Make Sure Your Video Game Streaming Career Starts Off Right By Selecting The Best Webcam And Lighting
If you’re serious about making a go of it as a full time video game streamer, then you need to make sure you have a really good setup. While you can certainly just use a stock webcam that came with your computer, it’s far from optimal. Take a look at any of the popular streamers and you will notice that all of them have a very slick and professional look. That’s not a coincidence. If you want to reach their level, you’ve got to make sure you have the proper setup. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
Get A Quality Webcam
There are lots of webcams on the market, so to help you pick out one, this is a list of a the key features to make sure they have.
A super clear image is very important. So, make sure you only look at HD cameras. The absolute worst thing you can do when streaming is to broadcast a sub par image. Luckily, most of the stand alone webcams you will find for sale will be HD.
Good In Low Light
When you read the reviews of the webcam, make sure to pay attention to how the camera handles low light. If you plan on streaming in a bedroom at night, you might only want some ambient background lights (fairy lights, blue bulbs, etc…) and the cameras sensor needs to be sensitive enough to pick up your face in the low light.
Automatic Light Correction
Just as important is the ability of the camera to correct light distortions. You want the camera sensor to be able to handle bright flashes from your monitor, as well as handle a roommate turning on the overhead light. If the camera does not have automatic light correction, then a sudden bright light can cause a very distracting flare. This will cause fans to turn away from the stream.
While some streamers like to have a small picture-in-picture format where the room, chair, and the streamers upper body are shown, other streamers like to have the option to superimpose themselves over the gamescape. This can be accomplished by actually building a greenscreen chromakey backdrop in your room (including covering your chair in the color), or you can just get a webcam that allows you to map out your room and only place yourself into the gameplay environment.
Three Point Lighting Setup
You have lots of flexibility with how you set this up. You can even use regular lamps, but the idea is to have three sources of light. The first light is the one that will illuminate your face. It’s called the “key” light. This light should be placed behind your webcam. The second light is called the “fill”, and it too should be behind your webcam, placed on the opposite side of your key light. It should be softer than the key light. You might even want to invest in a large “softbox” which is what photographers will have in their studios. Finally, you need a backlight. Many streamers use colorful backlights to light up the room. They use neon’s, reds, or even a lavalamp. It’s meant to make the backspace not pitch black, but softer than the foreground.