YouTube Thumbnail Masterclass: Using PicMonkey | Patrick Doyle | Skillshare

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YouTube Thumbnail Masterclass: Using PicMonkey

teacher avatar Patrick Doyle, Content Creator

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

    • 1.

      Class Outline


    • 2.

      Let's Make a Thumbnail Together


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About This Class

Course Goal  - Let's breakdown the professional yet easy to use software of Picmonkey, a web based program that lets me create fantastic and professional thumbnails.

Aims and Objectives

  • To teach you the the basics of the software: what the key features and effects that you have at your finger tips are and how to implement them.

  • Learn and follow along as we make YouTube Thumbnails together.

  • To provide you with projects that encourage you to demonstrate you're learning, and get feedback on your designs.

Meet Your Teacher

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Patrick Doyle

Content Creator

Level: Beginner

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1. Class Outline: Youtube thumbnails are a source of massive stress and anxiety and or they used to be for me anyway, my name is Patty Doyle. By the way, I have a successful Travel Channel on YouTube and one of the reasons why it's successful as my thumbnail stand out in front of all of the others in my genre and in my niche. I think they are clear, easy to understand and vibrant, and just very clickable. So let's learn how I do so on pig monkey, it's really simple and easy to use. It's got fantastic features which we'll go through today. I'm going to make a thumbnail in front of you and just give you all of my secrets and give you and show you how to use this amazing software so that you can make really good, clear, Understandable, bright, interesting, professional looking thumbnails. You do not need to be a professional and you just need to note some of the basic tools on this software and have a sense of an understanding of a good thumbnail, which I'll talk about before we even start designing answer. So strap in and let's learn how to make really good thumbnails on Pic Monkey. 2. Let's Make a Thumbnail Together: So just before I actually go in and make this thumbnail with you and explain to you all of the main features. Let's just quickly talk about very quickly the fundamentals. You want to keep a thumbnail as concise and as simple as possible. You see somebody thumbnails with a million things going on. And when he tried to tell or show too much, you end up showing nothing. Okay, So just keep it simple. You want three elements. You want a background, you wanna foreground, and you want some sort of message. The message can be portrayed in text. It can be portrayed in a facial expression or something, but keep it simple, okay? Simple as possible. Tell a story visually and use the title to combine to tell a really compelling pieces of information. Make the people click on it. If you've got a clear, colorful picture that tells a story and draws you in. And the title work hand in hand together where it's just creates curiosity. It creates a question that they want answered or communicates a message that they're looking for, that click on, Okay, and then it's up to you once you've done that to make sure that they stay with you. But Let's just talk about Pic Monkey. Okay, So I found pink monkey because I was looking for an alternative to Canva and I was too off with Photoshop. Photoshop just look way too complicated. And I found pit monkey and I started playing around with it and never looked back. It just makes things super simple and now is completely free. Okay? But it is, there are options only unlocked when you go for premium. And I eventually went premium because there was one particular one called Remove Background, which I'll show you in a second, which to me is just time-saving too much that I just had to go up. Instead of having to painstakingly remove things. I was just able to click a button. Anyway. We're going to make this thumbnail ok, so this is one of my travel YouTube channel thumbnails, and it highlights the best parts of this path, Thailand core, crabby. And it's got the fundamentals, it's got a background, it's got a foreground. It's got texts that communicates a message. And it's got low five-star, shiny logo just to pop even more. So very simple. I look like I'm having a good time. The guy climbing on the mountain looks like he's having a good time. It's not actually maybe I tried to find a person that looks like me and I've photoshopped this guy on or should I say Pic Monkey demand. Hey, that's, you'll see, you'll see you have to be creative with them now sometimes. So let me just before we deep dive into the thumbnail itself, Let's go to the left-hand side and look at the options on Pic Monkey now, don't worry, don't panic. I'm not going to deep dive into every single effect that pit monkey has because it has so many and I don't use half of them. I didn't even use 99 percent of them. I'll just show you what's available kind of and then I'll show you the ones I use. So on the left and I have to punch in here because it's very small, so I apologize if it looks pixelated, you have four options. You have text, photos and videos, graphics and draw, okay, now I never use draw, so don't worry about that. Graphics. That's where you can add shapes. And if I click on it, you'll say animated graphics, but you kinda have animations on thumbnails. I only ever, there's lots of stickers and logos and things like that. I never used them. I only ever use basic too. Sometimes I need squares and rectangles to separate a thumbnail and half or something. So I never really use them, but