An overlay is a graphic (usually logo) stationary on the screen during a stream. It’s meant to build brand awareness and make it easier for people to find your channel when browsing Twitch. A popular example of an old overlay with only text would be HuskyStarcraft, but that has changed in recent years.
To create an overlay, you need an image that fits the resolution of your monitor, and then edit it to your liking. You can add logos or any other graphics to the overlay. The idea is for it to be easily recognizable while looking professional at the same time.
How to make your own overlay?
There are many free photo editors you can use to make your overlay. I suggest using GIMP, an open source tool. The picture below shows all the tools you need to create or edit a Twitch Overlay image. Keep in mind that there are other options out there, but this is how I prefer to do it myself.
Once you have a picture you want to turn into your overlay, it’s time to edit it. At this point, all edits will be done using GIMP. Open a new image and set the size to 1080×1920. This is the standard resolution for most Twitch Overlays. You can always resize or crop that later if you need to.
Once the image is open, start adding text or graphics to it. You can also edit or create images for this part if you don’t have anything yet. Always try to use simple/light colors since these tend to be the most visible on camera. If your overlay has too many colors, it will not look professional. Use these colors sparingly. A good size for text is around 60pt.
Examples of different overlays that can be used on Twitch
The Overlay should always be placed on the bottom-centre of the screen. It’s where most people look first, and it makes for a more professional appearance. Keep in mind that not all streamers use an overlay, so if you don’t like it or can’t find one to use on your own channel, don’t worry about it.
Overlays can be installed in your streaming software to give you more options when creating one. The benefit of using a premade overlay is that it has already been tested and you don’t have to worry about anything not looking the way it should. Most good Overlays will include free and premium versions, and even different designs.
For OBS: Go to your sources and select the text tab. Drag the overlay image over the canvas and adjust it where you want it on screen, as shown below. If you don’t like the position of an element such as a Twitch logo or social media icon, you can always move it around once added to your stream list.
When you have everything in place, just click OK and then Start Streaming. You can add multiple Overlays to your list if you want to change the look of your overlay without having to redo it from scratch.
Who should use the overlay on Twitch?
Overlays are great for anyone who wants to give their stream a more professional look.
It can also be beneficial to those with their own websites or businesses, as an overlay is the perfect way to advertise it on your streams. Overlays that feature links can tempt viewers into clicking them if they already trust you or enjoy watching your stream.
If you’re running a game that requires text to display (such as some World of Warcraft addons), then an overlay is necessary.
There are some overlays on Twitch which feature clickable links, widgets and more! This lets you carry anything you need with you while streaming your favourite games at the same time without having to worry about any of it affecting your stream.
Some streamers use them just for social media, while others have their own website or Patreon banner on display at all times too.
Overlays are a simple and effective way to add more professionalism into your stream. While not everyone needs one, they can be very helpful if you’re streaming with certain addons or via Twitch Alerts on social media links. The possibilities of what you can do to an Overlay are endless, so have fun with it!