No doubt you’ve seen what a big deal Facebook Live is lately. What I want to show you today is what’s possible beyond just holding your phone up and shooting a selfphie style head-on video.
I’ve been experimenting with a tool called OBS (free) to run Facebook Live broadcasts from my desktop computer. With this tool I can broadcast using multiple cameras, share my screen, play other videos live, and even add some cool effects.
It’s simpler than you think to go from head-on selphie style broadcasts to putting out a well produced live stream. In my opinion this content has such potential to be engaging that it’s even better than most webinar “power point style” formats.
Here’s a quick outline of what I was able to put together with OBS and broadcast live to Facebook (or YouTube if that’s your thing).
The intro countdown screen
This is a screen counting down until the broadcast begins. I’ve heard Facebook is working on ways to schedule broadcasts so people can be there right when it starts, but as of now most broadcasts spend the first few minutes waiting around for people to show up.
This is a semi-transparent screen with my live camera in the background so you can see there’s a real guy here getting ready to go live.
The custom “lower third”
I had this made for $5 on Fiverr.com. Once I set it up as an asset in OBS then I just click a button when I start broadcasting to get my title to show up. Just a small, fun, professional touch. (Oh, and it’s the .gif format that’s adding the extra red lines if you can see those.)
Multi-camera “whiteboard” view
I do a lot of teaching on my Facebook Live webcasts, and I do it through this multi-camera setup. In the lower left you can see a live shot of me talking (my iMac’s built in camera). Then the main screen is a second camera I have aimed down at my desk (Logitech c920).
The result is a very natural, comfortable way for me to sit down and actually show people something.
What I see as the producer
Here’s what I see during the broadcast to control everything. The three examples I showed you above are called “scenes” in OBS. I set them up ahead of time for the various views I want to show people.
Then when I’m broadcasting I can see the live broadcast view on the Right (Live), and select the next scene to transition to on the left (Next). Click the “Transition” button in the middle, and boom – new scene!
What will you produce?
It took some practice to get the hang of it, but overall I set all this up in a couple of hours here and there. The result is a really fun, engaging way to connect with people online. You could run it yourself like I do, or have someone sit in and manage the scene switching for you.
Try it out as a new way to create some great content for your audience!