Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts

Using A Second Life Stream To VJ Live On YouTube

Setting up as a DJ in Second Life is something many residents have done, but what is less common is using a Second Life stream to VJ on YouTube. For those that may not be aware VJ means visual jockey and refers to someone who in one way or another creates imagery to match the music they play. In spite of the lack of Second Life residents who VJ it is something worth learning and maybe bringing in world.

VJ Software

In order to VJ some software is needed. Firstly there is the stream that can easily be rented in Second Life, then there is the software to play the music. All DJs will be aware of these two items but to VJ add to the list music visualisation software and something to broadcast live to YouTube. 

One last thing you'll need is a verified YouTube account that is registered for live broadcasting, which usually takes about 48 hours to set up. To start go to your YouTube account and click on the movie camera icon and select Go Live, then follow the instructions.


There are many music visualisers available, some free and some commercial, but a good starting point for a new VJ is the free Plane9, and for that reason we'll be using it for this tutorial. Plane9 is intended as a music visualiser for music played on a PC but when used with broadcasting software its possible to connect it with YouTube Live. Also, Plane9 can act as a screensaver for those that like such things.

OBS Studio

OBS Studio, or Open Broadcaster Software connects to the music visualiser then streams the imagery to YouTube. As with all software mentioned here, there are alternatives to OBS Studio, but since its free and works very well, this is what we'll be using for this tutorial.

You may have noticed that there are two streams involved here, one for the music and another for the imagery. OBS Studio could be used to stream both but in order to stay within YouTube terms of service music should not be streamed to its platform. Instead we're going to add a link to a Second Life music stream, which will be explained later.

Using The Second Life Stream To VJ Live On YouTube

Assuming you've downloaded and installed the software already mentioned, and your YouTube account is verified you can now begin to VJ. First, start up your music streaming software then follow the instructions below.

Starting Plane9

1/ Start up Plane9. Under the list of software installed on your PC there will be three choices for Plane9. Select Configure Plane9.

2/ When Plane9 is running it will look something like the image above.

3/ To the right of the window will be a list of playlists. Hit New Playlist tab.

4/ In the main window area there are different kind sof visualisations. Some are Foreground visualisations....

Some are background visualisations....

And some are transitions. A visualisation in Plane9 will be a random combination of foreground and background imagery and a transition will determine how Plane9 moves from one visualisation to another. Therefore a playlist should consisit of as many foreground and background visualisations as you like, plus a number of transitions.

To add any of the above to a playlist click on them in turn so a tick to the lower left of each thumbnail is circled in green.

5/ Once you've finished selecting, double click on the playlist name to rename it.

6/ To run a playlist, hover the cursor over its tab and click the screen icon that will appear.

7/ A new window will open showing the visualisations, which will randomly change. They should respond to music playing on your PC. This window can be quite large so you may want to resize it by dragging its edges. Since there is no option to stop it being always on top of other windows it can be useful to drag it to the corner of the screen.

Starting OBS Studio

1/ When OBS Studio starts it will look similar to the image above. We want the Plane9 image window to appear in the main area of OBS Studio so it can be broadcast. To do this click on the + icon, highlighted in red, lower left.

2/ A window as above will open where you can name the source. In this case Plane9 will be the source. Click OK when done.

3/ There will now be three drop down menus to make selections from. In the first select Capture Specific window. From the second menu select the Plane9.exe window, (which may also show the name of the visualisation that is running). In the third menu, Match title, otherwise find window of same executable has been chosen. Hit OK. The Plane9 visualisation window should now be visible from within OBS Studio.

4/ If the visualisation doesn't take up the entire viewing area click on it so a red border appears then drag it until the whole window is filled.

5/ The above image shows how the visualisation should appear once dragged to fill the viewing area.

6/ To be sure OBS Studio does not broadcast any music to YouTube click on Settings to the lower right of the main window then in the window that appears select the Audio tab. Now make sure all audio options are disabled, as in the image above Click OK when you're done.

Connecting OBS Studio To YouTube

Now that OBS Studio is up and running all we need to do is connect it to YouTube so that what appears in the OBS viewing area will be broadcast live.

1/ Go to your YouTube channel and click on the movie camera icon.

2/ Now hit Go Live.

3/ Since we're not using a camera you should see a message like this, but don't hit Exit.

4/ Towards the lower right of the same screen should be the above button. Click this.

5/ The above information will now be visible. Drag the cursor over the Server URL space and copy it.

6/ Back in OBS Studio, hit the Settings button to the lower right of the main window. In the new window that opens select the Stream tab. Make sure Custom Streaming Server is selected in the very top drop down menu.

Now paste the Server URL we copied from YouTube into the URL space. Keep this OBS Studio window open.

7/ Back in YouTube, reveal the Stream name/key and copy it. Hide it again so no one can see it, since anyone with that key can broadcast on your channel.

8/ Back in OBS Studio, paste the stream key in the Stream key space. Now hit Apply then OK.

9/ Towards the lower right of OBS Studio is the Start Streaming button. Hit it when you're ready.

10/ In YouTube you should now see something like the above with a green live streaming button to the top left. The stream may not show immediatelly on YouTube, so refresh the page if you need to.

Linking To A Second Life Stream 

Since its not wise to broadcast music on YouTube, a work around is to paste a link to your Second Life stream on the YouTube live broadcast page.

1/ Paste the URL of your stream into your browser so you see something like the image above. Right click on the Listen tab and select Copy Link Location (the wording of this may change depending on your browser) from the drop down list. 

