What is a Virtual Camera

Published by finncastuserblog on

What is a Virtual Camera

A virtual camera like that used in Finncast Studio and Finncast Teacher allow a software display or rather what you want the user of a software to see as the final video output. I use the word video output loosely here as it can also be a static image, an online whiteboard and yes it can even be a real camera or webcam.

A Virtual camera is found and chosen like any other real camera on your computer. Unlike Finncast Studio virtual camera not all virtual cameras have a driver. Virtual cameras that do not have a driver will not show up in some programs like Skype for Windows 10 which in turn means it cannot be found to be selected.

So how does the virtual camera actually it work?

Video and gaming software have a final display usually referred to as the output. The output to be live streamed or recorded or to be simply displayed is what the viewer will see. That final video signal is pushed into the virtual camera and when the virtual camera is selected for example in Skype the final video out is what is seen. I had someone once ask what is the point of that? I could see why such a question could be asked as for example Finncast Studio can already live stream and record the video output. The simple answer, it allows other software programs and websites like Facebook live, YouTube live to select that virtual camera and use it as the video input to be live streamed. Using Facebook live as an example the virtual camera is the video input that video input is live streamed and what is viewed by everyone online is the video output.

So where is the advantage of using a virtual camera?

The advantage is you may want to use one software program for doing all the fancy tricks like video switching, chroma keying, picture in picture and so on, but that software maybe not be the best for live streaming or suffer from lag and latency problems. Or you just might have a favourite program for live streaming in such a case just chose the virtual camera as your video input and a way you go. Also with websites like Facebook live and YouTube live all you will need to do is select the virtual camera as your camera and you are ready to stream live.


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