Difference between revisions of "Artwork"

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{{wiki revamp|raw=This page is going though a major overhaul and some things might be missing. For a copy of the old version see '''[http://kodi.wiki/index.php?title=Artwork&oldid=82139 here]'''. {{small|1=[http://kodi.wiki/index.php?title=Artwork&diff=88944&oldid=82139 <nowiki>[changes]</nowiki>]}} }}
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{{Artwork_Contents}}
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{{mininav|[[Music_library|Music Library]] {{l2|[[Video_library|Video Library]]}} |[[HOW-TO:Create_Music_Library|Create Music Library]] {{l2|[[HOW-TO:Create_Video_Library|Create Video Library]]}}}}
  
{{todo}}
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<section begin="intro" />The use of artwork takes pride of place in Kodi. The artwork will transform your mundane media player into a showpiece to be proud of, especially when teamed up with your favourite skin. Kodi  will allow you to display Movie Posters, Fanart, Album Covers, Actor and Artist images to name a few. Install the Kodi slideshow add-on, and you will have a constant display of video or music fanart to brighten your entertainment room.<section end="intro" />
  
Kodi supports automatic downloading or extraction of several types of images for use as thumbnails, movie posters, and more. In addition to automatic downloading or extraction, users can also manually set several images in different parts of the interface.
+
As the topic covering artwork is comprehensive, it has been broken down into smaller and more manageable pages for ease of reading. Choose the subject that interests you to obtain further information. Information common to all categories is located on this page. Specific category details are located on linked pages.
  
== Types of artwork that Kodi uses ==
+
'''Be aware that artwork is skin dependent. Not all artwork types are used in all skins.'''
  
== Audomatic artwork loading ==
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= Flexible artwork types =
{{editor note|This area should explain how artwork is loaded from scrapers, as well as embedded art for music.}}
 
  
== Manual artwork loading ==
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<gallery mode="packed" widths=350px heights=200px>
{{editor note|This area should explain both manually setting artwork from within the GUI, as well as using pre-existing files that "automatically" get picked up.}}
+
File:Artwork-PosterView01.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-FanartView01.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-Banner01.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-PosterView02.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-MusicArtist01.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-ClearLogo02.jpg
 +
</gallery>
  
=== Naming conventions ===
+
{{Kodi}}'s support for artwork types to represent media items is very flexible: Any number of artwork can be added to a media item with free-form names that have only a few rules.
{{note|Kodi v14 still supports the older ".tbn" file extension, but users are advised to rename those file extensions from .tbn back to .jpg, in order to help ensure future support.}}
 
  
 +
To view all art types that are already assigned in your Kodi library for any particular media type, use Kodi's built-in [[Artwork#Kodi- Choose Art| Choose Art]] dialog on nearly any item in the library (movie, TV show, episode, so on), and the list of artwork types shown on this window are assigned to at least one media item of the same type.
  
;For folders (e.g. tvshows, movies in folders, or just folders on the filesystem):
+
== Naming rules ==
* poster.(png/jpg)
 
* banner.(png/jpg)
 
* fanart.(png/jpg)
 
  
{{note|Movies in folders can also use the options under files below.}}
+
* artwork names must be
;Season images reside inside the tvshow folder:
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** only alphanumeric characters
* season[XX]-(poster/banner/fanart).(png/jpg)
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** lowercase letters
* season-all-(poster/banner/fanart).(png/jpg}
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** keep them short - 20 characters is a bit long, though not forbidden
* season-specials-(poster/banner/fanart).(png/jpg)
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* Named by convention so that skins and JSON-RPC consumers can find and use them reliably
 +
* Some common types of artwork are "fanart", "clearlogo", "landscape", "banner", and "poster"
  
;For files (episodes, movies not in folders, video files):
+
== Artwork whitelist ==
* [movie file name]-(poster/banner/fanart).(png/jpg)
 
* [episode file name]-thumb.(png/jpg)
 
* [filename]-(poster/banner/fanart).(png/jpg)
 
  
 +
Starting with Kodi 18, there is a whitelist configuration for artwork types to be added automatically. This whitelist applies to all artwork added automatically by Kodi, either when scanning in local files or scraping from online sources. This allows you to share one media file library with a full artwork selection and configure individual Kodi clients separately based on processing power, skin selection, or client-local storage space (the local artwork cache takes up the most space of all Kodi running data). It is currently configured with advancedsettings.xml '''[[Advancedsettings.xml#Extra artwork| for the video library]]''' and  '''[[Advancedsettings.xml#Extra artwork 2| for the music library]]'''.
  
{{note|For all use scenarios mentioned above (Folders, TV Shows, and Files), [[extra fanart]] and [[Thumbnails#Examples for User-Defined Video Thumbnails|Actor thumbs (click link then scroll down)]] can also be included using the locations defined in [[Thumbnails]].}}
+
= Obtaining Artwork =
 +
Movie, TV Show and Music artwork can be obtained using a variety of methods. The most common method is via the Kodi scraper.
  
