Now that you know what each source does, the properties of each source, and how to create each source. It’s time to talk about the most important part of making effective scenes in OBS, presentation. Presentation is the difference between having an effective scene that captures the attention of your audience and a scene that distracts your audience by being an unorganized mess. We’ll be going over some fundamental tips about design so you can start making OBS work for you.
Identify Your Content
The best starting point when it comes to designing your scenes is identifying what you want to use OBS for. If you are using OBS to record a presentation for your company, then you will want to use resources that matches with your company’s brand. If you are using OBS to stream on Twitch or Youtube, then you will want to treat your stream as a show. If you are using OBS Virtual Camera to use with Zoom or Skype, then you will want to use sources like window capture to give a presentation or highlight information to make yourself stand out in a job interview.
Audio Is King
When making your content the most important part is the quality of your audio and balancing the volume of your audio. It doesn’t matter how many effects or scene transitions you use with your content, if your audience cannot hear or comprehend what you are saying, people aren’t going to be engaged. Your first investment to creating quality content is investing in a microphone. If you are on making content that involves signing, then you should consider getting a dynamic microphone. If you are making content for a podcast or stream, then you should consider getting a condenser microphone.
For Media Source, Game Capture, and other audio sources. Your goal should be to balance your audio. Decide which audio source should be dominant with each scene. Typically, when working with the audio mixer, you want your audio sources in the green zone and have your voice in the yellow zone. If there are any audio sources that are too loud, use the fader slider to reduce the volume until the audio source is in the correct zone.
People will always be forgiving for any visual issues. They will not be forgiving when you have problems with audio.
When designing your scenes, a good goal to have is to have consistency. You don’t want to have one scene that looks professional and then have a scene transition that looks unprofessional when giving a presentation. A good starting point to achieve consistency is to use templates to create a scene and then use the scene source to be a foundation for all your scenes.
If you are streaming, companies such as NerdOrDie.com offer stream overlays and alerts which can be a great starting point as you develop your own brand and create your own overlay that makes you and the content you create stand out.
Less Is More
When it comes to design, it becomes too easy to make anything complicated or even worse convoluted. Which is why there are sayings “Less is more” and “Keep it simple stupid”. Each scene you create in OBS should have a focus towards one source that you want your audience to pay attention to. Other sources should compliment or support the scene to enhance the experience. A good mindset when designing is that each scene should have a purpose or function.
If you find yourself using every source in OBS to design a scene, you can also simplify or reduce the number of sources. Programs such as Davinci Resolve, and Photoshop are great tools to reduce the number of sources needed by combining multiple sources into a single media or image source.
The final piece of fundamental advice when it comes to starting out and designing scenes in OBS is to embrace change. We constantly come up with new and interesting ideas. Be willing to take the time to create them and test your ideas. Your ability to be creative is one of your best assets to bring out the full potential of OBS so you can create compelling scenes that will make you stand out from the crowd.