Hello and welcome to OBS Design Fundamentals. This series of articles purpose is to teach how to design your own layout using OBS. You will learn basic design concepts such as how to use scenes, and what sources such as Video Capture Device or media source can do to design personalized designs for personal or professional use. The goal with these tutorials is to not just go over the functions of OBS but show you through actionable steps how to create each source so you can create your own stream designs.
Before we begin, you will need to have OBS Studio installed on your computer. Below is the URL to their website. Download the version that corresponds to your computer’s operating system.
What will and will not be covered?
Here are the lessons that will be covered.
- Color Source
- Text Source
- Image Source
- Image Slide Show Source
- Media Source
- Browser Source
- Game Capture
- Window Capture
- Display Capture
- Video Device Capture
- Audio Input & Output Capture
- Scene Transitions
Each lesson we will be going over what each source is, the properties of each source, and an example of how to create each source in OBS. Some sources such as Video Capture will require that you own a webcam or capture card.
Because this guide is focused on the fundamentals of design, we will not be covering more advanced features such as effect filters, and audio/video filters. Nor will we be going over the technical side of OBS going over how to setup your settings.
Understanding OBS Design
Before we begin covering each lesson, you should understand how OBS design works. A good example when it comes to designing your streams is to think of your content as a modern public access television show. Except you are not only the host, but you are also the producer, director, artist, and camera man. You are in complete control to what people will and will not see when you are streaming or recording using OBS.
To control what viewers will see, OBS simplifies everything into two groups known as scenes and sources.
What is a Scene?
Scenes are the containers for all sources in OBS. Scenes when created are empty and to have anything visual be shown on a stream or recording, you need to add sources.
A good way to think of scenes is to imagine that each scene is a different camera in a news show. Each time you switch to a different scene, viewers will be shown everything from that camera’s perspective.
What is a Source?
Continuing with our news show example. Sources are the visual and audio elements that consist inside of a scene. Not only do viewers see the video that the camera is capturing but they also see additional information that compliments the news that is being covered. Visuals such as the lower third in a news broadcast, a video clip, or an audio recording are all examples of sources.
OBS User Interface
To understand the design aspect of OBS, you will need to be familiar with the default user interface of OBS. Since this is an introduction, we’ll briefly mention each part and what they can do starting with the preview window.
OBS design allows you to control the positioning, placement, and sizing of sources through the Preview Window. The Preview Window will show each scene and all the sources that are active. With a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface, anytime you need to move a source or resize a source, just click on the source you want to control in the preview window or in the source window and you can control the source through the preview window.
You can also access each source’s properties directly below the preview window. Just select the source you want to adjust the source based on the type of source you’ve selected.
At the bottom of the UI are the scenes window, sources window, audio mixer, scene transitions, and controls.
The scenes and sources windows is where you will add, remove, or reorder the scenes and sources you create. The + sign creates scenes and sources, the – sign deletes scenes and sources, and the up and down arrows allows you to reposition the order or scenes and sources.
The audio mixer allows you control of the volume of any audio or video sources as well as monitor the audio levels to see if the volume is too loud or quiet.
The scene transitions allows you to set the visual effect that will take place as well as how long the effect takes place when you change scenes.
Finally, there is the controls window that allows you to control OBS, adjust settings, activate Studio Mode, and quit OBS.
OBS is a fantastic software application to learn and use allowing you to create professional broadcasts, create unique class lessons, or record personal projects such as vlogs or podcasts.