=== Folder thumbnails ===
+
== Scrapers ==
{|
+
A scraper is a Kodi core function which, in combination with the relevant metadata API add-on, will preform an automatic online search for movie, tv show and music information and then retrieve all relevant metadata and artwork and import the data into the Kodi Library and the artwork into the [[Artwork#Cache|cache]]. The default sources for information are:
| valign="top" |
 
If you store each of your media files in separate subfolders to keep things organized, you can also make the folder have a custom thumbnail image. To do this you either need to save your JPG/PNG thumbnail as folder.jpg and place it inside your movie/album folder, or you can save it as <foldername>deprecated and place it at the same level as the folder in the directory tree.
 
* Remember, XBMC first checks for <foldername>.jpg before checking for folder.jpg.
 
* Some documentation suggests that folder.jpg can be used. In general folder.jpg is superior as it is detected during a scan, i.e. XBMC will correctly use folder.jpg but not folder.jpg.
 
* Note that folder.jpg '''must''' be named .jpg, even if it is a .png format image.
 
  
 +
Movies- [https://www.themoviedb.org/ The MovieDB]<br />
 +
TV Shows- [http://thetvdb.com/ The TVDB]<br />
 +
Music- [http://www.theaudiodb.com/ The AudioDB]<br />
 
<br />
 
<br />
'''Examples:'''
+
There are many other scraper information sources, but most are specialist listings for foreign language movies or Disney movies, for example.
Movies\path\'''foldername'''\
 
Movies\path\'''foldername.jpg'''
 
or
 
Movies\path\moviename\'''folder.jpg'''
 
Music\path\album\'''folder.jpg'''
 
  
Now your media folder will have a lovely custom thumbnail-image.
+
The Video scraping process is reliant on your local directory and file names being named in accordance with the title listed at the scraper site. To ensure correct naming, simply visit the website, search for your title, and copy the title from the site and paste into your directory/filename.  
  
You can via [[advancedsettings.xml]] change the default filename of the image that XBMC uses for music folders.  See the [[advancedsettings.xml#<musicthumbs>|<musicthumbs>]] tag. for more information.
+
The Music scraping process is reliant on correct file naming and music tags.
|
 
[[File:Files.myvideos.jpg|right|500px]]
 
|}
 
  
=== Music thumbnails ===
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Kodi will then match the video or music and download all relevant metadata and artwork. It is important to note that if you already have correctly named artwork in the video and music folder, then Kodi will scrape the local artwork and ignore the online source. Metadata will still be downloaded though.
Music Thumbnails are assigned as part of a multi-tier process. First, the Tag Reader runs and caches any embedded art using the album name and album artist (or song artist, if that is all that is available). If the album name or artist is unavailable, it is cached using the path name of the song. This assumes, of course, that you have tag reading enabled.<br />
+
 
You can also use "Get Thumb" to download the album thumbnail from [http://www.allmusic.com allmusic.com (AMG)] for a specific album/folder or do a scan of all your music files in all shares.<br />
+
If you subsequently locate artwork that is preferable, it is possible to replace the Kodi selected artwork. Refer to [[Artwork#Kodi-_Choose_Art|paragraph 2.1]] below.
Thumbnails also get downloaded when you rip AudioCD's to your XBMC device (which is described in the [[Ripping CDs]] section).<br />
+
; {{see also|Naming video files}}
Recommended is that you store each of your music-albums or artists in a separate subfolder to keep things organized. You can also of course make the folder have a custom thumbnail image.<br />
+
; {{see also|Add-on:The Movie Database}}
<br />
+
; {{see also|Add-on:The TVDB}}
{|
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; {{see also|Add-on:Universal Album Scraper}}
|
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; {{see also|Add-on:Universal Artist Scraper}}
[[File:mymusic.jpg|right|500px]]
+
 
| valign="top" |
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== Media Managers ==
:{{Note|Running a scan automatically enables 'tag reading' so everything can be cached. Once a scan is run, all your files and their associated thumbnails are stored in the database.}}
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There is a range of software that can create nfo files and download artwork and save them to the correct location and correct naming. They perform the same process and function as the Kodi Scraping operation does natively, but they do not add any entries into the Kodi library. Instead they create what is known as '''[[NFO_files|NFO files]]'''. This file holds all the metadata for that particular movie, tv show or music. The software will also download associated artwork from the scraper site. Kodi can then read this file and scrape it into the library along with the artwork.
:The Album Information dialog (available from the context menu) will allow you to choose between the cover art available for download from [http://www.allmusic.com allmusic.com] and any user-defined thumbnail you may have.
+
 
