New CamTwist Release! Interview with Steve Green, developer of CamTwist

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This week, a new version of CamTwist will be coming out (version 1.4) and Ustream.tv streamers are excited!

CamTwist has quickly grown as the most popular Ustream.tv streamer application. It gives you professional functionality of a live production studio on Ustream.tv. Popular Ustreamers such as Chris Pirillo and the Technology Evangelist are using CamTwist to improve their live video productions.

CamTwist

We interviewed the developer and creator of CamTwist, Steve Green, to gain a better understanding of CamTwist.

What is CamTwist?
In short, CamTwist is a software package for Mac OS X 10.4+ that lets you add special effects to your video chats. Technically speaking, CamTwist will work with any application that supports QuickTime compatible cameras but the intention was to create something fun for video chats. It’s also possible to stream your desktop still images, and movies. Best of all, CamTwist is totally free.

When and why did you create CamTwist?
I started CamTwist in late 2006. I was spending a lot of time chatting with friends on various streaming sites and the chatters with Windows were having a lot of fun with a program called WebCamMax. I thought it would be great to have something like that for Mac OS and I hated the idea that my chat mates with Windows were one-upping us Mac users.

What features do you personally like best?
I think the Matrix and Flame effects are the coolest. Both of those effects are based on open source projects typically run on Linux. Honestly speaking, I hardly ever use CamTwist myself.

What impact do you feel CamTwist is having on sites such as Ustream.tv?
Until several weeks ago, I didn’t know that Ustream.tv even existed and I certainly didn’t think that CamTwist would have impact on anything. CamTwist was intended as a toy after all. I’ve since been contacted by several well known Ustream.tv users asking about features and giving me feedback. I was thrilled to learn that people were using CamTwist for more serious business. As for impact, I could only guess about the impact to Ustream.tv but I can say for sure that Ustream.tv has had an impact on CamTwist.

How can someone cue up a video, picture, or desktop display for a Ustream.tv video during a live feed?
CamTwist now has the ability for you to setup another “scene” without disturbing your live stream. In the advanced settings drawer, when you enable the staging area you can select another video source and/or other effects. There is a small preview display and when you’re happy with the results, you can push the staged settings into the live stream.

What can we expect from CamTwist in the future?
That’s a hard question to answer. I’ve got a list of features that people have requested and I have my own list of ideas but work on CamTwist only happens in my spare time. In general, I tend to work on features that I feel are useful to the largest groups of users.

How can someone donate to help future versions of CamTwist?
The best way to help future versions of CamTwist is to work on new effects. A lot of the cool CamTwist effects are implemented with Apple’s Quartz Composer tool. Given that hacking with Quartz Composer isn’t for everyone, the second best way to help is to send me email with ideas for new effects and features.

Where can you download the latest version of CamTwist?
The latest version of CamTwist is available on the CamTwist web page http://allocinit.com/index.php?title=CamTwist

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