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Top Twitch streamers are familiar with the importance of a Twitch overlay, Twitch panels, and other graphics, and they put a lot of effort into creating them. That’s why it’s important to know how to make a Twitch overlay with Photoshop.
On the other hand, new streamers may feel overwhelmed by different designs and choose a basic overlay over a custom one. These basic templates look like one another, making it hard to stand out among so many channels.
That is why it is important to learn how to make a custom overlay and use it to establish your brand.
In this article, I will discuss using Photoshop to make a Twitch overlay that will stand out and help you gain more viewers.
Post 1 of 19 in the Graphics
What is a Twitch Overlay?
First off, let’s get to know the basics.
To make a Twitch overlay, you firstly need to understand what is one.
A Twitch overlay is an image displayed during the live stream, intending to improve it and highlight important elements using the right color scheme.
The number of elements is entirely up to you. Here are some ideas of what you can include:
Viewers aren’t only interested in the gameplay but your reaction as well.
However, just a box on the screen won’t get their attention, as the gameplay is much more vivid.
That is why you should include a webcam overlay, which will draw the viewers’ attention, so they follow both you and the gameplay.
Your paycheck depends on sponsors. To keep them, viewers have to click on presented affiliate links.
By adding an ad overlay, you can bring their attention to the product or program you are promoting, increase the number of clicks, and ensure future collaborations with brands.
Chat overlay is placed around the chatbox – by highlighting this element, you invite people to join the discussion and ask you questions.
Alerts are used for welcoming new followers, subscribers, and donations. Whenever one of the viewers takes action, a warning will pop up on the screen.
How to Make a Twitch Overlay with Photoshop – Guidelines
Creating an overlay in Photoshop is a bit tricky since the program requires photo-editing skills.
However, if you don’t have them, you can still make a Twitch overlay simply by following the guidelines.
When it comes to images, Twitch is quite strict on its dimensions.
When adding one, you need to be sure that it follows the dimensions requirements.
The recommended overlay size is 1920 x 1080 pixels, and it probably matches your screen resolution.
Alerts should be smaller – appropriate dimensions are 750 x 250.
Another thing you should pay attention to is a transparent background.
Otherwise, once you place the image over the live stream, viewers won’t see the gameplay. Later I will talk about how to turn the background transparent in Photoshop.
Before you start designing in Photoshop, write down the elements you want to include.
Then the process of making an overlay will be much easier.
Matching the design with the game
The overlay should add to the viewer’s experience, not hinder it.
When choosing the overlay design and size, make sure it goes with the game’s theme, adds to the dynamics, and there is enough screen space for it.
One part of the game will be covered by an overlay no matter what you do.
There is a trick to make the transition from an overlay to game smoother – set the overlay bar opacity to 75%. Then a game will be more visible through the overlay.
How to Create a Custom Twitch Overlay
Photoshop is one of the best programs for overlay creation and other Twitch graphics because of its numerous tools and options.
You start with the blank canvas, which means that you have endless possibilities, unlike overlay templates, where you have to fit your idea with the given theme.
This part will talk about how to make a Twitch overlay, even with limited knowledge of Photoshop and design.
Firstly, open Photoshop on your computer.
You will make a Twitch overlay from scratch, so click on “File” and create a new image.
Photoshop will ask you to input the image size. Remember, recommended dimension for a Twitch overlay is 1920 x 1080 pixels.
Add a Game Screenshot
The perk of custom overlays is that you have complete control to create a Twitch overlay that will fully match the game’s theme.
To ensure your design follows the theme, it is good to add one game screenshot into Photoshop and use it as a reference when picking colors.
Insert the screenshot by choosing “File and Place.” Then select the file, and fit the image to match the blank canvas.
Add a Top Banner
The top banner is the first element you should add to your design.
Each element should be placed in a new layer. Before you add the top bar, select New layer and rename it to match the element’s name.
Locate the rectangle tool on the left side menu, and then select Color Selector. Choose the color of the top bar.
Drag the new element over the uploaded layer.
To create borders, right-click on the layer for this element, and select “Blending options” from the drop-down menu, then choose “Stroke.” Test different options, and play with the gradient tool to see which one suits your Twitch Stream overlay the most.
Once you are done, tap on OK, and select the layer again. Hold the letter V on the keyboard to activate the move tool, and move the banner upwards to position it.
In the last step, set the opacity to 75%. If this seems too transparent, you can choose a lower value.
Add Social media Logos
The top banner is mainly used to share social media accounts, so now you will learn how to place these logos on top.
