With the pandemic still upon us and a year of experience with it behind us, video conferencing is going strong, and with that comes some anxiety and a little bit of fun along the way. That is if your boss allows you to have fun while working. Throw in a host of new at-home streamers, YouTube beamers, and Tiktok screamers and it becomes apparent that everyone and their dog has something to say, stream, or scream.
The problem is... boring backgrounds... or worse... poor attempts at homemade backgrounds that don’t quite accomplish what was intended. Not everyone is tech-savvy enough to build their own video apps or even know someone that does, but we still want to be able to have cool backgrounds without the awkward greenscreen in the living room, bedroom, or garage.
Like Zoom and others, we just want to insert our own background so it’s not like a hundred other backgrounds we see every day. Having local control of such a function is just what XSplit’s VCam is for.
We aren’t always on Zoom and webcam proprietary software can be lacking in this area. While my webcam was fairly new... the software sucked. There is no other way to put it. Robust was not in that programmer's vocabulary.
XSplit VCam Simple Interface with Backgrounds
I had some video tutorials I wanted to record, and an author's cam was required so a video of the author would be shown in the bottom corner to personalize the experience. Already being bitten by the “staring at boring backgrounds bug” and put off by a few... shall we say... cluttered living rooms and bedrooms, I wanted a digital background. More importantly, I wanted to use 3D rendered spaceship cockpit interiors as my background with a different one for each tutorial.
Yes... I’m that kind of a nerd. For those of you that think I do it for the novelty, you would be mistaken. I do in case that one gullible person out there may think I’m really in a spaceship cockpit. But... I digress from the point of needing an easy, lightweight, and effortless application to provide such backgrounds.
Being a modern era CyberMage of sorts... I conjured up Google and immediately found XSplit with its neat little camera application: VCam. It took no brainpower to run and worked flawlessly with my Logitech webcam.
During testing, I found out there was nothing to test. Just load it up, turn it on, jump to the backgrounds and load your own with lots of options to tweak things around. The GUI is compact, easy to navigate and use, with everything laid out nicely in front of you.
I never had to read instructions, so I have no idea if they exist but if you read my reviews, you know nothing makes me any happier than never knowing there was a manual or tutorial. I know that is a bit simplistic but how many of us actually read the manual first... or any time after for that matter?
XSplit VCam in Camtasia
All I had to do was install it, load up my custom backgrounds and use it. My Windows 10 Pro PC recognized it as a separate camera making implementation in other applications very easy.
So far, I have only tested out the free version which carries a watermark and I’ve never had to sign in or make an account to use it. Most likely I will be clicking on the Remove Watermark button on the interface as VCam has run without a glitch making me very happy.
XSplit also has what looks like a very neat broadcasting application (Broadcaster) but I’ve not tried it. Maybe for a future article since home streaming is so popular.
If you are wanting to spice up your video backgrounds without a green screen and wanting the ability to use your own images then check out XSplit VCam. I don’t know anything about the people behind it all, as I was never in contact with them, but this product has been solid up to this point.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.