MixCast™ Studio Setup Guide

Overview

Want to start recording some awesome mixed reality video? MixCast Studio makes setup simple and fast, just follow the three steps below:

  1. Set up your input device
  2. Perform quick setup to align your virtual and physical cameras
  3. Isolate your image with our WildKeyTM background removal.

Now launch your VR title!

 

What You’ll Need

MixCast supports setups ranging from basic beginner streaming to full video production. This guide serves as a starting point for anyone who wants to make mixed reality video.

We assume you're already up and running with your VR headset, have performed room setup and have the ability to launch VR apps. If you're starting from scratch with your Vive or Rift, please refer to the respective manufacturer's instructions for getting started! What you'll need:

  • Camera – this can be a webcam, video camera or any other HDMI camera with an HDMI capture card
  • HTC Vive or Oculus Rift with two controllers
  • VR-ready PC desktop of laptop
  • VR title with the MixCast SDK integrated, or that supports SteamVR’s quadrant mode for mixed reality

For the highest quality mixed reality video production consider adding:

  • Green screen & lights
  • Vive Tracker or 3rd controller
  • High-quality DSLR or Video Camera

 

Let’s get started...

1. Setting up Your Input Device

Mixed reality requires a real-world camera to put you in the VR scene! MixCast Studio works with a large number of consumer webcams, video cameras and capture cards.

  1. Hook up your camera to your PC and install the necessary drivers
  2. Launch MixCast Studio
  3. Go into “Input device” and select your device from the drop down menu
  4. Select your input resolution from the “input resolution” menu

Tip: Go into your camera settings and make sure auto exposure, auto white balance, and auto focus are disabled. These will interfere with your chroma key or static subtraction!

Tip: Make sure to disable any on-screen indicators on your camera otherwise your battery indicator could show up in VR!

Note: Cameras will sometimes support higher resolutions but at lower framerates. Experiment with different resolutions to find the best option for your videos.

Note: You can leave the FOV (Field of View) blank for now.

 

2. Align Virtual Camera

MixCast needs to know where your camera is in the real world so it’s aligned with your virtual camera. This is a core part of making mixed reality work and capturing your video from the right perspective in the VR scene.

  1. With MixCast Studio open, put on your VR Headset
  2. Look around to find your virtual camera. Hint - it's probably right in front of you
  3. Point at the “Quick Setup” Button located below the camera and press the Trigger button to start the Quick Setup process. Hint - you can also enter quick setup via a button in the Camera Settings -> Camera Tracking menu
  4. Follow the prompts in VR

Note: The first step is the most important – make sure your controller is centered and right up against the lens of your camera.

Tip: If you want more precision in your alignment, select the “+” button instead of the green check mark after hitting the crosshairs. You'll be presented with more crosshairs to further refine your alignment.

Note: The Quick Setup process automatically determines the FOV of your camera.

Warning: If you change the lens or zoom of your camera the FOV will no longer match the virtual camera and you'll need to run Quick Setup again.

 

3. Isolate Your Subject/Player

We need to isolate the player in the video coming from your camera so your background doesn’t show up in your mixed reality video. MixCast Studio offers two ways to do this, which can be combined for an optimal result using our WildKeyTM settings.

Option 1: Chromakeying

If you have a green screen or blue screen your best option is probably Chromakeying. This process removes specific colours, of your choice, from the background. Chromakeying allows you to quickly and easily isolate the player when the background is a different color.

  1. Open the Camera Settings -> WildKeyTM menu
  2. Enable the Chromakeying toggle
  3. Click the Calibrate button
  4. Click the Sample Background button, then anywhere on your feed to remove that color
  5. When you are satisfied with the result, click the Close Calibration button

Tip: Use Ctrl-Z or click the undo button if you accidentally key the wrong colour, or click the Reset button to start from scratch.

Tip: You can adjust the Fade Falloff and Desaturation in the advanced options back in the WildKeyTM menu.

