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IMAG capability!

How cool is this!  If you go to big churches these days, they've got IMAG going where they display live video on the screens with a lower third over the bottom of the screen where they can put text on top of the video.  But that requires pretty expensive video equipment.

I figured out how to do it with OpenLP for a few bucks.  Get a basic webcam for $20 and a really long USB cable for another $20.  VLC can display a webcam stream, so I open VLC, start the webcam stream, and fill the extended desktop window.  Then I run OpenLP on the same extended desktop, over the top of VLC.

Then I go to photoshop and create my lower third graphic and save the file as lower-third.jpg.  Create a formatting tag:

<img src="lower-third.jpg" width="1920px" style="opacity:0.75;">

Then I created a custom slide featuring just that formatting tag.  Set the custom slide to a theme with a transparent background, and ta da, IMAG just like the big boys!

Now, my setup isn't fast enough to do *true* IMAG -- if the webcam is showing the preacher's face, for instance, the lag between his voice and the video up on the screen would be pretty distracting.  But for some purposes, it can be really cool.  For example, I used it recently for a participatory moment during the sermon.  People were asked to think of something in their life they wanted to get rid of, write it down on a special dissolving paper, then walk up front and drop it in a big bowl of water.  I aimed the webcam at the bowl so that everybody could watch as the paper dissolved into nothingness.  It would have been a cool participatory moment regardless, but being able to watch other people's paper disappearing made it even more memorable.
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