Set up your camera and screen

Let's make your home, backyard, studio, or wherever you are performing, a new stage for you to spark the moment.
Make sure your internet connection

Generally, it's been recommended that using a dedicated internet connection, not publicly shared one, is ideal for your online project. It is not a comfortable feeling when the internet connection gets weaker, and you don't quite understand what the audience is saying, or your screen is frozen for more than one minute, right?

Make sure you test and confirm your upload speed at www.speedtest.net
We recommend 50 Mbps fast to avoid any connection instability during your project.

Two-sided through screen

All projects will be delivered via Google Meet, a real-time online video meeting app.  Keep in mind that it is a two-sided interaction; you and the audiences can see and interact with each other, and actively participate in your project. So you need at least one camera to capture you, and one screen to see and interact with them. Find more about how to host a live show on Google Meet here.

Select your camera

The selection of a camera depends on how you will perform your project, what moment you want to share with audiences, and where your experience takes place. You do not need to be a pro audiovisual director. There are many tutorials out there available for free.

Here are the basic camera types:

  • Built-in camera
  • Your Mobile as a webcam
  • External webcam
  • Standalone camera

1. Built-in camera

The average laptop/mobile/tablet's built-in camera can technically get the job done. If the project will be captured from a fixed angle by yourself, this is a way to get started.

  • Click "setting" on Google meets to adjust your audio and camera resolutions.
  • Turn on a light and put it in the right place to improve the look of your video.
  • Find the right angle where you can perform and converse with the audience live
  • If you are using your mobile or tablet, make sure you do have a stand to support the device so it won't move during your project.
  • If you want to show your performance from different angles simultaneously, join Google meet from each device and pin it the timing you wish to during the show.
picture source: How to use your phone as a webcam: Pro tips while working from home
2. Your mobile

There’s a few ways you can turn your phone into a webcam. We’ll show you a few techniques for how to set up your Android smartphone or iPhone to use as a webcam, whether you have a Mac or a PC. Best of all, many of these options are free.

If you're on a PC running Windows and you use an Android phone, one of the easiest (and wireless) methods is to use an app called DroidCam. If you're on macOS, EpocCam may be a good one for you, which supports Android and Windows as well. For both iOS case, Iriun is also a great choice. Using your phone as a webcam allows you to capture both a dynamic movement and performance and static performance from a fixed position. Make sure you have a mobile stand that easy to move around.

IMPORTANT!

If you use your smartphone as a webcam, we highly recommend you to use Google Chrome to open a Google Meet. Safari doesn't let you choose any other camera rather than Facetime (built-in camera).

picture source: The Best Webcams


3. External webcam

There are many affordable external webcams available to notch up the better camera quality. If you want to play with the audiovisual side of your online live project, you can use "OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)" to control and improve the quality of it. OBS is a free and open-source, cross-platform streaming and recording program built with Qt and maintained by the OBS Project. Google "OBS for live streaming.", you will find many amazing tutorials to expand your creative opportunity. To connect "OBS webcam inputs" to Google meets, you need to install a dedicated app (depending on your OS, it can be "OBS-VirtualCam for Windows" or "CamTwist" for mac.

  • Ask your friends or family to be at the "Control room" to manage the audiovisual side of your project. Introduce them during the project to make it more personal.
  • Make sure to find the best lighting effect using the OBS setting.
  • Plan your project show flow to play with lighting, audio, angle, or transition effects if you want to try. 

Some webcam brands to start your search:

  • Logitech (excellent video quality with a reasonable price)
  • Zoom Q2n-4K (great audio capture)
  • Razer Kiyo (Built-in ring light)


picture source: SONY RX100 MARK VII REVIEW: ALMOST VLOGGER

4. Standalone Camera

If you already have a standalone camera, including just about any consumer pocket camera with HDMI out capabilities, then it's worth looking into picking up an HDMI-to-USB video capture interface to convert it into a much higher quality webcam. When you connect the HDMI interface to your PC, and open Google meet, it should recognize the video input as a webcam without any driver downloads or individual apps required out of the box. However, it would be best if you had an HDMI-to-USB dongle like "Cam Link 4K" and HDMI cable.

Change your computer’s video and audio settings

Once you select your camera, lighting and sound system, make sure to adjust your Google meet settings for your technical needs. You can find the tutorials on how to change your computer's video and audio settings here. The recommended video resolution is 720p (high res.). If you are performing with live concert or audio, we recommend you to purchase an external webcam that has a good sound capture like Zoom Q2n-4K. For more advanced lighting, audio or digital setups, it's best to collaborate with experts in the fields. Make sure to plan budget and financial goal as well as revenue sharing with your team beforehand.

Staging a space for online live project

Your stage can be your home, street, backyard or studio where you train. Think of getting your space ready for (onscreen) visitors the same way you would if guests were coming into your show or backstage. Google best practices such as How to Host a Successful Virtual Event: Tips and Best Practices by hootsuite.

  • Choose the right setting. Perform in a location that represents your theme.
  • Clean up beforehand. Only show what you’d want broadcast to a global audience.
  • Get organized and ready. Have all ingredients, tools, or props you’ll need within reach and ready to go.
  • Camera movement. Give some "show-quality" to your project by changing a camera angle, adding sound or showing around your environment.
Important reminder

Again, many creative opportunities are using free or affordable outlets. So definitely, we suggest you learn, collaborate with your family or geeky friends, test, and upgrade your online live projects. However, make sure that how you perform and interact with the audience, the two-sided interactions, and the genuine joy of sharing the moment and experience is the essential thing that makes your projects unique and attractive.

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