Zoom, zoom - look at me
September 14, 2020 8:39 AM   Subscribe

I take a weekly exercise class on Zoom. I would like to be able to see the instructor and myself and no one else at the largest size possible. I'd also like to record just me so I can look at myself afterwards. How can I do this?

I take a small weekly gym class on Zoom, and I'd like to see myself better.

Right now, I pin the instructor's window and see myself as an inset picture. I really can't see myself well, and as there are no gym mirrors in my living room, I have trouble knowing whether the pose I am doing is the same one I think I am doing. I would really like a 50/50 split screen.

I don't want to open 2 versions of Zoom on different devices because I think it will be distracting to the instructor and other members of the class. Can this be done on one instance of Zoom? I can use a desktop screen, so I am not limited to a tablet or phone.

Also, I would like to record just me. The instructor records and watches us in order to give us feedback the following week. I don't want that recording; I just want me plus the audio so I can work on the poses on my own time. Can I capture the camera input and sound while Zoom is also capturing?

(For the record, I give a donation to the instructor for the class and will continue to attend and pay weekly. I won't be recording in order to skip classes and stop paying, and I won't be sharing or posting anywhere.)
posted by AMyNameIs to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
So I think if you have two screens available to you attached to the same desktop you could do this--I'm noticing that during my work zooms, I can pin one video on one screen and one video on another. The second screen doesn't have any gallery view, not even along the top. I'm not sure how the recording would then work out, but it might be possible to screen capture with sound on the desktop your video is pinned on.
posted by foxfirefey at 9:25 AM on September 14

Re: recording yourself - Do you have access to two different Zoom accounts (for example, I have my work account and then a personal one, which is free). If you have two different accounts, you could "start a meeting" on your personal account and have you as the only attendee, and record that.
posted by rogerroger at 9:42 AM on September 14

One of my students told me that Zoom includes a "multi-pin" feature in its latest update. I haven't checked it out yet, but it sounds like what you're looking for.
posted by aws17576 at 10:28 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]

You can use Quicktime screen recording to capture yourself.
posted by stray at 10:38 AM on September 14

For this exact same problem I was able to capture a video of a section of my screen showing a zoom window along with the audio from the external mic, which in this case was the speaker with the audio of my class. Regular mac built-in screen capture software in my case, capture video to disk. So I would split this into two problems - getting what you want on screen first, then recording should be straightforward.
posted by true at 10:40 AM on September 14

Use OBS + VirtualCam + VB-Audio Virtual Cable.

OBS can simultaneously record and feed video to Zoom (via what, to Zoom, appears to be a webcam). Note that you will want to run your audio through OBS as well in order to record it.

Put the OBS window (showing you) and the Zoom Window (showing your instructor) side-by-side (or on two different monitors).

One of the cool things about this setup is that it's not specific to Zoom -- the same moving parts can be used with nearly any sort of meeting software. I've got a work meeting (via Cisco WebEx) in a couple hours, and I'll be using exactly this setup.
posted by sourcequench at 12:04 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]

If you are a Mac user: Quicktime (or the screenshot utility which is the same thing but simpler for me) can be used to record a section of your screen. Once you are set up, select the section that is just you and hit record. The only downside is that it will slightly grey down the rest of the screen. You shouldn't record the teacher or other students without consent.
posted by metahawk at 12:32 PM on September 14

If it's a Logitech camera you can probably do this easily with Logitech Capture. It creates a virtual webcam (similar to what sourcequench describes but less fiddly) and you can also record the webcam feed from there. In a pinch you could just overlay the Logitech Capture window over the Zoom window. I'm not sure if it works with non-Logitech webcams but it's worth a shot.

OBS is really good if you don't mind fiddling with things. On my PC the VirtualCam plugin crashes OBS though, YMMV.
posted by neckro23 at 2:47 PM on September 14

Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions. Zoom doesn't update itself (at least, not on my Mac), so I didn't realize there was a new version with a multi-pin feature. I just downloaded it and will try it on another call tomorrow. I see that the host has to give permission, but I can deal with that.

I'll also look into OBS and the built-in screen capture and see which one works best for me.

Again, thanks for answering. I wouldn't have known about multi-pin or all the options for recording without your help.
posted by AMyNameIs at 6:57 PM on September 14

>On my PC the VirtualCam plugin crashes OBS.

Assuming you have up-to-date versions of those things, the likely cause is the horizontal flip option. From the plugin page:
NOTE: The horizontal flip option is bugged and will likely cause crashes. Please do not use it. If you need to flip your video, either flip the sources in OBS itself, or flip on the receiving end (i.e. in Zoom, Skype, etc.)
Also note that some video conferencing software shows your own feed mirrored horizontally but shows it to other participants without mirroring. Join a test call from another PC to check.

OBS has a learning curve, and absolutely requires fiddling with things. On the other hand, it has a very high skill ceiling. If you want to do a thing that has to do with live video production, there is probably a way to do that thing with OBS.
posted by sourcequench at 2:24 PM on September 16

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