An overlay is a great way to display to your community different things that you want to achieve ie: A sub goal, Tip goal, Follower goal, Top tippers and anything of that nature as well. You can even display most recent followers if you wish too. As simple as it sounds there can be a right way and a very wrong way to do this as well. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when you decide to add an overlay to your stream.
Should I get an overlay?
This should be the 1st question you ask because there are certain circumstances where you will not be able to use an overlay. IE: if you stream from console and DO NOT use a capture card then it will be harder/not possible to use an overlay. I have been told that if you use a console and stream directly from there to Twitch or whatever platform, that if you use the remote play feature or do it through a computer then you should be able to use an overlay. Personally, I have no idea how to use that as I never needed to but apparently it is possible. I used to have an overlay when I did use a capture card though. This is because it runs through OBS and you are able to add the file/image to your scenes. If you stream through a computer then you will have no problem adding an overlay to your streams to make them a bit more personal as well too! I personally never got one until I was on a PC/Capture card. If you are in a position where you are unable to have an overlay, that is totally okay too! You will be able to add one eventually as you continue to progress in your journey!
*** If you are someone who is really enjoying the blogs and has the financial freedom to want to support this through tips, you are more than welcome to do so by clicking on this link to bring you to my personal Ko-Fi page. Never will you ever be pressured to support in this way however the option is there if you wish to do so! Your continued support regardless of financial or not is greatly appreciated.
What is an Overlay?
An overlay is any type of information or design that you want to display on your stream. In order to do so you need to either be using a capture card or streaming from a PC. Some streamers have different scenes where their overlay displays chat, or the top donators or subscribers and things as well. It really depends on what you are looking to show to your community in your stream as far as how you would like this to be shown. If you wanted you could also display certain types of goals you might have for your channel as well too. It really depends on what you are looking for as a streamer! For myself, I sometimes show the subscriber goals that I have when trying to save for certain things, I also try to show things like followers sometimes. I also have a chat overlay as well sometimes depending on the scene that I am using too.
How can I get an overlay?
There are places where you can get a pre-designed overlay. This would be the quickest and one of the easiest ways to get one. Another more expensive way would be to commission a graphic designer and ask them to do a one of a kind overlay for you. Keep in mind if you want all the “Bells and whistles” then it will cost some money to get done. I always say when looking for ANY type of graphics it can be extremely helpful for the artists if you have somewhat of an idea. Even knowing which colors you would like on there is a huge help! And if not, that is also okay since your artist should be able to articulate your idea’s for you if you have trouble.
When I decided I wanted to do a little revamp, an overlay was something that I wanted. I knew I wanted it to be simple and I knew I wanted it to be timeless. I asked for my name “StaySeeJ” to be on there and I dropped the 08. Why? Because eventually if I got to the point I wanted a name change I would be dropping the 08 if it was possible. Spoiler alert: Fast forward to now, and I have actually dropped the 08 from my name which is great I thought ahead and am able to continue to use the same overlay! And I felt this was going to be cleaner without the number too. My colors that I liked was blues and white/black. The whole point was to have it slick and clean looking. I wanted it to be very minimal at the top of my screen and that’s how mine was done! Its simple, customizable and easy to add to any streaming software. I have also added through Streamlabs the different information that I wanted at the top. ie: Sub count, Sub Goal, Top Bits, Recent follower, Recent sub. The best part is that if I want to change out the displays I just need to add text and find the different spot in Streamlabs to get it done!
DON’Ts of Overlays
– Don’t make your overlay too cluttered. People are either watching your stream for yourself or game play. Nothing is more annoying when you click a stream and 75% of their screen is filled with different alerts, text, logos and many other things. Its cool to display things but making your overlay look like a collage board from school is not the way to do it. It also can be very distracting to what you maybe trying to portray. If you are a great Apex player and all everyone see’s is your logos and things flashing on the screen it will make it incredibly hard for anyone to really focus on what it is you want to people to focus on.
– Don’t make donation goals the center of your overlays. Though I think it can be important to showcase a tip goal for your community I don’t think making it the most important thing is going to do a lot of good for people wanting to help out. If you do have one on your overlay make sure you STRESS the importance of your viewers simply being there instead of making them seem like your only goal is to get their money. When streamers talk about money as their goal it can really put a damper on things especially if people in the chat are unable to financially support your stream.
And lastly, As I have mentioned with lots of other posts. Be careful who you get to commission your work! Make sure you do your research before putting your trust into another person. Word of mouth when it comes to designers is a huge way to see how they are and if they are worth your time and money. If someone is known for copying other artists or not getting back in a timely fashion then they may not be worth you giving your ideas to. If you aren’t sure with what you want and are not in a rush post on your twitter, discord, ask in streams, or even check reviews if a person has an online portfolio in order to make sure you choose the right person for you! Go with your gut too, If you have a feeling that the person may not deliver what you expect then don’t go with them! This is something for YOU to showcase your brand and you shouldn’t take anything but the best for that!