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snarkqueen

Xsplit: What Scenes Can Do For You

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Depending on your subscription, Xsplit has a certain number of Scenes available to be set up on its interface. These scenes can make or break a stream for you. I'm by no means a streaming guru, but I have found certain things to be helpful and give a stream a more professional feel to it (which makes it more enjoyable for others to watch). Most of my suggestions below are about those scenes.

  1. First, if you are streaming regularly for the sake of raising funds for Extra Life, it is a GREAT idea to have a Thank You scene which indicates which hospital you are raising funds for and how much you appreciate viewers tuning in to the stream. This is also a good place to display your Extra Life page URL. I typically queue up this scene right after my game.
  2. Scenes don't have to be complex. Most of my non-game scenes feature a header text, a little explanatory text, an image (which can be edited via the Settings option at the bottom of the interface, with a variety of different options at your disposal), and background music (see next paragraph). A URL can be displayed on a scene that's going to be viewable for a minute or more, allowing people to type it into their browsers. Keep in mind that you can also ditch that black screen of nothingness and make an image fill the whole scene. This helps make it look a little less like a PowerPoint presentation.
  3. Music sets the mood. Going with the assumption that you know what the sources are (and if not, the FAQ on their website is going to be far more helpful to you than this thread), there is a particular source you can add to the default list: Add Video Playlist. What this source allows you to do is queue up saved videos that are on your computer. I use this feature in the background of the scene (behind an image or on full transparency) and visit YouTube for a video of a song from the OST of whatever game I am playing -- or in the case of my weekly Steamgifts giveaways I choose a song from that game. So long as you are using game soundtrack music that doesn't have a separate copyright, the new audio censorship on Twitch won't mute your saved stream. If you only care about the live stream or you aren't using Twitch, pick any old music video you like!
  4. Set up an AFK screen. Trust me on this one. You may think you can stream without any troubles, but inevitably there's a knock at your door or a phone rings or suddenly you are regretting that stack of burritos from Taco Bell. My AFK screen is a silly cat picture with the Intermission music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail on loop (courtesy of the source mentioned in the previous paragraph). Something entertaining will help keep your viewers from wandering away on you.
  5. Do a 5-minute local recording you can play back at your own leisure to get an idea of your volume settings for voice and game. This will let you find just the right balance so people aren't deafened by you, nor are they struggling to hear you over game sounds. Doing this also gives you the opportunity to play around with the different ways you can move between your scenes. (And did I mention you can save broadcast set-ups? That means you can do one set of scenes for one stream, and set up another set for the next game, etc.) There are different effects that Xsplit lets you use when changing scenes, and doing a test local recording lets you see what looks and feels best for your stream.
  6. On the subject of scrolling text, I have just one thing to say: Enter a LOT of spaces after your text so it is not constantly parading across your game like a stock exchange ticker tape. Usually if it is brief and you've entered a waffleface amount of spaces after the text to slow down the frequency of its visibility, people are less likely to be annoyed by it. Less is more, after all.
  7. I highly recommend getting even a basic subscription for Xsplit if you're going to use it. That allows you to use the game source for your stream instead of choosing a section of your screen, and it also gives you better stream quality options. If you're only planning to stream on marathon day, then that may not be the best option for you -- but I have found it to be worthwhile.

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One trick that I learned that can make things a LOT smoother is scene hotkeys.

Currently I set all of my active scenes to Ctrl - Shift - # (so for example, scene 1 is Ctrl - Shift - 1)

This will allow you to switch scenes on xsplit regardless of what game you're playing. SUPER handy if you need to take a break midstream. Saves you that awkward few seconds of alt-tabbing to click on the scene selector in the client.

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One trick that I learned that can make things a LOT smoother is scene hotkeys.

Currently I set all of my active scenes to Ctrl - Shift - # (so for example, scene 1 is Ctrl - Shift - 1)

This will allow you to switch scenes on xsplit regardless of what game you're playing. SUPER handy if you need to take a break midstream. Saves you that awkward few seconds of alt-tabbing to click on the scene selector in the client.

That's a great idea for shortcutting things Chi! Thanks for the input.

Edited by Griffin
To use Chi's actual name.

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