:Press the "Get Thumb" button to bring up a choice of the local thumbnails you have, the currently assigned thumbnail and the [http://www.allmusic.com allmusic.com] thumbnail.<br />
+
Although these programs are quick and easy to use, they are more suited for use where a movie or tv show is not listed at the scraper site. You are then able to create the metadata from scratch. You would normally use this for, say, home movies, sporting events or other items that are not listed at the scraper site.
|}
+
 
'''The code which assigns thumbnails to files runs and assigns thumbnails in the following order:'''
+
It is always best to use Kodi for the normal mainstream scrapes and the Media Managers for the non-listed movie, tv show and music scrapes.
 +
; {{see also|NFO_files}}
 +
 
 +
== Web Search ==
 +
Using an online search engine can help you discover individual artworks, or additional sites where artwork is hosted. When downloading, check that the resolution is of an acceptable standard. Also pay respect to any copyright notices that are attached to the artwork.
 +
 
 +
Once downloaded, they must be named and saved correctly for the artwork to be visible to Kodi.
 +
 
 +
== Create Your Own ==
 +
So you are not happy with the artwork the scraper downloaded? And you just can't find that perfect artwork by manually searching the internet. Then, you will just have to create your own. For those who are artistically minded and can easily navigate around image editing software, then you should be able to easily create your very own user-defined artwork on your computer.  Only your imagination is the limit, but be mindful that the artwork needs to remain true to the movie or tv show it represents.  
 +
 
 +
If you are unsure where to start, the following links may prove useful. Especially if you plan to share your masterpieces. If this is the case, it is best to stick to the posted guidelines.
 +
*Fanart.TV- The premier repository for all things artwork. They have an in-depth guide for artwork requirements
 +
:;''see : [https://fanart.tv/movie-fanart/<nowiki>Fanart.tv- Image Creation Guide</nowiki>]''
 +
*The MovieDB- The go to movie scraper site for Kodi. In addition to metadata, they also hold a large repository of artwork that are created and uploaded to the site by people just like you. Read their easy to understand artwork creation guide.
 +
:; ''see : [https://www.themoviedb.org/documentation/editing/images<nowiki>themoviedb- Image Creation Guide</nowiki>]''
 +
*The TVDB- The go to TV Show scraper site for Kodi. In addition to metadata, they also hold a large repository of artwork devoted to TV Shows. Read their easy to understand artwork creation guide.
 +
:; ''see : [http://www.thetvdb.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Images<nowiki>theTVDB- Image Creation Guide</nowiki>]''
 +
*IMDB- A comprehensive listing of ensuring artwork is appropriate and suitable.
 +
:; ''see : [https://contribute.imdb.com/updates/guide/images<nowiki>IMDB- Image Submission Guide</nowiki>]''
 +
*TheAudioDB- The go to scraper site for all things music. They hold metadata on Artists, Albums and Songs with a large collection of music artwork.
 +
:; ''see : [http://theaudiodb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1<nowiki>TheAudioDB- Image Creation Guide</nowiki>]''
 +
 
 +
= Importing-Scanning Artwork =
 +
{{anchor|Importing-Scraping Artwork}}
 +
 
 +
This section does not apply to the Kodi scraper or any other add-on scraping process. It only applies to artwork you have manually sourced and saved.
 +
 
 +
'''When performing an Update Library or Scrape, Kodi will always use Local Artwork first if it exists. If there is no local artwork, Kodi will obtain the artwork from online sources.'''
 +
 
 +
'''It is important to note that once a movie, tv show, artist or album has been scraped into the library, Kodi will ignore them on subsequent scans.''' If you have made changes to either artwork and/or metadata (in the form of a nfo file), you must instruct Kodi to update using one of the following methods...
 +
#If the Library has not yet been created, or the source has not yet been added
 +
#*Ensure your artwork is named and saved correctly. Add the [[Media sources]] to Kodi and allow to update. Artwork will be cached
 +
#This Movie/TV Show/Album/Artist is new and has not been added to the library yet
 +
#*An Update Library will scrape and cache the artwork, or
 +
#*For Videos, navigate Videos>Files, navigate to the item and call up the Information page. This will start an automatic scrape for that single item
 +
#*For Music, navigate Music>Files, locate and highlight the new artist or album. From the context menu select ''Scan item to library''
 +
#I added new artwork for Movie/TV Show/Album/Artist already in the library
 +
#*For videos follow instructions for ''Kodi- Choose Art'' below
 +
#*For music follow instructions in [[Music_artwork]]
 +
#I added new artwork for a lot of Movies/TV Shows/Music already in the library
 +
#*Update each Movie/TV Show/Music manually using instructions in the previous option, or
 +
#*Remove the Source and clean library. Re-add the source and allow the Update Library
 +
:'''''See also: [[Updating_or_removing_videos|Update Video Library]]'''''
 +
 
 +
== "Available" artwork ==
 +
 
 +
Scrapers and NFO files can include multiple images for a single type of artwork. The first image will be assigned to the media item for skins and other interfaces to access for display, and the full list will be saved for the "Choose art" dialog, where you can select a new image for any art type.
 +
 
