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Full Version: [THUMBNAIL ADDON] Movie Director Thumbs resource addon
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What is it about?
Only exclusive for movies there is a own container for directors available in Kodi.
In most skins (also the Kodi standard skin) there is a place to show a director thumb in the views intended. But it will either display nothing or a simple fallback image.
With this addon and the addition of one single line of code in a .xml of your skin, you can make visible directors thumbnails in your skin.

Showcase on Aeon MQ7 (Kodi skin i use most)

Showcase on Estuary (Kodi standard skin)

I am a bit surprised that in all the kodi years nothing has been implemented in such a native way. I searched a lot in the forum, some members who are familiar with coding wrote down some thoughts in some threads to implement it, but never ever heard anything about it, and also never such a thing was released in that way.

However, i have to mention there is sure another way to implement director thumbs. But it needs SkinHelper and runs via webservice, which means that internet connection is always necessary and also slower.
Look here https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid...ctor+thumb and here https://github.com/kodi-community-addons...Webservice
Thanks @Angelinas who making me aware of this alternative possible integrating solution.

Pros of the SkinHelper webservice implementation:
  • Just add the one line of code and it runs, nothing to care more about it

Cons of the SkinHelper webservice implementation:
  • Needs SkinHelperService
  • SkinHelperService runs it over webservice, web connection is needed
  • Cause it runs over webservice it's slow, maybe not so terrible on list views, but on wall views it's a nogo.
  • No caching or storaging local, slow
  • Random selection of the thumbs you get. I don't care the resolution, but you also get all kind of aspect ratio. This is nogo because many skins have set a stretch in the views.

Pros of my Recource Addon implementation:
  • Very fast cause it's running from local
  • Most images in resource in same aspect ratio (2:3 aka 10:15), it's the same view result when you also use actor thumbs only from TMDB in in actor container, no ugly stretched thumbs.

Cons of my Resource Addon implemention:
  • You have to install my addon
  • You have to edit one skin .xml file and put (in most cases) one code line in it¹
  • If you have still thumb gaps and want complete your library you have some work to download/(cut/rezise)/paste/copy it into the resource addon
  • It will take a bit of storage space, but nothing in comparison how the thumbnails folder can increase

¹On post #2 there are implementation tutorials and also a ready usable paste/copy solution for the Kodi standard skin Estuary,
please also ask the skin maintainer how to find the right .xml file and .xml code section.
Also ask them politely if they could implement.


File size packed and unpacked ≈0,5MB
-> download and install from zip in Kodi
Total directorthumb count ≈137.000, ≈20.000 with real thumbs and ≈117.000 with fallback thumbs
File size packed ≈2GB
File size unbacked ≈4,5GB
-> download, extract and then move all (or only needed) thumbs in the resources folder in the already installed addon.
How to implement in KODI default Skin Estuary

  • Install addon from zip
  • In OS Windows paste/copy the Variables.xml on following downloads to: C:\Program Files (x86)\Kodi\addons\skin.estuary\xml\

(I recommend to backup the original! Also when you update the skin via repo the modification is gone)
When use Estuary (latest Skin version 1.9.16) on Kodi 17 Krypton just paste/copy the Variables.xml in the following download link over it.
When use Estuary (latest Skin version 2.0.22) on Kodi 18 Leia just paste/copy the Variables.xml in the following download link over it.

  • Install addon from zip.
  • In OS Windows go to: C:\Program Files (x86)\Kodi\addons\skin.estuary\xml\Variables.xml
  • Open Variables.xml with notepad++
  • Search for this variable: <variable name="InfoWallThumbVar">

Insert this:
<value condition="Container.Content(directors)">$INFO[ListItem.Label,resource://resource.images.moviedirectorthumbs/,.jpg]</value>

<value condition="!String.isempty(ListItem.Thumb)">$INFO[ListItem.Thumb]</value>

That in the end it looks like this:
<value condition="!String.isempty(ListItem.Thumb)">$INFO[ListItem.Thumb]</value>
<value condition="Container.Content(directors)">$INFO[ListItem.Label,resource://resource.images.moviedirectorthumbs/,.jpg]</value>        

How to implement in other Skins you use?

Generally you have to find out in wich .xml and in wich code line there the poster variable or the icon/thumb variable is handled.
In most cases the .xml file is called Variables.xml or IncludesVariables.xml or something similar.
The variable name is called in every skin different.
To make search easier, i'm almost certain that these codes are also in the variable we are searching: $INFO[Listitem.Art(poster)] and $INFO[ListItem.Thumb] or $INFO[ListItem.Icon]
  • Ask the Skin maintainer where to find it.
  • You can also ask him if he could add this line to next release so you have not to do it manually and also not always must edit the .xml on a release update.

