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Multiple Webcams?

masada's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/24/2009 - 7:54pm

Hi. This question deals more with webcams than anything else but it might apply to this forum. As you may soon suspect, I know very little about videography!

I am a musician who is currently giving a couple of my students lessons via the internet. It works rather well but my one gripe is using only one camera. This means I need to get closer to the cam with my instrument to show a specific hand position in detail, but then I need to move back so the student would be able to see proper body positioning, etc.

What I would LOVE to do is broadcast the lessons with 2-3 webcams going at the same time and then have some sort of device that would allow me to switch camera views whenever I hit a button. However, I obviously don't understand how to go about doing this. What kind of device could I use to make this happen? Is it even possible? I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't be able to make a "split-screen" show up on someone else's' computer, considering I use either Skype or MSN Messenger for the lessons. This is why I think some gadget like this would be better. Perhaps there is some software that would allow this to work to?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


The shooter's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 06/22/2009 - 5:08pm

I know you can do that when you edit. The other way is to have a switcher. This is a machine that swichtes from different feeds. It's used for broadcast and live TV. But they are very expensive. A setup would be possible, but I don't think you will want to pay the price. You can judge by yourself.

http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/cat_mixers_studio.asp

Other than that, the only solution would to have more than one computer and then the student wil open more then one skype or msn (like if it would be differnt people.)

Hope I've been helpful. Good luck,

Antoine


masada's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/24/2009 - 7:54pm

So is it of consensus that something like a USB web cam switcher or even switcher software doesn't exsist yet?

Am I sitting on a new million-dollar idea? :P


The shooter's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: 06/22/2009 - 5:08pm

I don't think it exists. Try to do some research... and want for somebody else opinion.

Good luck again,

Antoine


Luis Maymi's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
Plus Member

Masada:

Adobe have a program called Visual Communicator. This program do exactly what you need and is able to make live feed directly to the internet. You can use three cameras simultaneuosly and the only thing that you need to do is position the cameras where you want them to be and the program will indentify them as CAM 1,2, or 3. Drag and drop them in the timeline, put a few transitions (if you like) and your ready to record. You can use three webcams without any problems via USB, but if you want to use a camcorder the program identify them via Firewire (I heard you can used them via USB but I havent try it yet). The program is very easy to use and I think it will help you with your needs and is not that expensive. http://www.adobe.com/products/visualcommunicator/?promoid=DJDXK

-

"The meaning of a movie are the characters, the life of the movie is the music, but the magic is in the editing" –  http://www.lomaymi.com


NormanWillis's picture
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 12/08/2008 - 5:56am

>>What I would LOVE to do is broadcast the lessons with 2-3 webcams going at the same time and then have some sort of device that would allow me to switch camera views whenever I hit a button.

Are you recording, editing and then publishing?

Or are you only doing live broadcast/webcast/Skypecast?

If the former then continue on here. If the latter, then you are seeking a broadcast application, and I would recommend contacting Skype.



masada's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/24/2009 - 7:54pm

Yes, that is correct. My idea is to be able to switch between cameras live during a lesson.



masada's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/24/2009 - 7:54pm

Sarge's idea was fine but after reading Adobe's info on the program, its main features are for recording a video, not live video as with Skype. When they state "live camera" in the program, they are referring to cameras that are used for recording a finished presentation that will be streamed over the net.


jimcvideo's picture
Last seen: 5 years 4 days ago
Joined: 04/15/2009 - 1:39pm

Masada, I know exactly what you need. It's an awesome program, and best of all, it's free.

The software is called VH Multi Cam. You can find it here. Plug in all your webcams, and then when you start this program, they'll be in the list of live cameras you can load. Load them all up, and you've got yourself a virtual switch. All you have to do is when you go live, select VH multi cam as your webcam.

If you want to add overlays and text, you can get a program called manycam (also free). You just pipe VH into manycam, and you can overlay those extras.

This is the best way I've found so far online for a free virtual switch. It will do great for you, but I would suggest that if you can find someone to switch cameras for you, it will make your life easier.

Hope that helped. If so, you can always help me learn how to play guiter! :-)




masada's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 06/24/2009 - 7:54pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'll certainly look into them all!

Cheers


Professor Twang's picture
Last seen: 4 years 9 months ago
Joined: 07/02/2009 - 7:35pm

I'm another music teacher just starting to conduct live online lessons via Skype. Hi Masada, glad I stumbled onto this forum! I teach pedal steel guitar, no competition for you.

I'll look into the links above, I'm on a Mac using Skype (better image and sound than iChat for some reason); anyone know of a multi-webcam switching box or software that's also Mac oriented? Thanks.

Also: what's the best solution for setting up multi webcams in place? I'm using a mic boom stand with the camera duct taped to the mic clip, works, but not very elegant. I think what I truly want is something like swing down arms mounted on my studio ceiling, with gooseneck ends for easy camera positioning. The arms would fold out of the way, just pull them down and clip the cameras to these hanging rods. Am I reinventing the wheel?

Thanks to all, in advance, for you guidance.