OBS-Studio: Quickstart Guide

If you are used to streaming software here are the most important things.

  1. Jack0r
    This Guide assumes you already used Streaming Software and wants to give you a quick overview of the most important options and features in OBS.

    First of all you should configure OBS, so let us go through the different sections of the Settings and the most important points you will want to check:
    General
    - Show confirmation for starting/stopping streams
    - Enable/Disable Source snapping
    - Enable/Disable automatically record when streaming

    Stream
    - Select one of the included Services (Activate show all services to see the full list in the dropdown) or change the Stream Type to Custom Streaming Server
    - Select the server or enter its URL
    - Enter the Streamkey

    Output
    - Simple Mode allows you to Stream with the set Bitrate/Encoder and Record using a preset (Same as stream/High Quality/Indist.Quality and Lossless) and a different Encoder (if available)
    - Advanced Mode gives you further options to configure your Stream and Recording independently if you want to.
    - Set your Video Bitrate according to your upload speed and the limitations of the service you use (for example 3500kbps max for Twitch.tv)
    - Set your Audio Bitrate accordingly (around 160kbps for streaming, lower if you have a low upload speed)
    - For Recording
    - Set your Recording Path
    - Select the desired Recording Quality and Format
    - Select a Hardware Encoder if available (only if you use a different preset than "same as stream" and if a Hardware Encoder is available)[QuickSync, NVENC or AMD VCE]​

    Audio
    - Change the Sampling Rate
    - Select up to two Desktop Audio Device's
    - Select up to three Microphone/Auxiliary Device's
    - Enable Push-to-mute or Push-to-talk for each device (linked to the Hotkeys settings)

    Video
    - Base (Canvas) Resolution should fit to your Main Input Resolution (Desktop Monitor, Console, Game Resolution)
    - Output (Scaled) Resolution should be the Stream Output Resolution (720p,480p,etc). Leave on default if you want to use the scaling options under Advanced Output.
    - Common FPS Value should match your desired output FPS (30/60 for example)

    Hotkeys
    - Set Hotkeys to Start/Stop Streaming/Recording
    - to Hide/Show Sources
    - for PTT/PTM
    - to Switch to a specific Scene​

    Advanced
    - Change the Filename Formatting (or use folders: %CCYY\%MM\%DD\%hh-%mm-%ss = 2016 \ 07 \ 10 \ 12:35:25.flv)
    - Activate Stream Delay
    - Configure Automatic Reconnect
    Do not touch anything else in Advanced unless you absolutely know what you're doing.
    After everything is configured we are ready to setup our Scenes and Sources:
    You can either right click in the white box under Scenes: or use the plus at the bottom of this section to add a scene if there is none listed yet. You can create as many Scenes as you want and name them to easily distinguish between them, for example: Welcome, Desktop, Game, Break, End

    Next, you right click in the Sources: box or use the plus at the bottom of this section to add what ever you want to capture, whether it's a specific window, a capture card or game, image, text or full Monitor capture. There are several different sources available in OBS-Studio right away.

    You can re-align sources in the preview and change their order by using drag and drop in the list. A Source that is listed above another Source will be on Top and might hide what's beneath it.

    If you later on change the Canvas-Resolution of OBS-Studio, you will have to re-align or re-size the sources. Changing the Scaled-Resolution does not have this effect.

    The following Hotkeys are available in the preview to tweak the source position and size:
    - Hold CTRL to disable Source/Edge snapping
    - Hold ALT to enable cropping
    - CTRL+F for fit to Screen
    - CTRL+S for stretch to Screen
    - CTRL+D for center to Screen

    You can also right-click each source in the list to access further options:
    - Deinterlacing
    - Scale Filtering
    - Rename/Remove
    - Transform (Flip/Resize/etc.)
    - Filters
    Filters can be added to each Source/Audio Device and even a Scene by right-clicking onto the desired Source or Scene in the list and selecting Filters. And for Audio devices by clicking onto the little cogwheel next to the volume bar in the Audio Mixer and again, selecting Filters.
    - Audio/Video Filters
    - Noise Gate
    - Volume Gain
    - Video Delay​
    - Effect Filters
    - Chroma Key
    - Color Key
    - Image Mask/Blend
    - Crop/Pad
    - Color Correction
    - Scaling/Aspect Ratio
    - Sharpen​
    Activating Studio Mode allows you to change your Scenes in the Background without your Live Viewers not noticing it. After you clicked on the Studio Mode button you will see the currently Live Scene on the right while you can edit a different (or the same) Scene on the left.

    After you are done editing the Scene you can click on "Transition" (or use a Quick Transition if you added one) to switch to this scene. After you are done with everything and transitioned to the changed Scene you can of course deactivate Studio Mode if you want.
    Some Transitions in OBS-Studio are available from the First Start, Fade and Cut Transition in this case, but you can add more using the Plus Button in the Scene Transitions section. Currently Fade to color, Slide and Swipe are also available. With more coming in the future.

    You can switch the currently active Transition with the drop-down menu and change its duration.

    After you configured a Transition you can also add it as a Quick Transition in Studio Mode. For Quick Transitions you configure the duration(length) of the transition as well. So you can add the same Fade to your Quick Transitions Menu with 500ms and 1000ms and so on if wanted.
    Or for example you could configure a Swipe left and a Swipe right transition. Then add them both as Quick Transitions and use them to first swipe left in your Scene A to change Scene B that was active before in the background and then swipe right in your new configured Scene B when you are done.
    There are many more options and functions inside OBS but I hope you got a quick overview of the most important stuff.

    Now its time to start testing, are the settings working, is the stream running smooth? If you have problems, start a thread in the Help section of this forum, be sure to include a log file or join our community chat directly using the red button on the top of this page.

    You want more control over your Recording settings or want to record multiple Audio Track's? Switch the Output Mode to Advanced and check out this guide:
    High quality recording and multiple Audio Tracks