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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » »! » » Simple way to show face, torso, and close-up mat during a Zoom session? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bob G
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Hi folks,

In a word, my question is: During a video chat, how can I arrange things so that the person I'm chatting with can see my face, torso, and closeup mat all at once?

In more words: My computer is a desktop. I occasionally have video chats about magic with people, and it's physically awkward because to show my face I have to sit, but to show my hands I have to stand. And I can't show the table without moving unreasonably far from the computer, so that it's hard for my companion to see. Any thoughts? My preference would be something simple and inexpensive. Additional obstacle: I don't have a smart phone (and don't want to -- I know I'd find it addictive).

Thanks for any advice.

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padre rich
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Clint Eastwood said,"audiences are very smart.they don't have to see everything."use the camera to your advantage,don't be afraid to cut your head off when photographing the table surface.the same when filming in front of your chest.make the trick the center of attention.a $40 Amazon fire tablet is ideal for taking short videos,which can be compressed.the tablet likes low light...
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
Bob G
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Thanks, guys. I didn't know Eastwood said that. There are moments when I make intentionally silly facial expressions, usually to defuse the idea that I'm enjoying triumphing over my spectators. But low-tech is looking increasingly appealing, and I'll probably go with something like what you suggest. I found that I can put a short stool, less than a foot high, on my computer table, and the mat on the stool, and then my hands, the mat, and my stomach are visible. Probably good enough.

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For my virtual shows I use a multi camera set up- One on my face, and one top down on the table so I don't try and get everything in the one frame

How do I switch cameras easily?

Like others have mentioned the use of a free program called OBS works which allows you to create scenes scene 1 is camera 1 and scene 2 is camera 2 for example (theres a lot more you can do with it)
OBS also allows 2 cameras in the one view like a picture in picture effect

I also use a streamdeck which is marketed to gamers but works with OBS - this is a pad of buttons that you can program with keyboard shortcuts- and this is up near me just under camera view- with 1 click I can mute all, change camera etc very easily- I have a physical streamdeck but I believe they have an app version for your phone

OBS doesn't have a steep learning curve but you will have to spend a tiny amount of time learning- and there are plenty of Youtube videos on how to do this how to do that
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