Twitch has changed the face of gaming in recent years, with top Twitch streamers making big bucks playing their favorite games. For many viewers, Twitch is like a new form of social media, and despite recent changes to the Twitch rules, its popularity is greater than ever.
If you want to make money streaming, you’ll need to build a large viewership on Twitch, and an important part of that is making your stream look professional.
In this article, we’ll show you how to create a simple Twitch overlay using Photoshop. And while this overlay is for Minecraft, it can be modified to work with any other game. And it will also work perfectly for streaming on YouTube Gaming or even Mixer, Microsoft’s alternative to Twitch.
Before we start, let’s look at what we will finish up with today:
Everything in this tutorial is relatively simple, but if you are new to Photoshop, it may help to first read our Photoshop layers tutorial. If you are looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, GIMP is incredibly powerful.
If you want to make a Twitch overlay without using Photoshop, this project is completely possible in GIMP. Because the tools you will be using will be a little different, I would suggest you read our guide to GIMP first.
With that said, let’s take a look at how to make a Twitch overlay with Photoshop.
Creating the Canvas
To begin creating the overlay, open up Photoshop and create a new image the same size as your screen resolution.
Now that we have a blank document, we need a guide to build our overlay around. I would suggest taking a screenshot of your chosen game and loading it into Photoshop by clicking File & Place and selecting your image. Stretch the image out to the full size of the canvas. Now we can begin creating our overlay elements.
Adding a Top Bar
Create a new layer and name it Top Banner. Select the Rectangle Tool from the left side menu. On the same menu, open up the color selector and choose your background color.
Now click and drag across the top of your new layer to create a top banner. Don’t worry if you overlap the canvas edges, the rectangle should snap into place with the side.
Now, to give this rectangle a border, right click on the layer and select Blending Options. Select Stroke from the menu that appears, and set the stroke width and color to what works for you. In this case, 10px wide with a dark red color looks good. Click OK, and select your layer. Turn on the move tool by pressing the letter V and move the top banner upwards so that it has enough space to add text later, but doesn’t obscure too much of the game screen.
Finally, select the top banner layer, and bring its opacity down to around 75 percent. This will allow the game to show through slightly and gives the overlay a more dynamic effect.
You’ve made a great start, and you can use what you have done so far to create the two bottom banners.
The Bottom Banners
Rather than do the same work again for these bottom banners, simply right-click the Top Banner and select Duplicate Layer. Name this new layer Bottom Right and using the Move Tool (V on the keyboard), move it to the bottom right of your screen. Make sure it doesn’t overlap with the in-game toolbar, and use the Ctrl key while dragging to place it with more precision.
To create the bottom left bar just follow the same method as above, and move it down to the bottom left side of the screen. Our basic overlay is now complete, so we can add a frame for our camera.
Create a new layer, and call it Frame. Select the Rectangle Tool again, and create a perfect square by holding down the Shift key while dragging the mouse cursor. Don’t worry about the color of the square, we will be getting rid of the fill later.
To create the frame, right click on the layer, and select Blending Options. Select Stroke but this time select Inner from the Position drop down menu, to make the frame come into the square rather than be put on the outside.
Once again select a color and width which fits the color scheme you have so far. Now select the layer, and change it’s Fill to 0 percent, leaving just the frame.
Use the Move Tool to place it above the bottom left banner, and resize it if you need to by holding the Shift key to preserve its aspect ratio.
The overlay is starting to come together, but now it’s time to add some text.
To begin adding text, create a new layer. Use the Text Tool (or press T on your keuyboard) and drag out a new text box. Select the Character menu from the right hand side as shown below:
If you cannot see this button on your Photoshop layout, you can open the menu by clicking Window > Character. Select your chosen font and color here, and add your text. Use the Move Tool to place your text onto one of your bottom banners. It should snap into place, but the Ctrl key can help you finesse it to exactly where you want it to be.
Now we have text, but it looks a little bland. So, to make it stand out, right click on the text layer, and again select Blending Options. Give the text a Stroke and also a Drop Shadow to make it stand out a little. The default values are used here, but you can play with the settings to create a much more pronounced “floating text” effect too.
Create text elements for the other three corners by right-clicking on this layer and selecting Duplicate Layer, and using the Move Tool to move each new layer to their respective corners.
With our text now in place, we are close to being finished. Let’s just add logos for social media and a header logo for the channel.
Social Media Logos
It is easier to use premade icons which are commercially free to use. A website like Icon Finder can help with this, but be sure that any icons you use are marked Free for commercial use to avoid getting in legal trouble later. Import your logo into Photoshop using the File > Place menu. If you cannot see your logo, make sure it is on top by dragging its layer to the top of the layer menu.
Now we have a Facebook logo, but it is a little bland. Let’s make it fit in by right-clicking on its layer, and selecting Blending Options, followed by Stroke. Give it an outer stroke the same width as your top banner’s stroke. When selecting the color, you can use the dropper to match the color to your top banner.
Move the logo up to the top left portion of the screen, and by using the Ctrl key place it carefully so that it fits into the corner.
For the Twitter logo, follow the same method of using Place to add it to the project. You can save a little time here by selecting the Facebook logo layer, right-clicking and choosing Copy Layer Style, before returning to the new Twitter logo layer and using Paste Layer Style to give it the same stroke width and color. Move this logo to the opposite top corner, and, if needed, move your text so that it fits.
Now let’s add the center logo.
If you have a channel logo, it’s good to have it front and center so that everyone can see it immediately when they start watching. If you don’t have a logo as yet, you could replace this with a some custom text featuring your channel name or website.
To begin, drag a ruler out from the left toolbar, it should snap to the center of the screen.
If you cannot see your ruler or it is not snapping, look under the View menu and check that both Ruler and Snap are selected.
Place your logo into the project. It should be automatically centered on the ruler. Create a new layer, and drag it to the layer below the logo. Use the Rectangle Tool to create a rectangle slightly larger than the logo, giving it a framed effect.
To make it stand out, give your newly created square an Outer Stroke the same color as the rest of your borders. To make it easier to move the logo and border as one, hold Ctrl to select both layers. Right-click and select Convert to smart object. This stores both our logo and border on the same layer, which can still be edited later if needed.
Move your logo to the top of the overlay and resize it to fit. And that’s it, we’re all done.
Saving the Overlay
Before saving the overlay as an image, save it as a Photoshop document with a filename like “Minecraft Twitch Template” so you can change it later to use with different games.
To make the background transparent, select the Eye icon on your game screenshot and background layers, leaving only the overlay elements showing.
Save this file with the .PNG extension, and load it into your streaming software of choice to use it. Here is the finished overlay in my streaming software, with the overlay as the top layer, the camera as the middle layer, and Minecraft as the bottom layer.
Twitch Overlay Complete: Now Get to Streaming!
Now that you know how to make a Twitch overlay, it’s time to get streaming! Get your channel started by setting up your streaming software and choosing what games to play on Twitch. And if you’re really going for production value, try broadcasting with a green screen. Above all else, have fun!