How do I create my overlay? First, think about what you need it for. Only the content of your live stream on Twitch determines what your overlay will be. After all, content of IRL stream, of course, will be different from game streaming. But the important thing is that you can always change your overlay. So you can try out different layouts.
To find out which style you like best, just go to Twitch and watch a few streams. Pay attention to their setup and observe how best to use overlays. This will come in handy for you later on. That way you can find out which style suits you best!
With a good overlay, you can showcase yourself and your channel, as well as display information about your social media, etc (bits, followers, donations).
Design an overlay with special programs
To create an overlay, you have to know your skill level. Are you a good artist? Now get down to deal! If you draw well, you can try to design everything yourself. If you're not good at it, you can try a template or use a design you have already created.
Or you can use free design templates. For example, on websites like NerdorDie or Canva. Or you can find suitable free templates on Google. Also, there are overlay templates on Stream Elements, they can customize the overlay and save different views. You can use their templates even if you take a design from another website. Use them as examples to see code settings, to keep track of your stream information.
What you want display?
When you decide what should be displayed on your channel, choose appropriate content for it. But its components should not cover your game to viewers.
To find out how best to do this, take a screenshot of the games you play more often or other content you broadcast. With these screenshots, you can find the "dead space" and it can be filled with overlay.
When you need to find a lot of space, you can do a bar based overlay. For example, place the bars at the bottom or the top of the screen. That way you can display what you want. You can also reduce the size of the game display, so it will fit inside these bars and the main thing is that nothing will be covered. And if you want flexibility, be sure to keep the camera frame separately. Then you can add it as a separate layer and it can even move if you need to.
But remember, an overlay will never make you a successful streamer! But it will really help improve your stream channel.
Some advice for overlay creating
Your images need to match the resolution of your stream. That's why you need to consider your screen resolution. When starting to design an overlay, you should add a screenshot of the game or screen and then place the overlay as a background. Customize overlay in layers. Because of the background image, the overlay will look nice in the gameplay.
If you use the Stream Elements platform, they already have a built-in overlay creator on their website. With it, you'll be able to adapt templates or add your own template.
When starting to design an overlay, consider repetitive elements to ensure that the dimensions are identical. Use drop shadows and strokes, this will help your text stand out more. It should be easy to read. Social media icons, you can find through Iconfinder (just make sure they are free to use for commercial first). Giving opacity to the bars should be no more than 75%, then the game will be a bit translucent. To put everything together well, you should try to ensure that your relevant information is visible without covering important parts of the screen. And most importantly, when saving the overlay you have created, make sure that your image has a transparent background. And you should also remove the screenshot before you save it. And do not forget, in addition to the overlay it is better to have a quick starting and break screen. Then you can switch to them while you're loading games or taking a break.
Two options for streamers
Depending on what games you're streaming, you may have several overlay options. But most streamers mostly use these two - custom overlay or consistent flexible overlays. We'll talk about the pros and cons of each.
Pros of custom overlay: matching the colors and themes of the game, adapting to any game, covers certain areas of the screen.
Cons of custom overlay: you will need to create multiple settings, harder to maintain a consistent look, takes longer to design.
Pros of consistent overlay: less design time, easier to tie to channel branding, keeps the look of your channels consistent.
Cons of consistent overlay: design can conflict with the dominant colors of the games, can become boring, and will have to be adjusted frequently.
P.S. Don't be afraid to experiment when using overlay and you'll soon find your own memorable style. If you've done it right, your viewer is sure to appreciate it!