Scott Hanselman posted a video earlier this month that gave me an idea. He showed how he used OBS studio and Microsoft Whiteboard to do a transparent glass whiteboard in Microsoft Teams and I saw in it an interesting way to use my reMarkable tablet to do something similar.
Working from home, like many of you my primary device for work is a desktop computer which does not have the drawable surface and pen of a Microsoft Surface device. Recently, I got the new reMarkable 2 paper-like tablet and I really like it. The device works with a dedicate desktop app that, in addition to helping synchronize notebooks, it has a Live View capability where the display on the computer is in sync with the tablet and update every time the page on the tablet drawn on. I was able to take the live output from the reMarkable app on my PC as an input source in OBS Studio and replicate the transparent glass whiteboard effect that I could use during Microsoft Teams meetings. If you aren’t familiar with it, OBS Studio is a free, open-source application for Windows, macOS, and Linux that you can use to stream and record from your computer, mixing video, desktop windows, audio sources, and graphics. Here is how I did it:
- On my reMarkable 2 tablet, I added a new page to a notebook, using the blank page template and set the orientation to landscape.
- On my PC, I started the reMarkable app
- On my reMarkable tablet, I turned the LiveView (Beta) option on in the share menu
- Once I did, that I was prompted on the app on my PC to accept the LiveView request. At that point, the app’s screen mirrored my tablet.
- In OBS Studio, I added a Video Capture Device for my webcam and stretched it to the size of the screen output.
- I then added a Window Capture source, selecting the reMarkable app as the Window.
- Now the whiteboard is positioned over the video capture device. Before I resize it, I need to crop the edges.
- I drag the edges of the new Window Capture element with the Alt key pressed to crop out the frame and chrome around the whiteboard.
- Now I resize the whiteboard so it covers my Video Capture Device.
- The last thing I do is add filters to the Window Capture to make it all work. Select the Window Capture source, right click and select Filters…
- Add a Color Correction filter to make the white background green.
- Add a Chroma Key filter to remove the background. You may need to adjust the Similarity value if you use gray pens on the reMarkable.
- Add another Color Correction filter to make the black text white.
And then you can stream, record, or use OBS as a Virtual Camera in your online meetings. The whiteboard drawing from your tablet is saved and you can easily export it to a PDF or image and it is in the video as well.
Give it a try today and add more drawing to your online meetings!
Some users have pointed out a limitation to the LiveView (Beta) feature in the reMarkable app where erasing on the tablet does not immediately erase on the LiveView. A quick fix to refresh the LiveView is to tap the Full-screen button in the lower right corner of the app to make the app go full screen, and then tap it again to go back to the original size. This triggers a refresh of the LiveView with the erased ink. I reported this bug to the reMarkable team.