Like many others, I spend a lot of time on video calls, presentations, workshops, and conferences since March due to COVID-19. My laptop camera doesn't provide much control of what is shown and it's to easy to disrupt a meeting with an open laptop mic.
I found the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to be very good and provides control over what is seen and heard with apps like Skype, Webex, Google Meet, and Zoom. It turned my laptop into a mini broadcasting studio using a Raspberry Pi camera running motion, and a old Android phone running IP Webcam.
Any IP device streaming video can be used with OBS along with the internal camera and USB cameras connected to the computer. I can setup scenes and switch between any scene containing feeds from a camera, combinations of camera feeds, images, screens, and applications.
To use OBS in this way, you need to install OBS (available for Windows, macOS, and Linux), and the OBS VirtualCamera software. OBS manages all the scenes and hardware, and OBS VirtualCamera make OBS look like a webcam to Skype, Webex, Google Meet, and Zoom (and other). My brief installation and setup notes are shown below.
- Create a New Profile
- Create a New SceneCollection
- Add a scene and add audio, video and image sources as needed
- Tools -> VirtualCam and start the VirtualCam server
- Use the Audio Input for the laptop mic and the headphone mic
- Use the Video Capture devices for the laptop webcam
- Use the Media Source for IP webcams