Webcam Alternatives for Participants

Some members have concerns about going on camera, whether for a live stream, recorded panel or talk, or during our unrecorded Zoom chats and workshops. You are not required to go on camera, and you will be provided a release form for live streams and recorded material. If you do not wish to be recorded, simply reply to the release form email indicating that. If you are okay with being recorded, please return your signed release form as soon as possible, otherwise we will have to delete the video immediately after it is finished being broadcast. If being recorded is conditional, we are happy to work with you to address your concerns and the release form includes some common preferences.

If your concern is with your voice, unfortunately we are unable to separate out individual voices into separate voice tracks during live streams. You may use voice changing or TTS software if you prefer to filter your outgoing audio to the Zoom chat, but we will be unable to do any such processing on our end during the live stream. Some post-processing may be possible for an edited version for YouTube and re-broadcast on Twitch.

There are a number of alternatives to using a webcam. We can help you learn more about any of these options and help you set them up, just contact :

  • You can submit an image for the producer to place in your frame on the live stream, while remaining on camera in the Zoom call.
    • The live stream and resulting recording will have the image, but your fellow panelists will see your face. This image can be a static image (.jpg or .png), a looping image (.gif), or even a video (.mp4). We do ask that it not contain flashing images.
  • You can use a profile picture on Zoom and not turn on your camera.
  • You can use a Zoom background and cover your camera, so that Zoom fills your square with this image, even a moving one, and does not show you.
  • You can use the free software OBS Studio as a virtual camera, providing a video feed you can tailor to exactly what you wish to provide.
    • You can even use it to have a pngtuber rig such as from Veadotube Mini, which is lightweight and easy to use.
  • Zoom filters can obscure your face while still providing a dynamic avatar for free. Not all of them are as silly as the cute cat filter.
    • You can also use third-party filters such as Snap Camera for more elaborate filters. 
  • You can use a FaceRig avatar. This might cost money, but is a high quality, personalized, dynamic avatar that will reflect your mannerisms. There are also free FaceRig software options, such as AniMaze and VTubeStudio (the latter puts a watermark on your avatar if you are using the free version). 
  • Cosplay! Hey, this is an SFF convention, no one is going to object if you don a costume that just happens to obscure your face.