Using a Virtual Camera
How to Use a Virtual Camera as a Host
This article will explain what a virtual camera is and how you can use one to access more camera features.
What is a Virtual Camera?
In short, a Virtual Camera refers to a software application that allows users to use their computers’ resources during a video call instead of using a live webcam. Using a virtual camera, users can alter their video appearance by adding things such as images and text beneath or beside their face.
What Virtual Cameras are available?
There are a variety of virtual cameras available for download from the internet. One of the most popular virtual cameras, and the one that will be discussed further, is ManyCam. There website can be found here. A walkthrough of how to download ManyCam can be found here.
There are also cameras available specifically for live streaming, meaning that external cameras can be purchased and connected to your computer. For a live streaming camera, you can visit this website to view some of the highest ranked options. We have centers also using Mevo.
Common Issues with ManyCam
ManyCam is our recommendation for a virtual camera but you might have some questions after first using it. Some of the commonly asked questions are below.
How do you zoom in/out of a document being displayed on ManyCam?
To zoom in or out of a displayed document or presentation on ManyCam, you can simply hold down the [Ctrl] key while you turn the mouse wheel.
More information can be found here.
How can I show a powerpoint while having my camera still visible?
In order to have your camera still visible, you will add a new panel (found at the bottom of your ManyCam app home screen) in addition to the already existing panel. This article explains in more detail how to set up multiple audio and video sources.
How can I display all the participants onto the screen at one time for a chat?
To view all of the participants while in a class, simply click on "Change page layout", which will alter the display of the participants. It is currently not possible to view all participants while screen sharing using ManyCam.
Other Helpful Notes
Consuming Less Memory/Adjusting Frame Rate and Resolution
There are a few settings you can alter to reduce memory consumption on ManyCam, which will increase speed. The first of these would be de-accelerate the hardware. This can be done in the "Settings" tab of ManyCam under the "Hardware Acceleration" option (shown below in red).
Another recommendation is in regards to frame rate and resolution. You can check your current frame rate and resolution in the top right corner of the ManyCam app (see image below). If you hover over either number with your cursor, a small menu will appear that contains all of the possible frame rates and resolutions (see image below). We advise that for 720p resolution the FPS should should be set to 30. For 1080p resolution, you can set your framerate to be 60.
The general system requirements for ManyCam can be found here. You can use this article to compare with your own streaming device.
Updated on: 21/10/2021