Generate thumbnails

You can have Microsoft Expression Encoder create a thumbnail for your media file. Expression Encoder stores this thumbnail with the encoded file. This will be the representative thumbnail for your media file when you view the file in Windows Explorer, and it will also be the placeholder image for Microsoft Silverlight videos before they are cued and played back. Expression Encoder saves thumbnails by using the following naming convention:



You can also set a thumbnail to represent each Timeline marker. Timeline marker thumbnails can be used for visual navigation in Silverlight playback, so they serve a different purpose than the thumbnails described in this topic.

For more information about thumbnail markers, see Add markers.

To set a thumbnail

  1. In the Media Content panel (Transcoding project) or the Sources panel (Silverlight project), select the video to which you want to add thumbnails.

  2. If you can't see the Output category, on the Window menu, click Output to open the Output panel. If the Output panel is open, but you can't see it, on the right side of the application, click the Output tab.

  3. Click the arrow next to Thumbnail to expand the category.

  4. Select one of the following options for your thumbnail:

    • If you do not want a thumbnail associated with the video, select None.

    • To use the first non-black, non-solid-color frame as the thumbnail, select Best Frame.

    • To use the first frame of the video as the thumbnail, select 1st Frame.

    • To choose your own thumbnail from the video, select Custom. When you select this option, a yellow thumbnail marker appears in the Timeline, and you can either drag that marker to the frame you want to use as the thumbnail or, in the Thumbnail category, type a time code in the box.

  5. Click Show/Hide advanced propertiesCc294653.2f8a79a9-68d2-4878-8b75-c76ceb921b3b(en-us,Expression.40).png. Choose a compression method for the thumbnail. If applicable, drag the numeric value next to the menu to set a quality level. The higher the number, the higher the quality of compression.

  6. Under Width and Height, type a size for the thumbnail, or drag the values to set them. Drag the value up or right to increase it, or down or left to decrease it. To lock the aspect ratio as you scale the image, select Maintain Aspect Ratio.

  7. If you want to embed the thumbnail in the output file, select Embed Thumbnail.

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