Option 2: Static Subtraction

Static Subtraction works best when your background has more than one colour. This process takes a snapshot of your background (without the subject present) and ‘subtracts’ it from the video. When the subject steps back in front of the camera they appear because they differ in colour and lightness from the background behind them.

  1. Open the Camera Settings -> WildKeyTM menu
  2. Enable the Static Subtraction toggle
  3. Click the Calibrate button
  4. Make sure you are not visible in the scene, and click the Sampling Background button
  5. When you move back into view of your camera you should be visible, minus the background. Click Close Calibration when you are satisfied with the result.

Tip: You can perform multiple samples of static subtraction to improve the quality of the background removal.

Note: Tracked cameras are not supported when using static subtraction.

 

Advanced Features

Below we describe several optional features that can make a big difference in the quality of your mixed reality video.

A. Buffered Mode

Does your video feed lag behind the virtual objects in Studio? Some cameras and setups introduce delay resulting in the mixed reality output lagging behind the virtual scene. If you notice this, enable Buffered Mode to compensate for the delay.

  1. Open the Camera Settings -> Output menu.
  2. Adjust the Video Dealy Compensation slider to a value above 0 milliseconds, until you are happy with the result.
B. Tracked Camera

If you have a third controller or a Vive Tracker you can use it to track your real-world camera. This means you can pick up your camera, move it around and get different angles of the action in real-time!

  1. Ensure the third controller or Vive Tracker is firmly secured to the camera – any looseness can introduce camera shake in your video
  2. Open the Camera Settings -> Camera Tracking menu
  3. Choose your tracked camera device from the dropdown menu or click the Take Closest button.
  4. Now move your camera together with the controller/tracker, and the VR scene will remain in sync with the movement of the camera
C. Enhanced Background Removal

Enhanced Background Removal will automatically ignore any part of the video feed a certain distance away from your hands or head. Since you probably don’t want your lighting rig to show up on-screen, enhanced background removal ensures only the subject/player and their immediate surroundings are displayed.

  1. Open the Camera Settings -> WildKeyTM menu
  2. Enable the Enhanced Background Removal toggle
  3. Adjust the padding so that the player/subject isn’t cropped out, but their surroundings are
D. Player Lighting

Player Lighting adds another layer of depth to your mixed reality video by allowing light sources in the VR scene to affect the subject. If you’re carrying a torch through a dark forest, you’ll see the subject illuminated by its light along with the virtual surroundings!

  1. Open the Camera Settings -> Subject Lighting menu.
  2. Adjust Take Lighting – this determines the percentage of all lighting that will affect the player, for instance 0.5 results in half as much light affecting the player. Think of it as a modifier for the entire Player Lighting feature
  3. Adjust the Base Amount – This is the amount of light applied to the video feed by default even if other lights aren’t present. For instance, setting this to 0 will result in the player being completely unlit and dark
  4. Adjust the Light Power – This is how any lights in the scene brighten and color the player

Tip: In MixCast Studio grab the torch to test your lighting settings!

Note: Player Lighting can only be enabled on VR titles with the MixCast SDK integrated. Please contact your favourite developers to enable support for Player Lighting and other great MixCast features!

Launch Your VR Title!

In most cases you'll see the MixCast logo appear in the bottom-right corner of the game running on the desktop - click it to enable the MixCast mixed reality camera. In some cases the developer has chosen to place MixCast options in their own settings menu, so check there if the MixCast icon isn't visible on-screen.

Recording & Streaming

Capture your footage using MixCast recording and streaming options, or use your desktop recording software of choice. We recommend OBS but XSplit, Shadowplay and many others exist so use what's best for your setup.

Questions? Comments?

We'd love to hear from you! Let us know what you think of MixCast, what awesome projects you're working on, and what crazy problems you're trying to solve in mixed reality! You can get in touch with us on -

Thanks for using MixCast!

Revision #16
Created 1 year ago by Sulli
Updated 1 year ago by Kevin Afanasiff