Can I show Skype or FaceTime video in ProPresenter?
Posted by Renewed Vision Support on March 26, 2011 at 10:33 PM
Updated by Renewed Vision Support on Aug 18, 2016
If you've ever been asked to show a video call through ProPresenter using a program like Skype®, iChat®, FaceTime® or similar program, don't worry! There's a way to do this using a couple of freely available programs and a little bit of spare time to set it.
Using a program like CamTwist you can select just a portion of your screen to show via the Live feature in ProPresenter. These instructions should help you get this set up in just a matter of minutes.
CamTwist is Mac-only. The way CamTwist works is by interacting with QuickTime and your computer. This is actually a pretty powerful program and can do some really cool things if you have time to learn it. One of the first uses we saw for CamTwist and ProPresenter came from Brad Zimmerman of Church Media Design TV when he showed viewers how to display iTunes titles and artwork over an announcement loop in this video (starts about half-way through the video). However, selecting a portion of the screen show goes beyond what he covers in his video.
The first thing you need to do is download and install CamTwist. After you have installed CamTwist, go to your Applications folder, open the CamTwist folder, and launch the program. The image below shows you all of the options that you need to select. The actual steps are outlined below the image.
Close ProPresenter before continuing and have your video call (or a test call) running so that you can set everything up.
Step 1: Under Step 1 double-click on Desktop+.
Step 2: Jump over to the Settings section on the right side of the window. Change the default options to those shown in the screen shot above. The Done Selecting button will actually say Select Capture Area initially. Clicking this button will place a black box on your screen. With your video call window open and active, move and resize this box to select the portion of the screen you want to show. Once you've made your selection, click on the Done Selecting button.
Step 3: Under Step 3 click Save Setup and name the setup.
Step 4:If this is the first time you are setting up CamTwist, or if you find that you aren't happy with the quality of the image, you can click on CamTwist in the menu bar, select Preferences, go to the General tab, and increase the Frame rate (FPS) and the Video Size. We recommend a framerate of 30 fps or less and a Video Size at or below the output resolution of ProPresenter. Don't change any of the other settings. You will need to restart CamTwist for these changes to take affect. You may also need to restart your video call program and ProPresenter.
After you've configured your settings, open ProPresenter. Because CamTwist is functioning with QuickTime, ProPresenter will recognize it as a camera input device. Click on ProPresenter in the menu bar, select Preferences and go to the Live settings. Choose CamTwist from the dropdown menu. Since the audio is being handled by your call directly and not Camtwist you will want to uncheck the Audio Source option. Check Preserve Aspect Ratio so that your video call isn't distorted. Depending on the video call settings the actual video shown in ProPresenter may have black bars on the sides or top and bottom of the screen in order to maintain the aspect ratio.
Close the Preference panel and click on Live in the toolbar. If you set everything up correctly in CamTwist you should now see your video call on screen even though ProPresenter is open above the call. If you are seeing incorrect parts of the screen, go back to CamTwist and make sure your video call settings match those shown in the screen shot. In this example, Skype is the source. By selecting the Confine to Application Window and selecting Sype from the drop-down list CamTwist will only show what is selected in the program. Note that the selection is based on position, so if you move or resize the video call window, you will need to reselect the portion of the screen you want to show.
CamTwist and your video call both need to be open and active in order for ProPresenter to show them.
We do not know of a similar program for Windows. Another free program, ManyCams, offers similar functionality, but doesn't allow filtering out certain screens and has a watermark. CamTwist's ability to filter out anything but the selected screen makes it the best option we know of for Mac. We'll post instructions for a Windows program if and when we find one that works as well.