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Basics of OBS Studio: Overview of the Basic Features and Tools


A technician and a DIY enthusiast, he makes his projects with thorough and indepth study for a high success rate.

Looking for an application for your video lessons? Open Broadcaster Software might help you with its user friendly interface and easy to use features. Here are some basic guides to start your video with OBS Studio.

Simple Things to Know in OBS Studio

Open Broadcaster Software or OBS Studio is a free software you can use for any of your video projects, may it be live video in Facebook or Twitch, or recordings like video presentations and even your own movie. We will have in this article an overview of the application and most of its basic functions and features for your simple “Go Live” project or lessons for your students. All you need to start you up in your simple video project is some knowledge about some parts in the program and you’ll be ready for your video presentation.

Video Capture Device and the Image Source in the OBS canvass

Video Capture Device and the Image Source in the OBS canvass

The Sources

Sources are the things you add in your scene. These shows up in your video if not set to “not visible”, which is the eye-like icon just beside your source name. every source has its own properties and filters to give you a more productive and effective output that will suit your ideas. You can add multiple sources in a scene and place it anywhere in your canvass or following the layout you want. just remember that every source is an individual layer unless you’ve merged it. Meaning, to determine which is in front of the other, you have to check the order in your sources tab. Click and drag the item or click and press the keyboard down button or the down icon below the sources tab to reorder your sources. You can also rename each source so it won’t be hard for you to check what’s needing any adjustment.

To add sources, you need to identify what you will use, if it is an image or video, or a capture device like the camera or microphone. You can also add slideshows in your presentation.

The Scene

Scenes are the collection of sources in your project. You can set the sources’ position in your scene according to your layout. You can also have a multiple layout with different sets of sources. You can also set every scene for every topic you want, different scene, different layout and sources. You can name your scene like Math Subject with images like the math symbols and geometric shapes in the background or border.

Preview Screens

The preview screen is where you can see what you have in your project. It shows all your sources arranged based on your layout in a specific scene (one scene per preview if not on Studio Mode). There were two modes in preview; the first one is where you can preview all your changes before going live or before appearing in your video, while the other is anything you add or change automatically appears live. You can toggle between those two setting by clicking the Studio Mode on or off under the Controls Tab.

Audio Mixer

The audio mixer is actually the audio input source. Once you have chosen the source, you can see its volume on the audio mixer’s tab where in all the audio sources are indicated, even your desktop’s audio, so you need to be mindful of what’s beating in the meters below. You can mute or unmute, lower the sound and adjust to mono or stereo any specific audio sources in your audio mixer tab.

Transition Button

Hitting the Transition button in the middle of Preview and Program screen (if you’re in Studio Mode) will change what’s on the program screen. Any current changes in the preview screen will be seen on the program. You can also change the scene by picking the screen you want to show and hitting transition. You can also add a source in your current scene by doing so.

Let’s Get Started with Your First Video in OBS Studio

First, you have to identify what you will do and all the sources you will need. Prepare your images and audio materials. Compile it in a new folder named as OBS Project 1 or any name you prefer would do, just for easy browsing and locating. When you’re done, proceed to the steps below.

Step 1

Open OBS Studio in you PC or laptop.

Step 2

Go to the Scene tab. Right click the name of the scene and rename it First Project or any name would do.

Step 3

In the Sources tab, add your sources one by one. Remember that every source is one layer unless merged or grouped. Add the image located in your folder named OBS Project 1.

Step 4

Resize and crop the image or any source by clicking its image on the canvass or the name on the Source tab with the left button of the mouse. Hit Transform>Edit Transform and then you will have a wizard showing the adjustable settings of your source. Crop it to your desired area by adding up digits on the Left, Right, Top and Bottom on the combo boxes.

You can also see the Bounding Box Type. You will have there five choices but the best you can use for now is “Stretched to Bounds”. It will let you to resize the item according to how much you drag the bounds regardless of the image proportion, so it’s up to you to organize your sizing of the source. You can also use the other options bringing you sizes that keeps proportion for different sides of the bounds.

Step 5

Once your done placing your sources (including your Camera or the Video Capture device), you can now set your Audio Input / Output Device. You can switch this step with the Step 4 above, it’s up to you what you want to place first. Click the “Plus Sign” in the Sources tab and choose the audio device you will add. If you have a software running for audio output, which is by default, the High Definition Speaker or Default Playback device and you want it in your project, then choose Audio Output Capture. But if you have a headset with a microphone in it, choose the Audio Input Capture. You can also choose the latter if you have a sound card or any other sound mixers and devices around where you place all your audio sources (mp3, phones, condenser mics, etc.) and connect it to your PC or laptop in one jack/plug.

Step 6

If your done with the audio and the screen, all you need to do is Start Broadcasting or Start Recording. In the Controls tab you can choose either one or the two of them but it would cost you a lot of CPU usage that might cause some crashing or lagging issues if you have a low-end computer. Before you start broadcasting live, the application will need the link or the corresponding stream key on the platform you are using to Go Live (Facebook, Youtube, Twitch). In the Controls tab, hit Settings>Stream then choose your service or platform. Fill out the stream key or the needed link which is in your platform already if you are starting your video.

And there you have your first video via OBS Studio. Apply some effects and discover more from your application. Just follow the rules in going live and be a responsible user of the Internet.

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