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  • Writer's pictureWes Simpson

Create an On-Screen Logo Loop for Zoom Webinars

At our SMPTE NY virtual meeting last month, our Section Chair, Jeff Cohen, asked me to figure out how to provide some on-screen recognition of our "Friends of SMPTE NY." With a little help from OBS, it was pretty easy to get this up and running, as you can see in this image:

The logo loop is showing in the upper left corner of our 3x3 video matrix. On this screen grab, it happened to be showing Harmonic's logo (thanks for being a sponsor!), but all of the other sponsor logos had their turn in the image carousel.

The first step in creating this video source for Zoom was to create an animated GIF using the animation timeline in Adobe Photoshop. Jeff Cohen takes care of this for our section, as well as helping to raise money from the sponsors (thanks Jeff!). Here's what it looks like:

The next step was to create a virtual camera output from OBS, running on a PC that is not going to be used by any of the participants in the Zoom webinar. For me, OBS has been a very useful tool for recording webinars, allowing me to send a live confidence feed from the real-time recording on my laptop to a remote person giving a webinar. Before you begin you need to download the plugin from here:

Once it is installed, the VirtualCam control panel can be accessed through the "Tools" dropdown from the OBS menu bar, and it looks like this:

Note that AutoStart is selected, which means that the virtual camera will start whenever OBS starts up (a good idea), and the Target Camera is set to "OBS-Camera." Once you have this configured, you can hit start and then forget about it.

The next step is to create your scenes in OBS, using normal scene setup procedures for an image file (lots of info on YouTube about how to do this). In the following screen grab, the logo loop is active in the window on the right, and the SMPTE NY logo is visible in the preview window on the left.

Although we didn't do it this way in our June Meeting, our plan going forward is to have just the still image of the SMPTE NY logo showing during the technical presentations, reserving the GIF logo loop to be active at appropriate times during the meeting. Toggling back and forth between the two graphics is easily done using OBS scene transition slider.

The final step is to set up Zoom. On the PC running OBS, start up the Zoom app using an account that is not being used by anyone else in the Zoom webinar. The host of the Zoom webinar then needs to invite that account to be a webinar panelist (simply being an attendee doesn't allow video to be shown). Using the controls in the Zoom app, select "OBS-Camera" as the video source, and mute the audio. As soon as that account connects to the webinar, it will show up as a panelist to all the Zoom viewers. Any changes made to the live OBS output will be propagated to the Zoom host, panelists and attendees, exactly the same as if the OBS instance was a person using a webcam.

Here is a link to the recorded video from our June 2020 meeting:

Good luck, and please let me know if you are able to make this work for your next webinar!

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