Shader Filters in OBS

Did you know you could use shader filters to make your stream more interesting? My name is Aeridos, and I'm here to explain how to get them and how how you could use them.

So what do shader filters do?

Last time we talked about Nested Scenes and what they can do to improve your stream, but this time we'll talk about something that combines very well with those nested scenes: Shader Filters! Shader Filters are filter effects or shaders that you can put on any visual source, whether its a still image, your game footage or your camera source. The camera source is mostly used for this, so I'll mostly be using that as an example.
You basically have two different sets of filters you could use on your sources, shader filters and effect filters. You use them in pretty similar ways, but shaders change the way your source looks while effect change the way your source behaves. An example of a shader would be the rainbow filter, this will add a flowing rainbow effect on your source, making it change color over and over again. And a good example for an effect would be the shake effect, this will make the source shake in random directions. So the shader only changes the way the source looks, while the effect doesn't. And the effect changes the behaviour and the orientation of the source, while the shader doesn't.

How do you get shader filters installed?

There are several OBS plugins for this, but the one that I found had the most different shaders and effects and also happens to have the most documentation is the plugin simply called obs-shaderfilter, which can be found here:

After downloading the zip file, you simply copy the obs-studio folder in the zip file over your OBS installation folder and it will automatically put all the files where they need to be. After this you can open or restart OBS and you can start using shader filters right away! To use a shader or effect, you right-click the source you want to put the filter on, and select filters. The filter you then need to select is the User-defined shader. Finally you have to decide if you want to use a shader or an effect filter. For the effect filter you also have to check the box that says 'Use Effect File (.effect)' For every shader or effect there are a separate set of variables you can enter. Unless you (think) you know what you're doing, I would leave these settings as is, because there is a chance it will crash your OBS if used incorrectly.

How to improve your content using shader filters?

There are several ways to incorporate these shader filters into your stream or video, and I'm definitely not creative enough to give you every possible way to use these filters. Because you know what? You can stack these filters! As long as your pc can handle it, you can stack these filters to create the exact effect you want. For instance, you could have a button on your stream deck to activate the ultimate party mode every time someone subs, which would make your camera move around, have switching colors and have colorful bits flying around like confetti. This can all be done using these shader filters. Of course you could all automate that, or bind it to a channel redemption, and combine that with audio. The options are limitless. Next article I'll probably talk about one of these options. For now I wish you happy streaming!

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