 +
== Kodi- Choose Art ==
 +
From within Kodi, you have the ability to manually change the artwork at any time by following these directions.
 +
 
 +
#Highlight the media item whose artwork you want to change.
 +
#Call up the ''Information'' page, (Image 1)
 +
#* For seasons and movie sets the "Choose Art" option is in the [[Context menu]].
 +
#Select ''Choose Art''. (Image 1)
 +
#From within this page, you will be given the option to select which type of artwork you would like to change. (Image 2)
 +
#* This dialog is filled with artwork already assigned to similar media items in the library. If your type of artwork is not listed, then use the '''Add art''' button. An onscreen keyboard will be displayed. Enter the new type of artwork and select '''Ok'''.
 +
#* Examples of artwork type are those listed in the following pages- eg clearlogo, clearart, banner etc...
 +
#Once selected, you will then be provided with a list of available artwork at the scraper site, or you can navigate to a local or network location. (Image 3)
 +
#Once you select the desired image, it will replace the existing image. You will be returned to the screen displayed in Image 2
 +
#If you do not intend to change any other artwork types, simply Esc or Back out of the screen
 +
 
 +
<gallery widths=350px heights=200px>
 +
File:Artwork-ChooseArt03.jpg|Image 1- Choose Art on the Information Page
 +
File:Artwork-ChooseArt01.jpg|Image 2- Select which type of artwork to change
 +
File:Artwork-ChooseArt02.jpg|Image 3- List of available remote artworks from the scraper site, as well as the ability to ''Browse'' local and network sources
 +
File:Artwork-ChooseArt04.jpg|Image 4- Using the Refresh Method
 +
</gallery>
 +
An alternative method:
 +
#Choose ''Refresh'' as seen in Image 1.
 +
#You will then be asked ''Locally stored information found. Ignore and refresh from Internet?'' (Image 4)
 +
#*To scrape local artwork and metadata - Select '''No''' note- If you have no local nfo file, Kodi will scrape metadata from the online scraper site
 +
#*To scrape online artwork and metadata - Select '''Yes'''
 +
 
 +
= Artwork details for media sections =
 +
 
 +
<gallery mode="packed" widths=350px heights=200px>
 +
File:Skin.rapier fullscreen music.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-MusicBanner01.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-FanartView02.jpg
 +
File:Rapier new tvshows.jpg
 +
File:Artwork-Animated01.gif
 +
File:Artwork-musiclandscape-EstuaryATF.jpg
 +
</gallery>
 +
 
 +
== Movie Artwork ==
 +
{{#lst:Movie_artwork|intro}}
 +
{{see|Movie artwork}}
 +
 
 +
== TV Show Artwork ==
 +
{{#lst:TV-Show_artwork|intro}}
 +
{{see|TV-Show artwork}}
 +
 
 +
== Music Artwork ==
 +
{{#lst:Music_artwork|intro}}
 +
{{see|Music artwork}}
 +
 
 +
== Music Videos Artwork ==
 +
{{#lst:Music_Video_artwork|intro}}
 +
{{see|Music Video artwork}}
 +
 
 +
== Live TV Artwork ==
 +
{{#lst:Live_TV_Artwork|intro}}
 +
{{see|Live TV Artwork}}
 +
 
 +
== Pictures Artwork ==
 +
There is no user definable artwork for the Pictures section of Kodi.<br />
 +
:'''''See: [[Pictures]]
 +
 
 +
All images added to Pictures are cached as follows:
 +
#Embedded EXIF previews are scanned and cached. If none available then
 +
#Preview images are created and cached
 +
:'''''See: [[Artwork#Cache|Artwork Cache]]'''''<br />
 +
 
 +
To add an image to the folder icon:
 +
:'''''See: [[Movie_artwork#Source Folder Artwork|Folder Image]]'''''
 +
 
 +
= Add-ons to display artwork =
 +
The following add-ons allow you to display your movie, TV show and music artwork.
 +
 
 +
=== Screensavers ===
 +
 
 +
Want to do more with all that wonderful fanart? Install this Kodi screensaver. Just like a screensaver on computers from yesteryear, the Kodi screensaver will produce a slideshow of your Movie and TV Show fanart, or set it to display your Music Fanart. Don't like either of those? Then setup a directory with your own pictures and it can produce a screensaver from your selection of photos.
 +
; {{see also|Add-on:Picture Slideshow Screensaver}}
 +
 
 +
= Managing Artwork =
 +
There are a number of ways to maintain and improve Kodi's handling of the artwork.
 +
 
 +
== Cache ==
 +
{{#lst:Artwork/Cache|intro}}
 +
; {{see also|Artwork/Cache}}
 +
 
 +
== Recovering Disk Space ==
 +
After years of use, it is expected that your system will gather some clutter- that being either orphaned artwork files or corrupted artwork which will not display.
 +
; {{see also|HOW-TO:Reduce disk space usage}}
 +
; {{see also|Artwork/Cache}}
 +
 
 +
=== Texture Cache Maintenance ===
 +
{{#lst:Texture_Cache_Maintenance_utility|intro}}
 +
; {{see also|Texture Cache Maintenance utility}}
  
;1) Cached Album Thumbnail
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== Import/Export ==
:This is all the embedded album art read by the tag reader and cached using the album name and album artist.
+
{{#lst:import-export_library|intro}}
;2) Cached filename.jpg
+
; {{see also|Import-export library}}
:This includes an embedded thumbnail cached with the fully qualified name.
 
