January 23, 2022

Capture Windows desktop, web camera, and voice for video tutorials

In the past I’ve made video tutorials and walk-throughs to help new starters and junior developers. I wanted my videos to be like YouTube tutorial videos where the Windows desktop is recorded along with a web camera view of my face and voice capture via a microphone.

To achieve this I highly recommend a video capture tool called OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) studio. It’s free, open source and very powerful! The OBS project is sponsored by many companies and people including YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook.

Setting up OBS

The first time you launch OBS, you will be prompted to specify what you will use it for. This will allow the auto-configuration wizard to determine the best settings based on your computer specifications and internet speed.

OBS Studio configuration

I selected ‘Optimize just for recording’ since I will be using OBS to record tutorial videos.

OBS Studio will run through a series of automated tests before it confirms the best video settings for your system. On my system, that’s 1920×1080 at 30 frames per second (fps), which is good enough for recording my videos.

The OBS capture area will be black the first time because we have not specified any capture sources yet. To specify capture sources, click on the ‘+’ button on the ‘Sources’ panel:

To capture the contents of a screen, select ‘Display Capture’:

Give the source you are capturing from a friendly name. This will help you when you have multiple capture sources:

If you have multiple monitors, then you can select the one you want from the ‘Display’ drop down:

Now the main capture area should show the live contents from your specified display:

With OBS you can overlay multiple capture sources on top of each other. This is what makes it so useful and powerful. I can overlay a feed from my Web Cam on top of the screen capture as follows:

  1. Click on ‘+’ on the sources panel
  2. Select ‘Video Capture Device’ from the options

3. Give the ‘Video Capture Device’ a friendly name:

4. Finally you can resize the Webcam video feed overlay so that you can also see your display feed

Next you can overlay the feed from your microphone by adding a new ‘Audio Input Capture’ source:

Give the capture source a friendly name:

Select the device you want to capture audio from. In my case I want to capture my voice from my ‘Plantronics Blackwire 3220 Series’ headset:

Now in capture panel, you’ll be able to see all your configured capture devices. You can also stop/start capturing from specific devices by clicking on the ‘eye’ button for each device:

Also the desktop audio and microphone levels are displayed on the right hand-side.

Finally, you are ready to record wonderful content by clicking on ‘Start Recording’: