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OBS Design Fundamentals – Scene Transitions

When you start creating your content be it for recording or streaming, you’ll end up making multiple scenes. The Scene Transitions window in OBS allows you set what kind of scene transition effect will take place when you switch between scenes. You can even create your own transitions and set what scene transition effect will take place when moving to a specific scene. Scene transitions are a great way to increase your presentation value and personalize your content to your brand.

Default Transitions

Whenever you switch between scenes, you’ll be using a scene transition even if you don’t realize it. From the Scene Transition window by clicking on the drop-down list you can select a scene transition or add a new scene transition to the drop-down list. The scene transition effect you select will occur each time you switch between scenes. By default, OBS has two scene transitions created for you: Cut and Fade. A Cut transition instantly switches between scenes. A Fade transition causes the scene you are switching to fade in over duration of time that you can adjust by increasing or decreasing the value of milliseconds.

Additional Scene Transition Effects

OBS also provides additional built-in scene transition effects which you can add to the Scene Transitions drop-down list.

  • Swipe
  • Slide
  • Stinger
  • Fade to Color
  • Luma Wipe

The Swipe transition effect will cause the old scene to swipe out revealing the new scene. You can set the direction of the swipe as well as select the “Swipe In” checkbox that will have the new scene swipe in over the old scene.

The Slide transition will push the old transition out as the new transition slides in. You are also able to set the direction of the slide.

The Stinger transition is a unique transition in that you can add your own video file to be the transition effect between scenes. However, to create an effective Stinger transition you will need to design your effect around the transition point. When setting the time for the transition point you should see when the video file covers the entire screen. When the video file reaches that transition point time, the new scene will appear in place of the old scene. If your video also has audio, you are also given the option to monitor the audio. However, you are not able to adjust the volume compared to other audio sources. You can also set how the audio transitions between scenes.

The Fade to Color transition will fade in the color of your choice and then fade out to the next scene.

Finally, the Luma Wipe transition offers a wide variety of preset effects that usually exist with video editing software. The only additional option is your choice to invert the Luma Wipe transition.

Duration

Except for the Stinger transition, you will be able to control how long the transition effect lasts when switching between scenes. Duration is set by milliseconds; every 1000 milliseconds is equal to 1 second. The minimum time you can set for a scene transition is 10 milliseconds and the maximum time you can set for a scene transition is 10000 milliseconds (10 seconds). If the source you want to transition to takes some time to load, then you will want to increase the duration amount. Be aware that increasing the scene transition time will cause the effect to play at a slower rate.

Adding a Scene Transition

For this example, you will want to have at least two scenes and add sources to both scenes. At the minimum to understand the scene transition effect, I would recommend using either the color source or text source.

  1. Under the scene transition window, click on the drop-down list and select “Add: Luma Wipe”.
  2. Click on the OK button in the pop-up window.
  3. Click on the image drop-down list and select the “Clock” effect and close the properties window by clicking the OK button.
  4. Under the scene transition window, set the duration time to 3000 milliseconds.

The best ways to use scene transitions is to either have the transition not be noticeable at all or be memorable that enhance the presentation or your brand. Scene transitions should complement your content and match the theme. Many websites sell scene transitions that you can use with OBS. If you know video editing you can also create your own custom scene transitions and use the stinger transition. While most scene transitions only take a few seconds, they become a crucial part of your content the more you switch between scenes when streaming.