When streaming, there are times when your content might not be live but you still want something on the screen to let your audience know that something is about to, or has been, happening. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to make and use one.
What is a Waiting Screen and Why Would I Use One?
The most common types of waiting screen are:
- Starting soon
- Be right back
- Thanks for watching
They’re pretty self-explanatory, but using a waiting screen like ‘starting soon’ can help create anticipation as well as give you a holding page to promote your other social links to the audience before to your stream. ‘Be right back’ is useful if you have an unexpected problem or if you need the bathroom! ‘Thanks for watching’ is a way to make sure your stream doesn’t just drop off a cliff, and a nice way to thank your fans and again promote your social media links, upcoming shows, and hopefully send some watchers into following you elsewhere.
How to Make a Waiting Screen for OBS Studio
Have a little time, or need something custom? It's not too hard to create something yourself from scratch in a programme like Adobe Photoshop and Premiere or After Effects.
We've previously covered how to make a stream overlay in Photoshop. Here's a tutorial on how to take that overlay and combine it with looping stock video to make a Starting Soon screen. The process is the same with most video editing programmes, but demonsrtated here in After Effects:
Use a Template
Or you can use something pre-made and adjust it until it fits your brand. With PlaceIt you can create something quickly and easily right there on the website for a small fee or included as part of subscription, so you won’t need any additional software. Simply choose a 'waiting screen' template, edit it to suit your brand and render it out for use.
Let’s run through a quick example:
This template with wavy lines is simple and generic enough to use across any channel, with enough room for an additional link to another channel.
You can see that you have options to change the audio track, the background colour, wave colours, text, font (and colour) and the playback speed.
When you click the drop-down boxes you’ll see various alternatives to the pre-selected choices, and a ‘more’ button which will bring up the ability to search (for a font or music), or more colours including the option to put in a hex code.
I searched ‘fun’ to find a new track, and picked Envato’s green as the colour of the waves, with white highlights.
You need to click Play All at the bottom of the screen before you can download your video.
Once you've done that, the option to download will become available and when you click it you'll see this:
Your Starting Soon Video
Now you have your video ready to go, you'll need to add it into OBS so it's ready to use.
How to Add Your Waiting Screen to OBS Studio
The Scenes feature is great for creating collections of graphics. For example, if you have your three waiting screens set up as scenes—Starting soon, Be right back, Thanks for watching—you can have them readily on-hand when you need them.
To add your starting soon video to a Scene (with it selected) right-click on Sources and choose Media Source from the options.
You'll be asked to create or select your Source. Since we're adding a new one, you'll click Create New and give it a title—I've called it 'starting soon'.
Another window will appear for you to select some further options. Make sure loop is ticked otherwise your video will play through once and then stop. You want to stop it manually when you're ready to start your stream instead.
Your Waiting Screen is Ready to Use
Now you'll be able to see your 'starting soon' screen in Sources and when on screen it'll loop until you're ready to stop it and begin streaming.
When you've created other waiting screens, like 'BRB' and 'Thanks For Watching' just follow the same steps to add them and you'll see them appear in Sources. Remember to use Scenes to effectively group your sources together to make it easy to flip between them when needed.
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