have a look around the graphic section. If there's something there, especially if you making kids content. And you want to use some of the food and drink or emojis and logos, you can use them, um, and then you have photos and videos. This is where I import all of my images. They have a massive library you can search if you literally don't have an image of say, someone packing your bag, you can see here they haven't for you. And when you unlock premium, they become watermark vary. If not, you just have to go find your images elsewhere, which is why I do this. Why do I take my own or I actually just find my own elsewhere. And then text. And this is where you can add your own text. Add text layouts that they provide. The better ones come with the premium package, but I never use them. I only ever just manually add in my text. And then once you've got text and an image and maybe a graphic in there, then further down here you have all of the options available to you to change the color, to add effects, edit the colors, boost the colors. Again, there's a million different things you can do, and I just generally do two or three, so super-simple. Okay. So don't don't worry if that's kind of a lot of information already. Don't worry because look, so don't worry because on this tab I have a blank canvas, Okay. And on this other tab, I have the final product. And one guy to do is talk you through exactly how I made this thumbnail and what affects are used and my thought process, my creative thought process. So you can learn and say, Oh, I didn't know you could do that. This looks good. I'm going to do that and my thumbnails are going a little better because of it. So this have a look at it. Best of crabby, you've got the gold, sorry, the green and yellow star background and some creative editing going on. So let me explain. Let's start with the background. So the background is this image and I'll drag it here. This is a photo of the track that I am doing in the video. Okay, I climb up this mountain and there was that sticky out iraq thing. And I found this image because it didn't take a good image. I kind of got when I was on vacation. But you can find online, you can find websites that provide high-quality, high res images. Again, there's sometimes very, I have to pay for my service and I don't mind because they can provide you with fantastic images. And there we go. That's the image I used. And if I go to the left here under the, because you've selected the layer, okay, you can now unlock these abilities. Remove background, add effects. As shadow is an outlines, textures and effects and edit all these kind of things. But again, I didn't use half of those. I just want to show you crop because now you can see the entire image and where I used to crop it. So I like to crop in just to solve save time and memory for the browser. So this is a big, heavy image that's kind of like using a lot of memory and slowing down my Mac. So what I'm doing is I just decide, okay, yeah, That's about right there. And then I'll come over here to the left and I'll click on layer down here. And I'll just use my mouse and just crop the layer and get rid of all of the trim, the edges basically just get rid of y I don't need and then press Apply. And that's just got rid of a lot of memory and information on this canvas that I need and I'll slow us down. So that's my background. Now, when I click on it, I can again over here, it automatically chooses edits. It'll know that, hey, you've cropped it now you probably want to edit it. And the there's a million different things you can do, but other ones, I only have to stick to our exposure colors and sharpen. I normally go to exposure and normally boost the RPA by about two or 3%. And on contrast, you can see, look at the image now it's a little bit washed out. If I just drag contrast to the right, What's the image slowly just become a little bit more. Yeah, just looks a little bit more eye-catching and you can see some are more the shadows is bit more definition in those mountains and then I click apply and that's it. And then I go to colors, and I love to make my images colorful. So I just grab on saturation and drag it to the right a little bit. Get vibrance. I drag vibrance across. I never really touched fade. And again, this is up to your tastes, okay, but my taste is colorful and saturated to hell. That's a little bit too much actually. So let me just go back, go to colors and it resets, it's a 0, you say. So now I have to drag it back a little bit to the left. There we go. That's a little bit more realistic. That's guy was a little bit too blue, let's be honest. Okay. So that's my background. I'm happy with where that is. And then I'm going to drop in the foreground now my thumbnails, I tend to use a face of May and I take these images on my phone or sometimes on this and I'll just record an all-day lightness. I'll go something like that and I'll pose 10 or 15 different expressions. And then using the software on Pic Monkey, I'll isolate myself. So what do you mean? What do you mean Patty? Well, if I click on crop layer, okay, and I drag this back here, you'll see the original size of this image if I click Apply. And then if I go to the left here, you'll see the erase button. But I can not arrays but restore the original, the original background. And if I click on Size, I can make the restoring tool much bigger and drag it around and you can see the original image behind it. Now the original image behind it, it's just another firm that I made. But originally back in the first ever time I took this photo that I've been using quite often. It was near near waterfall. Okay. So just imagine that this image here is not the old thumbnail that I've used, but a background of a