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Virtual NaNoWriMo

The National Novel Writing Month takes place every November.

I participate, as part of the North OC region. This year (2020), the event will be entirely online, which adds its own challenges. But, in the Time of Covid, what must be done, must be done. We’ve been experimenting with discord as our primary platform, hosting virtual write-ins in April and July. I also had the fortune to attend SFWA’s (entirely on-line) Nebula conference, held on Zoom in May.

Zoom has one two really nice features: breakout rooms, and virtual backgrounds.

Unfortunately, few other platforms support virtual backgrounds, and discord doesn’t at all. But even people comfortable with a camera (and not everyone is, and that’s totally OK!) may not be able to curate a space they’re comfortable with.

Enter my series of posts on how to do Fancy Virtual Backgrounds in the video app of your choice, including discord!

Here’s the synopsis: install a virtual camera, any other things you need for it to work, and set discord to use the virtual camera.

There are easy versions, and harder versions. The harder versions let you do fancier tricks.

What do you need? A webcam-like device, and (in most, but not all, cases) a green-screen like backdrop.

This is the index to the posts describing them in more detail:

Options 1 & 2 (requires $, or live with the watermark): XSplit VCam ($monthly or $lifetime, windows only), ChromaCam ($lifetime, windows or mac)

Option 3 (free): Snap Camera (with or without OBS Studio)

Option 4 (free, mac or windows): OBS Studio + Zoom

Option 5 (free, mac or windows): OBS Studio + green screen

OBS Studio gives you a lot of flexibility in what you choose to do, so I have an installation guide that you should read if you want to use it.

Published inNaNoWriMoVirtual Backgrounds