This is the main code have to put into the variable:

<value condition="Container.Content(directors)">$INFO[ListItem.Label,resource://resource.images.moviedirectorthumbs/,.jpg]</value>

In case of doubt, position this code line (value condition) at the beginning of the variable and not at the end. It could be (as with my skin) that the following code lines (value condition) exclude the new code line (value condition).

If you have succeeded integrating into your skin, please let me know, I would like to post/edit the solution here as well.
Guidelines and "a kind of small conventions" ...
...if you complete your database with missing director thumbs

So that everything looks uniform, here are a few things to consider:

Naming of thumbnails:
  • The filenames are generally aligned without exception only to what is set in TheMovieDB.
  • The filename of the thumbs must be one to one the same as in your kodi. This, in turn, is one to one equal to the name on TheMovieDB
  • Some directors also have aka names. Please also make a copy of the aka name. TheMovieDB exchanges sometimes the main name with the aka names. This is especially important for people who rarely rescrape their Kodi (after years) or even for people who use NFO's and the data there (maybe for many years) is the same.
  • Most important: Just test it out in Kodi, when you see a Thumb, the naming is right!

Source of thumbnails:
  • Always use, no matter how bad the thumb may look, always use the full sized backdrop on TheMovieDB
  • Just download and rename the full sized TheMovieDB thumb image, no more else needed, aspect ratio and all is fine

Fallback if no thumbnails is on TheMovieDB:

We then have to manually search for a thumb and then adapt the image to the TheMovieDB conventions.
  • Use as first fallback IMDB if there is a usable director thumbnail aviable.
  • Use as second fallback simple the Google picture search.
Best quality on Google search with hugde DB you get in results is when "gstatic.com" in the link
Also a hudge DB with less quality is when "mubi.com" in the link
Just a recommendation, you can use any fallback source that seems suitable!

When you have found a thumb, download it (not the preview pic, take the full sized)
  • Crop it always to aspect ratio 2:3 aka 10:15, always always! (TheMovieDB images are also all the same)
  • Try to center the face/head, just about, do not be too picky there.
  • Max image resolution 1000x1500, min image resolution does not matter.
  • Be sure that extension is .jpg (not .jpeg or other) else convert it to .jpg

Fallback if not a single thumbnail  is on the whole web:

It depends very much on what kind of movies from which directors one have. On my side, my DB is very mixed and in only 1.2% of the cases I really did not find a picture.
I'm pretty sure you also will find in 98% of cases a thumb, sometimes you have to search a bit deeper (max 1 min)
If the case really does happen, and really no thumb is available, then we will also not leave it blank. We use the TheMovieDB fallback thumb.

But why? 2 reasons:
  • Not all skins or their views are well enough coded to do so if there is no thumb that simply displays it blank or a skin coded fallback image. It may be the case with some skins or their views that if there is no thumb, the last one that has been displayed is displayed.
  • It is a kind of indicator that someone has already searched intensively for the thumb, but simply did not find one. This saves double work.
There is a copy of the TheMovieDB fallback thumb called "nothumb.jpg" in the resource addon. Please use it sparingly. This:

That was it  Rofl

Great fun on using the addon!
Amazing work again Chris Big Grin

Your doing great benefit to the Kodi skinning much appreciated Smile

Are the director images included with the addon? I don't fancy having to download them all manually.

Thanks very much
(2019-04-04, 17:14)the_bo Wrote: [ -> ]Amazing work again Chris Big Grin

A big thank you!

It is a base pack of 1100+ directors included
(Do not worry, there are currently only about 70mb)

It is meant that you can complete missing director thumbs in your library to put the images manually in the resource addon.
And then if possible, the additional added share me in the cloud so that I can extend the addon and then the missing thumbnail gaps getting less and less.
Only if interest to use the addon, and only if interest to fill your missing director thumb gaps, please wait until i have edited the 3rd post.

