How to Create a Cool Twitch Layout in Photoshop

Making your own Twitch overlay is a fast way to level up your stream

A Twitch layout, also called a Twitch stream overlay, is a graphic design that appears during your Twitch broadcast, giving your gameplay a professional, cool, or custom feel that engages viewers. Here's a look at how to make a Twitch overlay with Photoshop and boost your brand with visual appeal.

As with most custom Twitch streaming features, you'll need a computer, capture card, and broadcasting software such as OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS to customize your layout.

Twitch streamer Naysy in sample Twitch layout created in Photoshop
 Brad Stephenson / Lifewire

How to Make a Twitch Overlay With Photoshop

Photoshop is one of the best tools around for creating a Twitch overlay. Follow these steps to make a basic Twitch layout, and then experiment with adding more features and personality to your broadcast. We're using Photoshop 2020 in this tutorial, but instructions should be similar in other versions.

If you don't have Photoshop, try a free alternative, such as Paint 3D in Windows 10 or the online graphics editor Canva to create a Twitch overlay.

  1. Open Photoshop and select File > New from the top menu.

    Open Photoshop and select File > New from the top menu.
  2. In the Let's Start Something New box, set the width to 1920 pixels and the height to 1080 pixels, and then select Create.

    In the Let's Start Something New box, set the width to 1920 pixels and the height to 1080 pixels, and then select Create.

    These measurements match the full size of your stream layout, which will fill a TV monitor when viewed. Using this size will help you better visualize the end result and plan accordingly.

  3. From the top menu, select Edit > Fill.

    From the top menu, select Edit > Fill.
  4. Next to Contents, select Color from the drop-down menu.

    Next to Contents, select Color from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select a color for your background, and then press OK.

    Select a color for your background, and then press OK.

    This step can be repeated until you get the color you like.

  6. Select OK to exit the Fill box.

    then Select OK to exit the Fill box.
  7. From the top menu, select Layer > New > Layer.

    From the top menu, select Layer > New > Layer.
  8. In the New Layer pop-up box, select OK. You'll now have an invisible layer on top of your background, allowing you to draw and edit your design without affecting the background color.

    In the New Layer pop-up box, select OK.

    Both your new layer and the original background layer should be visible in the Layers box on the bottom-right side of the screen.

  9. In the Layers box on the bottom right, select your new layer.

    In the Layers box on the bottom right, select your new layer.
  10. From the toolbox on the left, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool. It's a dotted-line square icon in the top-left of the toolbox.

    From the toolbox on the left, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool.
  11. Move your mouse to your workspace and click and drag the tool to create a square or rectangle shape where you want your webcam to be during your stream.

    create a square or rectangle shape where you want your webcam to be during your stream.
  12. When you have the shape you want, go to the top menu and select Edit > Fill.

    select Edit > Fill.
  13. Choose the color you want the box to be and press OK. Press OK again to exit the Fill box.

    Choose the color you want the box to be and press OK.
  14. Repeating the previous steps, create a new layer, make a box for your video game footage, and add a Fill color.

    Create a new layer and add new fill color

    Do the same for any other content you want to frame, such as a chatbox or new subscriber list.

  15. With each box on its own layer, move them and edit them individually by selecting their layer from the Layers box and choosing the Move Tool arrow icon from the toolbox.

    Move layers with the Move tool
  16. Once you have everything the way you want, go to File > Save to save your project as a Photoshop (.psd) file. This is the file you'll use to edit your project in the future.

    Save as a Photoshop file
  17. Go to File again and select Save As. From the Format drop-down menu, select JPEG, give your file a name, and press Save. You're done!

    Save as a JPEG

Tips on Creating Your Twitch Overlay

When you get more of a feel for creating your Twitch overlay, keep these tips in mind:

  • If you want to draw directly on or edit the background layer (to change its color, for example), select it in the Layers box.
  • Switch between all layers at any time via the Layers box.
  • You can also use a large image for your background, or use the Gradient Tool for a more creative option.

How to Add Your Background Image to OBS Studio

Add your custom-made image to OBS Studio the same way as any other media source.

  1. Right-click on your OBS Studio workspace and choose Add > Image.

  2. Name your new layer. "Background" is a good idea for the layer name, as it's easily identifiable.

  3. Select Browse, find your saved JPEG image on your computer, and press OK.

  4. Your background image should now appear in OBS Studio. Due to its size, it may cover other content, so make sure to locate it in the Sources box at the bottom of the screen and drag it to the bottom of the list.

  5. Add your other media sources, such as your webcam, video game footage, and alerts. Make sure these new additions are above your background in the Sources list so they're visible.

  6. You now have a basic custom Twitch layout! Remember that you can change your background image at any time by opening and editing your saved .psd file in Photoshop.