Monday, December 5, 2011

The Effects of the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema

Express yourself during video chats with the LifeCam Cinema's special effects.

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Microsoft offers a line of professional-grade webcams, called LifeCams, for home and business PC users. One model, the Cinema, is made of aluminum and captures video in high-definition 720p. The Cinema features a Windows Live Call button, providing one-touch access to the LifeCam Dashboard, a software program that controls the camera settings and provides more than 30 special effects to enhance video recordings, ranging from basic optical edits to 3-D animations.

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The LifeCam Dashboard contains a host of effects traditionally found in various video editing software, such as filters that manipulate color and other visual properties. Inverting color produces an effect similar to that of film negatives, while other effects give your video a black-and-white or brownish sepia tone. Other basic effects give your video glowing edges, rounded corners, a blurred softness or a cartoon-like appearance.

Distortion Effects

The Dashboard provides many effects to warp certain parts of the subject's body or certain portions of the viewing environment. Some warp facial features, giving the subject a large mouth, a pointy head, large eyes or a tiny nose. Others manipulate the subject's head to make it look like an alien, a cone, a square or a large circle. You can swirl the screen to resemble a fun house mirror or focus heavily on the center of the screen, producing a fish-eye effect.

3-D Animations

Some effects produce animated scenes and characters that enhance and interact with the foreground of the video during film capture. Clicking on one of these effects while recording video will cause visualizations to appear along the bottom or sides of the viewing screen. These effects include a beach scene, swimming fish, falling snow, flowers or leaves blowing in the wind, drifting clouds or ladybugs crawling across the screen.

3-D Accessories

The Dashboard includes other effects that simulate 3-D accessories. These effects use facial recognition technology, enabling them to track your movements and position within the frame and to recognize the contour of your facial features. Some effects simulate wearing sunglasses, a cowboy hat, a '70s afro, long blond hair, a butterfly mask or various animal faces. Other effects produce thought bubbles, a lightbulb or stars and question marks that encircle your head. These effects sometimes have trouble recognizing your face during quick movements or while turning to the side, so it's a good idea to sit still and face forward as much as possible during live video.

ReferencesMicrosoft: LifeCam CinemaPhoto Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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