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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blogging Secrets #1: Custom Video Thumbnails for Youtube Videos

Last week I hit a pothole in the road when I sat down to edit my latest YouTube video.
 I needed to know how to do something, so I Googled it quick time and expected the first result to have the answer I was looking for. I was wrong; in fact, I never found my answer. This leads me to today's post and a new brainwave- sharing the best kept blogging secrets. I want to share the tricks of the trade when it comes to vlogging, blogging and making videos, so that anyone who needs to know, knows. Whatever I find out along the way, you can be sure that I will let you guys in on the secret.

Today I wanted to address THUMBNAILS for YouTube videos because I see a lot of people asking about them in the comment sections of not just my videos, but other beauty video bloggers as well. So if you would like to know how to get great video thumbnails, you have come to the right place.

Where can I make YouTube video thumbnails?
PicMonkey.com
Most Youtubers (when I say most, I mean beauty/ fashion YouTubers) use PicMonkey for their thumbnails: it is a free online photo editor with an optional subscription service ( Royale) for $5 per month. I recommend spending the money and going for PicMonkey Royale as there is more choice and more unique effects to play with. 
Fotor.com
Another online editor is Fotor which has more or less the same abilities as PicMonkey.
Personally I prefer to switch between the two, but it might be easier to use just one until you find out which one you are more comfortable/ familiar with.

Before you start making your YouTube thumbnail, bear in mind:
1) Size.
YouTube have recommended a various number of thumbnails sizes, but none have worked. I found through a blog that the perfect size to work with is 1920 x 1080, so you will need to adjust your thumbnail before you begin to edit so that it will fit into the dimensions
2) Amount of images
When you are selecting your images/ taking pictures, have a design in mind. There is nothing worse than taking pictures and realising that they are all landscape when your design needs something in portrait. TIP: If it helps, when you take pictures, take it from a landscape and portrait point of view; that way you can select which one is best with your design.
3) Picture placement
YouTube places the duration of a video in the bottom right hand corner of a thumbnail, so be careful not  add titles or important pictures to this section of the thumbnail- stick to the left.

M A K I N G  T H U M B N A I L S // Simple one photo thumbnail
1. Open your editing programme of choice ( I will be using picmonkey) and select the option to make a collage, then upload all the photos you would like to consider.
2. Delete all the boxes on screen until you are left with just one and insert your chosen image into the box by dragging.

3. Next, change the photo proportions to 1920 x 1080



 4. Save your picture and make sure that the file size is under 2MB to comply with the YouTube guidelines.



M A K I N G  T H U M B N A I L S // Collage
1. Repeat the first steps of the simple one photo thumbnail
2. You have two options next: you can either use the collages provided by PicMonkey -or- you can create your own. To use the provided collages, select the 'Layout' button on the side and chose from the options in the side tab.
3. To create your own collage style, select the 'Layout' button on the side and then chose the first box which says 'Create your own'
4. Drag your chosen images into the white space. You can place a new item anywhere you see a blue line along the edges of a picture when you hoover over it with an image.
5. To edit the picture's orientation, size, colour etc, hoover over a placed image and select 'Edit' (bear in mind some of these features are for Royale users only!). 
6. Once you are happy, change the proportions to 1920 x 1080. You may need to readjust some of the images after this. TIP: to adjust background colour, select the paint easel icon in the sidebar. Here you can change your background colour, border width and corner rounding.
7. Once you have readjusted the image, click save and check that the proportions are correct before you save to your computer.


Now we have the basics, here are a few creative popular thumbnail tricks!

M A K I N G  T H U M B N A I L S // Adding shapes and decorative tags to thumbnails
PicMonkey is your best friend if you would like your thumbnails to look something like this:
photocred: missglamorazzi
 or this...
photocred: meghanrosette
 or this...

G E O M E T R I C  S H A P E S // (recreating meghanrosette's design)
To show you all how simple designing thumbnails can be, I am going to show you how to recreate some of the designs Youtubers have been using. The most popular designs have a circle or some other kind of geometric shape, like the one Meghan a.k.a 'MeghanRosette' has used.
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1. To add a circle design to an image, select the butterfly icon named 'Overlay', then select Geometric and the circle. 
2. Click the circle, drag to draw  and change the colour to white using the colour selector.To fade the circle, use the 'Fade' slider.
3. To add the dotted border, scroll further down in the 'Overlay' menu, selecting 'Labels' and the dotted circle.



