Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

When doing screen capture for tutorials and other types of video presentations, probably the most commonly used applications are Camtasia and Screenflow. These are all-in-one solutions that provide tools for both recording and editing. However another excellent option is to seperate the screen recording stage from audio recording and video editing, using dedicated software for each stage.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

This is an approach I’ve taken to using myself, and for the screen recording stage I’ve settled on the excellent application Open Broadcaster Software, more commonly known as OBS. OBS also has the advantage that absolutely anyone can use it, because it’s free, open source, and fully cross platform with support on Mac, Windows and Linux. When combined with solid audio and video editing software you get a very powerful and flexible video production workflow.

In this series of short tutorials we’ll show you how to setup OBS for screen recording and take advantage of some of its awesome features. Note, there are many ways you can use OBS but for the purposes of this series I’ll be taking you through the method I use as part of my own video production process.

To get the ball rolling we’ll install OBS and go through and abridged, quick start method to begin screen recording. This is to help give you an overview of the software so you have some context when we go into greater depth on screen recording with OBS in the next tutorials in this series.

1. Download and Install OBS

Download OBS fromhttps://obsproject.com/download and install according the instructions for your OS.

When you launch OBS you should see something like this (with a different look depending on your operating system):

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

2. Screen Recording Quick Start Setup

OBS uses a system of Scenes and Sources, which we’ll go into more detail on in a subsequent tutorial. When you first launch OBS you’ll see there is already a scene added in by default, which you can see in the bottom left corner of the interface.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Before you can start recording you’ll also need to add a source inside this scene. With the default Scene selected (it will be highlighted) click the + button at the bottom of the panel labeled Sources, then select Screen Capture on Linux or Display Capture on Mac and Windows.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Click OK on the box that pops up.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Click OK on the next popup as well.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Now click the Settings button at the bottom right of the interface.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Choose the Output tab and take note of the Recording Path field. This is the destination of your computer where your recorded video will be saved.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

3. Start Recording

When you’re ready to start recording click the Start Recording button at the bottom right.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

When you’re done click Stop Recording and a video will be written to the folder specified in your settings.

Quick Start: Screen Recording With Open Broadcaster Software

Coming Up Next

So that’s a basic quick start method for screen recording, but there’s still a lot more to look at to squeeze the most juice out of OBS. Now that you’re up and running, in the next tutorial we’ll dig into the Video and Output settings for OBS and how they can be used to get the best screen recordings. See you there!