Using OBS as a Virtual Webcam on Windows and MacOS
With more and more people working from home in the current global environment, we’re seeing an increase in the number of people asking how to use OBS as a virtual webcam for video conferencing solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Google Meet.
You might want to use OBS as a webcam source as it gives you a plethora of production options, such as picture in picture, chroma key (green screen) etc. This is great if you’re giving company presentations, or just want to mess with your colleagues with a weird green screen background.
The installation complexity will vary depending on your operating system. If you’re using Windows, then congratulations, the installation is quite simple! If you’re using MacOS then ideally you’ll need a second monitor and need to run multiple programs.
It looks like this feature will soon be natively supported in OBS, as Tobi Lutke (the founder of Shopify) has just recently placed a $10,000 bounty for the feature. Until then we’re left with the following methods.
Update June 2020: There is now an OBS virtual cam plugin for Mac. The mac section below has been updated with a link to it. Update January 2021: VirtualCam for MacOS is now natively included in OBS 26.1, so you no longer need to download any plugins.
Windows: Using OBS as a Virtual Webcam
- Windows Operating System
- OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
- OBS-VirtualCam plugin (download here)
- Install OBS-VirtualCam.
- Reboot computer.
- Setup OBS, with optional chroma key (guide here).
- In OBS select ‘Tools’ from the top menu, then ‘VirtualCam’.
- Click the ‘Start’ button. Optionally check ‘AutoStart’ if you want to have VirtualCam start whenever OBS is running.
- Done! You should now see ‘OBS-Camera’ as a webcam option. Note: You will still need to select your usual microphone as the audio source.
MacOS: Using OBS as a Virtual Webcam
Update January 2021: VirtualCam is now natively included in OBS 26.1, so you no longer need to download the plugin listed below.
Update June 2020: There’s now a MacOS version of OBS VirtualCam. This can be downloaded here. The process to use the software is basically the same as the Windows method listed above.
We’ve kept the old CamTwist guide below, but it’s no longer the best method to use.
Unfortunately for Mac users, the quality of the video output from this method is much lower than the Windows method. Additionally you will ideally want a second monitor, because if any window or program moves in front of the capture area, it will be displayed on the video stream.
Requirements: MacOS OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) CamTwist (download here) Optional: Second monitor
Setup: Install CamTwist. Reboot computer. Setup OBS, with chroma key if desired (guide here). If using a second monitor – In OBS right click on canvas and select ‘Fullscreen Projector’ and send it to your desired monitor. If using a single monitor – Resize the OBS canvas to take up a small portion of your screen. Open CamTwist. In the CamTwist preferences select your desired frame rate, and video size. Close the preferences and go to the main CamTwist options. Select ‘Desktop’ and then select the monitor your OBS output is being displayed on OR do a resizeable selection of the same screen. Done! You should now see ‘Cam Twist’ as a webcam option.