What if you would like to film puppets independently from your phone? Say you want a special background from another video source as the backdrop for your puppet. This page will show you how.

Connect the phone to the computer

Using a lightning cable, connect your phone to your computer.

Open Quicktime Player on your Computer

  • Select "File" then "New Movie Recording"
  • Then click the drop-down arrow next to the recording button and select your phone from the available sources.
  • Now your phone screen output is connected and accessible.
  • If you are getting a message on QuickTime player that it "does not have access to the camera or microphone", you must enable them.
  • Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Pane. Check that both Camera and Microphone have access through QuickTime Player.

Download OBS

OBS or Open Broadcaster Software - this is an application that allows users to record and stream video for free. If you already have a similar software like Wirecast, you may use that as well.

Download the correct version of OBS for your operating system. Next, install and open the program.

Add a phone as a new source

First, we must create a video source for the puppet. Connect the phone that you used to set up the Bluefruit Playground app to your computer.

  • After OBS is open, on the bottom of the program, under "Sources", click the plus icon.
  • Select "Video Capture Device"
  • Name the source
  • Choose the source from the list shown (make sure the phone is properly connected)

 

  • Verify the correct video source (you should see the phone's screen output) and hit "ok"
  • Now you should see the phone screen output on the main program.
  • Click and drag the source so that it fills the full screen.
  • Enable the "green screen" mode within the Bluefruit app.

Add a second video source

This second video source will be any content you may want as a background or setting for the puppet.

  • Select and add the next video source.
  • Move the second video source to the "bottom" by right-clicking on the source, then selecting "Order" then "move to bottom"
  • You should now see the puppet video source only.

Enabling the "green screen"

At this point, the video source from the phone is blocking the background video source. To make use of the green screen function on the Bluefruit Playground app and be able to see both the puppet and your intended background, follow the steps below.

  • Right-click on the phone video source, and select "Filters".
  • Click the plus button in the filters window and select "Chroma Key"
  • Hit ok, then check out the default settings and hit close.
  • Now you should see the puppet overlaid on the background!

Cropping the puppet source

While the green screen is now enabled and the background should be visible behind the puppet, only a small percentage of the background is visible. Let's edit the cropping of the puppet source so we can get the whole background.

  • Go ahead and add another filter onto the puppet source. Select "Crop/Pad".
  • Edit the values of the crop area until the black border around the puppet is gone.
  • Hit close once things look good.

Drag and adjust the puppet until you are satisfied with the positioning.

 

And that's it! You are now ready to go live with your fancy new high tech puppet show.

Stay tuned for new characters on the app!

This guide was first published on Feb 19, 2020. It was last updated on Feb 19, 2020.

This page (Connecting and Controlling) was last updated on Sep 30, 2020.