M1dnight's Ultimate Guide to Thumbnail Design

Introduction

Hello again! I haven’t been too active on guide making, as I have been busy recently making a name for myself as the guy to go to for thumbnails. Sometimes, it’s a little hard to keep up with the demand I’ve been receiving, and lots of people have been asking about my methods, so here I am, revealing my secrets if you will.

!!! Important !!!

The gimkit forums have recently been cluttered with thumbnail requests. I tried to combat the clutter by showing everyone how to make their own, but I totally understand if you don’t want to do it. I’m happy to do it over email for anyone (check bio), but that’s just me. If you want to poll or get multiple inputs, please use the Padlet, as the clutter has led to a lot of OGs on the forums abandoning it, and it suppresses actual calls for help and guides.
Padlet Link
I also have my own padlet specifically for my thumbnail requests:
Padlet Link (Personal)

Software

For my thumbnails, I use Pixlr E, which is a free online tool. Of course, with it being online AND free, it’s gonna have its limitation, which is the export limit of 3 daily. This has been a problem for me, as y’all will know. Also, this will not be identical, as there are way to many parameters for this to be a 1 to 1 guide for what you need, but it’s a good starting point.

Drafting

To begin working on your thumbnail, create a list or sketch of what you want. Mostly just think of what weapons or tools the gims will use, what gims you will put on the thumbnail, and the name/logo.

Another thing to take into account is the layout. You have to think, “Where are the gims gonna be”, “What are they doing” and things like that. It’s important to think, not only about what is there. but what they are doing as well.

Getting Started

To get started, create a new 720p canvas, or thumbnail as it is referred to by Pixlr. You may wonder, why not 1080p? Most assets aren’t gonna scale up to 1080p, so they are just gonna look low quality. That, and most people playing will not have a 1440p monitor, or even a 1080p monitor. Most people playing your map will be on Chromebooks. The website doesn’t scale thumbnails up to full resolution either, so it’s a waste.

To begin, find a background layer. Something you can use in the background. If it is 3d, you can use Remove.bg to remove the background of the background, so you can have a separate foreground for layering.
These are the 2 assets I had for my Gimnite thumbnail:
Background-removebg-preview


The foreground will be blurred, and will only be used as an alpha/mask to any gim/object you want to be in the middle ground.

Adding Gims

To begin adding gims, search for the gims you have pre-allocated, and find a transparent version of them. Most of the time, you can find transparent versions from the fandom wiki, but you can also sort by transparent:
image
The best way to tell if an image is transparent is to check if it shows up with a white background on the Google grid view but has the icon checkboard when clicked on in the left-side preview. If the image you want is not transparent, you can Remove.bg.

If you want them to be holding weapons, do the same process to find transparent versions of those, and add them in a place where it looks like the gims are holding them.

Creating a Logo

For the logo of your game, it’s best to use Pixlr’s textboxes, as they have tones of customizability. Tweak them until it suits you.

Post Production/Effects (Literally my specialty lol)

To top of the image, we need to add post-production. Add vignettes to all the gims, so they appear 3d. You can also add shadows. If the sun is visible in a setting position, you can duplicate the image of your gim (ctrl+d) and then distort it using transform to match the sun (ctrl+k). Find the brightness/contrast option, and use that until the shadow gim is black. Then blur it, and either tweak the opacity and/or change the blending mode.

To tweak all the colors under the filters drop down until all the images look clean. You can then right-click on one of the elements, and flatten the image. When flattened, tweak the filters until it looks perfect.

