OBS Live Streaming Guide
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OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software is most popular live streaming software, not only for gaming but also for events. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, highly customizable, stable, and it is free. OBS is relatively light on processor and you also use this to record your screen or gameplay. The only downside about this software is being complicated and might be not easy for first time users and streamers to use this.
Good thing you have come to our guide and we will make it easy for you.
Download and Installation
1. Go to https://obsproject.com, download according to your operating system
2. Install the downloaded executable file.
3. On to the last installation window, check Launch OBS Studio and click Finish.
1. Click Yes on the Auto-Configuration window.
2. Select Optimize for streaming then click Next.
3. On the next window, select you monitor’s resolution for Base Canvas Resolution. For FPS setting, select 30 if you have a low end or budget PC, “select Either 60 or 30, but prefer 60” if a very capable gaming PC, then click Next.
4. For Stream Information, select where you will put your live stream on. For this guide we will select Facebook Live.
For YouTube Gaming, click here.
5. Additional fields will be shown.
6. To get the Stream Key, open your browser, go to your Facebook Page and look for Create then click the Live button with camera icon.
7. You will be directed to Facebook Live Producer page. Look for Stream Key then click the Copy button.
8. Paste the copied Stream Key to Stream Key field in OBS. Leave the Video Bitrate at default value. Check the Prefer hardware encoding option and click Next.
9. A Stream Warning pop-up window will appear. Click Yes to continue.
10. OBS will perform bandwidth test. Notice that the background will change.
11. After the bandwidth test, Final Results window will appear showing your stream settings. Click Apply Settings.
The OBS Interface
The big blank canvas is your main working area. This is where you put the contents of your live stream – gameplay, camera, notifications, and others stuffs.
Scenes are the different configurations of your canvas. You can have different contents when you are preparing, going live, or when you are on break.
Sources are the source of the contents you can want yo put into your canvas.
Audio Mixer allows you to control the volume of the audio sources of your live stream.
Scene Transitions allows you customize the transition between scenes.
Controls panel gives you access to essential controls and settings for your live stream.
Setting Up Scenes and Sources
Before we add contents, lets visualize first how our Pre-Game scene would look like. You can draw a sketch on a piece of paper or draw it using document or photo editing software.
Right-click on the “Scene 1” from Scenes panel then click Rename and rename it to “Pre-Game – [Game Name]” and the name of the game.
1. Lets add a background. Click the + button on the Sources panel then click Image.
2. Rename the “Image” to Background – [game name] and click OK. Make sure the “Make source visible” option is checked.
3. Click the Browse button to locate the image file then click Open.
4. The image file is now added into the canvas. Click OK.
5. Resize image – Click the image then resize it to cover the whole canvas.
6. Do the same process to add another image for the Channel Name. Reposition by dragging the image to the desired location.
Add Simple Text and Color
1. Let’s add a simple text. Click the + button and select the Text (GDI+).
2. Rename Text (GDI+) to LIVE and click OK.
3. Type LIVE in the textbox area. Click the Select Font button if you want to change the font.
4. Let’s add a background color for the LIVE text. Click the + button and select Color Source.
5. Rename the color source to LIVE Background and click OK.
6. Click the Select Color button and select the desired colored and click OK.
7. Change the Width and Height values until it is a little larger than the LIVE text, and click OK.
8. To bring the LIVE text on top of the LIVE Background, click the arrow up button, or click LIVE text then drag it on top of the LIVE Background.
9. Hold Ctrl key and click LIVE text background then drag it to the desired location.
Add Scrolling Text
1. Now let’s add the links for the website and social media accounts. Click the + button and select the Text (GDI+).
2. Rename Text (GDI+) to Links and click OK.
3. Type the links for your website and social media accounts in the text box area. Click the Select Font button if you want to change the font.
4. Resize and reposition the text.
5. Now we will make the links scroll. Right-click on the Links Text and click Filters.
6. Click the + button and select Scroll.
7. Rename it to Scroll – Links and click OK.
8. Change the Horizontal Speed value to 50. The higher the value the faster the scroll. Check the Loop and click the Close button to exit.
Add Camera and Microphone
1. Right-click the + button from sources and click Video Capture Device.
2. Rename Video Capture Device to Camera and click OK.
3. Select you camera / webcam from the device drop-down list and click OK. We will leave the camera to its default settings for now.
4. Resize and reposition the camera to the desired location.
5. Now lets add your mic. Right-click the + button from the Sources panel and click Audio Capture.
6. Rename the Audio capture to Mic and click OK.
7. Select you microphone or audio source from the Device drop-down list. And click OK.
8. Your microphone is now added to Audio Mixer.
1. Now let us make scene for when you are in-game. Right-click on the Pre-Game scene and click Duplicate.
2. Rename it to In-Game – [Game name] and click OK.
3. We will delete the sources except for the Camera, Mic, and Links. To delete a source, just select the source and press the DEL key on the keyboard or click the – button and click Yes to confirm.
4. To add an existing source, click the + button, select the type of source, click the Add Existing option and select the source, Links for example, and click OK.
5. Let’s add hotkey for switching scenes. click the Settings button, click the Hotkeys tab, and key-in the desired hotkey for the In-Game and Pre-Game scenes. It should be a different hotkey for each scenes, and click Apply.
Streaming Quality Settings
At this point you can now start streaming. But we need to set the quality to make sure we have a smooth streaming.
1. On settings menu, go to Output tab.
2. The Video Bitrate depends on your internet upload speed. You can run internet speed test to know your upload speed (www.speedtest.net).