4. Change the colour to lilac ( I didn't use the correct purple for this part!) and add text to the image by selecting the double T icon in the sidebar. Select a font choice ( the fonts used are shown in the picture below), type and then drag the text inside the circle.
5. For the smaller dots, select the magic wand tool called 'Effects', scroll to the subcategory of 'Artsy' and select the first image of colouring pencils called 'Draw'.
6. Draw single dots within the dots of the dotted border in blue and then yellow dots.
7. For the glow behind the text, once again select the 'Draw' option and select the yellow colour as well as the brush size and hardness shown in the image below. Trace around the letters for Spring.
8. Repeat for the words Morning and Routine, using the same techniques.
Ta da! Obviously, the images do not look exactly the same, but you get the jist of the method Meghan used- DON'T FORGET TO CHANGE YOUR IMAGE DIMENSIONS BEFORE YOU SAVE!

O V E R L A Y S// (recreating missglamorazzi's design)
Ingrid's design looks much more simple once you have mastered PicMonkey; if you can do Meghan's design following the steps trust me, you can do anything! For this tutorial I have quickly put together three random images into a collage using the method above for COLLAGES, so bear with me on the randomness!
~
1. Start out with an image again and select the butterfly icon (Overlays).
2. Scroll to the 'Labels' and select the fourth label in the Royale category. ( Obviously, if you are not subscribed to PicMonkey Royale, you cannot use this option...so perhaps you should join. Don't worry, I am not being sponsored by PicMonkey!)

3. Change the label colour ( Colour 1) to white and the label trimming ( Colour 2) to the lime green colour shown in the image.

4. Add font to the image using  the double T icon ( Font) and write the text using the fonts shown in the image below.

5. For the flowers, select the Overlay icon again and select the Marigolds and Roses option (for Royal users only) and place the flowers over the image.


All Done!
And that is all there is to it! I hope this has been helpful to someone; if you know someone who wanted to know, make sure you share it with them!
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That's all for this week. Is there any blogging, vlogging or video making tips you would like me to share with you guys. If there is, you can leave me a comment here. I'm really excited for this series, and I hope you guys are too!
BLOGGING SECRETS #2 How to get GOOD music for Youtube videos + Where do Youtubers get their music from?

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Have a great week!
God Bless
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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Summer Nail Polish Must Haves: Clownfishin'

Summer Nail Polish Picks: ClownFish
B L U E S
1. Barry M Aquamarine // 2. Essie Strut your Stuff // 3. Butter LONDON Airy Fairy //4. Essie I'm Addicted // 5. Angelica Something Blue

O R A N G E / C O R A L S
1. Essie Sunday Funday // 2. Essie Roarrrrange // 3. Butter LONDON Jaffa // 4. Topshop Nails Art School

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I haven't painted my nails in what feels like forever.
I chose a sheer pink colour in the beginning of May and because I am lazy, I have only just got rid of the left overs with a remover. But! now that Summer is here ( hello June, yes!) I can think about getting some new nail colours and as usual, I am obsessed with clownfishin' ( orange/ coral and blue if you don't know).

I saw Essie's I'm Addicted on Heart's Instagram page and fell in love. I think bright bold aqua blues look great on my skin tone, but I think it takes a certain amount of confidence to pull off- these blue colours that I found are not for the polish shy. When I wear blue, especially for this time of year, I like choosing shades that remind me of oceans since this the open water in this country is more on the yellow, opaque side! Barry M do some amazing nail paints with special effects and their Aqua range looks beautiful! Butter London's Airy Fairy is defiantly a winner, but, since I have never been a fan of paying so much for a product I use very seldom, I may have to hold out on that one.

 And then coral: everyone's favourite summer colour and apparently looks great with a tan. I cannot get over coral nail polish, and even though I usually like the pinker coral shades, like Essie's Sunday Funday and Topshop's Art School, this year, I think I might try out the true orange coral like Essie's Roarrrrange ( loving the name)!

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Let me know what your favourite Summer nail polish shades are and what you are most looking forward to in Summer!
As usual, don't be a stranger on my social networks, I give out a lot of love over there!

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 Thanks for reading
Happy Happy June,
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