Getting started with Twitch Channels
I recently started streaming to Twitch, something I’ve wanted to start doing for a while, but always felt intimidated by the amount of setup it required. From getting updated hardware, to wrestling with capture programs such as OBS or XSplit, to setting up my Twitch Channel’s profile, it seemed like a lot of work just to play a video game. I’ll go down the rabbit-hole of computer hardware options and how to setup capture programs in future posts, but I wanted to share some tips and resources for setting up your Twitch Channel with spiffy new assets.
The bottom of this page has a downloadable Photoshop Template I created to make it easier to create and manage Twitch branding.
Finding Asset Sizes
This was the first major obstacle when setting up my branded Twitch Channel, there’s not really a good place that outlines all of the potential assets can make, their purpose, file size limitations, and what dimensions to make them. Twitch offers a few help documents through their Customer Portal, such as on their Channel Page Guide, but you won’t find a full list of assets on their website.
Using a combination of Twitch’s channel page guide, investigation of other streams, and through the descriptive text you see when attempting to upload a new image to your channel, I’ve compiled the following list of potential assets:
- Video Offline Banner (1920×1080, though 2556×1440 is recommended)
- Avatar (200×200 minimum)
- Cover Image (900×480)
- Panels (320×300)
Other miscellaneous assets:
- Highlight Thumbnails (1280×720)
Wahoo! We’ve got our list of basic assets we need and their dimensions, but… what are they used for?
Video Offline Banner
This is the graphic that will display where your Stream usually is when you are offline. It’s recommended that you upload the image in a 16:9 ratio since that’s what most monitors (and therefore streams) will be viewed at. Twitch says that you need this asset made to be at least 1280×720, but even images made at 1920×1080 will become pixelated if someone enables Fullscreen Mode on your stream. The community recommends making it at 2556×1440 since large images will scale down fluidly and remain crisp across more screens. The larger image might cause a slight delay on page load for your stream since it’s a larger file, but exporting the image as a JPG (smaller than a PNG) and leveraging Image Optimization tools before uploading will help reduce this problem.
This one is pretty straight-forward. It’s your profile picture. Much like the Video Offline Banner, while 200×200 is the minimum, it’s probably best to double it and upload a 400×400.
This is your profile banner image which sits above your stream and profile image when viewing your channel. Fair Warning: Cover Images are going away in the new Twitch Channel design (currently Beta), so don’t get heartbroken if it goes away.
These are the small graphics most-often used as custom headlines to text areas below your stream. Panel areas a great opportunity for you to extend your brand onto more areas of the page while offering complete flexibility to add whatever content you want. Panel images are relatively small (maximum of 320×320), but can be turned into links to external pages such as social media or tipping websites.
You have the ability to upload custom thumbnails to both uploaded videos and past broadcasts, and this is the asset you utilize for them. It follows the same 16:9 ratio rule that your Video Offline Banner does, so you can either reuse that template or make a fresh one. Highlight Thumbnails will usually require more work since you want to make them roughly customized to the specific content in the video that you’re swapping the thumbnail out for, so I wouldn’t recommend utilizing them unless you have a decent amount of viewers who are going back through your archived content.
Feel free to download my template for Twitch Channel Graphics which I’ll attempt to update regularly. If there is an artboard you think is missing, feel free to reach out and I’ll try to get it added.