Use a custom visual as a camera on Zoom and other services (aka: use OBS on Zoom and others)

Posted · 2 minute read

If you're here, you're looking for a way to pretend you're listening to your teacher while you're not (if you know what I mean :smirk:), or maybe you want to apply all kinds of weird effects to your video, or maybe you don't even have a camera but you want to make your rectangle a little more interesting. Well, you're in the right place.

So first of all, you'll have to download OBS. We'll use this to set up a virtual camera that'll show custom visuals. Once you've downloaded it, set it up (don't worry if it asks for Twitch details, just close out of that window). Once you've done that, you'll also have to download the Virtual Camera plugin (Windows, Mac, Linux, platform-specific installation instructions are within each link).

Once you've done that, restart OBS studio and go to Tools -> Start VirtualCam (The name may vary depending on the system). Then, go into Zoom's settings -> Video and choose the virtual OBS camera. If you can't see it on Mac, run:

$ xcode-select --install

Once that's done installing, run:

$ sudo codesign --remove-signature /Applications/zoom.us.app

Keep in mind this only works if you have admin privileges.

Select the camera named "OBS".

Anyway, once you've run that, close and reopen Zoom and you should see the virtual camera in the Video settings.

Congratulations. You've now set up a virtual camera that you can customize.
Everything works as expected: transitions, scenes, etc. but that's not something to be amazed about, because it's just like a Twitch stream; OBS was made for that.

Bonus: Snap Camera

If you have a camera, you can download Snap Camera. It works just like you'd expect: it applies one of Snapchat's many filters to your webcam and it can be used as a virtual camera. Awesome, right? But, to not have to always go into the settings and change the input, we can link Snap Camera to OBS. How do we do that?

In your scene, add a new image capture source that points to snap camera instead of your real one. That's it.

Bonus: Google Meet

Yeah, you read it right: you can also use this method to stream personalized content to your Google meetings.

This one is really simple. When your browser asks you which camera to pass to the website, accept but immediately go into the settings and change the camera in the video tab to the "OBS" one. You'll see it mirrored, but others will see it just fine.

It'll come up with the same name as above

Alright, that's all for today. Tell me if you're gonna use this trick to sneak out during your #WorkFromHome sessions. Stay safe!

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