launchlabs feeling at the click of a mouse – virtual workshops in the launchlabs studio
Due to the Corona pandemic, virtual workshops have experienced a boom. At launchlabs we use a green screen to transport the launchlabs feeling to your home screen. In the interview, our colleague Tobi tells us how the idea came about.
Dear Tobi, since this year we’re using the new launchlabs studio with the greenscreen for workshops and presentations again and again. How did this come about?
We were invited to an event last year, and I was taking part as a presenter. A lot of money was spent there to be able to present audiovisual content in a similar way to a TV production. I then asked myself: Can’t this be done more simply and, above all, more cheaply? Then I started researching.
What was the next step?
During my research, I ended up with streamers who produce their content all by themselves for platforms like youtube or twitch. Streamers do production, directing, and hosting, all mostly by themselves from home. That’s what inspired me. We wanted to take advantage of a setup like that and also use our space. We did some experiments and integrated the green screen with the technical setup into our space concept.
What is the technical setup like?
We use a Mac mini with an M1 chip. We have software that we use to be able to do this image mixing. We have a fixed camera and keylights that work both ways, so you can also change scenes, and radio microphones from Rode. Everything runs together into what’s called a stream deck. Through it, we can switch back and forth between cameras, load new content into the green screen, play sound effects, and control the lights. And all that with just the touch of a button. The whole thing is placed on a rolling table. That means you can just unplug it and put it in a different setup.
It sounds like it’s very difficult to operate.
Fortunately, it’s not. We only have a few buttons on the stream deck that even non-tech-savvy people can use to easily switch between the cameras and the slides.
Are the technical devices newly developed?
No. The new development refers to the setup. Many of the technical products are from the company Elgato, with whom we entered into a cooperation.
Were there any challenges in using the green screen? How did you overcome them?
The challenge is finding the right combination of light, image and sound. We use AirPods and a relatively inexpensive microphone.
How much did the setup cost?
You can set up the whole thing for 2000 euros at your place.
You’re used to doing most of the workshops in person. What has changed since then?
We did on-site training and were able to use our bodies and the room. With the pandemic and the online workshops that came with it, we could only work with our upper body. That was unfamiliar at first and also limiting. By using the green screen, we now have the opportunity to use our whole body again. This also works with several people. It’s a nicer way to moderate in remote setup, similar to television.
Has there already been feedback from participants?
Yes, and it’s been consistently positive. The workshops are much more interactive and communicative with the green screen. They’re fun and we can bring the space back into it.
What are your goals for this project – also for the time after Corona?
With the new setup, we now have another offering: consulting and coaching for remote setups. And here we are not only specialists for the technology, but as users we also understand very well how the technology has to be used. I believe that this form of virtuality will not flatten out completely after Corona. We have now learned that you don’t have to fly halfway around the world for training, but can do it virtually in a more time-saving and environmentally friendly way. We now have the possibility to conduct virtual workshops with the green screen, which even have the launchlabs feeling including the music we play during the break. On the other hand, we also want to inspire people that a well-functioning technical setup doesn’t have to be insanely expensive.
published: 18th of October 2021