;3) Remote filename.jpg
 
:This is a filename.jpg on a remote share/folder which is then cached.
 
;4) Cached folder.jpg
 
:This is a folder.jpg which is cached based off the folder path.
 
;5) Remote folder.jpg
 
:This is a folder.jpg on a remote share/folder which is then cached.
 
;6) Remote foldername.jpg
 
:This is a foldername.jpg on a remote share/folder which is then cached.<br /><br />
 
  
'''Examples:'''
+
= Troubleshooting =
 +
There are certain scenarios where attempting to replace existing artwork with new artwork, '''you may experience {{kodi}} refusing to load the new artwork'''. This occurs when replacing one artwork with another artwork having the same name. eg replacing ''poster.jpg'' with a new ''poster.jpg''.
  
In this example audiofilename.mp3 will use audiofilename.jpg as thumbnail:
+
Rest assured that the new image has been accepted, but due to the same filename, {{kodi}} may take upto 24 hrs to check the image hash, realise the image is different and clear out the cached image and replace it with the new one. This is intended behaviour. Further reading available in the following link
Music\path\'''audiofilename.mp3'''
 
Music\path\'''audiofilename.jpg'''
 
  
The same goes for playlists, cue-sheets, SHOUTcast, and [[HOW-TO: Play Internet Streams|internet-stream files]], example:
+
; {{see also|Artwork/Cache}}
Music\path\'''audioplaylistname.m3u'''
 
Music\path\'''audioplaylistname.jpg'''
 
Music\path\'''cuelistname.cue'''
 
Music\path\'''cuelistname.mp3'''
 
Music\path\'''cuelistname.jpg'''
 
Music\path\'''shoutcastlinkname.pls'''
 
Music\path\'''shoutcastlinkname.jpg'''
 
Music\path\'''audiostreamname.strm'''
 
Music\path\'''audiostreamname.jpg'''
 
  
::Music fanart
+
= Animated artwork - experimental =
{{see also|FanArt#Music_FanArt_in_XBMC}}
 
  
=== Picture thumbnails ===
+
Kodi has basic support for displaying animated artwork, and two artwork types have a decent collection of animated options: posters and fanart for movies. The most comprehensive support for animated artwork is Skin Helper Service, which has taken to naming these as "animatedposter" and "animatedfanart".
Kodi will generate thumbnails for pictures and folders in the '''[[pictures]]''' area using the following methods:
 
  
;Images
+
New animated movie posters (and textless posters / keyart which could be named "animatedkeyart") are often posted to [https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=215727 this forum thread].
:EXIF thumbnail in JPEG images are then read. If no EXIF thumbnail is available, XBMC will load the image and generate a thumbnail from the image. These are then cached.
 
  
;Folders
+
== Limitations of animated artwork ==
:<MyHolidayPictures>\folder.jpg is checked first. If that file doesn't exist, XBMC will generate a thumbnail from up to 4 random images inside that folder.
 
  
=== Thumbnails for file sources ===
+
Kodi's support for displaying animated artwork is basic, and does have some limitations.
You can change the thumbnail displayed for a file source by bringing up the context menu ({{button|menu}} or {{keypress|C}}) and selecting '''"Choose thumbnail"'''.
 
  
=== Library nodes ===
+
Number one is a hard limit on the number of pixels in a single animated artwork. The size of animated artwork is limited to roughly 12 frames of 1920x1080. This limit is defined as fully decoded pixels. The trend for animated posters is for smaller images with more frames (a recent "animatedposter" is 500x713 with 60 frames). Kodi will discard any remaining frames after it has reached this limit, which will probably hitch unpleasantly, so obeying this limit is important.
{{main|Video nodes|Audio nodes}}
+
* Technically this limit is 11 frames but Kodi will decode full frames until it has decoded MORE than this, so the calculation is
 +
** 1920 × 1080 = 2,073,600 * 11 =
 +
*** 22,809,600 pixels '''plus''' one more frame
  
== Manually refreshing or regenerating thumbnails ==
+
Number two is that Kodi doesn't save animated artwork to the texture cache and will not play them (only displaying the first frame) unless they are stored on a client-local file system.
{{editor note|This area is for advanced notes related to regenerating thumbnails. This can happen due to an accidental deletion, setting up MySQL, or wanting new thumbnails when changing their default size in [[advancedsettings.xml]].}}
 
