Virtual Sets

Virtual Sets also known as Virtual Studios are largely used in video production and live broadcasting.

For this article we will refer to them as Virtual Sets. So, what exactly is a virtual set and why use one? A virtual set is where we can create a live broadcast or previously recorded show on a set that is virtual. A virtual set can be of an image or a video. The most commonly virtual set is an image.  A Virtual set is used in conjunction with chroma keying usually with a green screen.

chroma key green screen

The image of the virtual set is the background image where more images can be added, text, and the video cameras where you can place the host of the show and even guests on to the virtual set but in reality, they are just sitting at a green screen. A broadcasting or video editing software is required to setup the virtual set such software’s like Finncast  Studio live video streaming software. Some software’s require a special set image with masks to add virtual screens to the set. A virtual screen is a monitor(screen) as part of the set image and the screen can show footage and images. However, using Finncast Studio no screens need to be part of the virtual set image as Finncast have created what they call Virtual screens which can be added anywhere on the virtual set at the click of a button. These virtual screens are very powerful, they can be resized and placed anywhere on the virtual set with a drag & move of a mouse and they have full axis movement for complete 3D display. The virtual screens will play video footage, show images, live cameras and other video input devices. This really adds to the virtual set giving even more a reality effect.

Choosing which software to use for your virtual sets is really down to your budget, how often you will broadcast and how professional you want to be when broadcasting.

Real studio sets are very expensive to setup and require large space in a building for the studio.  Where in reality using a virtual set could be done in your bedroom. Virtual sets are not just of studio type they are of schools and churches and halls etc. It is an image background where you place yourself the subject on the set and produce a very professional show.

With high speed broadband, powerful processor computers and graphic cards that have their own processors and memory online broadcasting is enormous. There are so many live streaming web-sites to choose from like YouTube, Facebook, Twitch and many more, broadcasting live is just plain simple.

Many people are making big money with successful views on YouTube and the more professional your videos are the more likely you will get more viewers.  With successful videos like AMSR, a makeover tutorial, a review on technology, how to lose weight and so on, using a virtual set with your production is most certainly going to bring a bigger audience.

Imagine this Mary does a makeover video in her bedroom with a banner of a makeup product stuck to the wall behind her. She had to pay for the banner to be printed or begged the product manufacture to send her one for her YouTube video on how to apply eye shadow. The banner eventually arrives and she has to phone 4 of her friends to come over to help her put it up.

So, what is the viewer looking at, is Mary in her well cleaned bedroom with a big banner on the wall saying Product Name. Now picture this, Mary is using Finncast Studio with a cool modern virtual set with images of the Product Name on the virtual screens in her studio. As the video starts Mary’s name slides across the screen on a Lower Third and then off the screen and Mary says welcome to my show.

In today’s world Mary does not need to book herself into a recording studio to produce a professional video production or live broadcast with the thanks to software’s like Finncast Studio and the use of virtual sets. Time, technology and people being so less shy of the camera is now the time to broadcast to the world.

Many people ask me so how do I get started? What do I need?

1: A computer, recommended a quad core processor say 2 Ghz or greater with a good video card.

2: A camera, it can be a Full HD web cam or an external camera connected to a video capture card.

3: A software for video production and live broadcasting like Finncast Studio.

5: At least one virtual set image.

6: High speed internet connection.

7: And of course you the host of the show.

Virtual Set images and videos can be purchased on many web-sites on the internet which specialize in this area. Also, you can hire a graphic designer to make you a virtual set, the advantages of this is the set will be unique to you or better again if you are a graphic designer. Some virtual sets are a video which loops the play back over and over. They can look very good but my own preference is a static image of a set because it uses little or no processing power of the computer and I can add much more to the set like images of a podium, a desk, logos etc. this is a major advantage!. What I am saying here is you can have a very basic image of the set and build on that by adding additional images.

I would suggest that the virtual set image be a minimum size of 1920×1080 which is full HD. However, if it was smaller Finncast Studio will auto scale the image up.

Now I must mention with Finncast  Studio live video streaming software you can pan and zoom on the virtual set this is just incredible to see. it will simulate a camera operator zooming in on the subject even though there is no camera operator. What I mean is you can place your camera on a tripod, sit at your green screen remove the green with the chroma key add your virtual set and click the mouse on the set to where you want to pan and zoom, you will also be able to set the speed and distance of the zoom.

 

So, my final words on virtual sets is, if you are starting any sort of video broadcasting or video production shows as your business or hobby or just to make an income virtual sets should be used and if you hit the success you have dreamed, of making lots of money, then you can bring your show into a real studio.  Consider it like starting a courier delivery business, it would make more sense in the first year to hire a van than buy one. If your business did not become profit making closing is simple just stop hiring a van and close the doors, but to be stuck with a purchased van would make no sense and you may lose so much on the sale of the van. As equally renting a building paying to setup a studio makes no sense until your show is a success. And of course, on the solo broadcaster side of things a virtual set is definitely the way to go.

 

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