Table of Contents
Scenes and Sources are the meat of OBS Studio. These are where you set up your stream layout, add your games, webcams, and any other devices or media that you want in the output.
Right click in the box under Scenes (or use the plus at the bottom) to add a scene if there are 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. The arrow buttons can be used to change the order. As an important note, all Scenes and Sources are global in OBS Studio, so they can not share a name. This means if you name a source Game, you can't have a Scene with the name Game.
Once you have created a Scene, right click in the Sources box (or use the plus at the bottom) to add what ever you want to capture. Whether it's a specific window, a capture card or game, image, text or your entire display that you want to capture, there are several different sources available in OBS Studio for you to choose from. Try them out!
You can re-align sources in the preview and change their order by using drag and drop in the list, or using the up and down arrow buttons. A Source that is listed above another Source in the list will be on top and might hide what's beneath it. This can also be useful for situations where you want something on top of another source, like a webcam to show over your game play. Any time you see an eye icon, you can click it to show or hide the associated item with it (this applies to filters as well)
When a Source is selected in the Sources list, you will see a red box that shows up around it. This is the bounding box, and can be used to position sources within the preview as well as make the source larger or smaller.
If you need to crop a source, hold the Alt key and drag the bounding box. The edges will change to green to show it's being cropped. You can see both techniques being used here to crop and enlarge only the part of the screen we want to show:
If you later on change the Base (Canvas) Resolution of OBS Studio, you will have to re-align or re-size the sources. Changing the Output (Scaled) Resolution does not have this effect.
The following Hotkeys are available in the preview to tweak the source position and size:
You can also right-click each source in the list to access further options. This is where you access the Filters sub-menu, which is discussed in detail in our Filters Guide.
Edit Transform menu:
WARNING: Audio Input/Output Capture source can cause an echo effect if you have the same device selected in Settings -> Audio. If you plan on adding audio devices directly to your scenes, make sure they are disabled globally first.
This source allows you to add an audio input or output device (i.e. microphone or headset repsectively) to a specific scene. Simply pick the device you wish to capture, and the audio from that device will be captured when the source is active. These sources can be useful if you only want specific audio devices active in specific scenes, rather than globally through all of OBS.
The Blackmagic Device source allows you to add a variety of Blackmagic Design capture cards, using their provided developer SDK to ensure the best possible compatibility.
Blackmagic Device source has the following options:
Browser source is one of the most versatile sources available in OBS. It is, quite literally, a web browser that you can add directly to OBS. This allows you to perform all sorts of custom layout, image, video, and even audio tasks. Anything that you can program to run in a normal browser (within reason, of course), can be added directly to OBS.
Browser Source is fairly straight forward with its options.
As Browser Source is based on CEF, any CEF flags (--enable-gpu for example) can be passed from the OBS Studio shortcut. A fairly comprehensive list can be found here
As the name implies, this source creates a solid color for you to add to your scene. This can be used for things like background colors or even a global color tint by using the alpha channel.
Color Source has the following options:
Display Capture is used to capture your entire monitor. The options here are few, with a selection for the display you wish to capture, and a checkbox to enable or disable showing of your cursor.
You can only add one display capture source per display. If you need your display in multiple scenes, make sure you use Add Existing!
Game Capture is one of the primary sources that many users will be looking to use. This Source lets you directly capture the game you are playing, so long as it's DirectX or OpenGL. Game Capture is the most efficient way you can add your games to OBS, and should always be tried first. There are only a very small number of games that do not work with Game Capture. If you have issues with it and cannot solve them on your own, stop by the support chat!
Once you add your Game Capture Source, you will need to select a few options that suit your current needs. First is the Mode.
The first option, capture any fullscreen application, will automatically detect any game running fullscreen on your primary monitor, and add the video output to the Game Capture source in OBS. If you play your games fullscreen, this is the option you should choose. Note that if you only have a single monitor, alt+tabbing out of the game to check OBS will cause the game to stop rendering, so you won't see it show up in the OBS preview.
The second option, capture specific window, allows you to simply select the active game you want to capture. Window Match Priority lets you select which parameters will be used to separate the available windows. For example, if you have two clients of the same game running with the same executable name, but different window titles, changing the Window Match Priority to Window Title can be very helpful in selecting the proper game to be captured. Experiment if you have issues selecting the right game and see which works best for you.
