Streamline Your Workflow in OBS By Nesting Your Scenes

Over time, managing one’s streaming setup can grow increasingly cumbersome. Eventually, you get to a point where one minor change can take minutes at a time as you make that fix across multiple sources.

It doesn’t have to be that messy if you take advantage of the ability to nest scenes within scenes in OBS!

What is scene nesting?

OBS allows users to nest scenes within scenes as sources. When you go to your sources list, select the option to add a scene.

Then, pick a scene from your scenes list. Ta da! Your scene is now inside another scene.

Why would I do this?

This technique allows you to more efficiently manage sources that you’ll use across multiple scenes. Here’s the example that proved most helpful.

At the bottom of my screen is a ticker. It consists of a black bar, rotating tags, and shoutouts to all of the latest channel supporters. This section is comprised of 10 different sources. Without scene nesting, I have to copy and paste every source into every scene. Worse yet, if I change the position of one source, I have to manually make that change across every scene.

Instead, I created a new scene called “Ticker”. Within that scene, I only created the ticker. Then I added the ticker scene into every other scene where it’s used. Now I only have to make edits within one ticker scene instead of every scene!

Here’s another example. I use a variation of my face camera for gameplay that includes a border, paint splash, and my name. Instead of grouping those scenes together, I created a separate scene with all of the elements together and dropped the single scene within my gameplay view.

On the more extreme end, my concert scene uses three separate sources: crowd, lights, and rotating colour filter. Instead of having to trigger all three separately, I have them all mapped to their own concert source. From there, I can embed that concert source into any other scene. This way, I can activate/deactivate the effect with one button instead of three.

The benefits of this versus grouping are twofold. One, managing my camera this way decreases the total number of sources I have to manage within my game view to just one. Two, if I need to move or rescale the camera, I can do that without fear of individual elements disproportionately warping during the process.

If you want to go nuts, you can create modular scenes that allow you to toggle things on/off within it without having to switch entire scenes. For example, if I wanted to hide my ticker, I can now do that with a single hotkey press versus manually hiding all 10 sources. If I want to switch my face cam to the room cam within my gameplay scene, that again can be done with just one hotkey. As you transition away from duplicating sources across multiple scenes, see what other creative ways that scene nesting can unlock your creativity!

Though this feature has been available to OBS users for years now, it’s one that I’ve only recently discovered. Wouldn’t be surprised if I were alone on this front. Better late than never to pick up a skill that will simplify your workflow and possibly create new ways of presenting your content. Have fun with the scene nesting!

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