Thumbnail Generator 3.0 – Patch Notes

Thumbnail Generator 3.0 is here!

Over the lifetime of this plugin I’ve collected various pieces of suggestions that were a bit difficult to implement due to core design choices made early in the plugins development. I therefore decided to make a new major version of the plugin where I would break backwards compatibility and completely revamp the underlying code structure to allow for some of ther features to be implemented.

Thumbnail node overhaul

Due to how the old codebase was structured it was becoming increasingly difficult to make changes to how the thumbnail node worked. In 2.0 it was no longer close to how it worked in the initial 1.0 release so I felt a refactor was in order.

Two Nodes, one system

The Generate Thumbnail Synchronous and Generate Thumbnail Async nodes have now been unified to use the same interface, allowing you to use the Pre Capture event on the synchronous node. This is especially useful if you wish to generate a thumbnail outside of an event graph or do not want to keep track of callbacks.

For now the Async is not a true async (just as it wasn’t in 2.0) but will rather deferre the capture to the end of the frame, making sure we don’t capture more than once thumbnail per frame. Due to the refactor however it might be possible to move this capture to its own thread in the future.

Here’s our two new nodes:

NOTE: With this release the Thumbnail Cache has been removed. It added a LOT of complexity for nearly no gain, if you wan that feature back send me a message at and I will show you how to easily add it back into your project.

Auto-framing rework

In Thumbnail Generator version 2.1.0 I updated the framing algorithm to be more advanced and better frame the actor in the thumbnail. With 3.0 I have refined this new algorithm, fixing a few bugs, and improving the way it calculates the actor bounds for framing.

Here are some examples of the new auto-framing:

The blue lines here are the actors bounds, as you can see the thumbnail generator does a pretty good job of placing those bounds just at the edge of the thumbnail.

Thumbnail Settings rework

Since this is meant to be a breaking release I also went ahead and did some rework of the thumbnail settings.

The new settings looks as follows:

Some notable changes here would be:

  • Replaced old camera rotation floats with Camera Orbit Rotation, allowing you to freely change Pitch, Yaw, and Roll.
  • Added Camera Distance Override, and Ortho Width Override to allow for better control over the auto-framing.
  • Added Custom Camera Location, Custom Camera Rotation, and Custom Ortho Width, all of which will disable the auto-framing which allows you to set a completely custom camera transform.
  • Replaced Custom Actor Bounds Extent and Custom Actor Bounds Origin with Custom Actor Bounds.