  
 +
= Accessing with skins and JSON-RPC =
 +
{{#lst:Artwork/Accessing with skins and JSON-RPC|intro}}
 +
; {{see also|Artwork/Accessing with skins and JSON-RPC}}
  
{{Gotham updated}}
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{{Top}}
  
[[Category:Thumbnails|*]]
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{{updated|18}}
 +
[[Category:FAQ]]
 +
[[Category:Index]]
 +
[[Category:Guides]]
 +
[[Category:Manual]]
 +
[[Category:Karellen]]
 
[[Category:Video library]]
 
[[Category:Video library]]
 
[[Category:Music library]]
 
[[Category:Music library]]
[[Category:Manual]]
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[[Category:Advanced topics]]
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[[Category:First time user]]
 +
[[Category:Quick Start Guide]]

Revision as of 20:35, 17 February 2019

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Music Library
▶ Video Library
▶ Create Music Library
▶ Create Video Library
▶ Artwork

The use of artwork takes pride of place in Kodi. The artwork will transform your mundane media player into a showpiece to be proud of, especially when teamed up with your favourite skin. Kodi will allow you to display Movie Posters, Fanart, Album Covers, Actor and Artist images to name a few. Install the Kodi slideshow add-on, and you will have a constant display of video or music fanart to brighten your entertainment room.

As the topic covering artwork is comprehensive, it has been broken down into smaller and more manageable pages for ease of reading. Choose the subject that interests you to obtain further information. Information common to all categories is located on this page. Specific category details are located on linked pages.

Be aware that artwork is skin dependent. Not all artwork types are used in all skins.

1 Flexible artwork types

Kodi's support for artwork types to represent media items is very flexible: Any number of artwork can be added to a media item with free-form names that have only a few rules.

To view all art types that are already assigned in your Kodi library for any particular media type, use Kodi's built-in Choose Art dialog on nearly any item in the library (movie, TV show, episode, so on), and the list of artwork types shown on this window are assigned to at least one media item of the same type.

1.1 Naming rules

  • artwork names must be
    • only alphanumeric characters
    • lowercase letters
    • keep them short - 20 characters is a bit long, though not forbidden
  • Named by convention so that skins and JSON-RPC consumers can find and use them reliably
  • Some common types of artwork are "fanart", "clearlogo", "landscape", "banner", and "poster"

1.2 Artwork whitelist

Starting with Kodi 18, there is a whitelist configuration for artwork types to be added automatically. This whitelist applies to all artwork added automatically by Kodi, either when scanning in local files or scraping from online sources. This allows you to share one media file library with a full artwork selection and configure individual Kodi clients separately based on processing power, skin selection, or client-local storage space (the local artwork cache takes up the most space of all Kodi running data). It is currently configured with advancedsettings.xml for the video library and for the music library.

2 Obtaining Artwork

Movie, TV Show and Music artwork can be obtained using a variety of methods. The most common method is via the Kodi scraper.

2.1 Scrapers

A scraper is a Kodi core function which, in combination with the relevant metadata API add-on, will preform an automatic online search for movie, tv show and music information and then retrieve all relevant metadata and artwork and import the data into the Kodi Library and the artwork into the cache. The default sources for information are:

Movies- The MovieDB
TV Shows- The TVDB
Music- The AudioDB

There are many other scraper information sources, but most are specialist listings for foreign language movies or Disney movies, for example.

The Video scraping process is reliant on your local directory and file names being named in accordance with the title listed at the scraper site. To ensure correct naming, simply visit the website, search for your title, and copy the title from the site and paste into your directory/filename.

The Music scraping process is reliant on correct file naming and music tags.

Kodi will then match the video or music and download all relevant metadata and artwork. It is important to note that if you already have correctly named artwork in the video and music folder, then Kodi will scrape the local artwork and ignore the online source. Metadata will still be downloaded though.

If you subsequently locate artwork that is preferable, it is possible to replace the Kodi selected artwork. Refer to paragraph 2.1 below.

2.2 Media Managers

There is a range of software that can create nfo files and download artwork and save them to the correct location and correct naming. They perform the same process and function as the Kodi Scraping operation does natively, but they do not add any entries into the Kodi library. Instead they create what is known as NFO files. This file holds all the metadata for that particular movie, tv show or music. The software will also download associated artwork from the scraper site. Kodi can then read this file and scrape it into the library along with the artwork.

Although these programs are quick and easy to use, they are more suited for use where a movie or tv show is not listed at the scraper site. You are then able to create the metadata from scratch. You would normally use this for, say, home movies, sporting events or other items that are not listed at the scraper site.

It is always best to use Kodi for the normal mainstream scrapes and the Media Managers for the non-listed movie, tv show and music scrapes.