I know that some members maybe might now say "But when it grows up to 10000 resources (it ever be) it will to have 700mb ... uh .. storage space blah"
... my thumbnails folder is (without rubbish) 30 gigs, i personally do not care about 700mb. Then this addon is not suitable for such low powered devices.
Any plans to get this integrated into mainline Kodi?
(2019-04-26, 09:45)docwra Wrote: [ -> ]Any plans to get this integrated into mainline Kodi?
Hi! Sry, am not an english native speaker, what is a "mainline Kodi"?
(2019-04-26, 10:59)chrissix Wrote: [ -> ]
(2019-04-26, 09:45)docwra Wrote: [ -> ]Any plans to get this integrated into mainline Kodi?
Hi! Sry, am not an english native speaker, what is a "mainline Kodi"? 
Submitting a Pull Request to the Kodi github so this can work for all users going forward.
(2019-04-26, 11:11)docwra Wrote: [ -> ]Submitting a Pull Request
regarding PR, read my Signature Wink  
all new territory for me, would need some initial assistance. Unfortunately help is hard to get here...
(2019-04-26, 11:24)chrissix Wrote: [ -> ]Unfortunately help is hard to get here...
Agree, that's a pity!
Like to use the addon, but thanks for sharing your ideas at all!
Well yes, when I was part of the team in the past I tried very hard to reduce the GitHub barrier but the team insisted that it was needed, frustrating I know...

Hopefully this years Google Summer of Code may help, which I hope @Razze will mentor.

I might go off and write a wiki article for the basics at some point, maybe that will help.
thx @docwra 
If you know any Kodi/Github/PR specialist who would spend an hour TeamViewer time helping me with my first PR, link him/her to me. Thank you very much.
Since this addon I browse in kodi more often in the movie director container.
Now i finally have faces to associate with the directors - nice!  Nod
Are there any news regarding how to get a larger collection of thumbs directly out of the box without having to fill too much gaps ourselfs?
The addon is only 40 days out now and thread has already over 27.000 hits, considerable! I think the interest is there.
Although the addon will be more suitable for Kodi nerdists, a bigger thumb collection out of the box would be the icing on the cake on this addon project!  Wink
(2019-05-22, 12:04)Captain_Pike Wrote: [ -> ]Since this addon I browse in kodi more often in the movie director container.
Now i finally have faces to associate with the directors - nice!  Nod
Are there any news regarding how to get a larger collection of thumbs directly out of the box without having to fill too much gaps ourselfs?
The addon is only 40 days out now and thread has already over 27.000 hits, considerable! I think the interest is there.
Although the addon will be more suitable for Kodi nerdists, a bigger thumb collection out of the box would be the icing on the cake on this addon project!  Wink
A big thank you for your feedback!
I have received several PM's with similar or even the same concerns and wishes.

Unfortunately, I do not have enough knowledge to do that, so i spent some time looking for help.
Finally, @rschiks could help me, he is really a very advanced member made a very powerful script where I now have access via bulk/batch to all director thumbs avaiable on TMDB,
and these are also rightly renamed so that the resource thumbs will be compatible for Kodi.

The big advantage, in the future you will not have to carry about a single director thumb at your own anymore. It will be an all in one package. (The only exception will be fresh newcomer directors)

For all resources that have special characters in their names, they will get falsified when install the addon. This is a problem on KODI core addon install process, not an Addon responsible issue. 
For the Actresses PNG's resource addon this affects a maximum of a dozen images, but here it will affect hundreds.
For this reason i will publish the next addon version without resources in it, and then the resources have to be put afterwards manually in the addon folder.
I know, a few mouse clicks more, but unfortunately there is currently no other way. But then everything works without problems!

Another disadvantage, i do not know yet how big the filesize will be in the end, i'm still on bulk download. But I estimate about 3 gigabytes.
But as everyone knows, all of my artwork and Kodi extension projects are not for low low powered first generetaion Rasperpi Pi's.

Unfortunately, cause of this 2 points, falsification special characters on addon install and filesize this addon will be never suitable to be part of a repository!

But beside a few mouse clicks more on install and some storage space you'll get a huge extenstion for KODI experience, you can now associate the director's of your movies with faces!

The real reason for all this is actually my big wish that director thumbs will be also like actor thumbs get an integration in KODI core in future KODI versions, so that it will be scrapeable.
Without a KODI core integration the only way is a resource addon (this) or the skin performance slow and web dependent SkinHelper webservice solution.
(Hope some Team Kodi members reading this, "blink" @Karellen "blink")

Wait some days (or maybe 1-2 weeks) until the new huge updated Addon concept will be published.

All credits for this project going to @rschiks, all resource stuff powered by TheMovieDB
I'm realy looking forward to the huge director's resource bundle!  Nod
Luckily i have more than enough storage space on my system where kodi is running.
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