(Updated: November 11th, 2019) Posted: May 20, 2015
Are you new to streaming and curious how people get their streams looking so good? Perhaps you’re wondering, what is an overlay? How do I get one of my own? Here’s a brief, but hopefully helpful quicklook at graphics for Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, and their use on OBS or xSplit.
An overlay can be a border around your webcam, or it can be a full 1080p thing taking up the whole frame. It’s basically a graphic (normally a transparent PNG file) that sits above your game capture window, and your webcam. It’s almost like your stream is wearing a mask, and you position things underneath it so everything lines up nicely (you wouldn’t wear a mask upside down… I mean… Unless you had upside down face or something).
You will need to be streaming using OBS or xSplit software, on PC or Mac. Within those programs it’s as simple as adding an image layer, and selecting your file(s). This is a handy video showing you how that’s done in OBS, and it’s more or less the same thing in xSplit.
No, there’s no way to apply it directly to your console stream. You will need to be using some sort of game capture device, which feeds your gameplay into OBS or xSplit on PC/Mac.
Yes, it does. I’m sorry.
No, only buy a PSD if you have access to Photoshop, and are comfortable amending text yourself using that program. You won’t be able to add the .PSD directly to OBS or xSplit. You will need to open the .PSD in Photoshop and then export your graphic as a transparent PNG.
They’re not, no. JPGs and GIFs also work on OBS or xSplit, but JPGs don’t allow transparency, and GIFs do, but normally at a much lower quality. PNGs (specificially PNG-24, since you didn’t ask) offer transparency with little or no drop in quality. They can be slightly bigger files as a result, but not significantly.
With over 150 stream graphics available, this can all get a little overwhelming. Perhaps you don't know your Twitch overlays from your stream alerts, or what exactly Professional Customisation means on our stream design pages. Well, take a look at our guides section.
My name's Lou and since 2014 I've designed & maintained everything you see, from website to stream overlays. Twitch Overlay isn't impossibly large teams with zero accountability - any order or contact you make, you're talking to me and me alone so feel free to get in touch.
Our newsletter is quite literally just an excuse for us to give away paid content. Over the past year we've given away VX Pro Chroma, Razor Purple, and Carbon stream overlays (each worth between $10-12) simply as a thanks for being subscribed. And when we're not doing that we're putting exclusive discounts in there, so generally it's a win-win.
If your stream is picking up a little momentum and you're looking into ways to monetize, consider giving our affiliate program a try. The minimum requirements to join are very fair, and as you grow and refer more people our way, we'll bump up your cut! Plus once you become a preferred affiliate you can request any overlay at no cost.