These are our recommended values for the bitrate based on upload speed.
- Below 5 Mbps – 2400 Kbps
- 5 Mbps – 4000
- 8 Mbps – 5400
- 10 Mbps – 7200
- 15 Mbps and above – 8400
We have 26 Mbps of upload so we set Video Bitrate to 8400Kbps.
3. OBS doesn’t allow above 6000 Kbps of video bitrate. Check the Enable Advanced Encoder Settings option and uncheck the Enforce streaming service bitrate limits option.
4. For encoder select Hardware. Set the Audio Bitrate to 96. Higher bitrate will need more processing. Finally, set the Encoder Preset to Balanced and click Apply.
5. Go to Video tab, set the Output (Scaled) Resolution to 1280×720 and the Common FPS values to 30, then click Apply and OK. Higher resolution and FPS uses more processing power from the CPU and graphics card and it might affect the performance in-game. Facebook Live also prohibits you from streaming at higher resolution and FPS until you joined their Level Up Program.
You can now start streaming.
Going Live in Facebook
1. Select the Pre-Game scene then click the Start Streaming button from the controls panel.
2. On your browser you can now see the preview of you stream.
3. Click the Go Live button.
4. You will be directed to Creative Tools Live Dashboard. Here you see information of your live stream.
5. Launch your game.
6. Press Alt+Tab to OBS window, select the In-Game Scene, click the + button, and select Game Capture.
7. Rename the Game Capture source to Game Capture – [Game Name]
8. Select the Capture any fullscreen application option from the Mode option.
9. Switch to your game, then switch back to OBS (Alt+Tab) until the game is properly detected and click OK.
10. Put the Game Capture at the bottom of the sources in the sources panel by clicking the arrow down button or by dragging.
11. You can adjust the sources during the game to avoid blocking in-game elements.
Here is our live stream.
12. To end the livestream, exit from the game or switch to the browser (Alt+Tab) and click the End Stream button.
13. Click End Stream on the confirmation window.
14. Facebook will give you Post-Stream report.
15. Finally, click Stop Streaming on the OBS Controls panel.
Going Live in YouTube Gaming
1. Open your web browser and sign-in to your YouTube account.
2. On your YouTube page, click the camera icon and click Go Live.
3. You will be directed to Livestreaming Dashboard. Click the Stream tab. Click New Stream or Dismiss.
4. Fill-in the information about your livestream and click the Create Stream button.
5. You will be directed back to your Livestreaming Dashboard with the details about your livestream. The Stream Key needed by OBS is also here. Just click the Copy button for Stream Key field.
6. Paste the YouTube stream key to OBS Stream settings.
7. To start streaming, start the Start Streaming button on OBS Controls panel.
8. Back to YouTube Live dashboard on your web browser, click the GO LIVE button to start streaming.
9. Launch the game. Do the same steps like we did for Facebook Live, until the game is properly detected.
10. To end streaming, click the Stop Streaming button on OBS Controls panels.
11. In YouTube Live Dashboard, click the END STREAM button and click END to confirm.
12. A pop-up window will appear showing your stream details. Click Dismiss to close.
Congratulations on your first livestream! Stay tuned for more livestreaming guides.
Add Date and Time Overlay
1. Go to https://www.timeanddate.com/clocks/free.html and click the Continue button.
2. Select a template with date and time and click Continue.
3. Select your location from the list.
4. Select Long Weekday option for Weekday and Full month name for Month settings and click Continue.
5. Change fonts attributes to your desired settings. You can see the changes you made in the preview window.
6. For padding and borders, select Common padding on each side and set its size to 2. Click the transparent option to remove the background color and click Continue.
7. Copy the HTML Code and paste it to notepad.
8. Go to OBS Sources panel, click the add (+) button and select Browser.
9. Rename the Browser to Date Time. And click OK.
10. Go back to notepad and copy the HTML code starting from http up to allowTransparency.
11. Back to OBS, paste the copied code to URL text box. Change the width and height values similar to the code and click OK.
12. Date and time is now displayed. You can adjust its size and move according to the desired location.
How to Add Plugins
Plugins are add-ons or extensions which adds feature to OBS. It can be an additional transition effects, audio and video filters, visualizations, or others.
1. First, download a plugin. Go to https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/categories/obs-studio-plugins.6/ .
2. Select a plugin then click the Go to download button.
3. Other plugins will redirect you to another website where you can download its zip file.
4.Go to OBS plugins folder. “C:\Program Files (x86)\OBS\plugins” for 32-bit and “C:\Program Files\OBS\plugins” for 64-bit.
5. Open the zip file of the plugin. Copy or drag the dll file to corresponding folder in OBS.
6. Open OBS and open the Tools menu to use the plugin.
Using Image Mask
1. Add the image or video you want to be masked, Camera for our example. Right click the Camera source and select filters.
2. Add effect filters, select Image Mask/Blend and rename it to Camera Mask.
3. Browse for the image or shape you will use as a mask.The shape should be in white and with black background.The black will cut the portion of the camera source.
4. You can experiment of different types of masking.
This is how our camera looks after applying a mask.
Add Animated Border
1. Go to Animated Gradient Border Generator.
2. Set the values for each properties according to your liking then click the Get New URL button and copy it.
3.In OBS, add a Browser source and rename it to Camera Border.
4.Paste the copied animated border URL to URL field and click OK. If the border is cut, adjust the height and width from OBS.
5. Move and resize the border until it matches the camera size.