How to use OBS Scenes and Sources

Using Scenes and Sources in OBS

This guide will help you set up Scenes and Sources in OBS to help you create more engaging, professional videos.

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Scenes
    1. Creating Scenes
    2. Naming Scenes
    3. Scene Collections
  3. Sources
    1. Adding Sources
    2. Video Source and Settings
    3. Ordering 
    4. Sizing
  4. Conclusion

Introduction


What are Scenes and Sources?

Before going any further, make sure that you have set up OBS and have all of your video/audio equipment configured. Have you not installed OBS yet? Check out this blog about how to get started, and then come back!Once you have OBS installed and all of your audio/video equipment setup, it is time to learn more about Scenes and Sources.

The backbone of OBS is comprised of Scenes and Sources.   The combination of these two elements allow you to create amazing video experiences for live-streaming or recording. Scenes are the canvas, or display, that your viewers will see. Sources are the individual pieces of media that you place on the Scene. Sources allow you to add video, images, audio, and much more. You can customize and resize all of the different Sources to create different Scenes. Ready to get started? Let's go!

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Scenes


Creating and Editing Scenes

When you first start OBS, the black box you see is a Scene. It will remain blank until you add some Sources for it to display. You can add Scenes by clicking on the + button at the bottom of the Scene box, or you can right click in the Scene's box and select add. OBS let's you create as many Scene's as you would like, and also makes it easy to rearrange or delete Scenes. The - button will delete a Scene, and the arrows will move Scenes up or down accordingly.

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Naming and Ordering Scenes

It is important to name Scenes so that you can easily choose between them. You can name them however you like, but you can do this by selecting the + button at the bottom of Scenes box and then entering in the information. Please know that all Scenes and Sources in OBS are Global, so this mean that they can not share a name with other Scenes and Sources. This means if you name a source Intro, you can't have a Scene with the name Intro.

Creating Scene Selections

You can create different Scene Selections which allow you to have saved presets of ordered Scenes. For example, you may have different meeting or presentation flows, so you can create separate collections without having to edit the same Scenes every time you need to change them.  You can find the Scene Selection menu item at the top of your OBS window. Clicking on it will give you the options to easily add, duplicate, rename, remove, and even import/export.

If you find yourself starting to find it cumbersome to use your mouse to move between Scenes, you can leverage some peripheral hardware like Elgato's StreamDeck. We use that device here at DeskRig in our presentations to make customized workflows incredibly easy to execute.

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Sources


Adding Sources

Now that you know how Scenes work, it is time to dive into Sources. To add a Source , right click in the Sources box (or use the + button ) to add what ever you want to capture. Whether it's your camera, a specific window on your browser, a graphic, logo, text, or your entire display, there are many different Sources in OBS that you can capture to display in your Scene. Just like Scenes, you can use the buttons at the bottom of the Sources box to add, remove, and arrange the order of the different Sources.  

 

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Adding Video Source

Let's start by adding a video, or camera feed, to your Scene. Among your different options for Sources, select the Video Capture Device option. Once you have, you will see this image to the left. If you have never created a video capture source, then you need to create a name, and then select OK. If you have created your video Source before then you should be able to select it from the Add Existing list you see below the option to create a new one. 

Video Settings

If you choose an existing Source, then it will automatically pull up the settings you have already configured. If you are creating a new Source, then you will have to select your video settings to get your camera set up properly. It should be pretty easy to select your device and to choose the highest resolution and FPS. If you have any trouble getting set up, check out this article about how to get set up!

Ordering Sources

It is important to note the order of Sources in your Scene. A Source that is listed above another Source in the list will be on top and might hide what's beneath it. This can very useful in trying to create cool Scenes where different elements (Sources) interact and play off of each other. For example, you can have yourself appear on top of a background, while also having a logo, text, or image appear on top of the background, but behind you.  You can click the eye-icon to make Sources hide or show. The gear icon will open the settings for that Source which will allow you to  change the property of that source.

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Sizing Sources

You can see in the image to the left, that when you click on a Source, it will be highlighted on the Scene with a red box that allows you to adjust the size. You can drag and drop Sources to make them fit perfectly on your Scene, so get creative! In the example to the left, I have a branded background, but then also have a lower-thirds bar with my brand, name, and title. Now when I add my video Source, I just need to center it and configure settings. In order to execute a video call utilizing these elements to the fullest, you will need some lights and a green screen. 

You can make changes to Sources by right clicking on the Source. That opens up a full menu which allows you to access Properties, along with other options.  This is how you can make edits to your existing Sources. 

If you ever need any help creating branded materials, Sources, or Scenes, please reach out and we would love to help!

 

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Conclusion


Use OBS To Elevate Your Digital Presence

It's 2020 and business is moving at the speed of light. With virtual calls and meetings taking over the business world, it is inevitable that the standards for web calls will rise. By using OBS, you can create a professional virtual presence that utilizes different Sources to create incredible, memorable Scenes you can use for meetings and presentations. 

 

 

Need any help? Fill out the form below to reach out and we will get back in touch shortly!

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