OBS open source TV studio

I posted a quick note on interesting looking OBS Studio software some time ago.  OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a free and open source software for video recording and live streaming. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux.

OBS could be described as some kind of combinaton of real time video mixing and video encoding/streaming system. OBS offers high performance real time video/audio capturing and mixing, meaning you can take video input from various sources (like built-in video camera on your laptop, other video devices, video playback, computer application window contents in real time, etc..) and combine them to outout you want. You can easily combine one or more video sources to a “scene”, and switch easily between scenes. The software has also audio mixer. Professionally made news broadcasts, live webcasts, and live TV events usually use multiple-camera setups controlled by one central software suite – with OBS you can do the same yourself.

Linux video editing in real time with OBS Studio article described OBS as software for on-the-fly video editing and basic compositing. But here“Editing” is a bit of misnomer here. OBS really isn’t an editor. In broadcast terms, it’s a bit closer to being what’s called a live switcher or video mixer. When doing a broadcast of a live event  as it occurs, you can change which video source(s) get routed to your video output on the fly. If you record the video coming from the output, you have a finished video that doesn’t require offline editing since all of the cuts happened live. Been there and done that – I have worked with live TV broadcasting (at those times with professional and some ow my own DIY gear). The software has even a Studio Mode that lets you preview your scenes and sources before pushing them live.

You might have seen results of OBS prodction for example on those YouTube gaming videos where the player video view is mixed to one corner of video – many of them are done or could be done with OBS. OBS supports streaming all your favorite streaming platforms like YouTube, twitch, etc.. Or you can save the gameplay to a local video file that you upload to service of your choice.

At quick testing this software looks very promising. I got it working well on my laptop that runs Windows 10 (I neeeded to install Visual C++ Redistributable Packages for Visual Studio 2013 to make the software to work). I got easily many video sources working – I tested built-in camera on laptop, USB webcam, USB endoscope, USB microscope, USB video capture adapter, application Windows contents on the same PC, etc.. After viewing some introduction videos getting everything working was pretty easy.

Here are some videos on feature and using OBS:
OBS Studio BEST Streaming & Recording Settings 2016

Full Basic Setup Guide for OBS (Open Broadcaster) 2017 | Beginner Tutorial

OBS Studio BEST Settings for Recording and Streaming (Tutorial)



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    OBS: How to Chroma Key Correctly!

    A quick overview of how to setup your chromakey in OBS.


    This is a tut on how to make your background transparent in OBS!

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to Chroma Key With OBS

    How to use Chrmoa key/ Color Chooser in OBS

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 MINUTE EASY SETUP! [Green Screen w/ OBS Classic] “Chroma Key”

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Question / Help How to setup Chromakey

    1. Add a camera to Global Sources.
    2. Add that camera (from the new ‘global sources’ option in the right-click menu on the Sources list) to a scene.
    3. Preview the scene. You should see your camera’s video.
    4. Right-click on the global source in the list, select ‘properties’.
    5. Check the ‘Use Chroma Key’ box. Click the ‘Select’ button. Move your mouse to your preview window, and use the now-eyedropper to select an example color (you want to hit the middle of your color-range, so not a shadow and not a highlight).
    6. Fiddle with the Similarity values, and the Blend until you get a good, clean chromakey. Add spill reduction only if part of the edges of you are being chroma’d out (spill).

    I use a Similarity of 80 and a Blend of 60 on my own screen; it’s really a question of how good a greenscreen you have, and if you’ve lit it properly.

    Also, If you have any sort of good webcam, say a logitech C920, and you have the crossbar installed, make sure to turn off “right light” or any other automatic lighting thing’s. It will mess around with your lighting automatically, and will mess up the green screen.

    I’d have to second that; switch off all the auto-stuff. Turning off auto white-balance, auto-gain, auto-brightness, etc is VERY important to getting a consistent chromakey, as the camera won’t be messing around with the color settings then (as they’re all set to manual).
    I do turn off auto-focus, mostly as I don’t generally move enough to require it to re-focus, and don’t want it deciding at-random to change focus and go all blurry (as the c920 has a tendency to do).

    Lighting is waaaaaay more important than buying fancy screens. Consistent, bright lighting is the #1 key to chromakey behaving properly for the usage you intend.

    I’d strongly recommend a diffuser setup for lighting your greenscreen if you have the space available; the soft light will help reduce any shadows/highlights and produce a consistent tone. Be aware that most good diffuser heads are… pretty large though. By necessity.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:


    These days most live streaming software packages include chroma keying as a feature. In this guide we’ll show you how to achieve this great effect with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software).
    Equipment needed:Green Screen Setup

    A solid green background
    A webcam or video camera

    As with all things in video production, you can easily spend a fortune on equipment. For the purpose of this guide, we’ve tried to keep things reasonably cheap.

    Lighting is very important when it comes to green screens as you want the green to be as even as possible.

    I won’t delve too deep into the best lighting setup, but for professional shoots it’s recommended to have three types of lighting. Back lights, key lights and fill lights.

    If you’ve correctly set-up the green screen and lighting, the chroma keying should be reasonably simple.

    Open up OBS and add your video source.
    Right click on the video source and select ‘Filter’.
    Click the ‘+’ under the ‘Effects Filters’ section, then select ‘Chroma Key’.
    Enter a name for the effect layer.
    When adding a chroma key OBS will automatically generate some baseline settings. In most cases you’ll need to fine tune these settings. I’d recommend experimenting with the sliders to see what they do.

