Open Broadcaster Software, or OBS, is the software of choice for many, if not most, of today’s online streamers. This open source software allows users to create “scenes” using their webcam feed, along with any video or images they wish to use. The scenes are then sent live to the streaming platform of your choice, like YouTube or Twitch, or to a recording. The original use case for OBS was simple and allowed gamers to overlay their webcam image on a corner of their game for their online streams. Spectators could watch the game in full screen, as well as real-time reactions from the player in the corner.
Over time, OBS has added numerous features and capabilities as streamers have sought to enhance their videos and stand out. The software is now pretty much a fully featured live video editor. Almost everything a user can do in post-production with traditional video editors like Adobe Premiere Pro can now be done live on OBS. Premiere Pro can turn video into a professional production, but it requires a recorded video file and is expensive software. OBS is free and you can edit and produce a live stream in real time.
OBS business users enhance the appearance of their videos by using the software to display lower thirds such as title bars, present their PowerPoint as the background, position themselves in various virtual locations, and enable video production techniques.
One of the most popular features of OBS is its virtual camera. Typically, OBS output is sent to a streaming service, such as YouTube, but the virtual camera feature allows users to send the output to other applications on their PC, such as Cisco Webex, by pretending it’s a webcam. Webex treats the virtual camera as if it were a physical webcam input, allowing clients to have their OBS scenes produced as their video. This can be accomplished in a two-step process:
- Under OBS, select Start virtual camera in the control settings.
- In Webex, select OBS virtual camera on the camera controls.
Now, content created in OBS appears as the webcam image in Webex. While Webex has its own production features, such as virtual backgrounds, OBS offers a much higher level of customization for interactive video tricks and effects. With OBS, users can take their presentation on Webex, or any video platform, to the next level and have much more control over their appearance in daily video conferences.
Dig deeper into video conferencing and visual collaboration
Related Questions and Answers from David Maldow
Comparison of visual collaboration and ideation for productivity
Visual collaboration and ideation play a specific and significant role in increasing worker productivity while working to grow… Continue Reading
How to record Zoom meeting rooms
Zoom doesn’t make it easy to record a meeting room, but with a few extra tweaks, it can be done. Here’s why it’s worth the effort. Keep reading
How asynchronous video communication drives remote work
When it’s time to share information with colleagues, a full video conference isn’t always necessary. Maybe an app like TikTok could help. Keep reading