2.3 Web Search

Using an online search engine can help you discover individual artworks, or additional sites where artwork is hosted. When downloading, check that the resolution is of an acceptable standard. Also pay respect to any copyright notices that are attached to the artwork.

Once downloaded, they must be named and saved correctly for the artwork to be visible to Kodi.

2.4 Create Your Own

So you are not happy with the artwork the scraper downloaded? And you just can't find that perfect artwork by manually searching the internet. Then, you will just have to create your own. For those who are artistically minded and can easily navigate around image editing software, then you should be able to easily create your very own user-defined artwork on your computer. Only your imagination is the limit, but be mindful that the artwork needs to remain true to the movie or tv show it represents.

If you are unsure where to start, the following links may prove useful. Especially if you plan to share your masterpieces. If this is the case, it is best to stick to the posted guidelines.

  • Fanart.TV- The premier repository for all things artwork. They have an in-depth guide for artwork requirements
see : Fanart.tv- Image Creation Guide
  • The MovieDB- The go to movie scraper site for Kodi. In addition to metadata, they also hold a large repository of artwork that are created and uploaded to the site by people just like you. Read their easy to understand artwork creation guide.
see : themoviedb- Image Creation Guide
  • The TVDB- The go to TV Show scraper site for Kodi. In addition to metadata, they also hold a large repository of artwork devoted to TV Shows. Read their easy to understand artwork creation guide.
see : theTVDB- Image Creation Guide
  • IMDB- A comprehensive listing of ensuring artwork is appropriate and suitable.
see : IMDB- Image Submission Guide
  • TheAudioDB- The go to scraper site for all things music. They hold metadata on Artists, Albums and Songs with a large collection of music artwork.
see : TheAudioDB- Image Creation Guide

3 Importing-Scanning Artwork

This section does not apply to the Kodi scraper or any other add-on scraping process. It only applies to artwork you have manually sourced and saved.

When performing an Update Library or Scrape, Kodi will always use Local Artwork first if it exists. If there is no local artwork, Kodi will obtain the artwork from online sources.

It is important to note that once a movie, tv show, artist or album has been scraped into the library, Kodi will ignore them on subsequent scans. If you have made changes to either artwork and/or metadata (in the form of a nfo file), you must instruct Kodi to update using one of the following methods...

  1. If the Library has not yet been created, or the source has not yet been added
    • Ensure your artwork is named and saved correctly. Add the Media sources to Kodi and allow to update. Artwork will be cached
  2. This Movie/TV Show/Album/Artist is new and has not been added to the library yet
    • An Update Library will scrape and cache the artwork, or
    • For Videos, navigate Videos>Files, navigate to the item and call up the Information page. This will start an automatic scrape for that single item
    • For Music, navigate Music>Files, locate and highlight the new artist or album. From the context menu select Scan item to library
  3. I added new artwork for Movie/TV Show/Album/Artist already in the library
    • For videos follow instructions for Kodi- Choose Art below
    • For music follow instructions in Music_artwork
  4. I added new artwork for a lot of Movies/TV Shows/Music already in the library
    • Update each Movie/TV Show/Music manually using instructions in the previous option, or
    • Remove the Source and clean library. Re-add the source and allow the Update Library
See also: Update Video Library

3.1 "Available" artwork

Scrapers and NFO files can include multiple images for a single type of artwork. The first image will be assigned to the media item for skins and other interfaces to access for display, and the full list will be saved for the "Choose art" dialog, where you can select a new image for any art type.

3.2 Kodi- Choose Art

From within Kodi, you have the ability to manually change the artwork at any time by following these directions.

  1. Highlight the media item whose artwork you want to change.
  2. Call up the Information page, (Image 1)
    • For seasons and movie sets the "Choose Art" option is in the Context menu.
  3. Select Choose Art. (Image 1)
  4. From within this page, you will be given the option to select which type of artwork you would like to change. (Image 2)
    • This dialog is filled with artwork already assigned to similar media items in the library. If your type of artwork is not listed, then use the Add art button. An onscreen keyboard will be displayed. Enter the new type of artwork and select Ok.
    • Examples of artwork type are those listed in the following pages- eg clearlogo, clearart, banner etc...
  5. Once selected, you will then be provided with a list of available artwork at the scraper site, or you can navigate to a local or network location. (Image 3)
  6. Once you select the desired image, it will replace the existing image. You will be returned to the screen displayed in Image 2
  7. If you do not intend to change any other artwork types, simply Esc or Back out of the screen

An alternative method:

  1. Choose Refresh as seen in Image 1.
  2. You will then be asked Locally stored information found. Ignore and refresh from Internet? (Image 4)
    • To scrape local artwork and metadata - Select No note- If you have no local nfo file, Kodi will scrape metadata from the online scraper site
    • To scrape online artwork and metadata - Select Yes

4 Artwork details for media sections

4.1 Movie Artwork

Movie artwork are images directly related to a movie, preferably of high quality that are displayed when viewing the movie entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use.

