Technology Enhanced Learning Team


Choose a better thumbnail for your video

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For: Staff and StudentsApplication: QMplus MediaTagged: kaltura , video

When you upload a video to QMplus Media, the system will automatically choose a thumbnail image for it. This is the image that displays before your video plays and you will see it in a variety of places, in your My Media area on QMplus, in videos embedded into QMplus or on websites. The default image chosen may not, however, be the best one for your video. For instance, if you have a video of a person presenting, the default thumbnail might just catch them at an awkward moment. You want your thumbnail image to entice people to click to watch your video.

Fortunately, it is really easy to change the thumbnail image for your video, either by picking an frame from your video itself or by uploading an image. This guide shows you how to do this.

What’s a thumbnail and why does it matter?

Your video thumbnail is the image that shows before the video is played. If you embed your video into QMplus or a website, it’s the image that people will see first.

By default QMplus Media will pick a frame from your video to use as the default. This might be fine but quite often the frame chosen is not the best advert for your video. If you have people in your video, it could end up catching someone at just the wrong moment.

Freeze frame of video showing woman pulling a face

This might be great for an internet meme but it isn’t the best advert for your great video. Fortunately it is easy to choose a better video thumbnail which is kinder to your presenters.

Navigate to the video editing page

First you need to find the video you want to change the thumbnail for.

  • Log in to QMplus
  • Click on your name in the top-right corner and select My Media from the drop-down menu

  • Find the video you want to edit either by scrolling through the list or by searching.
  • Click on the pencil icon to the right of the video title.Edit icon on video entry
  • Click on ThumbnailsThumbnails tab on video editing page
You can also do this by logging in to the QMplus Media web interface, MediaSpace.

Changing the thumbnail image

Options for generating thumbnails

In the thumbnail section, you will see the following options.

  1. Upload Thumbnail: You can upload an image file to use as your thumbnail. This might be handy if you can’t find an appropriate frame from your video to use.
  2. Capture: Choose a frame from your videoPlay your video in the player and pause it when you reach the frame you want to use as a thumbnail.
    Alternatively, drag the playhead to scrub through the video to find the place you want. Click the Capture button and the frame at that point will become the thumbnail.
  3. Auto-generate: Arguably the least useful of the options. Click the button to have 10 images from your video chosen for you and then pick the one you want.

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at Queen Mary University of London.

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