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What backdrop are you using?2020-10-13T10:30:54-04:00

When using the Lightboard, it is very important to have a high contrast backdrop, so that the neon markers show up.

I recommend this backdrop: Westcott 133 9×10-Feet Rich Black Background

How does having a Lightboard help my everyday video conversations?2020-08-23T14:39:18-04:00

Having a Lightboard helps with consistent, stable lighting for your videos.


My picture is getting darker, then brighter, or the colors are off.2020-08-22T20:45:02-04:00

You need to install an app that controls your webcam.

Most webcams are set to full automatic – automatic white balance (which determines the colors) and automatic aperture (which determines how much light is coming into the camera). However, the camera/computer arrive at their settings by averaging the colors and brightness across the entire picture.  Most of the time, this works “good enough” – but when you are making video, you need stability. Webcams can get very confused when you have a large black background.

If you buy an external webcam, then it will likely come with its own controller software that you can use.

If you use the webcam that’s in your computer, however, you can use an app.

I use “Webcam Settings”, available here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/webcam-settings/id533696630


These are the settings that work for me:

The two settings I had to fiddle with are:

  • Aperture
  • White Balance (turn off Auto, then adjust)

You can also save this as a profile.

If you use a PC – then I suggest you search around and find one that works similar to this. I’m sorry I don’t have a specific recommendation. If you find one that works, let me know, I’ll add it in here.

I’m trying to use Zoom, but people tell me that my writing is backwards.2020-08-21T19:33:04-04:00

You need to flip your video.

Go to the Zoom setup page, and see the part where you horizontally flips the video inside OBS.

That page is here: https://www.desktoplightboard.com/2020/08/21/connecting-to-zoom/

I have a picture I want to use, but it has a background. How can I remove it?2020-08-21T19:08:31-04:00

There’s a couple of different ways.

The easy way is : https://www.remove.bg/.

I tried it, it works … most of the time.

The harder (but more flexible) way is to use Photoshop or something similar.

The important thing is that the file ultimately be a .PNG, with a transparent background.

Can I use Bitmoji and other virtual backgrounds with the Lightboard?2020-08-21T19:02:23-04:00

Yes.  Here is my attempt, with about 5 minutes of work:

You can see that it works, but it needs more work.  Better lighting would help with having ALL of my hair show up, as well as avoiding the “gaps” in my shirt.

You can read more about creating bitmoji classrooms here: https://www.helloteacherlady.com/blog/2020/4/how-to-create-a-virtual-bitmoji-scene-in-google-slides-or-powerpoint

Can I use the Lightboard on my VideoPhone?2020-08-21T18:58:31-04:00

I have successfully tested this with Sorenson’s nTouch on my iMac. It works great.  I don’t know about other platforms.

You need to make sure you have started the virtual camera in OBS before you start the videophone software.

How do I project my own picture?2020-08-22T15:35:43-04:00

You can project almost any picture on the screen.

However, if you want it to be transparent – then the picture needs to be in .PNG format, with a transparent background. I explain how to do that here: https://www.desktoplightboard.com/2020/08/22/adding-a-transparent-picture-obs/

Alternatively, you can make the picture with a black background, and then use the Luma Key filter.  I explain how to do this in the PowerPoint demonstration.

Can this work with shared Google Docs?2020-08-22T21:00:39-04:00

Yes.  If you watch the demo, you can see how I projected a shared Google doc on the screen next to me.

Here is a tutorial: https://www.desktoplightboard.com/2020/08/22/google-docs-obs-lightboard/

What kind of markers are you using?2020-08-21T18:29:00-04:00
How big is the Desktop Lightboard? What does it look like on a desk?2020-08-23T22:01:36-04:00

The Lightboard that I make (and use) is 40 inches wide, 30 inches high, and is about 7 inches deep.  The side legs are 16 inches.

The working surface of the glass is 31 inches x 16 1/2 inches.

It weighs about 45 pounds. Most of that is from the weight of the glass.

It sits comfortably on my desk.  I can move it forward and back if I need more space on the desk. The keyboard fits underneath, so it doesn’t interfere with using the keyboard or the desktop. The legs “straddle” a 27″ iMac, so I can literally slide it ALL the way back to the screen (but I never do, because it’s not necessary).

Here is the Lightboard on my desk:

The artwork behind me is “Hot Chocolate” by famed Deaf artist David Call, who lives in Livermore, California. He makes linocut artwork, and then prints limited editions. You can learn more about him and other Deaf artists at the De’Via artist group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/deviacentral/

Can I build my own Lightboard?2020-08-21T16:39:30-04:00

Of course you can. The instructions are right here: https://lightboard.info/

I built mine. Of course, I have a full fabrication shop, including a welder, grinder, a slew of power tools, experience with electrical wiring, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science.  Do you need all that?  No … but it sure helps, right?

It also took me about 3 weeks to figure out all the details so that all the parts worked well together.

It all comes down to the value of your time. Do you want to spend your time building – or spend your time teaching/creating/giving workshops, etc.?

Do I need to have a Lightboard in order to use all these cool features?2020-08-22T21:01:39-04:00

Well, that depends.

What the Lightboard gives you is the ability to write on the glass, and interact with the viewer. If you just want to display images (like a PowerPoint), and you’re not going to be writing … then you don’t need one. Just install OBS, and have fun.

That said – once you have a Lightboard, you’ll never want to work without one. I keep finding new and exciting uses for this. It’s like having a scribble pad ready to go in EVERY online video interaction.

So, do I need one?  If you want to write and have it show up – yes.

You didn’t know you needed shoes until you stepped on a sharp rock, right?

How do I purchase a Lightboard?2020-08-21T16:19:09-04:00
Can this platform work with Zoom?2020-08-22T21:04:00-04:00

Yes, it can. There is a setup tutorial here: https://www.desktoplightboard.com/2020/08/21/connecting-to-zoom/

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