What are scenes in OBS Studio? How should you be using them?
Scene Collections allow you to keep your scenes organised together.
You could create different scenes for different products, businesses, brands or online presentations.
From the Scene Collection menu in OBS Studio you can:
- Create a new scene collection
- Duplicate an existing scene collection (useful when you don’t want to start from scratch)
- Rename an existing scene collection
- Remove an existing scene collection
- Import a scene collection
- Export scene collection
Sam notes that there can be some compatibility issues when moving between OBS Studio on a Mac to OBS Studio on Windows, or vice versa, so make sure you have your sources backed up just in case.
Scenes in OBS Studio
Scenes are individual collections of sources. They might include things like your webcam, your microphone, some images and text.
For example on Coffee & Content, John often uses the following scenes:
- Start Screen: The words “Starting soon,” a thumbnail image that describes the topic of the stream, and some audio waveforms in brand colours (courtesy of the Waveform Visualiser plugin).
- John only: John’s camera, a grey bar at the bottom of the screen, the John Lacey logo in the corner, and a gradient background. (This also includes audio inputs.)
- Screen share: Sharing an entire screen with the Display source, with John superimposed in the corner (background removed with the Chroma Key filter), and grey bar and John Lacey logo.
- Screenshare only: Same as the previous item, but with John off screen completely.
- End screen: Similar to the start screen but with the words “Thank you” instead of “Starting soon.”
Creating a new scene in OBS Studio
- Go to the scene dock and click the Plus (+) sign to add a new collection. (If the scene dock isn’t visible, go to Docks menu and select Scenes from the list.)
- You will prompted to give your scene a name. Giving your scene a meaningful name will help you pick it from the list more easily. Give your scene a name and click OK.
Renaming a scene in OBS Studio
- Right-click on the scene name from the Scenes dock.
- Select “Rename” from the menu.
- Update the name and hit enter.
Duplicating an existing scene in OBS Studio
- Right-click on the scene from the Scenes dock.
- Select “Duplicate” from the menu.
- Give the new scene a name and hit Ok.
Removing a scene in OBS Studio
- Right-click on the scene from the Scenes dock.
- Select “Remove” from the menu.
- You will be asked “Are you sure you wish to remove [scene name]?” Click Yes.
Rearranging the order of your scenes in the list
It’s often quite useful to have your scenes in a meaningful order. If you take the Coffee and Content example from earlier, it makes sense (for example) to have the Start scene as the first scene in the list.
To move a scene in your list:
- Click on the scene name in the Scenes dock
- Drag and drop scene from within the list (hold down mouse button, move position, release mouse button); OR
- Use the Move Scene Up or Move Scene Down arrow buttons.
Switching between scenes in OBS Studio
Clicking on a scene to switch to it
The most basic way to switch to a scene is to click on its name from the Scenes dock.
Setting up keyboard shortcuts or Hotkeys
You can set up keyboard shortcuts or Hotkeys for all kinds of actions within OBS Studio, including switching scenes.
To create a hotkey:
- Go to the File menu and select Settings
- Click on Hotkeys
- You can use the filter option to find Switch to scene settings specifically by typing ‘scene’ into the Filter
- Find the scene you want to create the hotkey for
- Click into the input box and press the key combination that should trigger this action
If you make a mistake you can use the Revert or Clear buttons and try again.
Switching Scenes in Studio Mode
Studio Mode lets you preview a scene before you switch to it.
To turn Studio Mode on, go to the Controls dock and click Studio Mode. (If you cannot see Controls go to the Dock menu and select Controls from the list.)
With Studio Mode on, you will see Preview and Program screens. The program is what your viewers can currently see. The preview is what you wish to switch to.
You can make changes to a scene in Preview before you switch to it. So if there is a problem —perhaps you didn’t update some text— you can make that change before your viewers see it. This is not something you can do outside of Studio Mode.
You have some options about in terms of the transition (Cut, Fade, Fade to Black). You can click on these buttons to use these transitions or just click the Transition button to use the default.
Setting up a button on a Stream Deck
The Elgato Stream Deck is an amazing tool for computer productivity and livestreaming. You can program the software to do all kinds of things at the press of a button.
Create a button to switch to a scene
- In The Stream Deck software find the Scene option under the OBS Studio category. Drag it onto an empty button and release the mouse button.
- Give the action a title (name it after the scene you’re switching to) and (optionally) an icon.
- Select the Scene by name from the Scene drop down.
If you have Studio Mode enabled you will also get an additional option to specify the target (put this scene on Preview or Program).
Create a button to toggle Studio Mode
- Go to the Studio Mode option in the OBS Studio category within the Stream Deck Software. Drag it onto an empty space and release the mouse button.
- Give the action a title.
Now when you press this button you will turn Studio Mode on or off.