waterfall. You can be like, Oh, so how are you going to isolate yourself? Well, you click on the image and you click on Remove Background over here on the left, the scissors icon just click on that. It might take ten seconds, it might take 0 seconds and look, it's gone. It knows. Okay. Like if you're standing, posing with background, okay. If you don't want the background, just click Remove Background. And it will know that you are the isolated thing that you want. And it just removes the background. And then just to make it pop a little bit more, make sure you've still selected the layer. On the left, I click on shadow and outline. And at the top here you can see there's three options. Drop Shadow, inner shadow, outline, and I only ever use drop shadow or outline. So have a look at myself. Let me just make this window a little bit bigger. Here we go. So you can kinda see it. Can you see that there's a drop shadow effect behind? It just kinda separates me a little bit. If I click if I click off the X, now I just, yeah, there's me. But if I add on the drop shadow. There we go. Take it off, add it on, take it off, add it on. For me. A drop shadow just helps it look a little bit nicer. And then you press Minus and you can see that from now starts to look a little bit good. Again. You can go into your image and this is where you can get really creative. Under edits, you can again change the contrast and the brightness and saturation. Play around with your skin tone that you want. Let's say you have a spot or you cut yourself shaving or something, and it looks really annoying and you wish you can get rid of it. You can, you can't say if you go to the left under Touch Up, Okay, now you'll see all of these effects. You can airbrush, you can smooth your skin, you can whiten your teeth. You can brighten your eyes and you just select the tool and you downsize the brush size to fit. You zoom in and you can remove a blemish or y in your teeth or Brian your eyes if you want to. And sometimes I do that. So you can make yourself look a little bit more beautiful or handsome. Many really are, which for me, being self-conscious, I do. That's again, this is all up for your own interpretation and style of your thumbnails. But Pic Monkey, let you do that if you want. Just be careful if you add too much blemish removal. If you add too much airbrush, if you whiten your teeth too much, it just looks ridiculous. Gotta keep it in the realms of normality. Okay, so just a little bit here and there. But that's useful, right? And then so now kinda, yeah, okay, He looks good there. I've got a background, I've got a foreground. Now I need information. Now, you really want to decide and solidify your text font and stick with it. Consistency is important because it's part of your branding, visualizes in separate you from other channels, as well as people can identify your thumbnail if you're not in it, for example, just by maybe the thumbnail, sorry, it just by the font. If you're consistent with your font, if your phone is unique and interesting and different, then people might be able to just associate your content with that font. I'm not going to share what my font is because they don't want a million people copying it. Because again, that's how that happens on YouTube. Even people are just trying to make this course for you so you can make better thumbnails, but please don't copy my, my font, please get your own. But anyway, I'm going to select the font. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to select my font layers and drag them on. Now here they are. So you need to play around with not only the font that you choose, but the effects that you can add. Now, I've gone for three different sizes, best as medium of a small because that's the word that means the least, and crabby is the biggest. I want the emphasis on crabby because that's the focus of the video. And then so let's say we want to mess around with the text OK. Let's choose crabby. Let me make it really big and stupidly big. So you can see, and then let me zoom in so you can see what options we have. So if I click on crabby, okay, over here, we can change the color. I can change it to this, I can change it to purple, I can change it to green, whatever. You can even go up here and really hone in on the exact color you want. Let's say I want to make the color of my text the same as the sky or something in the image. Then you can click on this little tool here, that drop tool, dropping CTO, and then hover over at any color you select, the font will change to that color. So if I wanted the same color as my skin, if I wanted the same color as the sky down there, or if I wanted to match the other font to green, I just select that color and it locks it in. And then under Effects, you can change the size or you can just drag, I just drag it normally. But the most important part is shadow and outline. Again, I have a drop shadow effect. I have an outline. Let me take the drop shadow off. You can see the drop shadow coming on and off for me. I like it on outline. If I have an outline, but if I take it off and I put it back on, I have a small black outline. But if I'm, if I click on this arrow and open up the outline, I can change the outline color. I can change the outline, thickness, the intensity, the angle. There's a bunch of stuff get lost in their scope down the rabbit hole when it comes to your font, because it's really important that you solidify the, not only the font that you use, but the drop shadow effect. How much of it will outline colony consistently use? How thick is it going to be? Do you use it at all? These are style choices, branding choices that you need to make. For you, okay, but for me this is what I want. So let me just kinda put that back