Thumb Mate helps with creating customizable thumbnail previews for
object assets in the asset browser.

By default these asset previews are only rendered using the workbench
render engine and therefore are often insufficient for representing the
object due to it’s limitations.

Thumb Mate renders the asset preview using Eevee with full control over
the used environment and viewing angle. The previews can either be
created upon marking an object as an asset or when updating the image.

  1. Download the add-on as a ZIP-file.
  2. Open the Blender Preferences window by choosing Edit > Preferences…
  3. Select the Add-ons tab.
  4. Press Install… and select the downloaded ZIP file. After successful installation the add-on should be visible in the list.
  5. Activate the add-on.

Creating new assets with custom previews

  1. Open the Asset Browser.
  2. Select one or more objects in the scene which are already assets or should be marked as assets. Alternatively you can select the enclosing collection to process all objects inside.
  3. From the Asset Browser’s menu choose Render > Render Selected Objects.
  4. To render a collection and mark it as an asset select the collection and choose Render > Render Selected Collection.

Update the preview of an already existing asset

  1. Select the asset in the Asset Browser.
  2. Choose Render > Update Selected Asset or press the Update button located in the asset’s preview area.
  3. You can also select multiple objects in the scene and choose Render > Render Selected Objects.

Creating a custom preview for the selected collection is a two-step process due to a context restriction in Blender.

When choosing Render > Render Selected Collection first only the collection gets marked as an asset but no custom preview image is assigned.

To generate and assign the preview select the collection asset in the Asset Browser and choose Render > Update Selected Asset or press the Update button located in the asset’s preview area.