Adding Overlays to OBS Studio: A Comprehensive Guide

Before we begin, I must point out that overlays do not define a skilled livestreamer; rather, if you research the most well-known livestreamers, you'll find that they primarily use a camera frame and a few widgets. Keep the screen uncluttered and concentrate on what you want to offer to your audience, is a straightforward piece of advice.

1. Prepare Your Overlay Elements

Before adding the elements, you should have the overlay elements ready. These elements can be images (PNG, JPEG), videos (MP4), or even animated GIFs. Make sure they are designed and sized appropriately for your stream. You can experiment with various overlays on Behance; once you find an overlay that fits your character the best, you can move on to the next step.

2. Create the Scenes

For this tutorial, I'm going to make a basic gameplay setup with four scenes, one of which will be for cameras. If you want to see a multi-camera configuration, check out this tutorial How to Use Multi Cameras in OBS Studio.

After launching OBS studio, if you haven't already, create a new scene, for example, Stream Starting Soon. This step is optional if you already have the scenes set up.

  • In the OBS Studio main window, right-click on the "Scenes" box on the left and select "Add" to create a new scene.
  • Give your scene a name and click "OK."

3. Add a Source

In OBS Studio, overlays are added as sources within scenes. Here's how to add your overlay:

  1. In the scene where you want to add the overlay, right-click in the "Sources" box on the right and select "Add."
  2. Choose the type of source that matches your overlay element.
  3. Configure the source settings to fit your overlay's appearance and position.

Given that you already have all of the media assets for your overlay, that's pretty much it. You can now follow these additional steps to enhance your streaming experience even further.

4. Arrange and Customize Your Overlays

To organize your overlays, use the "Sources" list to change the order and hierarchy of your sources. You can drag and drop sources to rearrange them.

To customize sources further, right-click on a source in the "Sources" list and select "Filters." Here, you can add filters such as color correction or cropping to achieve the desired look.

5. Preview Your Scene

Before going live or recording, it's essential to preview your scene to make sure everything looks as intended. Click the "Preview Stream" button at the bottom right to see how your overlays appear in your scene without affecting the live output.

6. Start Your Stream or Recording

Once you're satisfied with your overlays, click the "Start Streaming" or "Start Recording" button in the OBS Studio main window to begin your broadcast or recording. Your overlays will now be visible to your audience.

7. Monitor and Adjust as Needed

During your stream or recording, you can use the "Preview Stream" feature to make real-time adjustments to your overlays if necessary.

That's it! You've successfully added overlays to OBS Studio to enhance your live streams or recordings. Be creative and experiment with different overlays to make your content more engaging.

Last updated


Leave a Comment