How to Combine Your Slides and Webcam

How to Combine Your Slides and Webcam

If you’re wondering whether your students are paying attention during your online lectures…they’re not.

“I’m waking up and then falling asleep again in Zoom classes.” – Xavier University Student

To be clear, this isn’t your fault or your students’ fault. The way screen sharing works on video conference platforms (where students see your slides fullscreen but only a tiny thumbnail of your webcam) means it’s near impossible for anyone to pay attention during a slide-based online lecture.

combine powerpoint webcam camera zoom teams obs meet
You can recreate this effect for your live (and recorded) lectures.

But you can easily change that. Using free, open source software, you can do what news and TV shows have done for decades:

Show facts and faces side-by-side.

When students can see your face, they can read your non-verbal cues to see how passionate you are and how important a subject is. Combine that with the fact that human faces are naturally engaging, and you can start lecturing online in a way that’s not only more interesting to your students, but more fun for you – at least it has been for me :).

For everything you need to combine your slides and webcam, open the free instructions below.


Join 15,000+ instructors. Get new exercises via email!

13 thoughts on “How to Combine Your Slides and Webcam

  1. Thanks for a great tutorial.
    I wonder how you make sure your video window follows and rescales to fit the changing green screen? (for example when you switch from the first slide with half screen being green, to another slide with a small circle in the corner)

        1. Justin – I’m getting everything set up and have no problem setting up the various scenes in OBS, but then how do you “advance” the slides and ensure the proper animation and functionality of your slide presentation “follows” you scene to scene. Do you have to advance the slide first and then the scene or switch scenes and then advance the slides? Want to make sure it’s seamless for what the audience (ie my students) see.

    1. Thanks so much for asking this, Alon. I got OBS set up on my Mac with a virtual cam and all the workarounds, but was really stumped on this one. I’ll give it a try with multiple scenes. That’s really helpful.

  2. Hi Justin, thanks for the helpful tips! Following your tutorial, I tried setting up some slides with a green screen in OBS and it worked fine. But when I tried feeding it into Zoom via OBS virtual cam, the resolution is terrible. I am using Auto settings in Zoom. May I know how you managed to retain a clear resolution of your slides and video from OBS to Zoom? Thank you!

  3. Hey Very clear tutorial. But I fail every time at the point where the green screen is meant to disappear. I have set up my slides with powerpoint and with keynote. Ive triple checked Ive done everything you say and still when I click ‘Close’ after setting the filter the green is still there and I can’t see the camera. Baffled!

  4. Will this work with Blackboard’s app, Collaborate? We can’t use ZOOM at our school.

    Lorraine Uhlaner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *