Multi camera webinars

Remy
15 August 2019 - 4 min

Use Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and Virtual Cam for Windows to produce multi camera webinars.

Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and Virtual Cam for Windows

OBS is software with lots of options for live video streaming. Combined with Virtual Cam it can also be used to incorporate professional equipment into your webinar. It’s also possible to use OBS for easy broadcasting of multi camera webinars, as well as creating different settings for the broadcast. For example, picture in picture.

In OBS you have the option to add sources. When you connect your camera to your computer, it can practically always be used as video during the webinar. Using Google you can find instructions for practically every type of camera to set this up. In Google, search for your camera brand and type this in combination with terms like “as webcam”, or “to computer”.

OBS offers a lot of flexibility for creating customs settings for your webinars. For example, you can start using multiple cameras and create picture in picture formats.

The next step is to recognize the camera as a webcam. For this, you can use your OBS software. OBS is an acronym for “Open Broadcaster Software”. It’s a free open source software to record videos with and use for live streaming. It can do a lot more than showing your video as a webcam. For example, you can merge multiple camera images (split screen), add filters, layer multiple camera images (picture in picture), and you can add images and other types of media to your video. The possibilities are endless!

For now, we should keep things simple. Let’s use our OBS software to convert our external video as a webcam. This is something you can only do in Windows. And it works like this:

  1. Download OBS for Windows at https://obsproject.com 
  2. Download the plugin OBS-VirtualCam at https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/obs-virtualcam.539/ 
  3. Open OBS, and add your camera source to “Sources”. Can’t find this setting? Perhaps there’s a problem with the detection of your camera.
  4. In the menu, click on Tools and choose “VirtualCam”.
  5. Click on “Start” and close the screen.
  6. Now, you can go into WebinarGeek (after refreshing your screen) and navigate to “Settings”. Underneath your camera screen you can now select a new input called “OBS-Camera”.

With two clicks you can start the OBS VirtualCam plugin, converting your external camera into a webcam.

About OBS

  • Is compatible with: Windows, Mac and Linux, the virtual camera extension only works with Windows (sorry!).
    • An alternative for Mac to create picture in picture webinars would be "Quick Camera".
  • Price: free

Benefits

  • Lots of possibilities, you can use a lot of sources and merge them into a video image that suits your needs.
  • No additional hardware required, as long as your camera source can be detected as input.
  • A large community, so there’s lots of information and support on the internet.

Drawbacks

  • Software solution, so it asks a lot of extra CPU power from your computer, test this thoroughly!
  • Requires more configuration and knowledge compared to a hardware solution.
  • Won’t work with all external equipment, you might need extra cables or need another solution, such as the U-TAP or the WebPresenter.
  • VirtualCam doesn’t work on Linux or Mac (your alternative would be "Quick Camera").