OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) is a package that allows you more flexibility with creating video materials.

It requires a bit more enagement to set up than the other methods but the tradeoff is huge flexibility.

For instance you can create scences so you can easily swap between full camera view or slides (like this), something not normally possible without paid for software, Screenflow for OS X for instance.

Dr James Sumner has helpfully produced two videos to guide you through the setup.

James also has a series of useful teaching related how to videos.

OBS for teaching, part 1 (James Sumner)
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00:00 Introduction to scene switching and OBS
OBS website

00:32 OBS is free open-source software
Christopher M Kelty’s “Two Bits: the Cultural Significance of Free Software

About open-source

00:52 OBS was originally designed for live streaming
Live streaming definition


Video games live streaming demo

01:46 Principles of OBS: scenes and sources

02:45 Adding an image source. Credit for bee image
03:55 Cropping an image using the Alt key
04:32 Adding a colour source
05:22 Positioning sources in front of or behind other sources
05:50 Applying filters to sources: Color Correction…
06:49 …including changing the opacity/transparency
07:08 Adding a video source
Credit for fish tank video

08:00 Managing sources: the eye (visibility)…
08:48 …and the padlock (locking to prevent dragging/resizing)
09:28 Removing sources

09:45 Adding a webcam as a video capture source
09:56 Be aware: in Windows, typically only one piece of software can use your webcam at once
11:12 Checking and changing the resolution of the webcam image
12:15 Setting up a composite scene
14:03 The inconvenient art of pointing at things

14:33 Using existing PowerPoint slides: if you used a screen ratio of 4:3…
15:00 …making a video at the currently favoured 16:9 ratio will give you a convenient space on the left-hand side (dimensions 4:9)
15:47 Adding an image for the course name
16:22 Adding a frame for the webcam feed
Download my frame

17:06 Naming your scene
17:25 Adding another scene
18:56 Re-ordering scenes and switching between scenes
19:04 Switching between scenes: fades and cuts

19:34 Hotkeys to switch scenes with a single keypress

21:02 The full scene-switcher in operation

21:38 Contents of Part 2
Here is Part 2

My previous video “Introduction: teaching at home, tips and experiences

OBS for teaching, part 2 (James Sumner)
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Second of two parts on how to use the free Open Broadcaster Software package to record teaching, or manage live calls, using slides or other visual aids. Part 1, covers source types, scene building and switching scenes.

00:33 Introduction to live display capture
01:00 Adding a display capture source: About the Droste effect
01:32 Resizing and cropping the display capture to fit
02:18 Using the display capture to show slides, video, web pages, software, and any other visual material

03:08 Introduction to scene collections
03:28 Naming your scene collection
03:55 Switching between scene collections

04:20 Benefits of recording-as-live with display capture: a quick and easy way to create usable materials…
04:47 …versus extensive advance preparation and editing (more polished, more flexible, but *much* more time-consuming)

05:23 Recording materials in OBS
Text tutorial
Video tutorial
06:07 Checking and changing where your recordings are being saved to
06:24 Starting, stopping and pausing recordings
06:55 Example of an edit jump due to pausing and resuming
07:07 Viewers tend to be very tolerant of minor jumps and continuity lapses: just make sure there are none big enough to distract their attention from what you’re saying

07:25 Minor problem with OBS interface (as of version 25.0.1): it’s hard to see when your recording is paused. Pause button background is light grey for paused, darker grey for unpaused.
07:54 Alternative recording options such as screen recorder packages. The recorder I used to make parts of this video (copes fine with 1920×1080 resolution but not the big 4K portrait shots) is Free Cam 8.

08:39 Sending your OBS scene live to video calls, etc using the OBS-VirtualCam plugin.
08:47 Installing OBS-VirtualCam
09:19 Turning on AutoStart
09:29 Principle of a virtual webcam
10:00 Joining a Zoom meeting…
10:34 …and switching to the virtual camera
10:50 OBS scene-switching within the Zoom call
11:29 Another advantage of OBS: using the OBS window as a monitor for what you’re displaying in situations where you can’t see it in the video call window
11:54 Light bulb moment
Light bulb gif from http://www.lowgif.com/ | Ding sound

*One thing I forgot to say about VirtualCam…* Turning it on, directly or by AutoStart, removes your access to the options under Settings, Output, Recording. If you want to change these settings then stopping it (Tools menu, VirtualCam, Stop button) usually allows you to do so: see also https://obsproject.com/forum/threads/…

12:00 Using OBS with a green screen
12:18 Adding a Chroma Key filter
13:12 Solid-colour backgrounds are less forgiving of uneven keying than patterned or busy backgrounds
13:34 Major value of green screen with our two-scene setup: the head-in-corner scene can be superimposed on a main image that fills the whole space
14:09 Green screen plus OBS-VirtualCam to allow background videos in Zoom (or anything else that takes webcam input)

14:30 Requests welcome for future videos!