The final option, capture foreground window with hotkey, lets you set a specific key to tell the Game Capture source which game you want to show up. This is very useful if you change games often during a stream, and you don't want to have to go back into the Game Capture properties every time to select your new game. The hotkey can be set under Settings -> Hotkeys once the Game Capture source is added to your scene.
There are several other options, and we'll give a short description of them. In general, the default options are sufficient for most applications and you should not change them unless you know why you need to, and understand what they mean. As always, if you have any questions, please stop by the forums or chat.
This source allows you to various image types to your scene. Most image formats are supported. Alpha channel support is also available where applicable.
The only options in Image Source are the path to the image, and unload image when not showing. This checkbox will unload the image from memory while it is not active, which can be useful if you have a large amount of images and few system resources available.
Image Source supports the following image formats: .bmp, .tga, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, and .gif.
The Image Slide Show Source allows you to add multiple images that will rotate through as a slide show. To use this source, click the + sign to add either individual files or directories to be loaded. Once you have all the images you want, you can configure how you want them to display.
Image Slide Show Source supports the following image formats: .bmp, .tga, .png, .jpeg, .jpg, and .gif.
This source type will allow you to use the digital green screen features of an Intel RealSense camera. RealSense cameras have a combination of a normal camera, infrared lasers, and an infrared camera to map the space in front of your PC and detect which parts of the video can be removed in a green screen effect. There is no configuration necessary for this source, simply add the source, pick your camera, and watch the magic!
Media source is a great option to add all sorts of different media types to your stream. The currently supported file types are:
Simple click the Browse button to select your file, or uncheck the "Local file" box to allow a URL or other remote location to be added. For remote files, the URL/path goes in Input, and generally Input Format can be left blank.
Once the file has been selected, there are only a few options that would need to be looked at.
This Source is often overlooked, and while one of the simplest in function, it can allow for some of the most powerful functionality in OBS Studio. Since all Scenes are considered Sources, you can add an entire Scene as a Source anywhere you want.
For example, this can allow you to create a static overlay that you want to use in every Scene, called Overlay. In several other scenes, let's say Main and Game, you can add the Overlay Scene. If any changes are necessary to any of the Sources in Overlay, you can just update them it will be updated everywhere else. This is just one of many examples on how this Source type can be used!
Text source can allow you to add simple text renders to your stream or recording layout. To get going, most of the default settings will be fine (except maybe the colors), and you can just type what you want your text to say in the field labeled "Text."
If you want to load the text from a file, simple check the "Read from file" checkbox, and select the file that has the text you want to read in it. The file must be UTF-8 (most default text files will be), and the file will be reloaded on save. This means you can edit the file and it will automatically update.
Once the text is present, there are quite a few options for styling it. You can:
Similar to Media Source, you can add video and other media files to this source to be played in your scenes. This source type will use the VLC libraries for extended media support over the built-in Media Source. It requires that VLC be installed on your system to show up as an available source in OBS. If you are using 64bit OBS, you must install 64bit VLC and if you are using 32bit OBS, you must install 32bit VLC.
To add files, click the + sign to browse to your file, directory, or URL that you wish to add. If you add multiple, they will be played in the order they were added. If Loop playlist is checked, the playlist will start over once the end is reached.
The Visibility behavior drop down menu allows you to choose how visibility affects playback of the files. They should be self-explanatory.
The Video Capture Device Source allows you to add a variety of video devices, including but not limited to webcams and capture cards. On Windows, for a device to work with OBS the drivers needs to support DirectShow output. Since DirectShow is the standard output format for Windows, there's a good chance that this is what your device outputs. All major webcams and capture cards support DirectShow and will work with OBS.
To add your device, simply add the Source, open the properties and select your device from the Device drop down list.
You then have several options to configure it:
Window Capture allows you to capture a specific window and its contents. The advantages to using this source over Display Capture is that only the selected window will be shown, even if there are other windows in front of it (WIN7 NOTE: Having Aero disabled can interfere with this functionality.).
List of currently deprecated sources. Sources listed here should not be used unless aboslutely necessary, and are only left in for backwards compatibility reasons.