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In this episode, what we’re going to do is I’m going to share with you how to make a thumbnail similar to the ones that I have here but also a little bit of a different variation to them and how to do so in PowerPoint.
I want to show you how you can use a tool that you probably already have and the power behind PowerPoint.
What I do for my thumbnails is sometimes I’ll use Photoshop, depending on what I’m trying to do because PowerPoint doesn’t have a brush feature. So, anything that you’re trying to do – remove a green screen behind like in face pictures that may be a little more difficult to do.
But if you’re trying to make things a little more straightforward or you already have the green screen removed, maybe you pay someone else on Upwork or Fiverr or another freelancing website to take care of a bunch of those images for you, and then you can pop them in into PowerPoint.
Sometimes, we’ll use Photoshop. Sometimes, we use PowerPoint. Depending on what we’re trying to do and you can really duplicate and create a lot of thumbnails very quickly for your show YouTube -whatever you’re trying to do.
First things first, pop out PowerPoint. You may want to have a sixteen by nine or just a widescreen version of it.
What we’re going to do is you look for a background that kind of gives you general feel, some texture. You could search for a texture – wooden table anything with wood slats. You could even use like a mountain or any background that’s nature-based.
Let’s take for example this wooden texture. I’ll go ahead copy the image. You could download it to get a higher resolution, but for this example, we’ll go ahead, and you know pop it in here.
What I’ve done is you can change the view, and I have rulers. You can set up grid lines here and guidelines as well if you want them.
What I want to do here is I’ll right-click and format the picture. Now, what you can do here is make some adjustments.
If you go to picture corrections, you can go ahead change sharpness. You can adjust the brightness of it. You can change the picture color as well. Saturation if you want to do that and the temperature.
This is a little more tricky to do, color adjustments this way right away in PowerPoint.
The way that I do it is I’ll go ahead and insert a shape. So, I’ll go ahead pop up a form. I’ll go ahead and add one on here. Let’s say we want to make this a whiter background. So what I’ll do is change the outline to no outline shape fill – let’s go with a white and now what you can do is go in the fill and adjust the transparency.
You can see I already have a transparent area there. You don’t have to cover it all up because I’ve made the picture larger than the canvas anyway. You can see how it’s already starting to come alive.
I’ll go ahead and insert a little bit of text because I like starting with text. I’ll do this on every text box. They’ll be a new line here with the PowerPoint makes it easier to manipulate.
Let’s say in this example, and we’re going to create an awesome podcast cover thumbnail here.
I’ll type out create an awesome and then I can change the words to uppercase. For this example, I’ll use the Lato font. I can also change the spacing to make it very tight. I could do it regular tight so create an awesome and now we’ll duplicate that.
Let’s take a look here and pop the black podcast. I might change that to normal so you can see right there copy that again and you can see with PowerPoint. It is a little more difficult to select things but other than that, and it’s not too bad.
You could see how we’re starting to come together and what I can do is group these if I want. Looking also on the edge of my PowerPoint right – at these lines, I can add a little bit of a guideline here or a gridline. They’re a bit tricky to add but if you look at the grids, that allows you to see where the edges are.
Let’s go ahead and select these, and you can see I can make them a little bigger if I want. But for now, we’re okay if I want. That would to not be as transparent. I can brighten it up a little bit, make it a little more full to give it a little texture or feel.
If I want a little color, here’s what I do. We’ll insert a shape and in here. There’s this triangle shape. Go ahead, add a triangle.
You’ll play with this based on the overall of what you’re trying to do.
What I can do is insert a face picture of me. I have a lot of face shots that I’ve taken and all I need to do is just kind of drag one in there, and they already have the background removed. They’re all pigs. All I do is kind of pick a face shot. Doesn’t matter which one I choose but I pick one, and we’ll do I’m just looking at on my other screen. Let’s say this one you can see there.
If I need to brighten that up, I can go ahead and go to the pictures. You can sharpen and brighten and add a little contrast to that.
You could see how all of a sudden, this is coming together. If you need to move it behind the text, you can right click and send to back or send backward. You could do it one at a time, and this is just about rearranging your layers correctly. I’ve set this up to where I have shortcuts so that’s now behind the text and now this one will go behind me. I have my thumbnail almost created.
You can see it works very well to make these thumbnails. If you take a look at it, you can see it’s pretty good. You can see slightly is noticeable by the editing of the green screen, but that’s not PowerPoint’s fault.
I could even add in reflections here I try not to overdo it, but you can see there’s a reflection. There’s a lot of cool things that you could do with PowerPoint you could do some outer glow as well if you want to external glow effect so you can add quite a lot to PowerPoint that most people are not aware of
With this triangle shape as well, you can add a gradient there. You can see here I have a gradient change it more of that blue so now you can see it’s already being adjusted and a simple cover for your needs you can do change things up if you want a little bit more of let’s say a darker background
If I want more of a nature, I take this picture of the mountains, copy the image, paste it. It’s going to be in front of everything. So I will now send it to back pretty much everywhere.
I’ll go ahead and change this text to white. You can see it’s a little bit of a problem. It’s too busy, so what I do is insert that shape. If you put on an overlay on this, it will remove the shape outline and then fill.
You can even do a gradient fill on this as well. So if you want a little bit transparent gradient on there, you could do something like this. Now, look at what kind of thumbnail that creates.
A lot of variations there to creating a very nice thumbnail, by merely using PowerPoint.
I hope that gives you a little bit of insight and perspective indeed of the power behind it.
And to save this, all you do is you can “Save As” and then once you save it, you can go ahead and save it as a jpg.
You might need to crop it depending on the size that you have on the PowerPoint but other than that you’re pretty much good to go.
I hope that makes sense and gives you a lot of insights on playing with PowerPoint to create your thumbnails. If you want to make the next one, you hit Ctrl+D, and now you say how to create an awesome blog whatever. Now, you’re duplicating things. I’m moving one picture out of the way. I’ll put a different one in here so you can see it’s very quick and now I can have two different covers very quick.