Once upon a time, I used to video stream my art making process. I did it for a few years, and all was well. And then I stopped.
Why? Streaming the desktop using the computer display as my input source would buckle down my system to the point where mark-making on the screen would cause significant lag. It was frustrating, and after several aborted attempts, I gave up.
This weekend, I discovered a new way to video stream successfully. Instead of streaming directly from my monitor, I am streaming from a live camera video feed.
In my closet was a nearly 10 year old Sony DC9 camcorder with Firewire output. It’s in excellent shape, but largely unused for the past four years. The tripod is a $30 SunPack 8001 – it’s sturdy and easily adjustable.
The camcorder takes in the video feed and routes via Firewire cable to the open source CamTwist Studio, running on my early 2008 model Macbook Pro.
Setting up CamTwist Studio was a cinch – just specify the input source to the camcorder and you’re set.
The camcorder is aimed towards my Yiynova tablet monitor, which is connected to my 5 year old Mac Pro. Because of the Yiynova’s limited viewing angle, I try to display a mirrored copy of my workspace on the HP display that rests above it.
With this setup, my Mac Pro is no longer transmitting screen data AND recording my mark-making simultaneously – freeing me up to draw without any annoying lag. So, good news – I can video stream once again!
I plan to stream more often now. To find out the times, just follow me on Twitter. Or you can bookmark my video stream and receive an email notification when I record a new streaming session. With the video stream, I hope to share my techniques and answer questions, so feel free to pop in and chat to keep me company.
The best part about the whole streaming setup is that it didn’t cost me anything; I was able to utilize gear that I already have. There is something very satisfying about putting “old” technology back to work.
Questions? Hit me up in the comments below.