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Having some fun in a video chat during self-quarantine.


MentosCubing

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TL;DR:
I messed about for a while with OBS and figured out a way to join a video call with a green screen keyed out behind me.
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I'm out of school for at least the next three weeks due to the global pandemic, but one of our teachers (easily everyone's favourite) set up a video call that we could all choose to join and hang out for a while. We chatted nicely for a while and played an online board game.

What I'm about to say requires a little bit of background information. Our school had a video contest earlier this year. Our class (the same one, with the same teacher) won it by a landslide. The prompt was to create a "lip-sync video," but we took it several steps further - the song we decided to sync to was HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA (from SLACKCiRCUS's He-Man mashup titled Fabulous Secret Powers, featuring the song What's Up? by Four Non Blondes), and rather than just lip-sync, we did a shot-for-shot remake of the entire video on a green screen I brought in, and I downloaded the video, painted out the characters, and placed our class's performance into the original backgrounds. It was an incredibly fun project to work on, and everyone loved it. We have spent a lot of time watching HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA (both the original and our green-screened version), so we all know it by heart, and it's something of an inside joke for the entire class.

Anyway, we had a video call set to begin at 11:00. I still have the empty backgrounds with the characters painted out, so I decided that it would be fun to join the call with the iconic rainbow background going behind me. The call was set to begin at 11, so I started working on this at about 9:30. It was a Google Meet, so I could get on the call before it "started" (while no one was there). I got my green screen set up behind me, and I used OBS's Chroma Key effect to key it out, then converted the MP4 background clip to a looping GIF and added it behind me in the workspace. OBS has a feature called the "Projector" that allows you to output the preview of your stream to a separate window or monitor, so I hooked up a second monitor and projected the output to that monitor. Then I could join the call in Presentation mode and broadcast my real-time green-keyed webcam as a screen capture presentation. Now, whenever someone joined the call, they would see me on the hilariously familiar HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA background. Everyone liked that. It was a good time.

The only problem with that setup was that it required me to be in the call in Presentation mode all the time. Google Meet doesn't treat that like a regular webcam: my window was bigger than everyone else's, and it was never cycled out of frame, so I had essentially monopolised the video call. I did find a solution afterward, though, and this one is virtually flawless.

If you want to do something like this, you should install the VirtualCam plugin for OBS, then output your stream as a virtual webcam instead of a fullscreen Projector window. Then, when you join the video call, the OBS video output will appear as a webcam input device, so all you have to do is select that instead of your real webcam. Then it will treat the OBS output just like a normal webcam, and you don't have to be in Presentation mode (or your software's equivalent) for the green key to show up to the other callers. It's a lot of fun, not very difficult, and you can change it in real-time if you like. Since you guys have an interest in Photoshop, I figured this real-time "compositing" might be interesting to some of you, and perhaps you could try it if you have a video hangout planned.

If you're wondering what it looked like, here's a screenshot:
1585174778398.png
Not a perfect key, but reasonably good for being done in real-time with less than ideal conditions. And since the original video is so old and has similar artifacts, it's fitting in a way.
 

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