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How to add streaming overlays easily and for free

Jan 18, 2023

When it comes to streaming and developing your own brand in this field, you have probably already considered finding your own unique design. Developing your own design is time-consuming and requires some knowledge, so there are services that help you create design elements for your stream quickly.

Today we will talk about how to get overlays for your videos.

In this review, we will share three ways.

  1. Getting overlays from StreamsElements and setting them up in OBS Studio

The first thing to do is to register on StreamElements website and then login.

If you don't have an account, you can log in through any account on Twitch, or YouTube.

This is generally a free service that gives you alerts, sources, and overlays you can use right away in your stream. You can use this if you do not plan to pay someone for custom overlays.

In the Streaming Tools section, go to the Overlays or Overlays gallery tab. To get a free template, go to the Overlays gallery.

Choose the style that suits you.

For example, let’s take a look at this Japanese-style template. You can click on it to see its elements, then click "Create my Overlay".

When you see this screen, you can copy the sources to your browser and transfer them to OBS.

Back to StreamElementes dashboard. In the Streaming ToolsOverlays.

Now you can click “Edit” to get to the editor where you can modify various elements and parts of the overlays.

To transfer items to OBS, click “Copy URL” or “Copy Overlay URL”. If the link is copied at the bottom right, a “copied to clipboard” alert will appear.

Moving on to OBS Studio

Open OBS and create a new scene, Click on the "+" icon in the Scenes panel. 

Create a name for your scene and then click “OK”.


Now we are going to add some sources for our stream. Click the “+” icon at the bottom of the sources panel. 

Select “Browser” from the list. 

Create a name for your new source, for example, “Stream End”.

Now paste the URL you got earlier into the URL field. 

Then enter a width of 1920 and a height of 1080 - the classic dimensions of the overlay or whatever you'll be streaming.

If you want to fit media to full screen, right click and select Transform.

So, the scene for the end of the stream is ready, click “Save” to save.

Using the same principle, you can create the rest of the overlays.

Return to to continue your work. 

The fastest way is to click on “…”, then “Copy Url”.

Then go back to OBS, create a new scene, name it, for example “Be Right Back” , then add a resource for it via the “Browser” option. All the same steps.

By doing so you will have a list of scenes you can switch between.

By the end of this process you’ll have your secondary scenes (those that are covering the whole screen) set up and ready. 

Now we are going to finalize the setting of the main scenes, or those which should include your camera and screen, besides the overlay itself.

Return to OBS, select the desired scene.

To place a screen capture in your overlay, in the Sources panel, click Add > Display Capture.

Make the screen a little smaller and move it to the window.

To place the screen under the overlay, simply drag it down from the left side. This is necessary so that uneven corners are not visible.

To add a camera: Add > Video Capture Device.

If there are a lot of elements and you have lost your needed source, click on the “eye” to hide the rest. 

A few more interesting functions for testing the operation of elements in the emulator.

Whenever someone is chatting, on the right you will have a little section dedicated to making chats appear on your screen and then just disappear automatically.

You also have subscribers and donations and so on, all of which are automatically configured:

To test this functionality, go back to the StreamElements, to the specific overlay. 

Select the element, find the “Emulate” panel and select the “Subscriber event”.

Same is applicable for all other functions. If you have a new subscriber, their name will be displayed, and you can also click on the numbers that appear in the drop-down box to add them.

You can also test monetization in the Tip events section.

When you use the emulator, emulated subscribers appear in OBS. This will give you an idea of what it will look like during the stream.

If you hear a duplicate sound when doing this, that’s okay. To remove the duplicate, turn off the microphone in the emulation panel in the editor. As a result, the sound will only appear in OBS.

  1. Install StreamLabs OBS

Then go to the Themes and choose the one that suits you the best. Many of the themes are free.

To install, click “Install” and select the interface elements you need.

You can also transfer themes from StreamLabs OBS to OBS Studio.

  1. Nerd or Die

Nerd or Die is a paid premium site. You can buy both the complete design and individual parts of it. Top streamers take their designs from here.

  1. Simple overlay in Callaba

Is it possible to add a simple overlay to the stream in Callaba Cloud too. If you need to add a logo to your video, or a card with the title of the program or the name of the person.

You can add an overlay at any point in your video in real time.

Here’s a short video explaining how you can do it in less than a minute.

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