A video thumbnail is an important component of hosting video content online. In many instances, it will be the first thing people see related to the video asset. This can be for external facing assets from a simple Google search, where thumbnails appear in the Video results. It’s also important for internal facing assets using Ustream Align, where channels can be created with a supplemental video gallery with each additional on demand video represented by a thumbnail.
Consequently, a video thumbnail acts as not just a method to preview what the video is about, but also as a “mini-poster” to market that asset. As a result, it’s important to not just make sure a thumbnail is associated with each video, but also to make sure it’s the most relevant it can be. For those looking for a solution that offers greater control over their video thumbnails, Ustream has a suite of cloud based features that include thumbnail generation, selection and also methods to edit the video asset itself in the cloud, which have been recently updated.
- Video Thumbnail Generator and Selector
- Custom Image Uploader
- Video Thumbnail Editor: Image Cropping Capabilities
- Cloud Video Trimming
Video Thumbnail Generator and Selector
Ustream has historically auto generated a thumbnail based on the video asset, which can be either a video file that is uploaded or an auto archive of a previously live stream. This auto generation aspect still exists, and allows for a large batch of video files to be uploaded and quickly utilized.
However, what if one of the generated thumbnails is not ideal? For these instances, the video, through the Video Manager, can be selected to bring up a series of thumbnail options. One option given is to pick a new video frame from the on demand content. Choosing this will launch a lightbox, seen to the left, that displays a slider. This setup offers content owners not just precise control over selecting a thumbnail, but also a very quick method to choose a better one.
In execution, the video can be watched and paused, through clicking the video window, when the desired image is onscreen. The user can also utilize the arrows to move, at 1-2 second intervals, to find that perfect still to represent the on demand video.
After being selected, the new thumbnail will automatically be used for that video asset. This can be changed at any time, going back and choosing a different frame from the video to represent the content.
Custom Image Uploader
Content owners aren’t locked into using a frame from the video either. Alternatively, they can select to upload an image file as well. Formats supported include GIF, JPEG or PNG files. Animated GIFs can be used, however, after being saved it will use the first frame as the image and not be animated. The recommended pixel size for the image is 1920 x 1080. Different sizes, both larger and smaller, can be used if desired though. It’s suggested to not use an image that is larger than 10MB in terms of the file size.
The final image will be presented in a 16×9 (traditional “widescreen”) aspect ratio. If the image being uploaded is a different aspect, the platform offers cloud based cropping capabilities.
Video Thumbnail Editor: Image Cropping Capabilities
Content owners don’t have to take a thumbnail image and tweak it to the right aspect in a program like Photoshop. Instead, they can speed up their content generation process through cropping the image directly on the Ustream platform.
This process is launched automatically after a video thumbnail image is upload. It includes a window used to crop the image and also a preview on the right of what the final image will look like. After setting the cropped version as the thumbnail, the image can be cropped again by uploading the file another time and going through the cropping process once more.
Cloud Video Trimming
The more robust thumbnail features join the previously launched video trimming tool found in the platform. This has also been updated to be HTML5 based, allowing for cloud based video editing through mobile phones and other devices that don’t support Flash technology.
This tool allows content owners to trim the video as needed, removing undesired footage at the start or end of the content. The cloud based video trimming is non-destructive, meaning the video can be edited later on to restore portions of the video that were previously trimmed.
Ustream offers an impressive array of cloud based features for managing video assets, expanding into rich functionality surrounding thumbnail generation.
Interested in using these thumbnail features on your video assets? Try out Pro Broadcasting and begin effectively promoting your video assets through highly relevant thumbnail images.