pyv

pyvirtualcam

🎥 Send frames to a virtual camera from Python

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pyvirtualcam

pyvirtualcam sends frames to a virtual camera from Python.

Usage

import pyvirtualcam
import numpy as np

with pyvirtualcam.Camera(width=1280, height=720, fps=20) as cam:
    print(f'Using virtual camera: {cam.device}')
    frame = np.zeros((cam.height, cam.width, 3), np.uint8)  # RGB
    while True:
        frame[:] = cam.frames_sent % 255  # grayscale animation
        cam.send(frame)
        cam.sleep_until_next_frame()

pyvirtualcam uses the first available virtual camera it finds (see later section).

For more examples, including using different pixel formats like BGR, or selecting a specific camera device, check out the samples/ folder.

See also the API Documentation.

Installation

This package works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. Install it from PyPI with:

pip install pyvirtualcam

pyvirtualcam relies on existing virtual cameras which have to be installed first. See the next section for details.

Supported virtual cameras

Windows: OBS

OBS includes a built-in virtual camera for Windows (since 26.0).

To use the OBS virtual camera, simply install OBS.

Note that OBS provides a single camera instance only, so it is not possible to send frames from Python to the built-in OBS virtual camera, capture the camera in OBS, mix it with other content, and output it again to OBS' built-in virtual camera. To achieve such a workflow, use another virtual camera from Python (like Unity Capture) so that OBS' built-in virtual camera is free for use in OBS.

Windows: Unity Capture

Unity Capture provides a virtual camera originally meant for streaming Unity games. Compared to most other virtual cameras it supports RGBA frames (frames with transparency) which in turn can be captured in OBS for further processing.

To use the Unity Capture virtual camera, follow the installation instructions on the project site.

macOS: OBS

OBS includes a built-in virtual camera for macOS (since 26.1).

To use the OBS virtual camera, follow these one-time setup steps:

  • Install OBS.
  • Start OBS.
  • Click "Start Virtual Camera" (bottom right), then "Stop Virtual Camera".
  • Close OBS.

Note that OBS provides a single camera instance only, so it is not possible to send frames from Python, capture the camera in OBS, mix it with other content, and output it again as virtual camera.

Linux: v4l2loopback

pyvirtualcam uses v4l2loopback virtual cameras on Linux.

To create a v4l2loopback virtual camera on Ubuntu, run the following:

sudo apt install v4l2loopback-dkms
sudo modprobe v4l2loopback devices=1

For further information, see the v4l2loopback documentation.

Build from source

Linux/macOS

git clone https://github.com/letmaik/pyvirtualcam --recursive
cd pyvirtualcam
pip install .

Windows

These instructions are experimental and support is not provided for them. Typically, there should be no need to build manually since wheels are hosted on PyPI.

You need to have Visual Studio installed to build pyvirtualcam.

In a PowerShell window:

$env:PYTHON_VERSION = '3.7'
$env:PYTHON_ARCH = '64'
$env:NUMPY_VERSION = '1.14'
git clone https://github.com/letmaik/pyvirtualcam --recursive
cd pyvirtualcam
powershell .github/scripts/build-windows.ps1

The above will download all build dependencies (including a Python installation) and is fully configured through the three environment variables.

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