Introduction: Webcam Clone
Sometimes you have too many meetings to attend. Some of those meetings may have a "leave your webcam on" policy. Sometimes you still want some privacy. Introducing Webcam Clone.
Short of creating a digital stand-in, Webcam Clone is a paper craft substitute you. (Or substitute me, if you're too lazy to change the default photos). I created a template in Visio for adding your own photos, printing, and cutting out. There are two main components: The photographic slide, and the viewing stand.
The included design is for a laptop with integrated webcam between the keyboard and the screen. My prototype for a webcam at the top of the screen is not ready for prime time. I designed it to use a sliding slide, so you can casually adjust the image you share at will, with just a simple adjustment.
- Scissors or Xacto knife
- General disregard for your company's policies
Step 1: Create / Design a Template
I've already created and tested a design for my style of laptop/webcam. I've included a link to the template in Microsoft Visio format. Or, you can follow the steps to recreate the template in the design tool of your choice.
For landscape printed 8 1/2" x 11" you'll want to create a slide roll of a 10" x 1.6406" rectangle. Add four rectangles 2.125" x 1.6406", inside of the 10" rectangle but spaced away from the edges (which will become the pull tabs).
Add a section for the viewer frame. a 3.25"x1.9393" rectangle on top of a 3.25"x0.375" rectangle (the base). I added blue dashed cut lines to mine to for cutting where the photo slide goes thru.
Step 2: Take and Add Your Own Photos
I'm pretty sure your coworkers don't want to see me in their meetings, so replace the sample photos with photos of yourself.
I used the the web cam on my laptop, to capture pictures of myself. This way your already in the appropriate sitting position.
For my example I took the following photos:
- Background (what would appear if you were not in your seat),
- Deep Thought,
- and Sleepy.
You can use what ever expressions you like, but you'll need to update the (optional) descriptions on the back of the slide. Resize your photos while applying them to the template.
If using the included template: Center your photos within the inner frames. Be careful not to crop too much or the paper may show, ruining the illusion. Note, I set the inner frames on a non-printable layer.
Step 3: Print and Cut Out
I strongly suggest printing double sided, so the facial expression descriptions are visible to you. Pay attention to the double sided printing instructions so it they line up correctly. "Flip on short edge".
An inkjet or photo service will result in a better, more realistic slide. For the viewer, card stock will provide better results. Using a pair of scissors or an x-acto knife to cut out the slide strip and the viewer. Carefully cut the appropriate lines on the viewer that the slide will feed into. Fold the bottom flap of the viewer. This is the base that you will tape to your laptop.
If using the included template: don't cut off the blue pull tabs, you'll need them for switching photos. Cut carefully along the blue dashed lines on the viewer, this is will the slide will be inserted through.
Step 4: Testing
Open your web cam software to test, adjusting the viewer as desired, taping it in place. Some simple adjustments can be made pushing or pulling on the viewer to adjust the resting angle.
When ready to test, place the slide into the viewer. Position so your photos face the camera and cover the background on the viewer.
Step 5: Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This is a temporary solution until a digital plug-in is created. I have plans for a digital plug-in version for Microsoft Teams. I'm thinking of making it advertiser supported. For instance, during a meeting your digital clone will randomly pitch soft drinks or various prescription drugs.
The author takes no responsibility for the improper use of this technology. It should be for entertainment purposes only (don't get yourself fired). Personally, I'm surprised how long it takes people to realize your lips aren't moving when you're the one speaking.
Step 6: Above Display Prototype
For integrated webcams above the screen, I did make a prototype, but I was not satisfied with the final result. This step is just to show the paper clip reinforcement/stabilizer attempt. This design is not complete/perfected.
Participated in the
Glue & Tape Speed Challenge