Video: OBS Studio 135 – Virtual Background Removal – Fake Chroma Keying – OBS Studio Guide
Setting up a proper green screen or chroma-keying workflow is a nightmare, especially in small spaces or spaces shared for other purposes. Thankfully, we’re finally seeing movement in tech development for background removal options that don’t require so much hassle. This is still a very new field, but in this course episode, we’ll be taking a look at the 3 main options for background removal on a webcam: Personify ChromaCam with the Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam, TriDef SmartCam – which aims to work with any webcam, and the Intel RealSense background removal. This gets technical and weird, but let’s jump in.
The Elgato Cam Link takes your mirrorless, DSLR, GoPro, or camcorder and turns it into a higher-quality facecam than any webcam could ever provide – without the hassle and headache of normal USB webcam drivers or their terrible settings configuration. Get an uncompressed, low-latency 1080p60 signal from your camera straight to your stream with this little device right here. Buy one via the link in the video description. I’m EposVox, here to make tech easier and more fun, and welcome back to my OBS Studio tutorial course. I have many, many more videos on the software in the playlist linked in the description. Check that before asking questions, and check the introduction video to learn how this course works, if you get confused. Like I said, we’re tackling 3 very different methods of background removal in this video, two of which require specific hardware.
I’ll have timestamps in the video description if you wish to jump to a specific topic. We’re going to start with Intel RealSense. Intel RealSense For full disclosure, it’s important that I tell you that me and my channel are sponsored by Intel on a fairly regular basis. I’ve made promotional videos about RealSense technology in the past. This is not one such video, and that’s good since I have some critical things to say about it, but I do need to disclose that to you as a viewer. Intel RealSense utilizes special webcams, such as the Razer Stargazer or this Creative SR300 model I have. These are cameras equipped with a depth-sensing camera and infrared sensor which scan the field of view for the shape of a person and then uses the depth-sensing technology, as well as contrast, color difference, and so on, to remove the background. These are designed specifically for Intel Core i7-built PCs.
There are a few other variations on RealSense tech for 3D scanning and other AR and VR applications, as well, but we’re focusing on background removal today. The resulting effect is… Impressive for a technology that only just kind of became publicly available out of nowhere – but it’s not perfect. A professionally-installed chroma key environment will beat RealSense out every time, but most streamers and content creators can’t afford the cost or space required for such a setup. RealSense does a fantastic job of working within the space you have to separate you from your background without a ton of lights, a big green cloth, and 6 feet of wasted space. You will end up with artifacting – it thinking something in the background is you, or cutting off your microphone or headphones, and so on, but it’s a nice effect. I can’t wait to see what future iterations of this technology bring to the table. You can optimize for this by still using good lighting – required for decent-looking webcam footage, anyway – and having a solid colored wall or something as your background. Busy backgrounds are harder to work with. OBS Studio now ships with an option during the installation process to also install the Intel RealSense SDK and driver, and the setup process is fairly straightforward, too.
If you didn’t choose this and now want to enable it, just re-install overtop your existing installation, choose the RealSense checkbox, and you’re good to go. Re-installing doesn’t wipe your settings or profiles. Personify ChromaCam Right around the time that Intel RealSense cameras were really hitting the market and the streaming community was getting fed up with Logitech for not releasing any new stream-friendly webcams following the C920’s 4-year domination of the scene, they popped out the C922 Pro Stream Webcam. This webcam is more-or-less the same as the C920, but comes with a little tripod, can output 60 FPS at 720p – though the image looks HORRIBLE and is more likely just an interpolated 360p at the same framerate – and has a better mic. But most relevant to this video, the webcam comes with a special little program for background removal: Personify ChromaCam.
This program is a software approach. There’s no fancy sensors in the C922 like the RealSense cameras, but it does require the C922, specifically. ChromaCam attempts to remove your background from your webcam shot – giving you the option to also replace it with some pre-made backgrounds, your own image, and do all this within video-chatting apps like Skype, as well. In OBS Studio, you actually add the webcam as a normal video source, and then use the Personify ChromaCam app – downloadable from Logitech’s support page for the webcam, linked in the video description – to customize the background. Then, reposition your webcam how you like in OBS and you’re good to go! TriDef SmartCam A third option, one that should work with any decent webcam, is “SmartCam” from TriDef. This is a paid, third-party solution with a 7-day trial, but doesn’t have specific hardware requirements and has some pretty nice features of its own. The nice people over at TriDef were kind enough to provide a key for me to review, but are NOT sponsoring this content in any way or seeing it before it gets posted. SmartCam lets you blur your background for a foe “Depth of Field” effect, replace it with different scenes, apply filters to it, or remove it altogether.
This works great for streaming, as well. Stuff None of this technology is perfect yet, but it’s a great start – and something to really consider given how frustrating and cumbersome a proper green screen setup can be. If you missed it, we actually had a course episode dedicated to setting up a green screen. As always, links to the aforementioned hardware and programs will be in the video description. I hope this episode of my OBS Studio tutorial course has been helpful for you. If it was, drop-kick that like button and subscribe for awesome tech videos. If you like game streaming, come follow me on Twitch and drop a message in chat. Until next time, I’m EposVox, Happy Streaming! Thanks for watching this episode of my OBS Studio tutorial course. More videos like this and a full master class are linked in the playlist in the video description. Click to learn more. Also consider joining us on Patreon to help keep tech education free. Go to Patreon.
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