Beginner's Guide to OBS Studio | Start Streaming, Broadcasting and Recording Today! | Curtis | Skillshare

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Beginner's Guide to OBS Studio | Start Streaming, Broadcasting and Recording Today!

teacher avatar Curtis, Teaching classes on content creation!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      Understanding OBS Studio


    • 4.

      Camera and Microphone Setup


    • 5.

      Creating A Scene


    • 6.

      Transitions For Scenes and Sources


    • 7.

      Connecting to Streaming Platforms


    • 8.

      Recording with OBS Studio


    • 9.

      Advanced Features and Tips


    • 10.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Connecting with an online community has never been more important, and the best way to do that is by live, interactive online streaming. This Skillshare course will teach you how to use Open Broadcasting Software (OBS Studio) to reach an online audience. From setting up your first scene to using overlays and transitions, using OBS Studio can seem like a daunting and tedious task. Throughout this class, I will guide you, step by step, and you will leave this course feeling confident in your new ability to record, stream and broadcast live using OBS Studio. 

What You'll Learn:

  • First Steps - Downloading, installing and starting to understand the interface, settings, and essential features to get you started quickly.
  • Connecting Hardware - Set up your microphone, headphones, speakers and webcams.
  • Connecting Software - Link OBS Studio with streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube. 
  • Creating Scenes and Using Transitions - Learn about how and when to use scenes and change up your transition 
  • Making Your First Scene - Adding key components including graphics, gameplay and screen recording. 
  • Recording - Complete your first recording with your new scenes to test your setup so far
  • Advanced Features - Dive into the world of advanced features such as enhanced audio and visual settings, addings plug-ins and more.

By the end of this class, you'll have the skills to create a professional live broadcast that stands out from the crowd. Whether you're streaming games, tutorials, creative content or just chatting, OBS Studio will become your ultimate tool for engaging with your audience and building a loyal community.

Enroll now and I will help you become confident in using OBS Studio for whatever your needs!

Meet Your Teacher

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Teaching classes on content creation!


Hey there, future content creators! I'm Curtis.

I have a vast array of experience being a Twitch streamer, YouTube content creator, video editor, podcast host, and a bit of everything in between. I'm here to help you embark on your own creative journey.

With a passion for crafting engaging content, I'm excited to share my knowledge on YouTube video editing, Twitch streaming, and the ins and outs of broadcasting and recording using OBS, and lots more! Whether you're a beginner looking to dip your toes into the world of content creation or a seasoned creator aiming to level up your skills, I'm here to break down the barriers and make the process fun and accessible.

My classes are packed with hands-on projects and tutorials, practical tips, actional advice and more! ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Having the ability to connect with an audience online is a core skill in this digital age and understanding broadcasting software is the key to unlocking it. Whether or not you're a business, you want the more personal connection with your customers or an aspiring streamer or Youtube content creator. This course will help you along your way to reaching your online community. Hello, my name is Curtis and I've been streaming online daily for years now. And OBS Studio has been the essential piece of my software to allow me to connect with my audience. I also use OBS to record content, which I used to create podcast Youtube content, and how to guides. In this course, I'm going to guide you through the process of how to download and install OBS Studio. I want you to come away feeling confident in your ability to use OBS for whatever your needs are, whether or not that's recording, streaming, or broadcasting. We'll cover all the basics, including connecting hardware and software, creating scenes and transitions, recording and broadcasting audio and visual settings and more. And I'll help to reduce this overwhelming task in the manageable steps for you. And take you through each step by step. Your community and audience is online, waiting for you to publish your first video and join your very first live stream. So let's not wait any longer. Let's get started with two. Installing our software, OBS Studio. 2. Class Project: This course, our class project will be Upload the recording taken from OBS Studio. It's going to allow you to test your set up. Once I've taken you through how to do it all, I'll be going over how to record within OBS during our lessons. But for all you need to know now is once you click this button, it'll start recording whenever it's in your OBS preview window, which is this part. Then clicking the same button again, we'll stop the recording. What I'm looking for in your class project is that you're able to test your scenes, sources, transitions, settings, microphone input, and your webcam. Testing your scenes and transitions can be done simply by switching between them. For example, here I am on my Starting Soon screen and I'm switching to my gameplay scene and then back again. Testing your sources is best done by hiding them by clicking this button beside each one. Once they're all hidden, try showing them again. If you do have a webcam, this recording will allow you to check. If you're happy with the settings of it. We'll be going over how to change some of the settings in the future lesson. During this recording, you'll also be able to hear yourself back, hopefully allowing you to test your microphone settings. Once you've added a microphone in this bar, we'll move when your input is working. Once you've finished your recording, you'll need to find the output file. And doing that is simple, so all you do is click file along the top, then show recordings. A folder will open with your OBS recordings, so once you've completed the word to upload it, you're looking for the Projects and Resources section of the course on a computer. This will be below the video. Click those words, then find the Submit Project button Here you can upload an image if you want as well. Kind of acts like a thumbnail on the Youtube video. Choose your project title. This can simply be recording test. Put a short description. You might want to include here what you're using OBS for, so you can help give context to your scenes and sources. Next, click Video. You'll see this section up here. Here you can paste that link to your test recording. And once you finish, click the Publish at the top. How do you add a link to a video? One easy way to do that is to upload your recording as an unlisted Youtube video. This means that no one will be able to find or watch your video on Youtube. The only way to watch it is by inputting the URL or using the link to it. Uploading the Youtube video is easy. Click the Create button here, then upload video using the file that you found earlier. Click and drag it over in this screen, and just drop it in the box. And that's it. Enter a title for your video. Click no, it's not made for kids. And go on to the next page. Ignore this section. Just click next. Again, ignore this section. Just click next. And here we are at the last section. Here you want to click unlisted, and finally, click Save. Now you can go to your unlisted video to watch it on Youtube. Click the URL and paste that into the box. When you upload your project, you can use the Projects and Resources section to look at projects that are published by other people. You can watch the videos and comment on the projects, give them feedback, or to ask any questions that you might have. I'll also be watching and commenting on all of your projects. And I know that seem like a lot, but that is all you need to know for the project, for the class. You can come back here towards the end of the lessons and this will make a lot more sense For now. Let's get started with download and installing OBS Studio. 3. Understanding OBS Studio: Welcome to the first step in our journey, downloading OBS Studio. The first thing we're going to do is head this website, OBS and download the free open source software. Depending on which operating system you have here, you'll need to install the correct one for your device. The options for OBS Studio are Windows, Macos, and Linux. Click the one you need and we'll start downloading. One is finished, find it in your downloads folder, Double click that file, and it will start to install. One side is completed, click Finish, and it should launch OBS for you. Let's just maximize it real quick. Now let's understand what we're seeing right now. The section on your left is where your scenes are. Different scenes can be used for different things. You might want one for talking to your audience, a different one for playing games, maybe one for a podcast. Whatever it is right now, you'll just have one called scene. The second section is called sources. Sources are individual components that make up each scene. For example, you might have sources for a background image, a webcam, your monitor display, some text or a game. Then we have the audio mixer. This is where anything playing sound will show. So desktop audio is here by default. This will include all the sounds that you hear in your headphone. A microphone is also included by default, and we will go overhead and make sure that it is set up very shortly. The fourth section is called scene transitions, which will also be going over in a future lesson. And finally we have controls. This large black box in the center is the preview window. This shows you what will be seen on your recording or your live stream. Once we start adding sources, they will be visible here. Now that we understand the scene and what we're looking at, let's start trying to input a few things. I'll see you in the next lesson to get our microphone and our webcam set up. 4. Camera and Microphone Setup: In this lesson, we're going to add our two primary inputs, so our webcom and our microphone. So let's start by adding our webcom. Add a new source. We click this plus button. The next step is to choose a type of source. We have lots of options here. It can seem overwhelming for now. We're just going to start with our webcom. First, make sure your webcom is connected to your computer. Choose video capture device. Then this box will pop up once you have added sources and just want to add them to a new or different scene, we can then choose Add Existing, but for now we're adding a completely new source. So let's make sure the create new option is selected. Give the source a name. I'm simply just going to name this webcam. If you want to add more than one, you might want to call this main camera or you can use a brand or model of the camera that you're adding. It's a good idea to make the names of the sources something relevant and meaningful. This will make sure it doesn't get overwhelming and confusing when you have lots of sources. All right, let's move on to the next step. So click Okay. A new box will open up. This shows us the properties for our webcam. Beside the word device, we have a dropdown box. And if you have more than one webcam here, you want to make sure you're selecting the one that you want to use. Once you have the right webcam selected, it should show you in the preview window. Let's take the box that says deactivate when not showing. This means that if our source is hidden, it won't be loaded. It helps OBS to run as smoothly as possible. Let's leave the rest of the settings the way they are for now. Just click okay to add the webcam. We will look into the settings in the future lesson, but for now, we should have our webcam set up and ready to go. Now let's get a microphone added. We already know that this audio mixer is where we can see if sounds and audio are being heard by OBS. And we have a Mic Ox option here. By default, let's make sure that our microphone is correctly added. The first thing that we need to do is click the three dots beside the microphone and the ox. And then select properties from this menu, from the dropdown menu beside device like the microphone that you want to use. And then click Save at the bottom of this window. Now when your microphone is turned on and you speak into this bar should move up and down like mine is. This is basically telling you how loud your input is and the OPS has detected a signal from your microphone. In a future lesson, we'll look at the settings we can change to make our webcam look better and our microphone sound better. But for now, both inputs should be working. So let's go ahead and set up our first scene. 5. Creating A Scene: Now we can start making a full scene. First off, decide what you want your first scene to be. You want a scene for chatting to your audience, a scene for gameplay, a same for podcasting, you might want multiple. But for now, let's just pick one. For now, I'm going to make a gameplay scene. Let's add some sources. So click the plus button in the Sources section, and then let's briefly have a look at all these. Then we can start to make a scene together audio input capture. You can use this to add audio from a microphone directly into your scene. However, we have already set up the global microphone input, so we don't need to use this just now. Audio output capture let you choose one of your audio outputs like a headset or your external speakers. Anything that output hears will be heard through OPS. We have desktop audio set up already, so we shouldn't need this either. A browser source, let you add any web page to your scene. Next up is color source. Use this to add a customizable, solid color to your scene display capture. This is used to capture your entire monitor display. Everything that you see on your monitor will be shown to your broadcast or recording. Next up is game capture. This captures only the game that you're playing rather than your entire monitor. Next up is image. It simply adds an image from your computer onto your scene image slide show, similar to image, but you can add multiple images here and it'll flick between them to create a slide show. Next up we have Media Source. This allows you to add a video file or audio file scene. Using this allows you to embed or add an entire scene into a different one of your scenes text. This allows you to add customizable text to your scene video capture device. This is what we used in the previous lesson to add a webcam window capture. This captures a specific window like Microsoft Paint or Chrome Group. This one is really handy. Adding groups is a really good way to sort out your sources. It lets you add sources into a folder. You can still show and hide the entire group individually or all at once. We will go into a lot more depth on a lot of these throughout the class, but if you have any questions, you can always ask in the discussion section. Okay, so let's start making a scene. One thing to keep in mind here is that sources are layered from bottom to top. However, you can rearrange them after you've added them. For example, if you add a background image that fills your entire screen, but put it over a webcam, it'll hide the webcam. I'm going to add a background image Now, choosing an image, then finding a file in my document. Click okay, and the image is now in my scene and a red box is shown around it. This red box is the outline of your source that you have selected. You can click and drag these squares to resize your source. And you can move your source by clicking inside the red box and dragging it to wherever you want. Right clicking the source also gives us some options. Properties will bring the settings box for that source back up and transform lets us change the source of it. We can rotate it, flip it upside down or left or right. Center the source within the scene. Stretch it to fill the entire scene. And a few more options. I like my background image to fill my scene, so I'm choosing to stretch the screen option. All right, now that that's done next I'm going to add my game play. Make sure that you have your game open on your computer, select Game Capture, and choose your game from the list. I'm going to add Minesweeper as my game this time. I don't want my game to fill the entire scene. So I'm just going to resize it and move it slowly. Next I'm going to ad Microsoft Paint. I might use this whenever I'm not playing a game. I'm choosing Window Capture and choosing MS Paint. And it's not capture and just quite right. So let's look at our capture method. It's on automatic. Let's change that to Windows Ten and up option, much better. Now I'd like paint to be the same size as my game, so I'm going to move it and make it smaller too. And then I'm going to hide it because I don't really need to see it right now. I'm adding my webcam in next, using the video capture option. You might already have this from the previous lesson. I'd like to cut some of the left and the right sides off. So I'm going to hold out on my keyboard while dragging the sides in. Now I'm going to make it a bit smaller and move it to where I want it. All right, great. I think I'd like to add a border to my webcam. So I'm going to add a color source and naming it webcam border, and choosing blue for it in our list of sources. I'm moving it down to make sure it is below my webcam. Now I can crop it like before and just fit it around my webcam. So other sources. Let's tidy this up. A and put paint a mine sweeper into a folder. Hold control on your keyboard and left click both of them. Once they are both highlighted blue, right click on either of them and choose the group selected items at the top. I'll rename this group to Captures. I'll do the same from a webcam and its border and call that group camera. All right, that's my first scene completed. Take some time now to figure out your first scene at this stage. You can mess around with as much customizable stuff as you want to. Then once you're done that, meet me in the next lesson where we'll be adding more than one scene and why that's useful. 6. Transitions For Scenes and Sources: Hopefully now you've been able to put lots of sources into your scene. Let's figure out how to make more of them. Adding multiple scenes is useful for different moments of your broadcast live stream or recording. Think of them as different sets or stages. Some ideas for different scenes could be a starting soon scene, a gameplay scene, just chatting, Be right back. A solo podcast, a podcast with a guest, or at an ending scene. It really does depend on what you are doing and what would be useful for you and your audience. So let's add a second scene. Now, find the scene section and click the plus button. In this box it pops up, put the name of your new scene. I'm going to make a starting soon one. This scene will be used once I've just started my live stream, I give people the time to join in and act as a small intro. Once you click okay, you'll be taken to your new scene. Your sources that you've previously added to your other scene won't be here, and your preview window will just be a black square. Now all you have to do is add sources and remember you can use add existing option if you've added the source before. If you do add a source this way any changes that you make to it will be reflected across all scenes. I'm going to add a different background. This time I'll add an image source and use this gift as my background instead. Then I'm going to add a text source, selected a font called Impact, and entering the text stream starting soon. Scrolling down in this box shows us some more settings. Here you can change the color, and here you can add an outline by clicking this box. I'm going to add a black outline for now and change the outline size to 12. I'm happy with that. So I'm saving by clicking Okay. You can also add some images or gifts here to make this more fun and personal. I'm going to add another image source and choose this little guy. All right, we have made our two scenes. Now swapping between them is simple. You literally just click on the one that you want to go to and it'll take you straight there. And it'll automatically update on your stream or your recording. Remember that whatever is in this preview box is visible to your audience or in your recording. So now that we've added multiple scenes and we know how to add sources, let's check out our options for switching between them. As you can see when I switch between mine, now it is an instant change. This is because in our scenes transition section, min is set to cut. We could change this to fade and set to fade over 1 second. Let's see what switching between the scenes looks like. Now we can add new transitions by clicking this plus button. Let's try adding a swipe transition here. We can choose a few settings. I'd like my scene to swipe out to the left. So I'm choosing left from the drop down box and pressing okay to save that. Now my current scene will swipe to the left when I'm moving between scenes. Another way I'd like to use transitions is on individual sources themselves. We can add a transition for whenever a source is hidden or shown. I'm going to test this on my source called Microsoft Paint. So this is currently what it looks like whenever I hide the source and then show it. Right click the source and find the options for show transition and hide transition. First I'm going to set it to fade when it shows. Then I'm going to use Luma Wipe for whenever I hide the source. There are lots of options for Luma wipe. You can test these all out using the preview transition buttons. I'm choosing bursts from the dropdown menu, and it looks like this. But I also wanted inverted, which looks like this. Let's see what that looks like. Perfect. So after this, you should have all your scenes and your sources ready to go. If you have any questions, remember to use the discussion section of the class. Our next step will be to connect our OBS Studio to some outputs. So let's get to it. 7. Connecting to Streaming Platforms: We have our streaming or recording scenes set up and ready to go. Let's connect our OBS to where we want to send our live stream within this control section. Click Settings. On the left hand side, we have different setting categories. We're changing the settings for stream right now from this dropdown list, you need to choose the platform that you want to stream your OBS to. You can only stream to one output at a time. And using a service like stream as the output allows you to send your stream signal to multiple platforms. Let's set up Twitch as your stream output. For an eye, we can either connect our account or use a stream key here. Connecting your account is the easiest. So let's select that and a window will pop up asking you to sign in with your Twitch account. You have to authorize your connection between OBS and Twitch. And once you've completed that, you need to apply in the bottom right, then click Okay. You'll now see two new boxes, one on either side of the preview window. So let's allow cookies for both of them. The one on the right will show you your twitch chat. And the one on the left will let you set your twitch title, your game category, choose what you're going live notification will be or we'll say to your followers and set tags. Make sure you to select done every time you want to save the changes that you've made here. This then pushes them changes to twitch. Clicking the bar at the top of the stream chat allows us to move it around. Let's embed it into OBS window, so it'll always be there to the far right edge of the screen. And this blue box will show where it thinks you want to embed it. This is correct. So I'm letting go of left click now and that's embedded. I'm going to make it bigger though, because it's quite small right now. When hover on the left hand side of the chat window, we should see this symbol pop up. Now click and drag it out. Perfect. Let's say the same with stream information box. Now this is everything that you need to know to go live on Twitch using OBS. Now when you click Start Streaming from the control section, you will immediately go live to Twitch. And this little box at the bottom shows how long you've been live for. You have to then click Stop Streaming to end your broadcast. It's easier than you think to forget about the step, so make sure you always end your broadcast before closing. Obs let's have a look at Youtube Now, select Settings again and click Youtube. From the drop down list here you can do the same thing as Twitch, and I would highly recommend it. And connect your account. Select that and follow the steps to sign in with your Google account that you used to log into Youtube. Once you have finished, click okay, you'll get a Youtube chat this time. You can then embed it the same way we embedded our Twitch chat. If you'd like to stream to a platform other than Twitch or Youtube and you can't quite figure it out, feel free to ask about it in the discussion section and we'll make sure you get it set up correctly. In our next session, we're going to look at recording using OBS, which can be useful when making content for Youtube or creating a podcast. I'll see them. 8. Recording with OBS Studio: Recording using OBS is such a useful feature and can even be linked to your broadcast. So that records while you're alive start recording. You simply click this button and clicking in the game will end your recording. You can easily find your recording file by selecting file from the top menu. And selecting Show Recordings to open the locations of all your recording sessions. To find some more settings for recording file, select settings from the control section and choose output from the left hand side. Here in the recording section, you can change the type of file that the recording makes if you need to. Mp four is widely supported and has a great option, but MKV has the benefits of allowing you to recover your