One of the most important things for most streamers is their webcam. Without it, your audience can’t see you – making your stream often feel a lot less personal. A webcam makes it feel more like a real person is behind the stream, rather than a faceless machine!
The popular broadcasting software OBS Studio lets you add multiple cameras, so you can essentially have as many as you like – but if you don’t know how to add them, it doesn’t matter how many cameras you own!
With that in mind, if you’re just learning to stream, you’ll want to know how you can get your webcam to work in OBS. Well, don’t worry – here’s a quick and simple guide to adding your webcam to OBS!
What Is OBS?
Now, if you already know what OBS is, and how to install it, then you can skip this step. However, for those of you who are new to all this, here’s a quick guide!
OBS stands for Open Broadcaster Software. It’s a free piece of software that’s one of the standard applications most streamers use. It’s extremely powerful, and mostly quite easy to use – although, of course, a powerful piece of software always needs a little bit of time to learn how to use properly.
OBS Studio is the current version of the software. There are older packages for download available under the name “OBS Classic”, but these are out of date now, and are unsupported. Therefore, the best thing to do is to start off with the latest release of the software.
If you don’t have OBS Studio installed already, it’s a simple process. First of all, you’ll need to go to the download section of the OBS Project website. Here, you can download the latest release of OBS Studio for your operating system.
It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux – although for the easiest install on Linux, you’ll need to have a Debian-based OS, such as Ubuntu or Mint, so that you can download the software using apt. It’s possible to build OBS Studio form source code too, but that’s outside the scope of this article.
For Windows and Mac, downloading OBS Studio is as simple as selecting the version that matches your operating system, and clicking the “Download Installer” button on the webpage. Once that’s downloaded, opening the file should begin the installation process.
On Debian-based Linux systems, you’ll first need to install ffmpeg. Enter this into a terminal window:
sudo apt install ffmpeg
After that’s done, you’ll need to add the repository for the OBS Project to apt. Execute this command in the terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:obsproject/obs-studio
Once that’s done, apt now knows where it can download OBS Studio from. Simply run this command to install it:
sudo apt install obs-studio
That’s it – OBS Studio is installed!
Setting Up The Webcam
Now that OBS Studio is installed onto your system, it’s time to begin adding your webcam to your stream. Luckily, this is quite easy – just follow these steps and you’ll be streaming your face in no time!
Firstly, you’ll notice a set of boxes at the bottom of the main OBS Studio window. From left to right, these are titled “Scenes”, “Sources”, “Audio Mixer”, “Controls”, and “Screen Transitions”.
Firstly, add a scene to the “Scenes” section, if you don’t have one there already. Do this by clicking on the “+” button at the bottom of the “Scenes” section.
A dialog box will pop up straight away, asking you to enter a name for the scene. Type the name you want in and click OK – or press Enter on your keyboard. Either will accept your choice.
You can add multiple scenes, and switch between them on the fly. For example, you can have one scene that has your webcam on, and one that doesn’t – for example, if you want to take a quick break midstream, you might want to use a scene with a “be back soon” message.
However, for this tutorial, we’ll only need to use one scene.
Now that your scene is added, we’ll move on to the “Sources” section. This is where we’ll add the webcam itself.
Firstly, click on the “+” button in the “Sources” section, just as we did before in the “Scenes” section. This time, you won’t get a dialog box that asks you to enter a name – instead, you’ll see a large menu with a list of options. Each of these is something that you can add to your stream.
The option we’ll be selecting is “Video Capture Device” – you might notice that it has a camera icon, indicating that it’s the option we need! Click it, and a dialog box will pop up where you can enter a name, in the “Create New” section.
As this is the first time we’ll be adding a camera, there shouldn’t be anything in the “Add Existing” section – but if there is, ignore it for now. Enter a name for your webcam – this is entirely up to you. If you have more than one, name them so that you know which name refers to which camera.
Press OK, and you’ll be presented with a new window, titled “Properties for “Video Capture Device”” – or whatever you named it as in the previous step. Near the top of this, you’ll see a dropdown menu titled “Device”. This is where any cameras you have connected to your system are listed.
Click this menu, and select the camera that you want to use. Straight away, you should see the camera activate, and should see the image from the camera in the area above the “Device” menu.
You’ll see many settings in this window – if you need to change any of them, then you can do it now, or come back here later on to change them if need be.
To get back into this window from the main OBS Studio window, simply right click the appropriate source in the “Sources” section, and then click “Properties” in the menu that appears.
That’s it – if you;ve followed these steps correctly, your webcam should now be in the main window of OBS Studio, ready for you to move it about to your desired position and size, using the red lines and boxes that outline it. Your webcam is up and running on OBS Studio, ready for you to start streaming!
Hopefully, this guide has taught you how to quickly and easily setup your webcam in OBS Studio! Now click that “Start Streaming” button, so that the rest of the world can see your face!