How to Use OBS Virtual Camera for Teaching
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Teaching while presenting video, images, and information in teleconferencing programs like Google Meet can be challenging to manage while you are live in front of your class. Using OBS Virtual Cam to replace your webcam in an online meeting allows you to be ready to share data at lightning speeds. While it can be intimidating to set up, OBS Virtual Cam does make displaying multimedia in a professional manner much easier. In this article, we will discuss how to set up and use the free OBS software to compose presentations; how to turn OBS into a webcam for online meetings; and advanced settings to make controlling your presentations doable.
1. Download & Setup OBS
Here are simple steps to install OBS and set up OBS Virtual Cam. 1.To install OBS, go to obsproject.com and download the version for your operating system. Run the installation. 2.To install the OBS Virtual Camera extension, go to https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/obs-virtualcam.949/ then download and run the installation file.
2. Set Up Your Presentation and Webcam in OBS
Here, we are going to set up a single scene for teaching using multiple media sources. We like to be able to share one of our screens, show the daily lesson plan to the students, show ourselves onscreen, and switch to an alternate camera angle. We keep everything to one scene to be able to alter and display multiple layers of data on the fly. We might add more scenes if we want to do something intricate like a class activity or game.
Set Up Sample Teaching Scene
1. Launch the OBS program.
2. In the bottom left screen where it says Scenes, click the “+” to add a new scene and name it Virtual Cam.
3. Add media sources by clicking the “+” under the Sources menu:
- Add your webcam by selecting Video Capture Device then selecting your device. Once your webcam appears, you can click on the actual display to be able to move or resize it. Name your webcam something to help you identify it quickly. For example: if this is an extra camera you use, perhaps you can name it “Alternate Angle”. If the camera appears distorted, you can adjust the resolution by right-clicking on the camera source and selecting properties. For Resolution/FPS Type, click the dropdown field to select “Custom” then select the highest resolution your camera supports. The two most frequent resolutions are 1920×1080 and 1280×720.
- Add Text by selecting Text/GDI+. We will name it “Agenda”. It will be utilized as quick display of topics to be covered in the meeting. The text function will seem clunky at first, but the degree to which you can modify the text and add borders is great.
- Add one of your monitors as a source by clicking Displays then selecting the display source. We named ours “Right Screen”. This is a great solution when you use two monitors because you can set one screen act as your “overhead projector”.
UnderSources you will see graphical representations of eyes. These mean that layer of the presentation is visible. Click the eyes icon to make that source visible or invisible. The source at the top of this list is your top layer. It will mask all the layers below it. For this reason, we recommend putting your lesson plans as your top layer. This will allow you to keep the text visible as switch between the other visible layers. Now that you layered your sources, you are ready to use OBS as your camera in online video programs like Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, Discord, and Facebook Messenger.
3. Run OBS Virtual Cam in Your Online Meetings
To set up OBS as a camera for Zoom or Google Meet, you have to do two things:
1. From OBS, go to Tools at the top of the screen and select VirtualCam, then select Start from the menu that comes up. Your OBS software is now sending out the active scene as a webcam signal.
2. When joining a meeting in Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, Facebook Messenger, discord, or other software, be sure to set your VirtualCam as the camera you use for the meeting. You will still need to select your webcam or microphone as your audio source.
3. Use Advanced Settings.
4. Setup Shortcut Keys.