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I'm looking for a virtual camera with the following properties:

  • uses the real webcam to take the video
  • replaces the background by a predefined picture or video
  • does not need a green screen / chroma key
  • streams the result as the video of the virtual camera
  • ideally , but I would even pay 40$ if it works well

There is Zoom, which can do the replacement, but only as part of the application, not as a virtual webcam:

Zoom example image

I want a more generic solution, which would do the processing out of the application, so that this feature can be used in any application that only supports camera.

I have seen the question Fake Virtual Camera and Microphone for Windows, but it does not have the requirement of using a real webcam as input. The suggested Manycam has a similar feature, but needs a green screen to do it.

  • There is an example at pyimagesearch.com/2018/11/26/instance-segmentation-with-opencv which blurs the existing background but it should be simple enough to use a pre-existing frame for the background. – Steve Barnes Mar 20 at 8:30
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    @SteveBarnes: thanks, that's a nice finding. I'm into machine learning anyways, so I could try that. Maybe I can even run it in Tensorflow on GPU so that I get a higher frame rate. – Thomas Weller Mar 20 at 8:34
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ChromaCam is designed for that. It's free for personal use (with watermark) and 30 US$ one-time fee for commercial use.

The background can be replaced by some built-in pictures or by a custom picture. The result is then available as a new camera called "ChromaCam", which you select in any other application.

Here's an example:

Example screenshot

The results are not perfect. They are far from the results that can be achieved for single photos on https://www.remove.bg/de. But that may be due to limited processing power and processing time. Also, even an imperfect green screen setup without proper lighting does better - but you don't always have that available.

Anyway. I think it's worth the money and well in the limit I wanted to spend (much cheaper than the 120 US$ ManyCam).

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