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Scott Karlins

Wirecast - Producing and Broadcasting with Remote Cameras and Computer Screens

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My day job is working for an engineering firm, where we do failure analysis. Plane, train and vehicle crashes, explosion scenes, machine accidents and many other crazy things. My job is to bring new leading edge technologies into the company. Over the last 10 years, I have brought 3D laser scanning, a fleet of drones, and several VR and AR applications. My latest task was to quickly deploy a method to host multi-party lab inspections virtually. By quickly, I mean 10 days! From having no gear or kit of any kind, to three of our larger offices fully outfitted, and trained. I said "yes" to this?!?

Normally, our offices will host multi-party lab inspections to look at components and parts to determine how things failed. Due to COVID-19, having 30 people fly in and congregate in one lab or highbay area is not feasible. So, I built out custom PC workstations capable of running Wirecast, to be able to host these inspections remotely over a Zoom, Skype, WebEx or MS Teams video conference call. (see my post on this forum in the 'Building a PC' Topic, under 'Computer Hardware & Accessories'). I will be providing a full list of all the PC components within that topic soon. These workstations needed to be capable of creating a Virtual Camera, and also live stream to an RTMP server if needed. They also needed to be able to save all these sources as ISO recordings at full 1080p30 to local storage.

Here is a screen grab from Wirecast of my typical setup.

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What is interesting about this particular inspection above, (which I am broadcasting as I write this article) is that my Wirecast studio is in Atlanta, while the inspection is taking place in our Illinois lab! All the Sources for Wirecast are coming to me over a VPN tunnel to my home in Atlanta. I have IP cameras, Webcams, and feeds from several computers to capture their screens. All the computer screens are sourced using NDI Scan Converter, installed on each PC. Wirecast will see these sources within the Network Source list:

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All the IP cameras are established as RTSP Web Streams directly from the static IP's of the IP cameras:

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All my audio is handled using one or more Rode Wireless Go microphones. For this particular inspection, I have a laptop on the table in the lab at the Illinois office running the conference software. That user chooses the Rode Go mic as there audio source. So, the audio goes directly to the conference software. Normally, when my Wirecast studio is in the same room as the lab inspection, the Rode Go is plugged into my Wirecast PC's Audio In jack on the motherboard. If I am using more than one mic, I use a RODECaster Pro to mix the mics down.

Once I have fully setup Wirecast and tested all my sources, I am ready to Start the Virtual Camera feed from Wirecast, select the 'Wirecast Virtual Camera' source in my conference software, and start the conference call.

 

Insane that this all works so well! I get a constant 30fps feeding to the conference software, clear and smooth video. One of the nice abilities of Wirecast, is the ability to create standby graphics, lower thirds, timers and clocks, all of which I utilize.

 

I hope you found this topic useful, and as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

 

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awesome work, have been very interested in the NDI development over the last few years.

The encoders/decoders will only get cheaper as the technology grows.

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