Thursday, March 14, 2013

Backgrounds for Creating Simple Channel Art Part 3a

Another option that you have for making your Youtube Channel banner or poster is to do it yourself.

If you have access to any kind of presentation software you can create a slide with the background you want and then export it out as a jpg or png image file.

Let me show you what I am talking about; I have a version of Corel Show to use as a demonstration but really, any modern slide software can be used to create a computer image from a presentation slide.

I'm changing the background color of the slide but there is no shame in drawing a large square and formatting the object.

This is really simple but if you have never used presentation software then this can take longer than you anticipated.

Clicking on the images in this post will make them larger for those that want to see details.

This is a solid background.

Background selected as solid color

 This is a photo inserted into a slide.

Inserting a photo into a slide

You can also select a pattern with your own color choices...

Applying a pattern to the background

or as a gradient fill...

A two color gradient fill

or a repeating texture.

Repeating textures from the application but you can add your own.

The next step is to export the slide as a jpg or png file. Depending on your software this command might be in the Save As area or in another command called Export.

You may or may not have the option to set the final image size; it depends on the program.

If you can select the image size and you are going to upload to your channel with no further tinkering then set the image size for 2120 x 1192 (I made a boo-boo in the example) and then save the image.

Again, this is a generic example of how to do this. Your software might be different. If you have a very old version of PowerPoint you will only be able to export to a wmf image file. You would need to convert the image to jpg or png. 

Concerns to Be Aware Of

Older versions of presentation software were set up for square or the 4:3 aspect ratio. You might have to crop the image later. If you have the option to select widescreen as an option or you find a widescreen image that can be a work around.

Text is problematic. It can look great in the program but crappy when exported. You'll have to test that out for yourself.

You can add photos but depending on the version of software you have editing them might be a challenged or not possible inside of the program.

You can do export slides to photos with most current versions of presentation software.

This includes:

Mac Os
Open Source – Yes, it is intentionally free software.
Web Presentation Software
and I'm sure a there are a few tablet office apps that can do the same thing.

But I hear a small wee voice saying "I have photos I want to combine and I don't want to use or install presentation software. What else you got?"

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  1. Hi Gena,

    I've tried creating a picture from MS PowerPoint, but I cannot save it in any ratio beyond 1589x1992 pixels. Any suggestions on how to create this with the right size for the YouTube banner?


    1. Yes. Export the .png from PowerPoint. Then you can use a program like Irfanview to re-size the image.

      Or you can use an online art app like Pixlr Express to import the photo. Then you can use the Adjustments tab and re-size the image. You might have to turn on or off the proportions switch.

      If you do change the size and aspect ratio it might affect the look of the image.


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