together and put the crabby back down. They're also when you move text around these lines come up to help you know that it's central with the other words that it's the same size or it's on the same level. So it's really useful, really intuitive. And there's two more elements then I have this logo that I found on, I think I found this on Google Images and it wasn't green and yellow. I changed the colors in monkey when you select an image. So if I select this image, sorry. If I select, it's being weird. Why is it the same way? Okay, So if you find that actually if you find that you can't select the layer, it's because it's kind of underneath and other layers are just on the right-hand side here you have all of your layers. You can click on it and move it around and order it. So I want this at the front. So now when I select it, it should select it every time. There we go. So that's just a little thing. Anyway. So if I wanted to change the colors, I could go to LA, just click on it. And then over here, under advanced edits, I click on color changer. And then I could change the image to whatever color I want, but I don't wanna do that. I want to keep it green because it kinda goes with the color of the text and added a black outline. I've added a drop shadow and I'm going to drag it around. And I want here. Now let's say you can see that the image on the left is kinda going over my head. Let's say I want my head to go over it. Okay, I click on the layer on the right here that the layer of my head, and I drag that up over the top of the stars and watch what happens. It's now in front, however now it's in front of the text. So what I wanna do is I want to press Shift on crabby and best and of the three texts layers and drag them up. But let's say that I want the stars to go behind my head. Okay, so what I have to do is I go to the right, I click on the stars and I drag it down below the layer of my face, but in front of the layer of the background, in the middle there and boom, you can see that now the stars are behind my head, okay? And it just separates you a little bit from the foreground and the background. And then the final part is I looked at that image and I was happy with it, but I thought, wow, wouldn't it be cool if I could put a person on that rock and give that shock value. So I just went to Google and I found that I just typed in something like man on a cliff, okay? And I found this image. So here is, this is him. Okay, now, it didn't look like that originally. If I actually click on the layer, and if I click on the arrays button, but then go over to the restore icon instead of arrays. If I click all over this, you can see that there was a sky. You can see that he was standing on this rock. And if I press Apply, that was the original image that I found. And I knew that it was a little bit rubbish quality, but I was going to make it smaller. It was going to be on a thumbnail anyway. So even that looks a little bit pixelated here. I knew by the time I remove the background and shrink them down and put him on a thumbnail, which is going to be this big anyway, maximum, it'll behind. So you click on him and then you go over to remove background and boom, it just removed the background but it didn't remove the stone that he's standing on because it was too contrasted. That's okay. We can manually go in, click arrays, make sure the erase tool is selected. And then that's way too big. So we drag this down to really small size. And then we just using our mouse and drag. You, just remove the rock. And don't worry if you go over is for a little bit. We're not here to nitpick because we're blend in with Iraq anyway. And I'll just remove the rest of this rock. My MacBook is running a little bit slower because I'm recording my screen and I'm editing a video on Premiere. I should have closed that. I'm sorry. But that's okay. It's nearly done. Hit apply and boom, there we have a man with a half a foot and no rock and no background, super-simple. And I just drag him to the size that I want. And I've just put him on there up there, and that's it. Now if you really zoom in, you might be able to say that half of his foot cutoff, but who's really going to see that on a YouTube thumbnail? And now it's kinda like, wow, look at that. There's the background, there's the drama of the man on the thing. And I chose a man because I thought maybe people might think it was me. And then I've got the stars and look at that thumbnail. It's bright, it's colorful. And it's conveying a message. And that is how I make my thumbnails on Pic Monkey. And it's time for the assignment or the homework, okay, now, go to pick monkey, create an account, create a free account. Or if you really want to unlock the other features, then consider getting a premium account. I think you can get free trial, so try that and using font and using a background and using a foreground. Create a thumbnail. Create a thumbnail. It can be for your own channel. It can be just for practice. I'll leave some notes in the assignment below so you can find a resource for finding good background images. If you don't have any of yourself, I'll find you a good result for downloading interesting unique formulas. If you can't find a good font on Pic Monkey that you like, I'll leave the resource. And if you don't know, like what should the topic of the thumbnail B. If he doesn't have a channel or you just want to practice, then I'll leave some topics for video titles and choose one and post it below. Show off your skills that you've learned from this course, implements it to your own design. Post it below, I will leave you feedback and just remember three elements, background, foreground and text, or objects that convey a message. Good luck, and thank you for watching.