See: Movie artwork

4.2 TV Show Artwork

TV Show artwork are images directly related to a TV Show, preferably of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use.

See: TV-Show artwork

4.3 Music Artwork

Music artwork are images directly related to an artist or an album, preferably of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the album or artist entry in the library. They may also be used as visualizations while playing music. The artwork support in Kodi's music library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork, depending on the skin in use.

See: Music artwork

4.4 Music Videos Artwork

Music Video artwork are images directly related to a music video clip, preferably of high quality that are displayed when viewing the music video entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use.

See: Music Video artwork

4.5 Live TV Artwork

Kodi provides the ability to insert the Logo of your TV Stations which then becomes visible in the program guide, on-screen displays and all channel listings, making it easy to distinguish each channel.

See: Live TV Artwork

4.6 Pictures Artwork

There is no user definable artwork for the Pictures section of Kodi.

See: Pictures

All images added to Pictures are cached as follows:

  1. Embedded EXIF previews are scanned and cached. If none available then
  2. Preview images are created and cached
See: Artwork Cache

To add an image to the folder icon:

See: Folder Image

5 Add-ons to display artwork

The following add-ons allow you to display your movie, TV show and music artwork.

5.1 Screensavers

Want to do more with all that wonderful fanart? Install this Kodi screensaver. Just like a screensaver on computers from yesteryear, the Kodi screensaver will produce a slideshow of your Movie and TV Show fanart, or set it to display your Music Fanart. Don't like either of those? Then setup a directory with your own pictures and it can produce a screensaver from your selection of photos.

6 Managing Artwork

There are a number of ways to maintain and improve Kodi's handling of the artwork.

6.1 Cache

Kodi maintains a texture cache on local device storage for all artwork displayed in the GUI, whether from an online source or the local file system. These textures are optimized and stored locally for faster loading.

When artwork is added to the library, Kodi initially only has a URL or path to the artwork. The artwork itself is only downloaded (if from an online source) and then cached when the image is displayed in the GUI or other interface such as the Chorus web interface.

6.2 Recovering Disk Space

After years of use, it is expected that your system will gather some clutter- that being either orphaned artwork files or corrupted artwork which will not display.

6.2.1 Texture Cache Maintenance

Texture Cache Maintenance utility is a python script created by MillhouseVH, that can do a number of artwork related maintenance on the Kodi library. The script can be used to pre-generate thumbnails, clean up old thumbnail files, find corrupted files, and much more. The script can work on any OS that can run Python 2.6 or higher.

6.3 Import/Export

Kodi has the option to Export and Import the library databases. These options may be used for a number of reasons including the following more popular ones:

  • Perform database backup and recovery (This is not the only method for backup and recovery)
  • Reorganization of data or eliminate database fragmentation (export, clean/remove database, re-import)
  • Move data between Kodi databases on different platforms (eg Widows to Linux)

7 Troubleshooting

There are certain scenarios where attempting to replace existing artwork with new artwork, you may experience Kodi refusing to load the new artwork. This occurs when replacing one artwork with another artwork having the same name. eg replacing poster.jpg with a new poster.jpg.

Rest assured that the new image has been accepted, but due to the same filename, Kodi may take upto 24 hrs to check the image hash, realise the image is different and clear out the cached image and replace it with the new one. This is intended behaviour. Further reading available in the following link

8 Animated artwork - experimental

Kodi has basic support for displaying animated artwork, and two artwork types have a decent collection of animated options: posters and fanart for movies. The most comprehensive support for animated artwork is Skin Helper Service, which has taken to naming these as "animatedposter" and "animatedfanart".

New animated movie posters (and textless posters / keyart which could be named "animatedkeyart") are often posted to this forum thread.

8.1 Limitations of animated artwork

Kodi's support for displaying animated artwork is basic, and does have some limitations.

Number one is a hard limit on the number of pixels in a single animated artwork. The size of animated artwork is limited to roughly 12 frames of 1920x1080. This limit is defined as fully decoded pixels. The trend for animated posters is for smaller images with more frames (a recent "animatedposter" is 500x713 with 60 frames). Kodi will discard any remaining frames after it has reached this limit, which will probably hitch unpleasantly, so obeying this limit is important.

  • Technically this limit is 11 frames but Kodi will decode full frames until it has decoded MORE than this, so the calculation is
    • 1920 × 1080 = 2,073,600 * 11 =
      • 22,809,600 pixels plus one more frame

Number two is that Kodi doesn't save animated artwork to the texture cache and will not play them (only displaying the first frame) unless they are stored on a client-local file system.

9 Accessing with skins and JSON-RPC

The primary usage of artwork is to be displayed, and to that end, they can be accessed by name in skins and over JSON-RPC.

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