Using OBS as a Virtual Webcam on Windows and MacOS

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.

The OBS output being displayed in Google Meet.

Windows: Using OBS as a Virtual Webcam

Requirements:

  • Windows Operating System
  • OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
  • OBS-VirtualCam plugin (download here)

Setup:

  1. Install OBS-VirtualCam.
  2. Reboot computer.
  3. Setup OBS, with optional chroma key (guide here).
  4. In OBS select ‘Tools’ from the top menu, then ‘VirtualCam’.
  5. Click the ‘Start’ button. Optionally check ‘AutoStart’ if you want to have VirtualCam start whenever OBS is running.
  6. 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 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:

  1. Install CamTwist.
  2. Reboot computer.
  3. Setup OBS, with chroma key if desired (guide here).
  4. If using a second monitor – In OBS right click on canvas and select ‘Fullscreen Projector’ and send it to your desired monitor.
  5. If using a single monitor – Resize the OBS canvas to take up a small portion of your screen.
  6. Open CamTwist.
  7. In the CamTwist preferences select your desired frame rate, and video size.
  8. Close the preferences and go to the main CamTwist options.
  9. Select ‘Desktop’ and then select the monitor your OBS output is being displayed on OR do a resizeable selection of the same screen.
  10. Done! You should now see ‘Cam Twist’ as a webcam option.

5 Comments

  1. David McClelland

    Good news for Mac-users: as of April 2020, there is now an OBS VirtualCam plug-in for Mac. I’ve been using it for a few jobs – so far, so good.

    1. Cameron

      Thanks for letting me know David. At the time of writing the MacOS version of the plugin still required the user to manually compile it, so wasn’t super useful for most people. I’ve put an update into the blog post.

      Cheers,

      Cameron

  2. Manuel

    Thanks for this tut, im running on El Capitan, and i had to use “CamTwist” v3.3 you can find the download link in Camtwist facebook page.

  3. Reg

    I am using OBS VirtualCam plug-in for Mac, and can get the video in OBS to show in Teams no problem… but how do I get system sounds, music, and my yeti microphone to go through OBS and then into teams. The only way I can get sound in teams Is to turn up my music and switch teams to use my yeti as sound… not good 🙂

    1. Cameron

      Hi Reg,

      You might be able to use the program ‘SoundFlower’ for mac. This would let you send all the audio from your computer to Teams.

      Cheers,

      Cameron

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