I had been hoping to bring you some instructions on how to do cool backgrounds for your videos, but as of this writing, ManyCam no longer has the option of uploading your own. I am assured that they are working on bringing that function back, but until then, I have another cool trick for you. OVERLAYS! If you have not downloaded or purchased ManyCam, I urge you to do so to be able to take advantage of these overlays and other special effects.
Maybe you are having a bad hair day, or maybe you want to sing a song before you get to that house cleaning. Maybe you just want your video to look really cool without too much bother. Now is the perfect time to delve into an Overlay. Overlays are basically images that literally lay over your own image. Now, you can have a regular old image, but no one gets to see you…pretty boring. You can combine the smashing effect of a beautiful image as well as your face with the overlays I’ve created below.
I made a few to start you off, but I’ll be adding more to the library and adding them to the Reference section of the blog as time permits. These initial images were inspired by specific songs, but you can use them for any song you like, and again, I’ll be adding more later, and will include some more generic ones.
UPDATE: I have included some fun St. Patrick’s Day overlays for you to use as well. Go to REFERENCES>>VIDEO OVERLAYS to check ’em out!
How To Use
- Click on the image you want to use. This will open the full size image in a new window. This is important because downloading the thumbnail above will make it too small.
- Right click on the large image and choose “Save As”. Save the image to a folder on your computer. (Be sure you save it somewhere that you will remember!)
- Open ManyCam
- Click on the Effects tab under the Video tab if it is not already open.
- At the very bottom left of the screen, you will see a button that says “Add New Effect”. Click on that.
- Click the Browse button and locate the image you just saved and click on it.
- Make sure Objects is listed in the first drop down box.
- Change the second drop down box to “Fun”.
- Enter a name for your Effect. You can name it whatever you like.
- Enter the author name. This can just be your name, and really isn’t necessary to this process, but you won’t be able to proceed without something in that box.
- Click OK.
Now you are gong to ask me, “Annie, why didn’t I add this to the Overlays section”; and that would be a very good question. The answer is, that as of right now, you can only add custom effects to the Objects area which does not include the Overlays. Hopefully an upcoming version of ManyCam will allow that. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter, because this method works just fine.
In ManyCam, navigate to the Objects/Fun window. Find the effect you just uploaded and click on it to choose it. Position yourself and/or your cam so that your face fits within the ’empty’ oval. (*If you just can’t make your face fit in there, try going to the Sources tab and play with the Properties slider and arrows).
Open a recording you want to make on SingSnap, and make sure that you have ManyCam selected as your source. If you do not see your video with the overlay, check the three boxes just below the video window and click on the one that you DO see it in. If it does not appear there, then be sure to run the SingSnap Set Up Wizard and select ManyCam as one of your video sources in Step One.
You can combine these overlays with other ManyCam effects to make it even more interesting. For instance, on the photo below, I used the Ring of Fire overlay, but I added the Morning Sunshine filter which gave me a nice warm glow. (Note: this filter is only available to ManyCam Pro owners, but there are others that you can download free). You can of course use Black & White or Old Photo, or whatever you like, or even no filter at all.
- To download a filter, open ManyCam.
- Open the Filters window under Camera Effects, and scroll to the bottom of the pane.
- Click on the DOWNLOAD MORE thumbnail image.
- ManyCam will open in your browser.
- Click on ‘Filters’ in the column on the left. (You can, of course download any of the effects on that site, but we’re focusing on Filters right now, so stay with me)
- Find a filter that you like and click Download.
- A window will open asking you where you want to save the file. Choose a folder to save it in, and then Save. (Remember where you saved it!)
- Open the folder you saved the file in and click on the file to open it.
- A small window will appear with the Filter picture. Simply click ‘OK’.
- You now have a new filter you can use for any of your videos with or without an overlay.
- Click on the thumbnail to add it to your Selected Effects are. (You can see all effects you’ve added in the list just to the right of the Video window)
- You can remove an effect you decided against by clicking the x next to its name in the Selected Effects list.
- Be sure that if you ARE using an overlay that you have the overlay listed as the last effect on the list, otherwise your filter will effect the overlay as well (unless that is what you want, of course)
- To move effects around, click on the effect’s name in the Selected Effects list, and continue holding down the mouse button while dragging the effect up or down the list.
That’s All Folks
So, that is it for this installment. I hope you enjoy using these overlays for your own projects. If there is an idea you’d like me to try to bring to life, leave me a comment here, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to get it for you. If you do decide to use any of these, please be sure to send me the link to your recording. I’d love to see how it turned out!
If you are interested, these were the songs that inspired the images:
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