using lower thirds in OBS from a second computer

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Sharon Byrd | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, Feb 17 2021 3:04 PM

How do I display lower thirds in OBS from a second computer using NDI?

Posts 13
Kevin Menzel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 18 2021 10:51 AM

I'm sure someone will be able to come along with a more clear explanation but here's what I'm doing:

So starting with Proclaim:

In "Settings" -> "Display" I've added a virtual screen called "Stream Overlay".

The configuration for this is "Alternative Content / 16:9" because I'm streaming in 16:9 in OBS.

Then under outputs I added a custom output with the title "Stream Overlay"

The type is "NDI" and I pressed the plus button to assign the virtual screen "Stream Overlay" to this output.

For the content I have in Proclaim, for example, songs, etc, I created a lower-thirds smart media template for each of the item types I use. There are some lower thirds templates in the content browser that might give you a good place to start, or if you don't want to use a background image behind your text, you can start with some simple settings:

On the Stream Overlay tab for the item you want to show on stream, change from "Blank" to "Duplicate", and then change the background to transparent, and move and resize the text box to where you want to show it on screen. You might want to adjust how your text is formatted to add an outline, etc, to make it stand out over the video.

I think you have to go On Air to activate the NDI output - but feel free anyone to correct me if I'm wrong.

OK so now Proclaim is sending an NDI output -

If you're familiar with NDI inputs to OBS this should be pretty easy, but in case you aren't (or in case someone else comes along and needs some help) OBS can't take an NDI input by default, so you'll need to get a few things set up.

The OBS NDI plugin, you can grab from here:

Find the link to the latest release page, currently that's 4.9.1/0 here: - follow the install instructions for your platform.

When you open OBS you should be able to add an NDI source now. Make sure that you are "On Air" in proclaim when you do this. In the first drop down box you should be able to see the NDI feed from your Proclaim computer. This is going to be a 1080p NDI feed. You're going to want the quality set to "highest" and there's a "fix transparency" check box that I have checked in my NDI inputs, which may or may not be necessary.

If you don't see the NDI feed when you're setting this up, try changing the slides on proclaim back and forth a few times - I've found that NDI sometimes "times out" when nothing is changing, so this can "wake up" the NDI feed.

At this point you should see your proclaim content in OBS. You'll want to make it a top layer (above a video feed for example). You may need to resize the feed from proclaim - I am streaming in 720p so I fit the 1080p feed from proclaim (CTRL+F in Windows).

A couple of notes about NDI from Proclaim:

1) Audio - Proclaim sends the system audio from the computer Proclaim is operating on (at least in Windows). If you don't want to hear this, for example, if you're feeding this audio in to OBS some other way, you may want to mute/disable the NDI input in OBS's audio mixer.

2) The OBS plugin holds the last image displayed by the NDI input - so if for example if you go off air and stop sending the NDI stream, the feed to OBS will look "stuck" - just something to be aware of.

3) OBS doesn't always "catch" updates from NDI sources when the NDI source itself is not active. This is a little awkward "gotcha" but we have run into it a few times at my church:

We have some scenes in OBS where we don't display anything from Proclaim, so initially, we just didn't add the NDI input to those scenes. However - we found that if the operator changed slides on Proclaim, and *then* changed to a source that was showing the slides, the wrong slide would be displayed (or no slide at all). To work around this we added the NDI feed from Proclaim *below* the video on scenes where we didn't want to see the slides, so OBS was always seeing the updates.

I am sure the above is a mess. If you have any questions please ask, and I would love to clarify, beyond which I'm sure that many others may be able to share their expertise.

Hope this at least begins to help!

Posts 112
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 18 2021 12:45 PM

Kevin's methodology is correct for one computer running Proclaim and OBS. It is a massive improvement over the pre-virtual screen version of the software, where we had to run two computers operated by two separate people to keep a lower-thirds set of slides and a full-screen version running. Is there a particular reason you want to do it from a second computer?

Posts 13
Kevin Menzel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 18 2021 1:00 PM

I should note that, at my church, I am running two computers - one for Proclaim, the other for OBS/Camera control, so that our camera operator doesn't have to worry about controlling slides and changing between cameras and camera angles and OBS scenes, and vice versa. but Justin does raise a good point that for some setups, two computers may not be necessary and the instructions hold up either way.

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