Thumbnails on YouTube are actually what get’s people interested in your content, no one would look at a boring thumbnail, and enjoy it. I have made some bad thumbnails in the past, but I think I’ve got the hang of it.
Tip: Before this starts, I suggesting learning the basics of Photoshop, as this will be a quick overview to how I create my thumbnails.
As it can be seen the first thumbnail isn’t interesting, it’s just a default thumbnail, it doesn’t leave the viewer curious, whilst the second one does.
I make my thumbnails in Photoshop CS3, but Paint.net is also a good tool. I start a new product at the dimensions of 1280×720, then I look through the footage to see if I can find an interesting part of the video. Normally I can find an interesting image such as me point at something, or a beautiful scenery image (which looks attractive, and makes the video look curious).
Some individuals add text to the thumbnails, I use to do this, but I feel as if it the font is done wrong, it can have a negative impact on the thumbnail and turn people off.
This is more catered towards a series, for example I did a Let’s Play of Yu-Gi-Oh Reshef of Destruction, and did totally unique thumbnails with the same layout.
These are two different thumbnails but have similar qualities, normally I create a template (using the logo of the game for example), and then find something relevant to the episode such as characters, so interesting plot point. When I find the images I want, I normally cut out the images using the “Lasso tool” on Photoshop, and find an appropriate background for the images. This adds a niche and a unique look to your channel, which one uses right now.
When creating these types of thumbnails, make it unique to match your art style of your banner and channel icon.
This is the one type of thumbnails you want to not use. These thumbnails is the worst, and are totally unappealing. I hate them so much.
Just look at that type of thumbnail, it’s not attractive, doesn’t bring you in, why would anyone watch it?
That was a quick overview thumbnails I make, I didn’t do a in-depth overview as it’s one of those things, you need to get a feel for it, and actually learn it yourself, and incorporate in your own ways. If you are getting into Photoshop or Paint.net, I suggest looking up tutorials on photo touch-ups as when creating thumbnails, you need to make them as attractive as possible.