Updated May 6, 2021
Want to change your webcam shape? Are you bored of using the same 4:3 or 16:9 cam boxes? Ever wondered how some streamers use cool shapes for their camera — like circles, triangles or vertical rectangles? What about webcam frames with rounded corners, or cutouts and indents along the borders?
Well, it’s easier than you might think — and it’s all done using a filter called webcam masks, or “image masks”. All you need to get started is a webcam source, plus OBS or Streamlabs OBS.
In this tutorial guide, we’re going to show you:
Don’t have Photoshop? No worries. We’ve created a free pack of 21 webcam masks for you to download and try out on your stream.
Check out our companion video tutorial for a step-by-step guide:
Webcam masks are filters within OBS and Streamlabs that allow you to hide parts of your camera source. By masking your webcam, you can choose which areas you want visible to your audience — and which you want to be “invisible”. This allows you to create cool shapes and cut-outs along your camframe’s borders.
For example, let’s say we want our webcam to have rounded corners. We would create (or use) a mask that conceals the sharp, 90-degree corners of your webcam. Everything inside the new, curved edges will display within your webcam feed. Everything outside will be hidden.
Sound tricky? Don’t worry, it’s WAY easier than you may expect. We’ll show you step-by-step how to create and set up your camera mask. Image masks are a super-easy trick that every streamer should master. And they come with some special benefits:
So how do you find image masks? Well, you can either create one of your own, or you can download one from our free pack of 21 streamer masks. If you’re a DIY streamer or designer, check out the next section to learn how to make your own masks within Photoshop. If not, skip ahead to the following section to learn how to set up your mask within OBS or Streamlabs.
Anyone with basic Photoshop skills can jump in and create webcam masks. While complex masks might take a bit more practice, the process is virtually the same no matter what shape you’re making:
Just remember — everything in white will be shown; everything in black will be hidden. White, visible. Black, invisible. Make sense?
Now that you’ve got your new image mask in hand, let’s start setting it up.
It’s easy to set up your webcam mask in Streamlabs or OBS. In fact, the process is nearly the same across both software — aside from a few small UI differences.
We’ll start with Streamlabs, and then show you where things might be different on OBS Studio.
Here’s what setup looks like on Streamlabs OBS:
It’s as simple as that! We’ll show you some advanced tips & tricks shortly, but first let’s cover OBS.
Webcam masks in OBS and StreamElements (OBS.Live) are nearly identical, with a few small differences:
And there you have it! Once you’ve mastered these steps, you’ll be able to use most basic webcam masks — including the 21 free masks we’re going to give you later!
For many streamers, a basic understanding of webcam masks is enough to get by. However, if you’re using professional stream overlays — like our Kraken or Primatic packages — you’ll need to go a bit further. Complex mask designs like these take a few additional steps. Don’t worry, installation only takes a few minutes and we supply you with everything you’ll need.
Among the tips and tricks, we’ll teach you how to add a frame to your webcam mask — one of the most common and important tasks for a streamer. We’ll also show you how to create a webcam scene, which will house all your webcam elements and apply them across multiple scenes at once.
Once again, we’ll start out with Streamlabs OBS:
Now your camera, image mask and webcam frame can all be used in any scene you’d like! Neat huh?
There are a few small differences for OBS Studio, but overall the process is quite similar:
Need some webcam masks for your stream? We’ve created a free mask kit, which includes:
Each kit includes TONS of unique webcam shapes and borders — and we’re taking requests too! Want to see a new shape included in the kit? Drop us a line and we’ll get it added!
Your kit also includes 21 optional webcam frames, which you can customize with your unique colors. To add your frame and adjust color, follow these steps:
Pretty easy, huh? Keep experimenting until you find the perfect mask + frame combination for your stream.
Adding webcam masks is a fun and simple way to make your stream stand out. Now that you’ve mastered the basics — plus some advanced tips & tricks — you’re ready to take things to the next level.
We expect webcam masks to become more and more popular in the years to come. Broadcasters are getting more creative, experimenting with new, out-of-the-box stream layouts. Meanwhile, graphics providers (like us) are incorporating more unique webcam options into their designs. Before long, tens — if not hundreds — of thousands of creators will be using masks on-stream.
Luckily, by reading this you’ve got a head-start on the competition. Keep practicing and you’ll be miles ahead of the others. In the meantime, share your mask creations with us by tagging us @VBI on Twitter.
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