Once you learn the basics of streaming and start gaining more followers, you will think more about branding.
The goal of every streamer is to have a recognizable channel, and with that different graphics can help.
However, before you start designing overlays, banners, or panels, you should get familiar with Twitch graphic sizes.
Every graphics has some recommended/preferable dimensions, and this time, I would like to focus on Twitch overlay size.
Basics of Twitch Overlay
For starters, let’s focus on some basics before we dig deeper into stream overlay size.
To know how to design the right Twitch overlay, firstly you need to understand what stream overlay is and why it is used.
What is a stream overlay?
Overlays are graphics that are placed over the stream.
They can be either animated or static – this depends entirely on you. Many streamers prefer to use animated graphics because they catch the attention of viewers, but for some, static overlays go better with the brand.
An overlay should highlight some important elements of the stream. For example, the most commonly used overlay is the webcam one.
It is just a simple banner that is placed around the webcam video.
Furthermore, you can also have an overlay for the chatbox, for alerts, donations, or other widgets you use during the stream.
Depending on your needs, the overlay can have multiple elements, or be super simple.
Do I need it?
Yes, even if you are a beginner, with not many followers and views, you should use overlays.
With even a simple graphic, your stream will look more entertaining and more professional. The goal is to better the streaming experience and gain more followers.
Also, it will help with branding.
By using somewhat similar graphics (theme or style), your channel will stand out among others. When someone new stumbles upon your stream, they will see some consistency on your channel.
How to make a Twitch overlay?
I prefer custom overlays – when you create the overlay, you get to pick out the elements of an overlay you need, as well as the theme that goes with the channel and game you are streaming.
Since not every streamer is a talented designer or has outstanding Photoshop skills, there are multiple websites for custom overlays.
You get to decide on the style, pick out the template, and then customize it to fit your brand.
My two go-to websites for Twitch overlays are:
Both websites have a huge library of templates, and the editing process is quite simple. Some templates are free, so you don’t have to spend a dime on the graphics. For premium members, options are limitless, and all prices are budget-friendly.
Here is a list of other websites for overlay templates:
In case you are willing to spend a bit more money on an overlay, you can always hire a professional designer. Many of them are specialized in making Twitch overlays, they understand different themes, and can create authentic, attention-grabbing graphics for your channel.
When designing, you should consider a few other things:
Twitch Overlay Size
There are two Twitch overlay dimensions – one if for facecam overlay, and the other is the stream overlay.
I would like to note that written sizes are recommended and maximum sizes for both types of overlays, but you can use even smaller dimensions.
For the stream, the recommended size is 1920×1080 pixels or a 16:9 frame.
It is easy to spot the mistakes and incorrect stream overlay dimensions will interfere with the quality of the stream.
My biggest tip for designing the stream overlay is to keep it clean – do not use too many different elements, and keep the theme consistent. In that way, the overlay will enhance the streaming experience for viewers.
The file format should be either PNG or WEBM – the first is for static overlays, while the latter is for animations.
When it comes to webcam overlay, it will be a bit trickier to design, especially when it comes to determining the dimensions.
Streamers typically play with webcam videos – most of them are resized or cropped. You will also notice that some use masks because they don’t like the default shape of the facecam.
The webcam overlay will be slightly smaller compared to stream overlay – 1600×1200 pixels. This dimension applies to the 4:3 frame. Some streamers prefer the 16:9 ratio, but this mostly depends on the quality of the recording and resolution of your camera, as well as your preferences.
Twitch will accept both PNG and WEBM files.
If you are using a static overlay, then save the file as PNG (make sure it is a transparent PNG), while streamers that prefer animated overlays, should stick to WEBM file format.
GIFs are supported by Twitch as well, but you could have a problem with the size of the file, since it is larger, and could interfere with the quality of the stream.
As you can see, the good design of webcam overlay is a result of trial-and-error.
While templates can help, you will have to play with sizes, cropping, and masks to get the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size should Twitch panels be?
The best size of the Twitch panel is 320×160 pixels. Twitch has a fixed width of the panels, so you cannot go above 320, but the height can be changed as desired.
What is the size of the gaming overlay?
The recommended size of gaming overlay is 1920×1080 pixels, and the file format should be either PNG or WEBM. You don’t have to stick to that size of the overlay – smaller ones can be used as well.
This depends mostly on the design you have in mind, as well as the number of elements you want to use. Also, before adding the overlay, scan each element carefully. This is a large overlay, and it will be easy for anyone to spot the mistakes.
What size should a cam overlay be?
For webcam, the recommended dimension is 1600×1200 pixels, or 4:3 and 16:9 frames. However, sticking to these recommendations is tricky, especially if you have already done some resizing of the webcam or cropping. While designing, try out a few different dimensions, to see which suits them best.