Artwork types

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library
▶ Music library
▶ Artwork ▶ Artwork types



1 Common Art Types

This page describes the common types of artwork used by Kodi skins, scrapers and other art add-ons, where they are used and their specifications. See the linked pages for information on how to use them in Kodi.

With the release of v18, the lines between basic and extended artwork have been blurred. All artwork has an artwork type and is treated the same as the traditional thumb or poster and fanart. If a skin has been coded to recognise an artwork type, and the artwork is scanned into Kodi, then it will be displayed.


Note: All resolutions are suggestions and roughly fall in line with the sizing at the scraper sites. You may modify the resolution to suit your own needs, but the aspect ratio must be maintained otherwise the image may undergo stretching, squashing or cropping when viewed in Kodi. If you intend to share your artwork, check the scraper sites to ensure your artworks are within their minimum and maximum limits.


1.1 actor

Used in: Movie artwork TV-Show artwork

The Actor artwork is a portrait of an actor for display in the cast information pages.

The files are named as <FirstName>_<LastName>.jpg and are saved in the dedicated .actors folder in the movie folder and tv show folder.

Image specifications
Name <FirstName>_<LastName>.jpg
Type jpg
Resolution 1000w x 1500h
Aspect Ratio 2:3
Transparent background No


1.2 back

Used in: Music- Albums artwork

This is the album back cover, which often includes a track listing, though the design varies. They are often used in detail views focused on a single album.

Image specifications
Name back
Type jpg
Resolution 1000w x 1000h
Aspect Ratio 1:1
Transparent background No


Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

In the video library, banners are wide and short images that contain recognizable characters or props from the video and typically includes a clearly visible logo or the name of the movie, movie set or tv show.

In the music library it contains the artist or band members and typically includes a clearly visible logo or the name of the artist/band

Image specifications
Name banner
Type jpg or png
Resolution 1000w x 185h
Aspect Ratio 200:37
Transparent background No


1.4 clearart

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Clearart have a transparent background with recognizable characters or props from the video along with a logo or name and its transparent background allows it to be overlaid images or video with minimal impact.

Image specifications
Name clearart
Type png
Resolution 1000w x 562h
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Transparent background Yes


Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Logos typically use the distinctive font associated with the video and is uncluttered by other images. The transparent background allows it to be overlaid images or video with minimal impact.

Image specifications
Name clearlogo
Type png
Resolution 800w x 310h
Aspect Ratio 80:31
Transparent background Yes


1.6 discart

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Albums artwork Music Video artwork

Discart replicates the picture on the physical Blu-ray or other disc. Although the disc artwork is round, the image itself is square and the disc image is placed in the center on a transparent background.

Image specifications
Name discart
Type png
Resolution 1000w x 1000h
Aspect Ratio 1:1
Transparent background Yes


1.7 fanart

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

They are used as full screen displays.

Image specifications
Name fanart
Type jpg or png
Resolution 1920w x 1080h

3840w x 2160h

Aspect Ratio 16:9
Transparent background No

Note: For the Music library, the file names recognised by Kodi and loaded as local fanart can be configured by entries in the advancedsettings.xml


1.8 fanart#

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

This is Multiple fanart. It has the same specifications as fanart in the previous section.

Multiple fanart is an alternative to the "extrafanart" folders. Multiple fanart adds all of the fanart images to the Kodi library, and they are treated just like any other artwork type. This is newer and not supported in as many skins as extrafanart, but can be overcome with the use of Artwork Beef.

Multiple additional fanart is named "fanart1", "fanart2", and so on with the number increasing for each artwork. The number can increase to 10 and beyond, but numbers cannot be zero-padded and each number needs a corresponding whitelist entry in the advancedsettings.xml file. The advantage is improved performance and behavior.


1.9 keyart

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Keyart is a poster without text or a logo. This is useful as a separate item in a skinner's toolbox as it can be paired with a clearlogo or large text title elsewhere on the window, and without text it is less distracting in the background or half-obscured, similar to fanart.

Image specifications
Name keyart
Type jpg
Resolution 1000w x 1500h
Aspect Ratio 2:3
Transparent background No


1.10 landscape

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Landscape images are specially made 16x9 images that contain recognizable characters or props from the movie and a logo. They are used in certain page layouts for browsing. If the Landscape image is not available, skins can make passable replacements by using fanart and overlaying the clearlogo.

Image specifications
Name landscape
Type jpg
Resolution 1000w x 562h
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Transparent background No


1.11 poster

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Posters replicates the movie posters often seen in cinema complexes, or the front cover of home video releases, and contain a clearly visible logo or name of the video.

Image specifications
Name poster
Type jpg or png
Resolution 1000w x 1500h
Aspect Ratio 2:3
Transparent background No


1.12 spine

Used in: Music- Albums artwork

Album spines replicate the album spine found on standard CD cases. They typically have the name of the album and artist, but are too thin to have much of a design beyond continuing the front or back image. They are often used as thin identifiers for unfocused items in a list of albums.