2/ Add some info about the live stream to the appropriate area on YouTube and paste the link to your music stream. Now when anyone clicks the link a window similar to the above will open allowing them to listen to your music whilst watching you VJ live.

Thats essentially the basics to getting started VJ-ing with a Second Life stream on YouTube, and although there is more that can be done whilst VJ-ing, this will be covered in later tutorials. 

As a final note to those concerned that VJ-ing on YouTube during a Second Life DJ set may cause lag, the above image shows my frame rate during a recent VJ test. In fact streaming to YouTube at least in this instance didn't seem to affect Second Life at all.

Below is a vid showing a recording of a test VJ session of YouTube, sadly with no sound, but it gives an idea of what can be done.

Good luck with your own VJ sessions and come back for more tutorials soon.
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Adding Text To A Path With Inkscape

If you need to create a graphic with text that follows a path, Inkscape is a  good choice of software to use. Although the same effect can be achieved with for example Gimp, the results are not always satisfactory as the letters can become distorted. Creating the image in Inkscape avoids this and also allows you to export the finished vector in any size you like without affecting the quality.

To follow this tutorial you'll need some understanding of the layout of Inkscape and its tools, although where convenient to do so these are explained in the hope that following this tutorial is made as easy as possible.

There is also a video version of this tutorial on our YouTube channel, or you can watch the video at the bottom of this page.

Adding Text To A Path

1/ Open Inkscape and hit the 5 key on your keyboard so the page fits the workspace.

2/ Select the Ellipse tool, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, and drag your mouse to create a perfect circle.

3/ If the circle is a solid colour, you can remove the fill by selecting the Fill tab to the right of the Inkscape window and hitting the X option.

If removing the fill colour leaves the circle looking completely blank then a stroke colour needs to be added. To do this, hold down Shift and select a colour from the palette to the bottom of the Inkscape window. See image above.

4/ Select the Text tool to the left and type out your text, as in the image above.

5/ Whilst the Text tool is still active, the font style can be selected from the top left of the Inkscape screen (hightlighted in red), and the font size can be selected in the area highlighted in green.

The font size can also be changed by simply selecting the text with the selection tool, grabbing a corner arrow, and dragging it.

6/ Another way of manipulating text is to click on the Text icon from the menu (highlighted in red, above). The panel below will appear to the right of the Inkscape screen.

7/ Using the Text Panel is self explanatory, and the areas where the font and text size can be selected are clearly visible.

8/ With the Selection Tool (the first tool option on the left vertical menu), select the text, then hold down the Shift key and select the circle. Both items should now be selected.

9/ Now select from the top menu, Text > Put on Path and your text will be added to the path of the circle, as in the image above.

Adjusting The Text On The Path

Although the text is on the path of the circle, if the text were to be selected and moved, it would not stay on the path. If we want to position the text where we want it on the path, we will need to follow the steps below.

10/  Select the circle then select Edit > Duplicate. Now hold down  Ctrl+Shift and drag the duplicate circle to the centre of the original. This new circle needs to be very small to mark the centre of the large circle.

Holding down both Ctrl and Shift means the circle will keep the same centre as the original circle. If just Ctrl is held, the new circle will not keep to the first circle's centre.

12/ Click on the text twice so the rotation arrows are visible. They will appear curved at the boundary of the text.

13/ The text will have a crosshair at its centre. Drag it into the small circle we placed at the centre of the larger circle.

14/ The crosshair is now placed at the centre of the circle, so if we now grab one of the text's rotation arrows, the text will follow the path of the circle and we can position it where we want it.

Adding Text To The Interior Path Of The Circle

When we add text to a circular path it will by default be added to the outer path of the circle. However, there is a way to add text to the interior path.

In this example we're going demonstrate how to do this by developing the above image into a basic logo.

15/  First duplicate the circle. then hold down Ctrl+Shift and drag the circle until it just touches the top of the text.

16/ Follow steps 2-13 above so that the text is added to the path of the circle we just created, and the text's crosshair has been placed into the small circle..

17/ Select the text and hold down the Shift key. Now select the circle, then hit the Invert icon on the top menu (highlighted in red above).

18/ The text should move to the interior path of the circle.

19/ When the text moves to the inner path, the crosshair will move away from the centre (highlighted above). Just drag it back to the centre of the circle and the text can then be positioned where you want it with the rotation arrows.

Adjusting The Texts' Spacing

20/ When the text is added to the path its spacing may be affected. To fix this select the text then hold down the Alt key. Now place the cursor between the letters, then use the keyboards' left and right arrow keys to adjust their spacing. Compare the image above to the previous image to see how spacing can make a difference.

21/ Because the text relies on the circles' paths to remain circular we can't delete them. However, they can be hidden. Select one of the circles, then to the right of the Inkscape window select the Stroke Paint tab. Now hit the X option. This won't remove the circle's path, it just removes its colour. Repeat for the other circle.

22/ The tiny circle we used as a guide is no longer needed, so select and delete it.

23/ This is what the text looks like with both circles hidden and the centre guide removed.

24/ To finish off the logo an inner and outer circle have been added to frame the text. In fact these circles were created by duplicating the circles we used as paths, just before they were hidden.

The stroke paths of each circle was increased to around 3px and positioned so there's a space between them and the text.

The image at the top of this page shows how this basic logo has been reworked to make it a little more appealling, and gives some idea how once text has been added to a path it can be further enhanced.

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