For social media, you will have to find premade logos. Make sure you are using the ones free for the public to avoid legal issues. One of the best apps is Icon Finder.
These images are also added through the “File and Place” feature, but firstly add a new layer for all logos.
Then drag this layer above the top bar one.
Make sure to adjust Stroke in “Blending options” to match the Stoke of the top bar layer.
Each logo has to be added separately, and once you are done, you should position them on the right and left corners of the top bar.
Add a Channel logo
The Channel logo is typically placed in the center of the top bar, so it is the first thing viewers see when they enter the live stream. If you don’t have a logo, you can display the main information about your Twitch channel.
Start by taking the ruler positioned on the left toolbar. This tool should help you with positioning the logo when you add it into Photoshop.
Add the image, and see whether it works. If not, you can use the ruler to position it manually.
Now, click on the rectangle tool and make a rectangle slightly bigger than the logo. Add the outer stroke which matches the border.
If the new rectangle is above the logo, move its layer in the layers box below the layer for the logo.
Select the two layers in the layer menu, hold the keyboard’s Ctrl key, and draw both overlay elements to position them.
Add a Bottom banner
One of the most important steps in creating overlays is adding the bottom bar.
This element can be used just as a border but also for highlighting specific actions.
With upper banners made, creating bottom banners is even easier.
Because one bottom bar can cover a better part of the game screen, creating two separate bottom banners is recommended – left and right.
Start with right-click on the layer for the top bar and select duplicate layer. Then activate the move tool to position the new element to the bottom left side. Use the duplicate layer tool again to create one for the bottom right side.
Now the borders of Twitch overlay are in the same color.
Add a Camera frame
The camera frame is the last element you have to make in Photoshop. Add a new layer and name it a Camera box or frame.
Once again, you will start with the rectangle tool and draw a perfect square.
Now, select the layer, right-click on the same layer, choose Blending Options, then Stroke.
Find “Position,” and choose Inside from the drop-down menu.
When picking the colors, choose the ones that match the theme of the Twitch overlay and game.
Then go back to that Camera layer, and set the value of Fill color to 0%.
By holding Shift and V, you can position the element while keeping the original aspect ratio.
When you add text, you are done with designing the Twitch overlay.
Start by creating a new layer called the text layer.
Then use the Text tool to create a Text box wherever on the screen.
On the right side, you will find the Character menu – pick out the font and color of the text.
If you cannot spot this menu in Photoshop layout, tap on Window and choose Character.
Once you are done choosing the style of the text, type it in and move it to the bottom bar by activating the Move tool or holding V on your keyboard.
Depending on your design, it may look a bit dull compared to the right of the Twitch overlay.
This can be improved by selecting the right layer in the layers box and opening Blending options.
All of the tools are placed in the Stroke and Drop Shadow tab.
There are no guidelines for which options to set in this tap. You have to play with them to see which will make your Twitch overlay more visually appealing.
When you want to add another text box, remember to add a new layer. You can speed things up by duplicating layers.
Removing the background
Before you save your new Twitch overlay, remove the background.
All you have to do is go to the layer with the screenshot and background layer and tap on the eye icon.
Now, only the overlay elements should be visible.
Save your Twitch overlay
You will maybe want to edit this overlay, so it matches another game too.
The file can be modified only when it is saved as a Photoshop document.
Once you have this file, save it in PNG format to add it to the broadcasting software and Twitch.
How to Add a Twitch Overlay to OBS
Adding Twitch Overlays to OBS or any other streaming software is super easy. Follow these steps:
As you can see, creating Twitch overlays with Photoshop is relatively easy, even if you do not have any photo-editing skills.
I hope that this article has helped you create fun and original Twitch graphics for your Twitch channel.
How do I make an overlay in Photoshop?
Firstly, list the elements:
– Top bar
– Bottom bar
– Camera box
– Logos (for social media and channel)
Then launch Photoshop and start from the screenshot. It will be the first of two background layers. Then create a white background using the Rectangle tool. Now you can add elements. Remember that every element should be made in a separate layer. Once you create the top bar, tap on the New layer to create the bottom one.
How do I make my own Twitch overlay?
Twitch overlays can be made in several programs. The common ones are Canva and Placeit. OWN3D and Nerd or Die have a large gallery of Twitch templates. Once you choose a template, you can modify it, so it matches your brand.
What size Photoshop for Twitch overlay?
The size of all Twitch overlays is the same – 1920 x 1080 pixels. Typically, alerts are smaller in size, as they are only graphical images that show up a few times during the stream.