Streamlabs, a popular service utilized by streamers to create on-stream alerts, has some pretty cool features. One such feature involves creating YouTube Thumbnail images using pretty snazzy templates. At the moment, there are a grand total of sixty templates to choose from, and they don’t look half bad!
…there are a grand total of sixty templates to choose from…
The template is set up as a WYSIWYG editor of sorts, where you can drag and drop stuff onto a canvas. From there, you may choose from a number of color presets, or opt to add additional images to overlay the main canvas. This includes a set of high-quality social media icons, which can be resized to fit your needs
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Diving into the Editor – First impressions
I started writing this article by accident of discovery, and I felt that I needed to cover this subject, especially given that I recently wrote about the Three-day Content strategy to grow a YouTube channel. A template to base your thumbnails off can save you a lot of time in the process of creating a thumbnail.
Examining what it has to offer
Diving into the editor, it is actually quite simple. There are three boxes that separate out your asset objects :
|Select Background:||Effect:||Add Elements:|
|You choose a background image that is either a .png, .jpeg, or .jpg||This colorizes the Accent of the assets||Where you add all of your assets, like images, Text, Emoji, and Icons. Certain templates also have some other options available.|
|The torn burlap is the background image above. The Streamlabs watermark will not be there when you download the finished image.||My example highlights Purple. Think of it as a simple recoloring of all things purple||There are a ton of fonts available.|
The layout is in depth enough to do what you may need it to do, without being overly complex. Finding that balance is quite difficult, and StreamLabs nailed it in my opinion.
About the only thing that I can say I don’t like about the layout is that the windows have a defined maximum height. This means that when you have a lot of elements on the screen, it will create a scroll bar inside the editor window. That isn’t exactly ideal, simply because it reduces user accessibility. Even one element, when expanded, takes up enough room to cause the scroll effect.
Things that irk me about Streamlab’s YouTube Thumbnail editor
Don’t get me wrong, these templates look great! However, there are certain aspects of them that are set in stone, limiting the scope of creativity. I think the biggest factor for me is that the effects colors are locked to what they give you. For example, you cannot make the effect itself any color you want, as you could with a Free image editor like GIMP.
This is something that I feel is a bit too limiting for the scope of what is essentially a paid, simplified image editor. Like, I get why they did it. I just think something as simple as allowing you to choose a custom color from a Hex code or their predefined colors would be a nice touch for it being a paid feature in the first place.
Another thing I don’t like is that you cannot reposition certain aspects of the template. And since they weren’t designed to do that from the beginning, this feature is impossible to retrofit to existing templates; There is no data beyond the boundary box of the image like there is with .XCF or .PSD layers. For a paid YouTube Thumbnail designer, this is just irksome to me.
What if I wanted to shift the design over by a thumbs length to make more room for something else?
Is this feature worth the price of Streamlabs Prime?
These templates are available as part of Streamlabs Prime, a subscription service that gets you to access to a ton of extra premium features.
While the Streamlabs YouTube thumbnail designer does limit what you can do with the thumbnail, it gives you professional-grade images in very little invested time. For a new YouTuber who is just starting out, these templates allow you to focus more on your content. This is huge, because, at the end of the day, content is king.
While the Streamlabs YouTube thumbnail designer does limit what you can do with the thumbnail, it gives you professional-grade images in very little invested time.
With that said, my honest opinion would be no, this feature does not make a compelling case to subscribe to Streamlabs Prime if it were by itself. With a little bit of time invested in creating your own templates with a program like GIMP, you can make these YouTube thumbnails for free. There are also other programs, like Canva, with free templates to go with that are comparable to the ones in Streamlabs.
However, there are many other features that come bundled with this subscription service that may make it worth the price to you. I would simply consider these templates as the sprinkles on top to further boost the value that you get from it. Here is a shortlist of features that Streamlabs Prime offers:
- Multi-streaming to Twitch, YouTube, and shudders… Facebook.
- If you are a Twitch Affiliate, be careful not to use this feature with Twitch, due to the exclusivity agreement!
- An easy-to-use creator-focused website editor with powerful Twitch and YouTube integrations
- High-quality pre-made Twitch panels
- Interesting thematic animated alerts
- and many other features