I have finally gotten around to downloading OBS (the free streaming software) on both my Mac and PC. On the Mac, you need to do some extra things because you need to download additional software but it works like a dream on the PC.
Some time ago, Darrell (@DarrellaaS) told me about OBS but I never got around to learning about it. I kept putting it off because it “looked” difficult in the sense that the user interface just seemed like it was going to take a long time to learn. I reasoned I could just get one of those boxes (whose name escapes me) where I could program different scenes and just press a button. However, OBS is free and although fiddly, it does the job.
Yesterday during our Learning Day, I decided to devote time to learning this program because my job may have, in the near future, more video production. I figured I may as well learn how to do it because I was SPENDING HOURS editing video because I’d move my camera around for different shots; and I’d create screencasts on Camtasia separately. I had wondered how some YouTubers create their educational videos and flick from one scene to the next and mistakenly thought they too, like me, were spending hours doing video edits.
Anyway, I learned OBS (thanks to YouTube which is my favourite platform for all things learning) and the penny dropped when I practiced using it and set up the different scenes.
I began to think that I could have a lot of fun with this and I like to have a bit of a laugh. Some time ago, I saw a video of someone who created a video of himself that he put on loop for his Zoom meetings and no-one guessed that he was actually elsewhere.
So I decided to do something similar which I explain here in this video.
So here are the steps:
- Open up your laptop camera and record yourself for a couple of minutes to camera with mannerisms you would do in a meeting and save the file.
- Download and install OBS on your PC.
- Create a Scene and call it Me on Loop
- Add a Source as Media Source and find your video file
- Select Loop
- Start your Virtual Camera on OBS
- Go to Microsoft Teams for your meeting, select your Camera as OBS Camera
- Your image will then be shown in Microsoft Teams and it will be on loop
- Start your meeting.
- Now walk away from your desk and hope that your colleagues don’t ask you any questions.
I was really amazed with the response with over 1.1k views and the amount of comments that people shared with me. Meetings are obviously a sore point with many people.
I’ve been off the computer today for most of the day because I just needed a break but in that time, I’ve been dreaming up of “other scenes” I could use and it dawned on me that I could have just been following the gamers on Twitch to learn more about how they’re doing their videos.
You Don’t Need to Be a Tech Wizz
You should see my set up here at home. It’s actually quite pathetic compared to what work spaces other people have set up that look like intergalactic neon lighted panels. They look like they’re ready to take off to the moon.
Contrary to belief, I am not a tech whizz, nor do I have the most expensive pieces of kit.
I have cobbled together bits and pieces and use any technology I have lying around the house. Here are some examples of my work out loud videos testing what we have.
The most expensive piece of kit I have is my Canon G7x Mark III camera (which I now use as a webcam) and everything else is cheap gear off eBay. I also have a Boya microphone for it (which works great but since found out you can’t use it for a laptop microphone). Argh!
My Logitech web camera is over 8 years old; my headphones are 3 years old; I don’t have a microphone on my PC and instead use my headphone sitting upside down with the mic out of camera range. I have an iPhone 6.
Yes, I’m a cheap skate.
I don’t see the value of wasting money if you can do a half decent job with stuff you already have and especially as many of my videos are not high end production pieces (I never want them to be that way because the whole intention of my blog and video channel is that I show “work in progress”).
Also my intention is NOT to teach, NOT to show or demonstrate for the purposes of building a business or community so I’m not invested in the quality of the video or its production value.
To me, I’m simply creating these videos for myself as a record of the work that I’m doing and what I’m learning about.
However, in my day job at Adopt & Embrace, I’m thinking I do have to bite the bullet and buy a decent microphone especially if I’m going to do more videos for work because they need to be a bit more “high end” than the stuff I usually create.
It’s a different mindset.
Mmm. Maybe a trip to JB-Hi Fi tomorrow to buy a Yeti microphone is in order…