New Forum Feature: Topic Preview Thumbnails!

This is one that I’ve been passionately pushing for with the discourse team for quite a while - with some help from an awesome external plugin author, and our very own @yegor211 (who has helped tremendously with most of the custom work on this site), our visually artistic community now has a more visual forum!

Note the “R” logo on the bottom post? That’s the default thumbnail - if you see that, it means you should probably link to a cool image or video in your post. If you already have an image in your post, and it didn’t take it, try just editing the post and re-submitting. Sometimes the image just needs to be refreshed with this new system.

**Notice I said “link to” We’re currently still allowing uploads to the forum, but we’re going to run out of storage space at some point, and I’ll have to increase our capacity again, making the site more expensive to run. One day, maybe I’ll ban it, but for now, we’ve been good about not abusing file uploads - let’s keep it up!

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I love the thumbnails. I wonder if it’s possible to show the threads in a grid-preview (if the user enables it). Especially now with the embergen challenge and sooo many threads, i would love to see only the thumbnails+title but in a grid with maybe 6 colums to see everything in a more condensed view.

example:
image

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I’m working on a fairly large overhaul of our layout and am ramping up a team for a few new features, both inspired by the more user friendly layouts of sites like art station (including a visual grid). So far it’s going well, but it’s a lot to chew on, so I can’t give a great timeline of when to expect this… but hopefully soon!

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that sounds great, looking forward to that! <3

Hi @Keith, I wonder if there’s any news on this topic? :slight_smile:
By the way: How is the thumbnail choosen? Rita has a picture in the first post but it was not taken as thumbnail. Is there maybe a max. size a thumbnail can have? Here is the thread: Rita's VFX Sketchbook

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Maybe there is a max size. After you posted the small gif I was able to choose in “edit”, but before that, when there was only the big one, there wasnt anything.

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To add this as just feedback, the Thumbnails take a huge amount of time for me to load, I assume it’s my low internet speed, but was wondering if there’s any solutions to improving this, as other websites seem to have much faster loading speeds in comparison.

Thank you all for the great feedback and discussions here- i don’t have many perfect answers, but please keep them coming!

Unfortunately, no great updates. I’ve been in ‘sustain’ only mode here for the last many months, as I hit a wall that’s going to require me to hire an engineering team. I have quite a backlog there, so I’m excited to take this step, but I’ve also just had my first child and Beyond-FX is occupying all of my work energy - all good things, but I hate that there needs to be excuses.

As for how the thumbnails work - the plugin we’re using snuck in a feature that was only semi supported until recently (I actually just had to check dev notes and test this myself). The thumbnail selector is working!

image

There are a few sizing limitations, and we actually had to custom support vimeo/youtube ourselves in some ways, so it’s definitely got some rough edges. I’m not sure why you weren’t able to select the thumbnail in your first message immediately though.

I doubt this is related, but a common one is that in order for the images to unfold correctly (particularly Youtube previews), there needs to be a return for a new line after the URL.

Also, If you can be conscientious of it, I would also encourage not using large GIFS for the thumbnails, as they don’t do a great job resizing, etc (on my list).

Can I ask where you’re located? I’m currently using a very cheap CDN to try and help with data distribution across the world, but it has become clear to me that this might be worth spending more money on. Unfortunately, CDNs are a potentially huge money pit, so while I’m funding this site myself, I have a high degree of reluctance to go that route. My intention, however, is to slow my involvement with Beyond-FX enough to be able to start tackling this site as a business, which would then let me invest, hire than engineering team, etc.

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No worries Keith, the fact that this site exists is a true treasure to the community anyways. I’m located in the Netherlands, Western Europe. My internet at max is about 20-30 Mb/s which is standard but not much. If it costs to much to fix without monitezing the website than that’s a compromise I’m happy with :slight_smile:

More than willing to donate a small sum each month, to keep the site alive/help with improvements, just in case you ever thought about adding a button like that :slight_smile: