Openbroadcast Software

One Program to Rule them All

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Openbroadcast Software or OBS is shareware software which allow you to create aesthetically pleasing broadcasts to captivate your audiences. Catch 22? You need to find the graphics and browser tools to fill each component. I have already listed a number of websites in a previous blog. The best way to approach the setup is to be somewhat familiar with the software and then decide on the flow of your broadcast. My personal broadcast I start with a “starting soon” scene consisting of 3 sources. One source is my music which I credit the composer at the end of my broadcast (free for commercial use with accreditation), my name which I created in Manga Studio (I don’t know the new name for Manga Studio), and the starting soon graphic which is courtesy of an online resource listed in my previous blog. There is also a mixer which allows the user to mute or unmute audio media, mics, desktop audio, etcetera.

You can create a number of profiles for different types of broadcast which include their own sets of scenes and sources (after you create them XD). When you click the plus sign under scene, a simple dialog to name the scene will appear and using the arrows below the scene box a user may rearrange the order of the scenes. The same functions work in source with a few additions. A settings button is displayed to quickly select sources and edit the settings (media, graphics, webcam, etc).

The biggest endeavor for me which should have been easy if the right cloth was available was setting up the green screen for the camera. Select the right scene and then the webcam in sources. Right click and the option to apply filters will appear. Filters allow you to have some control over audio functions and video displays. There are 2 options available which operate in a way to filter out colors such as green on the webcam box and make you appear to be a cardboard cutout playing your favorite game. The first is color key which is not typically used.

The second is chromakey. This filter should first have all the setting moved to 0 and trust me this helps. The second part is to select the color from the picture from the webcam of your background (if you are caucasion your green screen should not be white…. trust me). The second part is to slowly change the settings until you and your clothing are perfectly present and the background is invisible. If this is posing a challenge consider a few things. (1) Do you have the right lighting? The best lighting is indirect lighting in my  personal experience, but read online about lighting in an article and you will be able to quickly figure it out. (2) Is the color of your green screen too close to the colors you are wearing or skin color? If it is, consider changing clothes or outfit or changing the color of the green screen. I created my own green screen here. I would include pictures here, but this was my first attempt and my green screen looks like a 3 year old lost a fight with some scissors, PVC pipe, and a hot glue gun. Somehow it came together and worked perfectly though. There is one more key part of using OBS for broadcasting.

If you have a special gaming keyboard and are not using the additional keys for actual in game buttons then it would be very helpful to create a complex key function (ctrl+shft+F1) and setting the functions to operate your stream. This allows you to stay on your game screen and completely control your broadcast down to when to mute music, change scenes, turn on or off webcams, everything. Mine is setup to additional play sound bites like a baby crying or a no heartbeat clip which I plan to use in game when it would be funny… like when I die for the hundredth time. That’s all I have for now on OBS, but it is an amazing program and it is free. There are other really good programs, but my blog is about how to become an excellent broadcaster with the least investment!

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