Image specifications
Name spine
Type jpg or png
Resolution 50w x 1000h
Aspect Ratio 1:20
Transparent background No


1.13 thumb

1.13.1 Video Library

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Thumb is the most basic art type (and the oldest historically) used by Kodi skins. The properties differ depending on the area of Kodi it is being used in. Skins often show this type of art both full size, and also as a small icon alongside each item in a list.

This art type hold thumbnails that are still images from the movie itself, and can be generated from the video file in your library. They are also used as images for episodes in TV Shows.

Image specifications
Name thumb
Type jpg
Resolution 960w x 540h
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Transparent background No


1.13.2 Music Library

Used in: Music- Artists artwork Music- Albums artwork Source Folder Icons

This art type holds high quality images of the album front cover or square (or near to square) artist images. The artist images usually show the whole band without any text or logos. Kodi will recognise a variety of file names and load them as a thumb, these file names can be adjusted by entries in advancedsettings.xml. The export facility will export this art type as folder.jpg which may mean duplicated artwork if you used the thumb filename in local art and export artwork to the same location.

Image specifications
Name folder, cover or thumb
Type jpg
Resolution 500w x 500h
Aspect Ratio 1:1
Transparent background No


2 Other Types

This section lists other artwork types that

  1. May be used by certain skins or
  2. Are still in the experimental stage.


2.1 extrafanart Folder

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

It is possible to download and save additional high quality fanart which the skin can display, usually in a slideshow. Extra fanart is reliant on a supporting skin and the images have exactly the same properties as the standard fanart described above. This is older and more widely supported in skins.

In v17 and prior, Extra Fanart is stored in a separate folder named extrafanart. Create a folder named extrafanart in the folder of the movie or the TV Show, and place each extra fanart image in it. This artwork is not added to the Kodi library, instead skins access the folder directly. A downside to this method is that it can wake hard drives while browsing the library and cause freezing of the GUI while the drives wake up. The filename is mostly not important.


2.2 extrathumbs folder

Used in: Movie artwork

It is possible to download and save additional thumbnails which the skin can display. Extra thumbs are reliant on a supporting skin and the images have exactly the same properties as the standard thumb described above.

Extra Thumbs are stored in a separate Folder named "extrathumbs". Create a Folder named extrathumbs in the folder of the Movie. Each Extra Thumb must be named thumbX.jpg where X is a sequential number starting with 0 (thumb0.jpg, thumb1.jpg, thumb2.jpg, etc). There is a limit of 10 thumb images allowable. Be aware that some skins utilise less than 10 of the images. The location of the extrathumbs Folder is as follows.


2.3 Animated artwork

Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork

Still experimental, but 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.


2.3.1 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.


2.4 Source Folder Icon

The Source Folder icon is a landscape image that can be used to replace the standard folder icons when browsing your sources in the video menu. This image file is saved directly within the Source directory.

To enable the image...

  1. Navigate to Videos>Files in the menu system
  2. Highlight a source and call up the context menu
  3. Select Choose Thumbnail.

If you have saved in the image in the correct location, it will be available to select immediately. If not, you will need to navigate to locate and select it. The image must remain in its original location once selected. Deleting the image will remove it from view in the folder icon.

You are able to apply the folder thumb by modifying the \userdata\sources.xml as follows

1         <source>
2             <name>Movies</name>
3             <path pathversion="1">F:\Movies\</path>
4             <allowsharing>true</allowsharing>
5             <thumbnail>F:\Movies\folder.jpg</thumbnail>
6         </source>
Image specifications
Name folder
Type jpg
Resolution 640w x 360h
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Transparent background No


3 Artwork Usage Chart

The following is a guide only and charts common usage. 1

Artwork is skin dependant and skinners are free to use artwork how and where they choose. Some skins may conform with the following, others may not.

Artwork Usage
Movies Music TV Shows
Movie Library Movie Sets Library Music- Artists Library Music- Albums Library Music Video Library TV Show Library Seasons Library Episodes Library Source Folder
actor Yes No No No No Yes No No No
back No No No Yes No No No No No
banner Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
clearart Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
clearlogo Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No
discart Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No
fanart Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
fanart# Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
keyart Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No
landscape Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
poster Yes Yes No No Yes Yes Yes No No
spine No No No Yes No No No No No
thumb Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes
1 “Common usage” here means that the default scrapers can return this type of art, and/or it is displayed by one or more skins in the official Kodi repo.


4 Sample Images

Screenshots of various artworks displays.

4.1 Movies


4.2 TV Shows


4.3 Music




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Used in: Movie Library Movie Sets library Music- Artists Library Music- Albums library Music Video Library TV Show Library


Used in: Movie artwork Movie sets artwork Music- Artists artwork Music- Albums artwork Music Video artwork TV-Show artwork