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Beginner Guide To OBS, Webcams, and Lighting

January 9, 2019

Introduction

You are going to need a fairly decent laptop or PC to be able to run the equipment needed for a clear stream. An HD stream has been proven to generate more traffic and income. HD streams are also placed higher on the front page of Chaturbate than lower quality cams.

 

I use an Asus laptop with a 1060 GTX graphics card and an i7 processor. Basically, your computer needs to be fast enough to handle your camera and OBS software. However, you do not need a super fancy computer if you are only planning to use your webcam instead of a DSLR.

 

It is incredibly useful to have two monitors when using OBS. One for the chat window and one for your stream preview. I used a 47” inch TV and split the screen in half for this. Connecting the TV via HDMI to my laptop. I mirror the laptop screen but you can also choose to extend it instead. The TV also makes a nice face light :)

 

Internet

Do not use WiFi. Definitely plug your computer into an Ethernet port using a cable. Using a higher quality cable can make a difference as well. CAT6 is good enough but CAT7 would be even better. Don’t go lower than CAT6 or will limit your network to slower speeds. I have 20Mbps upload speed.

 

OBS (Open Broadcast Software)

This software is going to allow you to customize your stream and input a DSLR camera as a video source instead of a webcam (if you choose).

 

  1. Download https://obsproject.com/ for windows

  2. Open the download file and follow the instructions on the screen to install

  3. Click “Broadcast Yourself” on Chaturbate

  4. In the preview window, click “User External Encoder to Broadcast”

  5. Next, click “Show RTMP/OBS broadcast information”

    1. There is a short setup guide in this popup window that has some valuable information

    2. This popup window also shows you some of the basic settings recommendations

  6. At the top of this window, there is a long code with numbers and letters and that is your broadcast token. NEVER share this with anyone else or they will be able to broadcast to your account.

  7. Copy your broadcast token

  8. Open OBS > go to file > settings > stream > and paste your broadcast token into the stream key field

  9. Copy the RTMP URL from the popup window as well and paste it into OBS, above the stream key, into the URL field.

  10. Select “custom streaming server” from the drop-down menu that says “stream type” in that same OBS window.

  11. Click “apply” and OK

    1. This is the basic setup and you are almost ready to stream. You just need to add video and audio sources

 

 

 

Scenes and Sources

You don’t have to worry too much about these for basic camming, but if you want to add advertisements, timers, graphics, etc. then you can use scenes and sources for some neat effects.

 

  1. In the main OBS window, create a new scene by clicking on the “+” button.

  2. Title your scene whatever you would like, but keep it simple and informative. “Main Scene” would be fine.

  3. Select that scene (there will be a highlight around it). We are going to add sources next.

  4. Click on the “+” button under “sources” to begin.

    1. You will see a long list of options appear, but don’t be overwhelmed. We are only going to use one of them for now.

  5. Select “video capture device” and enter an accurate name for the device you are using.

    1. ie: Logitech c920

    2. Make sure the “make source visible” box is checked

  6. Click OK

  7. A window will pop up and you will select your device from the device menu drop down. Find your camera there

  8. Change the resolution to custom and enter 1920x1080 in the resolution field

  9. FPS should be set to 30 for beginner users

  10. Do NOT change any of the other settings. If you mess up, just select defaults and re-enter the info above

    1. Be careful when scrolling because the scroll wheel can sometimes accidentally change the settings

  11. Click OK and you are done setting up your webcam :)

 

Adding an Audio Source

I use the Blue Yeti microphone and HIGHLY recommend it over the standard built-in mic in your webcam.

 

  1. In the “Mixer” section of the main OBS window, click on the gear icon next to “mic/aux”

  2. Click on properties

  3. Select the device drop down menu

  4. Find your device in the list and click ok

 

Desktop Audio

A good mic like the Yeti will already improve your audio but if you want your music to be even clearer you can have OBS capture it directly from your computer.