file if you're OBS, or computer crashes mid recording. If you want OBS to automatically start a recording every time you go live, select the general section. Then check the box that says automatically record when streaming. Also, while you're here, it might be useful to check the boxes that say show confirmation dialogue when starting streams. Stopping streams and stopping recordings. You have no idea how many times I went live by accident. Make sure you click Apply, and click okay to close the window. Doing so forces a pop up box where you must click to confirm your action and stops you accidentally stopping or starting your stream or ending your recording by accident. That is all you need to know for now about recording. Use this knowledge to make the recording for our class project. Once you've completed that, you can join me in the next lesson where we'll have a brief look at more advanced features of OBS. 9. Advanced Features and Tips: Follow along with me during these lessons. Then you are already at a point where you can stream and record using OBS. This lesson is going to briefly touch on a few of the more advanced features within OBS. In a future class, I'll go into much more detail on how to improve a live stream. But for now, let's talk about a few helpful tips. Let's start with some additional settings for our microphone. Pick the three dots besides your Mic ox in the audio mixer and select filters. With this plus button, you can add some filters to change how our microphone actually sounds. Some of the most commonly used filters are compressor gain and noise gate gain is mostly used to boost the volume on a quiet source. The compressor can be used to automatically lower the volume of loud sounds from your microphone, such as shouting and noise gates are used to reduce or remove background noise while you aren't talking. We can also add filters to our camera to change how that looks, right. Click your webcam source and choose filters. Click the plus button under the Effects filters, and here you can choose lots of options. Some good ones to know about are lots, which allow you to basically add a filter to your camera. How you word like an Instagram picture color correction allows you to modify some settings on your camera. For example, you can change the brightness, contrast, and saturation here to make your camera look better. Next is chromakey. This is a necessary source to use if you have a green screen. It removes any instance of a chosen color from the source. Another great and really handy feature of OBS is the ability to add plug ins. There are lots of plugins you can download and add features to enhance your OBS Studio software. And some plug ins are necessary to allow connections between OBS and other software or hardware such as the Elgato Stream Deck. Now in my opinion, one of the best features of OBS is the ability to separate your audio tracks. This is really useful if you want to use your recordings to make podcast, Youtube videos or other online content. Go to Settings and choose output to be using a format that supports us like MKV. And let's set our recording quality to high quality, medium file size. Now beside audio track click boxes for how many audio tracks that you want. For example, I'm going to split my microphone on my desktop audio on the two separate audio tracks within my recording file. This will allow me with my editing software later on to make changes to each track independently. For example, making my microphone lighter and making my game sounds quieter if I need to. So I've selected 1.2 and then we click Apply. Now in our audio mixer, click the three dot beside the Desktop audio and select Advanced Audio Properties. Here we can see all of our audio sources in one window. I want my desktop audio to be solely on track one, so I'm unticking all of the other boxes beside it. Then I want my microphone to be solely on track two. So I am unticking everything except box two. My webcam audio doesn't need to be recorded at all. So I'm unticking everything. All right, that's done. So click close. There is so much more to learn about OBS, but with all the noise that you've learned within this class, you should now be able to understand the fundamental basics of using OBS to stream and record. I'll see you in the next and final lesson for a brief recap and some final reminders. 10. Final Thoughts: Successfully finish this class on how to stream and record using OBS. You've downloaded and installed OBS, connected it to your streaming software, added scenes, sources, and transitions, and learned how to record. I hope you now feel confident in your ability to do so. My recommendation is just get stuck into using OBS. You can improve and learn more about it as you go along. If you do have any questions, the discussion section is the best place to ask for help. Don't forget to post the recording. Take them with OBS to the project gallery. I really appreciate it. If you need to, you can re watch the project video where I take you through how to upload a project. I'll be able to give you feedback there. And I would love to see what you've been able to do by taking this class. If you'd like to, you can leave a review on this class by selecting the Reviews tab beneath the video player. You can follow me here on Skillshare to stay up to date with my classes, just like Fall button next to my name at the top of the video or on my profile page. I'd love to have you back here in the future. I'm going to be adding more classes in the future related to streaming content creation, recording, broadcasting, and so much more. If you have any suggestions or requests, please do let me know. I really wish you all the best with your journey through OBS and I look forward to seeing you again in a future lesson.