Ever wonder whether having a good background when live streaming is just a big waste of time? Believe it or not, having a good background can make or break your stream.
When hosting a live stream, there are a host of things to avoid, such as having a messy space behind you or letting the video capture someone walking by in the background. Fortunately, if you aren’t sure where to get started, or are even still wondering “what is live streaming?” we’ve put together the ultimate live streaming guide.
Here are a few tips we think might help you better understand how having a good background can be beneficial to your live stream.
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An Overview of Gaming Streaming
Live streaming is simply when the internet is used to transmit and deliver a video to viewers’ screens in real time, instead of being pre-recorded and uploaded at a later date. When it comes to gaming live streams, two videos are often broadcast together: one of the video game as it is being played, and the other showing the person playing the game and offering commentary.
While it might seem like the gaming footage is the most important part of the content, it’s crucial that players put effort into the part of the stream that shows them, too.
If you’re interested in hosting a gaming live stream, take some time to research how to best get started before diving in. Good live streaming is more than just turning on your phone camera. It takes preparation.
Popular streamers can have thousands of people watching their live streams at the same time. With the potential for that many eyes on you, you’ll want to make sure you’ve put in the proper amount of effort to create a great stream.
Why Are Backgrounds Important When Streaming?
Gaming ability is important, but there’s more to being a successful streamer than just having raw gaming talent. A big part of building a following for your gaming streams is cultivating a persona and overall atmosphere for your broadcast that is interesting, has style, and draws people in.
Backgrounds can play a major role in helping you achieve this.
First, the background that you choose is going to improve the overall appearance of your live stream. People want to watch content that is aesthetically pleasing.
So, if your camera shows you in front of a messy room with bare white walls, people will be less likely to watch you play.
Furthermore, the background you choose can have a big impact on how your viewers perceive you. The background plays into your overall branding and can alter your audience’s first impression of your content.
Keep in mind that if your background seems at odds with the persona you’ve developed for your streams, it may turn viewers off as they may see you as inauthentic.
Be deliberate when choosing a background. You can choose something virtual, stage a stunning real backdrop, or combine elements of the two.
No matter which direction you go, you’ll want to spend some time picking the right background. If you aren’t sure where to get started, check out these tips.
Tip #1 – Think About Your Lighting
Sunlight or a ring light are some of the best options to create good lighting for your live stream. There are other, more expensive, options, too, but those aren’t ideal if you’re just getting started.
Sunlight is great because it’s natural and, if angled well, can create stunning compositions. However, it’s harder to control, can obscure your features if it’s too bright, and is reliant on where your windows are. Therefore, a ring light might be a bit easier, depending on your setup.
If you do want to use natural light, you’ll need to make sure you face the light source and don’t have a window behind you. Turn off any bright white or fluorescent lights, as well.
Ring lights are a great solution if sunlight doesn’t work well in your space. They’re typically affordable, easy to set up, and they create lighting that eliminates any shadows from being cast on your face.
Tip #2 – Ensure No One Can Walk Through Your Background
Another important thing to keep in mind when crafting your background is to minimize visual distractions. Most importantly, you want to keep people from walking behind you on video.
Having other people come into the frame that aren’t intended to be part of the live stream can make it feel less professional.
Tip #3 – Set Up Some Mood Lighting with LEDs
LEDs can be another great tool to help create ambient lighting, and they can even help your gameplay while you live stream. In general, LEDs are super easy to use because so many options exist for the best gaming room LED lights.
LED lights range from large panels that take up most of a wall or small strips that can adhere to different parts of your gaming rig. Better yet, they look nice and can help you craft a gorgeous and trendy background for streaming.
Tip #4 – Decorate that Wall Behind You
Gaming in front of a plain wall is going to make for a visually boring stream. It’s important to fill space, so your video composition is engaging and attractive. Some simple things that you might choose to decorate an empty background wall with are:
- You can fill these with just about anything from books to knickknacks, and it’s a great way to show a little personality and create a background that is uniquely you.
- RGB floodlight. If you want to take a minimalist approach to decorating but still have a pretty background, then this is the way to go. You can light up your white walls with bright lights.
- Green screen. This is always an option if you don’t feel like showing your actual room on camera. With a green screen, you can set up virtual backgrounds that can be really fun and exciting.
- Posters and canvases. Art is always nice to look at. Plus displaying posters of your all-time favorite games, movies, and more, can be a cool way to show who you are to your viewers.
- White board. This is a nice way to incorporate your audience into your background. You can call out top donors and host challenges to boost engagement.
- Plants are a great touch to any plain background. They bring a little nature and vibrancy into the frame, and if you don’t want to deal with the upkeep, you can always purchase artificial plants.
Tip #5 – Clean up that room
Cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of a professional and visually pleasing background, and it’s also one of the easiest to implement. Even if you can’t afford to buy new decorations or tools, optimizing your living space for live streaming is simple.
Just tidying up and rearranging your room can go a long way to improving its appearance.
Hopefully these live stream room background ideas and setup tips will help you on the road to a successful live streaming career. Feel free to share any feedback or other ideas in the comments section!