 

**warning**

If you capture audio directly from your computer AND you have audio playing out loud from your speakers, you will get an echo. That is because the audio is being captured by the mic AND directly from your computer. Wearing an earpiece will allow you to hear the music for yourself, but it will not play out loud.

 

If you are wearing an earpiece:

 

If you don’t care about listening to your music while it plays:

  • Select the gear icon and choose your computer as the input device. Do NOT play music out loud with this setting or you will get an echo.

 

If you are playing music out loud in your room:

  • Click the speaker icon to mute desktop audio so it does not capture and play twice

 

Additional OBS Settings

 

General Tab

I haven’t changed anything in these settings.

We set this up earlier and you shouldn’t need to touch it again unless you need a new broadcast token. You do NOT need a new token unless yours has been compromised or you are having a serious technical issue.

 

Output

Don't forget to select a folder to save your recordings in.

 

 

Audio

 

 

 

Video

 

 

 

Hotkeys

I have not changed any of these settings, but you can configure certain keys to do certain tasks for you. Such as pressing “m” on your keyboard to mute your microphone. I don’t find this necessary for myself at the moment.

 

Advanced

You don’t need to worry about this tab too much for a basic setup :)

 

Camera Suggestions

 

A DSLR needs a capture device to in order for OBS to be able to detect it as a video source as it does with webcams. DSLR setup is not discussed in detail in this blog, but there may be one in the future. 

 

*IMPORTANT WHEN CHOOSING A DSLR*

 

  • Needs clean HDMI output so you do not see camera information and icons on your stream

  • Capable of streaming for several hours without overheating

  • Continuous power source without having to change batteries multiple times is convenient and amazing

  • Fast and intelligent autofocus. Manually focusing will give you a nice background blur but becomes frustrating if you like to move around during your shows.

 

Capture Card

 

I like Elgato because they have simplified the process and their products have been amazing to use. There are better and more expensive options but this is a great start for beginners. They even have a list of compatible DSLRS on their website.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Elgato-Cam-Link-Broadcast-Camcorder/dp/B07K3FN5MR/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1546916011&sr=8-5&keywords=elgato

 

Alternative Webcams

 

I have not been super impressed with the Logitech Brio camera, but it is capable of 4k and has sharp image quality. With the perfect lighting, this is an excellent choice, but I find the C920 to be more adjustable and less harsh. It’s a very good price and can do 60fps at 1080p.

 

Logitch Brio

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-BRIO-Conferencing-Recording-Streaming/dp/B01N5UOYC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546916460&sr=8-1&keywords=logitech+brio

 

*Notes*

There are several webcam models in between the Logitech C920 and Brio cams. The Logitech C930e and the C922 Pro Stream. The C930e is not an upgrade when compared to the C920. In fact, these cameras are almost exactly the same. However, the c930e is more compatible with Apple products.

 

What originally drew me to the C922 Pro Stream was the possibility of 1080p at 60fps. I was also quite excited about the fact that it promised background removal capabilities. The Brio promises this as well as depth of field adjustment. A shallow depth of field provides an attractive blurred background effect.

 

This would be an incredible feature, but Logitech simply goofed the software. Personify is a terrible application and highly recommend that you do not download it. There are some compatibility issues with older Logitech cams and software. OBS will also try to detect it as an input source.

 

Lighting

 

You can make the cheapest cameras look amazing with perfect lighting. Lighting is what is going to make the biggest difference in the quality of your streams.

 

My Current Setup


 

Alternative Lighting

 

4k Notes

I'm not planning on upgrading to 4k anytime soon because I don't believe that the majority of my viewers can support that resolution. Viewers would need to have a good internet connection and a 4k monitor in order to be able to enjoy the show in full quality.

 

Upgrading to 4k can put more strain on your computer and exclude some of your audience. I don't currently think that Chaturbate is stable or capable of providing a reliable connection on either end. Users are allowed to choose downgraded stream quality for higher performance. This is a good option for people with slower connections. 

 

I just think that a standard 1080p at 30/60fps with ~5000 bit rate is a solid choice.