PNG, 1280 by 720. That's perfect. And I'm gonna call this skill share thumbnail. And then just click export. And you'll see that this has been exporting, which is perfect. 6. Final Thoughts: Thank you very much for taking this class. I can't wait to see all of your projects. I'm sure they look amazing. Don't forget to check out my profile for lots more other classes and to follow me to get the latest updates when I post a new class.