Bonus: bloom (my iconic glowy look)

The best way to make a bloom filter is the way that actual Triple-A game devs do it. Pixlr’s bloom is not good in the slightest unless you want more white.
Duplicate the fully flattened image, and then on the top layer, begin tweaking the colors. Change the glamour, bloom (yes, we want more white), and contrast/brightness until dark spots are black and bright spots and super saturated and bright. Then use opacity/screen blending to make it look glowy. Here is an example:
Bloom layer:


Final product:

Conclusion

Thanks for reading my guide! This one was huge, and took a really long time to write. I love helping people out, and making thumbnails is one of my favorite things to do. Of course, if you like my work and want to support me, I have a website (https://beansite.vercel.app) where I want to get ads set up soon. I really love making these, and I don’t have many responsibilities right now, but I want to save up my money to help my parents with the bills, even if it’s not that much. I really do love gimkit.

~M1dnight out

32 Likes

Nice. This is good and detailed. Although I still prefer Google slides

7 Likes

Usually tug 's are wikis so others can contribute

theres really only so much you can do with google slides. no effects, no nothing. IF you want to take your thumbnails to the next level, it’s something worth learning. keep in mind, google slides is for presentations, pixlr e is for actual photo editing

1 Like

a lot of the other guide I had which I hadn’t tagged as tugs, got the tug tag added, so I figured ill just do it myself so they don’t have to edit it in

Nice guide! Here are some issues I see people have with their thumbnails:

  • Using images from google that don’t really match the art style of Gimkit, and in low resolution
  • Logo/Game title not standing out enough
  • Shading (with characters, objects)

I get that without some professional tools, it is hard to edit/add in these special effects like blooming/glowing etc. Normally, I just take screenshot from the map itself, add in some text, and call it a day.

4 Likes

ayy this is really good!! these are some more programs you can use

SIMPLE BUT NOT GREAT

  • google slides (pc/mobile) simple but not the best
  • powerpoint (pc/mobile) simple but not the best

SIMPLE BUT ALRIGHT

  • inshot (mobile) simple and okay
  • capcut (mobile) simple and okay
  • photopea (browser) simple and okay, basically free photoshop

PRETTY GOOD AND MORE COMPLEX

  • sketchbook (mobile)
  • krita (pc)
  • canva (browser/mobile/pc)
  • procreate (mobile) (PAID (10$))
  • medibang (mobile)

THE BEST (COMPLEX TO MASTER, EASY TO START)

  • photoshop (pc)
  • ibis paint (x) (mobile)

keep in mind these are all my opinion but they still have relative truth to them. in general it goes basic browser apps < editing apps < complex browser apps < art programs

4 Likes

Apps like Canva, Google Slides and PowerPoint are used by many students when it comes to design lol (not necessarily a good thing). I don’t know about InShot or CapCut, they’re meant to be video editors.

oh yeah i totally forgot canva. but capcut and inshot actually work well for simple things, just for inserting images and text.

2 Likes

YES!!! SOME ELSE KNOWS ABOUT REMOVE BG!!!
BEST SITE EVER!

6 Likes

legit bro i use it all the time for this kinda stuff

another good one is sketchpad (sketch.io)
it what I used before I learned pixlr e

1 Like

ooo i havent heard of that!! i used autodraw before i started using ibis but its absolute garbage ajsjajaka

2 Likes

I could really use this since I’m starting to make my own thumbnails!!!

can u teach me some tricks and show me how to use some stuff

2 Likes

thanks for sharing! I might try it out sometime

1 Like

Great guide! Could I make a guide on hand drawing on canva?
Or would that be off-topic…

Uh @M1dnight I love this guide but…

There are other people who make thumbnails too, right? Like @Blizzy, @The-realgimkitMaster, and @Morepeko8. So other people can go to them, too, right? Also I’m not trying to be rude just pointing out stuff.

2 Likes

It’s ok @BananaBunny , I appreciate u for pointing that out tho.

Should I make a place where ALL thumbnail creators can show how they make a thumbnail?

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

I think that could be done.
although I have already done a guide on that topic lol
hol hup, lemme link it ig

ther were a few on this topic i think. but here ya go-
edit:

Ohhh i get what u mean, but not EVERYONe uses the same web/app to make their art, so i was gonna like put different apps/art to make thumbnails on, etc

1 Like