Incorporating an intro splash screen or a stream countdown page is a nice way to create anticipation for your stream. Repetition helps creates interest and can help draw viewers in. Or maybe your intro tunes or graphics are just that catchy that people who stumble upon the channel will want to stick around. Having a buffer before you actually go live will give people time to tune in so when the timer hits 0:00, you've got an audience. This post will provide you with a step by step to get this up and running as an overlay in OBS. There are multiple ways to set this up, but I decided to go with a standalone program that writes to a text file that is read and displayed by OBS. This software is really light weight and resource friendly.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE SOFTWARE The first step is to download and install the free software, Snaz.
SETTING UP YOUR TIMER FILE IN SNAZ When you open up the program you will notice that there is a lot of potential customization with this software. This post will only cover setting up a simple countdown timer, but I'd recommend delving into the other options once you are familiar with the software.
- Click on the ''Chrono's' tab.
- Set countdown timer length. In this example it is 10 minutes.
- Press 'Start'. This will start the timer and create the file.
- The file path will populate within this box. Press the 'Copy Path to Clipboard' button. This is needed to paste later into OBS.
ADDING THE COUNTDOWN FILE INTO OBS Now that the text file is created, we need to bring this into OBS as a source.
- Open up OBS and select a Scene. We will be using our 'sample - Xbox'' Scene.
- Under the 'Source' column. Click the '+' sign, then select 'Text (GDI+)
A New window will open up.
- Enter the name of your new Source. In our example, we will call this 'Countdown Timer'...seems fitting.
- Click 'OK'
Another new window will open up. This contains all the properties for your countdown timer.
- Click the checkbox for 'Read from file'
- Then click the 'Browse' button to tell OBS the location of the Snaz text file.
Yet another window will open up.
- Paste the file path we copied from Snaz in the 'file name' box.
- Press 'Open'
The Snaz text file will now be loaded up and OBS will display the text in realtime. The Snaz timer should still be running and you'll see the numbers update in real time. That is basically it. You've linked the file. All that is left is customization of the font, size, gradients, colors, alignment, etc. I won't go into any of those details here, but feel free to let me know if you have any questions on those details. One thing I will say is to go on the bigger side for your font size. You'll want to scale down rather than up in your OBS scene. If you resize your fonts bigger, you'll run the risk of pixelated, blurry fonts. Once you are done customizing the look, click 'OK'.
Your newly created live text file will show now show up with red handles. You can grab the source and move it around to wherever you desire it to be. Remember, if you find yourself increase the size by grabbing the grips, you are better off adjusting the font properties bigger to avoid any pixelation. Just right click the source and go back to the properties. You can also adjust any other properties here as well.
Since we have gone this far, lets complete the countdown timer by adding a line of text above it with 'Stream Starting Soon...' To do this simply we will just add another text source.
- Click the '+' sign under the Sources column.
- Select 'Text (GDI+)
Another window will open up.
- Enter the name of your new Source. In our example, we will just call this 'Starting Soon'
- Click 'OK'
You'll get another familiar prompt, but this time you are not telling OBS to read to file. We are simply creating a static block of text.
- Fill in your desired text in the text box. In this example, we will enter 'Stream Starting Soon!'
- Again, click the 'Fonts' button and adjust these properties as you see fit. Adjust any other properties here as well.
- When you are happy with everything, click 'OK'.
Adjust your newly created source on your OBS scene as desired. Congrats! you've now setup a live countdown timer. Keep in mind that you will need to have Snaz open and the Chrono's countdown timer running every time for this to display in OBS. It is now part of my routine to open up Snaz and get the timer started every time I get ready to go live.