Hello everyone! This is my second time doing one of these blog posts. Here, I'm gonna show you how I make thumbnails or fight renders like these:
Some of you might be saying: "Sharaku! There's no way I could make stuff like that!". Well, what if I told you that there indeed was a way?! That's right, today I'm gonna show you how I make my Death Battle...stuff. And the best part? The software that I use is totally free! Are you ready? Well, let's get started!
What you'll need
The only things that you'll really need are a Gmail account and the Death Battle/One Minute Melee/DBX template of your choice. If you're stuck, I have a massive blog filled to the brim with templates here. Remember to save it as a .png file, otherwise it won't preserve the transparency of the image.
The software that we're going to be using is one that comes pre-packaged when you make a Google Account. It's called Google Drawings, and it's pretty useful. However it isn't the most well known of Google softwares, so I'm gonna show you how to access it with ease.
How to Access Google Drawings
First, go to your Gmail account (you're gonna need one in order to use Google Drawings). Go to the drop-down menu by your profile picture that has nine dots in three rows of three.
After that, click on the icon that says Drive. This will take you to your Google Drive, which is where you can access Google Drawings.
Now, you should be in your Google Drive. Here are the steps to accessing Google Drawings.
- Step 1: Go over to the menu on the left that looks like this:
- Step 2: Click the button with a + sign that says "NEW". You'll see a drop-down menu that looks like this:
- Step 3: Click the button that says "MORE". Now the drop-down menu should look like this:
- Step 4: Click on the button that says "Google Drawings". You should now be on a screen that looks like this:
Congratulations! You have accessed Google Drawings! Now, I'm gonna show you how you can make thumbnails in this software, plus a little extra stuff that you can do as well.
How to make Thumbnails
First off, on your blank drawing, go to the top left corner. Click the tab that says "file". You should see a drop-down menu that looks like this.
After that, click the tab below that says "Page Setup". This should take you to a menu looking like this.
Click the tab that says "Standard 4:3". You should see something like this.
Click the tab that says "Custom". You should see something like this.
Keep it in inches. On the left box, type in "32", and on the right box, type in "18". Click "Apply". This will change the dimensions of the box you see behind you. Here, for reference.
Your blank screen should look something like this:
This is good. Not only has it changed the dimensions to what a regular template is shaped like, it's also quite big, so that when you save it, the image is in very high quality.
Actually making the Thumbnail
Take your template of choice and copy and paste it onto the drawing. You can also upload an image to the canvas by clicking the tab in the upper left corner that says "Insert", then clicking "Image", then clicking "Upload from Computer". This will open your files. That will allow to look for whatever image you want to upload.
Anyways, once you have it in the drawing, it should look like this.
Move it to the top left corner until there is a red line across the side of the canvas. This indicates that the template is at the edge of where the image cuts off. This next part should be familiar for you if you have used Microsoft Powerpoint or Google Slides in the past. Click on the image of the template and drag the bottom right corner so that it fits in with the canvas. Your screen should now look like this.
Now that you've got your template centered, it's time to find renders, or transparent images of the characters that you want to make the Death Battle thumbnail of. For this, I'll stick with a simple matchup and go with Mario VS Sonic.
For character renders, you'll be doing similar steps to centering the template. Once you've copy/pasted or uploaded the render into Drawings, it should look like this.
Click on the render and move it into place. Expand or shrink the size of the render to your liking. Keep in mind, it is also possible to rotate and crop the render to your liking (In Google Drawings, whenever you click on an image there is a little dot at the top. You can use that to rotate the image. You can also crop images by right clicking the image and selecting crop. You can also send images backward by pressing "Control", "Shift" and the bottom arrow key. The same can be done if you want to move an image upward, except instead of the down arrow it's the up arrow). Here's what I got.
Perform similar actions with the other render. This is what I got.
Awesome, now that you have your renders ready, it's time to find some sick backgrounds!
In all honesty, I have no special technique for getting backgrounds. I basically search for them on Google Images. So do what you gotta do. Ok, so once you have your backgrounds (I changed the template cuz I had an idea lmao), do something similar to the character templates.
If you wanna help your backgrounds better match your characters, you can actually use Drawings to recolor images.
Click on the image and click the tab that says "Format Options". Your screen should look like this.
(Note: You can also edit the brightness and contrast of images in the "Adjustments" tab. If you wanna mess around with that, go ahead.)
Click the drop-down tab that says "Recolor". You'll see something that looks like this. You have a ton of options of how and what type of recolor you want to do. For the sake of my thumbnail, I'm gonna pick the grayscale one.
This is what I have.
And wa-bam! You have a thumbnail. Now I'm gonna talk about tweaks you can make to it before you save it. Of course, these are completely optional. If you wanna learn how to save it, scroll down a bit.
As I said before, in the Adjustments tab within Format Options, you can edit the brightness and contrast of images to your liking. You can even do this with your thumbnail template.
Also, you can add outlines to images. This can be incredibly useful if you really wanna spice up your thumbnail. To add these, click on the image of your choice and click on "Format Options". Then go to the tab that says "Drop Shadow". Here, you can mess around with the shadow of an image. You can change its transparency, distance, color and blur radius. However, in order to make an outline, you have to change everything (including Transparency, Angle and Distance) except "Blur Radius" to zero. Now the size of the blur radius is up to you. I suggest experimenting with it until you find what you are comfortable with. Again, you can change the colors of the shadow too, so mess around with that. Sometimes the shadow isn't exactly dark enough, so I suggest copying and pasting the same image over and over until you find how dark you want the outline to be. Here's an example for reference.
Saving a Thumbnail
Your thumbnail will be automatically saved to your Google Drive account, but in order to download it as a file, follow this process.
- Step 1: Go to the tab that says "File".
- Step 2: Go to the tab that says download.
- Step 3: Click ".PNG File". Trust me, .png files always have the highest quality. By then, the drawing will start downloading and it'll be saved to your computer.
- Step 4: Now that it's saved to your computer, take a look at it! You have made your own thumbnail! Here's mine.
Many of you won't get a thumbnail like this on your first try, but that's ok! It took me a loooooong time learning how to make good thumbnails. With practice you'll get it! I hope this helped out with people wanting to create thumbnails! Sharaku out!!