Gaming

Strange customs

Back when I was still creating content for my YouTube Channel, I was always wondering how to add Customised Thumbnails to my videos. Seemed like every other channel and their dog was already using them so why couldn’t I? If you’ve seen my site recently (maybe on a post like this one), you’ll have noticed something has changed…

Normally, when you upload a video to the service, it only gives you the option to pick from three specific frames of your video that YouTube chooses. I believe they’re picked from the beginning, middle and end of the clip but unless you’re fanatically timing your videos and calculating which frames you need to alter, you’re just going to get a random image. Sometimes you luck out and one of the three perfectly represents the whole video with a great image. Most of the time, it’s a set of blurry, random, meaningless images that could be anything if you squint.

I’d looked into Customised Thumbnails before and the dreaded phrase ‘Monetisation’ came up. The information YouTube supplies isn’t precisely clear and led me to believe that the only way they’d allow me to add custom images was if I loaded all/some of my videos with dreaded adverts. Obviously, I wasn’t a fan of that plan given that a) I have a hard enough time getting people to watch my videos in the first place and b) my content, being solely videogame based, isn’t really mine to make money from. I thought that excluded me, completely.

Well, just recently, I got annoyed and went on a bit of a Google rampage to try to track down some snippets of stories and comments to find out what the real deal was. Turns out I could have Customised Thumbnails on if I wanted. Yes, I did need to go to my Channel Settings -> Features and turn on/agree to Monetisation. The thing is, after that, you don’t need to actually monetise any of your videos. I think YouTube automatically turned it on for one of my videos – my Clipper Ship, probably because it had the most views. Easily solved, go to your Video Manager -> Uploads and turn it off (either individually, or if unlike me, your channel is super popular and multiples are monetised, just select all and remove).

So now I have the ability to add Custom Thumbnails to my YouTube videos and it wasn’t the arse-ache I was expecting. As you can see above, I’m already in the process of adding them! The Let’s Play Badly series (Borderlands, Just Cause 2 and Minecraft) aren’t too bad but a couple of my regular Minecraft builds are gone to the sands of time (okay, okay, a petty server owner) so getting source images for the thumbnail just isn’t possible. Those are going to have to look a bit generic. But they’ll get added and now when my videos thumbnails come up, or when they’re embedded in the site, you’ll get a proper front image instead of a some random frame. Cool!

All I need to do now is to start producing new videos… uh, yeah…