    Once you’re happy with the chroma key settings you should then do a quick run through of your shoot. If the subject is going to remain stationary, you’re likely good to go. However, if there’s going to be movement, you should double check every position the subject will be in to make sure the chroma key settings are correct for the whole shoot.

    After you’ve confirmed the chroma key settings are correct, you can now add your background layer(s). You will need to make sure they’re below the chroma keyed camera layer in OBS.

    Live chroma keying can be quite CPU intensive, so make sure your computer is powerful enough.
    Make sure the subject doesn’t have any green, or reflective material on them. Often blonde hair can cause issues with reflection.
    In OBS you can chroma key images, and videos – not just camera feeds.
    If you have multiple shades of green, you can chroma key a source multiple times, each time specifying a different shade of green.

    go to source list select camera and then click with right mouse button select filter and ….. now you see filter, select it and appear the chroma key effect.

    You can add a background image by adding a new ‘source’ (click the + below sources), then selecting ‘image’. Make sure the that the image layer is below the chroma keyed layer.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Filters in OBS Studio

    Adding Effect Filters in OBS Studio

    The thing you need to realize about filters, is that they can be added to every source individually. However, if you apply filters to a source in one scene, they will carry over to any other scenes that your sources are used in. This means that if you want to have different filters applied to the same source, you’d have to add that type of source in again, and then name it something different, such as image 2.

    To use a filter, let’s first click the source we want to apply it to, right click, and select Filters. If our source allows Audio/Video Filters, there will be a section for them at the top-left. But again, let’s look at the Effects Filters on the bottom-left. We can see our current selected source on the right. Now, we can hit the plus, to add a filter. Let’s work our way from the top down.

    We’re going to notice that adding filters is pretty similar to adding new sources into OBS. For Image Mask/Blend we just select it, name the filter, and hit okay. You’ll see that filters have the ability to be toggled on and off, just like sources as well. Image Mask/Blend might seem complicated as a new streamer, but let’s take it slow and hopefully you’ll understand what uses you can have with it.

    Let’s apply some filters to my another source like a background video. After I open up the filters panel, I’ll add a color correction filter. The first thing we’ll notice is color. This will basically tint the source to the color we select.

    The scroll filter can actually be used in some interesting ways. First, it’s very useful to make text sources move from left to right.

    Color Key Vs Chroma Key

    Let’s go ahead and move on to our next filter, the Color Key, but let’s actually talk about Chroma Key as well.

    What’s the difference between color and chroma key?

    Well, I’m going to make it quite simple for you. If you want to filter out or hide a green screen, use the Chroma Key. Chroma key is what more streamers will want to use. A color key can be useful with graphics with a specific color you’d like removed.

    Let’s work with the chroma key filter. We can work from the preset colors under Key Color Type, or we can pick a color of our own. Fo green screens, this is generally the best idea, to select the closest color to your screen possible. So, with Custom Color selected, let’s hit select color. Here, we can select colors in various ways, or we can actually use Pick Screen Color to pull up a sort of eye dropper that will match the color we’re hovering over. Go to your source and select the most common color shade you see in it, that you’d like to key out. Simply click it and you’ll have the color you need. You can hit Add to custom colors, to save this color selection, and then Okay. If you’re using a green screen, you might already see some good results, if not, don’t worry, we can do some tweaking to the options.

    Finally, for graphical sources, let’s move on to possible the easiest filter, sharpen. If you have a blurry image, webcam, or similar, just simply increase the sharpness to a desired effect. Be careful with sharpness, it can make things look a bit unnatural if you use too much.

    Video Delay (Async)

    Next, is Video Delay (Async). This will basically tell a specific source to be delayed a certain amount of time in milliseconds.

    The last filter is Noise Gate. You may be already familiar with these options, but let’s take a look. If you have a source that you’d like to automatically filter out some loud noises, or only play noises that are above a certain level, then you want to set up a noise gate filter.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chroma key works nicely!

    Also color key works, but I seem to get better results with chroma key.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to livestream games like the pros with OBS

    The tool used by many of Twitch’s most popular streamers is completely free and open source.

    OBS Studio is one of the most popular tools for streaming to Twitch.tv. At any given time, nearly 1-million people are watching live, and thousands are streaming. Most users stream video games.

    OBS Studio is developed by a small team working in the open. Most of the code has been written by jp9000/Jim, but several other developers also have made serious contributions to the project.

    Omgvandi says that most OBS Studio scenes are constructed from a few basic sources:

    Webcam video source: “Some people have a green screen. Most have the straight camera box, and the best have a real-life background that fits the style of the stream,” she says.

    Game capture: OBS Studio can capture full-screen games, windowed games, or the raw desktop.

    A browser source that displays new followers, new donations, and subscriptions. Browser sources are dynamic web content rendered onto the stream.

    Static or animated graphics to provide borders and branding

    OBS Studio has a huge and engaged user base, especially when you consider the size of its development team—one main developer and a few volunteers, none of whom are paid for their work. Its official Twitter account has more than 95,000 followers.

    Wrapping up

    OBS Studio is technically solid, and what users can do with it is flat-out impressive.


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