If you are here, reading this article, it is likely that you are aware of one of the popular social media messaging apps, Snapchat. To give you some background, Snapchat was founded back in 2011, and since then, it has managed to grow at a staggering rate, with over 360 million (approx.) monthly active users as of January 2020. While it was available in the form of an app, for both Android and iOS, it was not until a couple of years back, that the company had an equivalent for the desktop.
Looking at the growing numbers and increase in demand for a Snapchat for desktop, Snap finally launched Snap Camera for both macOS and Windows, at the TwitchCon back in 2018. Snap Camera, essentially, is Snapchat for desktop, and it allows you to leverage Snapchat’s existing collection of lenses and use them across video chat and live streaming services. Let’s dive in to know more and learn how to use Snap Camera.
For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that lets you share messages and snaps (pictures and short videos) with your friends. However, unlike most messaging apps, the differentiating factor with Snapchat is that the messages and snaps you share are only available and displayed for a short time before they become inaccessible. Not to mention, some of the other features that it offers, such as the ability to leverage AR and use the included filters to create snaps, or use the Story option to share your snaps with friends to increase your reach.
Coming back to Snap Camera, the service essentially lets you apply Lenses to your face using your computer’s webcam. It is pretty much the same as Snapchat, with the only difference being you can use it on your computer and leverage the service while video calling or live streaming across different channels.
How to Use Snap Camera
1. Go to the Snap Camera’s website and download the app for your macOS or Windows computer from here.
2. Once downloaded, go ahead and install the application.
3. Open the Snap Camera application and grant it access to the required permissions.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions and hit Finish.
5. You will now see your face on the top window, with different Top Community Lens suggestions to choose from listed under different categories, below it.
6. From here, tap on the Lens you want to apply and hit the camera icon to start capturing a snap.
You can also search for a Lens by entering your query in the search box. If you want a more personalized experience, you can use Lens Studio to create your own Lens, which can be used on both Snapchat and Snap Camera. Moreover, you can even transfer a Lens to Snapchat by scanning the code appearing next to it.
How does Snap Camera work?
How this basically works is, when you open Snap Camera for the first time, the application creates a virtual webcam on your computer. After which, when you open it the next time, it uses input from the physical webcam on your computer and augments it with the Lenses you select. While that is done, the augmented snap is then outputted to the Snap Camera’s virtual webcam for you to experience it visually.
Other Applications for Snap Camera
Besides using the app to put Lenses and record snaps, which you can then save to your computer or share further, there are a few other applications that Snap Camera can be used for. For instance, if you want to perform video calls using apps such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, or any others, you can change your appearance by applying Snap Camera Lenses. For this, you need to change the input camera settings to get the feed from Snap Camera instead of your computer’s webcam.
In much the same way, you can also use Snap Camera while streaming content with Lenses on your face. This can be done when, say, you are live streaming a game on Twitch, and want to show off your cool Lens collections. So, instead of having your face appear on the live stream as is, you can apply your favorite Lens using Snap Camera and use it instead while live streaming content. To do this, the first thing you need is a broadcast software like OBS Studio XSplit Broadcaster. Once you have it installed on your computer, you can then go into Settings and change the source to capture input from Snap Camera.
How to use Snap Camera for different broadcast software
1. OBS Studio
i. First, open Snap Camera, and then open OBS Studio.
ii. Click the + button on the left under the Sources box.
iii. From the list of options that appear, select the Video Capture Device option.
iv. In the Create/Select Source window, select Create New and give it a name.
v. Now, in the Properties window, tap on the drop-down menu next to Device, and select Snap Camera.
2. XSplit Broadcaster
i. First, open Snap Camera, and then open XSplit Broadcaster.
ii. In the app window, tap the Add Source button at the bottom left of XSplit Broadcaster.
iii. From the list of options that appear, go to Devices > Video > Snap Camera.
3. Streamlabs OBS
i. First, open Snap Camera, and then open Streamlabs OBS.
ii. In the Streamlabs OBS app, hit the + icon on the top of the Sources window.
iii. Next, choose the Video Capture Device option and hit the Add Source button.
iv. Name the source and tap on the Add New Source button.
v. Finally, in the Settings window, select Snap Camera from the list of options next to the drop-down button beside Device.
That’s it for this guide!
You can now apply different Lenses and share them across Snapchat or other apps, and also use them while you do video calls or perform live streaming across different channels.