For broadcasters just starting out or streaming directly from their consoles, things can seem “vanilla” in a sense. You get the game, the streamer, and a simple chat overlay (console). It’s simple, yet, that is one of the beauties of streaming – you can make your broadcast how you want it by adding just a bit of production value!
For this topic, we will go over a few set of topics while answering some questions that are asked many times by streamers:
- Do I need scenes?
- How many scenes are enough?
- Scene creation and management. (OBS)
DO I NEED SCENES?
Yes and no. Also, depends. A vast majority of the successful and entertaining streamers incorporate multiple scenes into their broadcast. Every scene can be viewed as an extra, useful “card” in your “hand,” (card-playing metaphor) and thus, can be extremely useful when a moment is made or presents itself.
If you are a streamer that primarily focuses on “showcasing” games or someone within a the professional gaming circle, then scenes and transitioning through them will only become a hindrance to you. Also, for those that broadcast directly from their consoles will have no need for scenes since such features are not available (as of this writing).
HOW MANY SCENES ARE ENOUGH?
This question can be broken down into three tiers – basic, novice, progressive – and will vary from streamer to streamer. Here are the basic essentials and when you should start thinking about adding in scenes as you progress and grow as a broadcaster.
The most important and primary scene of your stream. It features the game as the centerpiece, as well as other bits & bobs such as a channel logo, webcam capture, chat box, etc. The most common objects are the webcam and channel logo. Whether or not you want additional elements on the screen is up to you. Just remember that “less is more” and the rule of K.I.S.S.!
Things are going to happen that will interrupt the stream. Whether it is to use the restroom, a moment to gain some mental poise, retrieving and consuming food, or other things that occur because life. Having one of these handy notifies any viewers that are coming back or into your channel that the stream is still going and you have not been abruptly abducted by aliens.
Start-up Scene or Countdown Timer
These scenes are usually a countdown timer or a wallpaper of some kind with the words “The Stream Will Be Starting Soon” or of the like placed on it. Start-Up scenes are a simple, yet, effective way to ease into beginning the broadcast. Most broadcasters play music in the background and use this time for final preparations and tweaks.
It is also more engaging to your audience to know that you are soon to be live by viewing your stream with a Start-Up scene and being online than waiting for an offline channel to abruptly go live. Case in point: Seeing trailers role before the movie begins. Those trailers are indicators that the movie will start as soon as the trailers end. It sets a precedence for the audience the same way using a start-up scene and countdown timers can. Use that psychology to your advantage!
Rather than simply exiting out of your broadcasting program of choice, have a scene just for ending your stream, as well as a select tune to become synonymous with your broadcast. It does not have to be long and it is more for your viewers than it is for you for. Goodbye / Ending scenes help ease peeps out before they join another stream, do something else, or linger while chatting with others.
Before we dive into the thick of things, we are going to answer what “progressive” scenes are. In this case, progressive is used in relation to your stream, in terms of status and numbers. Followers, subscribers, concurrent viewers, all of that good stuff. As your stream grows, adding any one of these scenes will make more sense once you have obtained certain statuses such as being partnered or having enough concurrent viewers to do fun stuff with (recommended 35-50 minimum).
This scene is more focused with you, the broadcaster (assuming you use a webcam), and engaging with your viewers. Why this is lumped into the “Progressive” tier is because the larger audience or concurrent viewers you have in your channel, the better effect this scene has. Think of it as being a world leader addressing their country, except your country is your channel and your people are your viewers.
This scene usually has an image used as a backdrop, as well as your webcam capture enlarged, and a chat box viewable somewhere on-screen. Very useful during raffles and giveaways, as well as addressing viewers for various reasons such as setting up raids onto other channels.
As previously stated in the “Chat” scene, Raids can done using the chat scene, but what fun is that? Once you amassing yourself an army of viewers to raid with, as well as being raided yourself, having a scene dedicated to raiding and raid defending adds some fun into your channel and broadcast. There are no recommended elements to use during the raid scene other than what you can conjure up inside that creative skull of yours. Just be sure to have fun!
This scene can be anything from follower, subscriber, and even donation hypes. Get a mob of follows? Bring out the Hype scene. Have a Sub-Train going? Hype scene. Donation goal reached or someone was just crazy generous by tossing a bag of golden coins your way? Engage the Hype scene!
These scenes are relatively short celebration sequences involving animated graphics or videos, as well as your webcam capture enlarged doing whatever antics it is that you do when you are overflowing with glee and joy. Hype is Hype – so relish in it and have a scene ready for when things start getting wild!
To iterate, any and all scenes are optional. One can never have enough scenes, but the elements added onto each scene should always be done in moderation to keep the screen as uncluttered as possible. These elements, be it images, scrolling text, or a chat box, is a topic for another time.
SCENE CREATION AND MANAGEMENT WITH OBS
Real quick, if you are already familiar with creating and managing scenes with OBS, then skip this section. For everyone else, read on! Scene creation in OBS, or Open Broadcaster Software, is fairly straight-forward and intuitive. It goes without saying, but I will state it anyways: Open OBS as an Administrator! Moving on.
1. Creating a Scene
2. Name Your Scene
3. Set a Hotkey
4. Assign a Hotkey
5. Order Your Scenes
Why hotkey all of your scenes? For faster access. It can alleviate the hassle of ALT+TABing out of a game and fumbling over to transition to a new one. It is also recommended to add the assigned hotkey to each scene’s name for better referencing as well as ordering them according to the “flow” of keys used (example above with F5-F12).
Hope this guide was helpful to setup and organizing scenes for your broadcast. Doing some prepping ahead of time can result in a much smoother stream and add some professionalism and showmanship into your broadcasts. Cheers and happy streaming, everybody!