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Turning on a camera and recording a game is all you have to do to become a streamer. However, if you want to create a brand, you will have to put in more work.
With overlays, your videos and live streams will stand out among others. So, how to add overlays to OBS?
At first, it might seem a bit tricky, but no worries – here is a step-by-step guide on how to put overlays on OBS.
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What Is OBS Webcam Overlay
Do You Really Need It?
You cannot know how to add an overlay to OBS without knowing what it is or what it does, so let’s start with the basics.
If you don’t know already, overlays are placed over your main content or main video.
Many things are used as overlays. Text is the simplest form of an overall, some streamers prefer images, and others are using videos.
Overlays are typically used for décor, but they have another function as well – you can add information valuable to your viewers with OBS add overlay feature.
For example, overlays can be incorporated with alerts, so streamers can display their number of followers or recent donations.
Also, they are often used for countdowns.
If you manage to incorporate them properly, your streams will get more visibility and your channel will grow faster.
Once you learn how to use overlays in OBS, you can play with them more – one stream can have multiple Twitch overlays (Check out the best Twitch overlays), but make sure that only necessary information is displayed.
Viewers don’t want to get bombarded with different visuals while they are trying to focus on the stream, and if you over-do it, you might start losing followers instead of gaining them.
Free and Premium Panels on Own3d:
How to Add Overlays to OBS Scenes
Display, Audio, and Overlay Scenes
Twitch panels and overlays will significantly improve the quality of your content – they can be used as transitions between different scenes, and how to use an overlay in OBS for transitions will be explained later.
Now, let’s focus on the necessary scenes for every live-stream.
You can stream without them, but implementing this system will give you more versatility, and your content will look more professional.
1. Primary scene
The primary scene is your main content, or in other words, the game you decided to stream.
It has the most sources – firstly, you have to add either game capture or display capture.
If neither works, record only one of the active windows with Window capture.
Then, source of audio as well as video capture device (this is for streamers that are using webcams or regular cameras for live-streaming, and a capture card).
The last source is an overlay.
2. The separate scene for audio devices
OBS automatically captures your desktop audio, and you have the option to connect a microphone and record this sound as well.
In some parts, audio from the mic will have to be louder than background sounds, while in others mic audio is completely unnecessary.
It will be easier to control audio if you add it as a scene.
So, as the scene changes, you can adjust the tones, and use the same settings for any future live-streams.
3. Overlay scene
There are a few benefits of adding overlays as individual scenes:
- It is easier to change them for streams in the future and you won’t need to re-do them entirely. Once you choose a design, you can simply add one source for multiple scenes.
- Learning how to add overlay to OBS for a primary scene to any other new scene is easier.
- You are adding overlays to sources, so each time you add a new overlay, you have to create a new source. By adding a separate scene for all overlays, you are cutting down the number of sources.
4. Starting and ending scene
These scenes, especially the starting one, are just as important as the primary scene.
What is a starting scene?
It can be simple as an image, with the caption “Starting soon“. The most popular starting scene is a countdown timer.
With this scene, you can promote your stream a bit – viewers will know when to join, and you can also place a short description of the stream (what game you plan on playing, which level, etc.).
Also, encourage viewers to start chatting before the stream. Give either a specific topic or organize a small Q&A in the chat.
If you are close with a few viewers or other streamers, send personal invitations.
When it comes to the ending scene, it can be much simpler than the starting one. You can just thank your audience for watching, participating, and/or donating.
5. AFK and BRB scene
This scene usually consists of animations, followed by chill music.
Typically, streamers use videos from their previous streams for these scenes.
Just gather some of the best scenes from any previous broadcast, and edit them to create a loop.
Display video during breaks, between two live-streams.
Adding a scene for sponsorships is super easy – these scenes are quite simple.
If one of the live-streams is sponsored, upload a picture with a short statement at the beginning of the stream.
Also, pre-record playback audio of the same statement, and play the audio every thirty minutes.
Another thing you can do is to add an affiliate link on any scene.
7. Scene for highlights
This is similar to the BRB scene.
You can either place the highlights of one or all previous streams.
Use this scene to engage with your audience – ask them which parts of the stream they liked the most, add those videos, and thank the people who voted.
Also, do not forget to add important links (social media, affiliate links, or Patreon) at the end of this scene.
How to Setup OBS Overlay
Adding overlays is a straightforward process, especially once you learn how OBS works.
Launch your OBS, so we can start!
1. Choose the scene
Before you add any overlays, make sure that you have previously added all the scenes you need.
You can add the scene via the “+” icon in the left corner of the Scene box.
Then choose one of the scenes – left click on the scene and wait for the blue screen to make sure you’ve selected the right one.
2. Add overlay to OBS
Once you’ve chosen the scene, go to the Sources box, placed next to the Scenes tab.
Right-click in this tab, and choose Add – as you can see, multiple things can be added, and you are looking for an option for Image.
You can add an Image to the Sources tab via the “+” icon as well.
3. Name the new source
After finish up with choosing the Image option, you will get another window pop-up.
From there, you can make a new source, if you choose “Create new”. Also, you can use one of the sources you added before, simply if you tick “Add Existing”.
In this case, select the first option – Create New.
Now, name the source – choose a simple name, something that describes that source, and when you are done, click OK.
4. Upload an overlay
In the Properties tab, you can upload overlays.
As said, they can be anything – images, videos, text, and streamers use their webcams as overlays as well.
So, click on Browse, and find the overlay on your computer.
Make sure that you can see the preview of an overlay, and then click the OK button.
OBS determines the size of the image, as well as its position.
So, once it is added, you will have to adjust these settings.
Find the overlay in the Sources tab, and right-click on it to open an Options tab.
Choose Transform to change these default settings.
A preview window will open, so move it around the screen until you find the best spot for it. Then click on one of the dots on the image and drag them to adjust the size.
You can resize the picture even without opening the Options tab – left-click on the overlay and hold shift.
Images can be cropped as well – left click on the image, and hold alt.
Overlay Is Installed, Yet Not Showing
How to Fix?
You have completed all of the above-mentioned steps, but cannot see your overlay, what to do?
Do not worry – the solution is simple.
Take a look at your Sources tab.
Consider each source as a separate layer – the source at the top is hiding all of the sources at the bottom.
If the source for Game or Display capture is on top of the Image source, you won’t be able to see your overlay.
Just drag this image source on top of all other sources.
You should also pay attention to full-screen sources. These will also hide everything else on the screen, so never place them on top of other sources.
Related: Best OBS Settings for Twitch (2021)
Scene Transition Using OBS Overlays
All transitions are done via Hotkeys, so if you haven’t learned how to use them, it is the time!
Before you open the Hotkeys tab, make sure that all scenes are added.
Then go to Settings, and open Hotkeys – all of the scenes should be listed.
Right below the Scene number and name, you will spot “Switch to scene”.
Type in “ctrl+alt+1” – this control is unique for OBS, and won’t function in other programs.
With hotkeys, you can add a few extra commands. For example, with one of the combos, you can hide an overlay.