The beauty of Unreal Engine is its power to bring immersive worlds full of fantastic creatures and stunning landscapes to life. What you create in Unreal Engine can transport people from their couch or gaming chair into another world they can practically touch.
However, for animators and designers building these worlds from their remote workstations, their world is anything but immersive. It can be incredibly isolating, and collaborating with your co-creators feels less like it used to when you all used to edit together in one editing suite.
Naturally, many editors are desperately looking for a way to recreate the live collaboration experience of a pre-pandemic era, and the most obvious solution is to use our good old friend Zoom.
We’re going to explore some common workflows that people are attempting to use to stream their editing and creation sessions live over Zoom and examine whether any of them truly meet the needs of creative teams.
Workaround #1: Use an NDI and two separate systems
One of the most common workarounds is going to require that you have two separate systems for it to work. One for you to run Unreal Engine on, and a second to run Zoom on. You’ll also need some additional software which we’ll cover in the breakdown.
Step 1: Download NewTek’s Connect or Connect Pro NDI to both systems. This will create an input-output system for broadcasting Unreal Engine to Zoom.
Step 2: Set up the NDI on your Unreal Engine system to screen monitor while you edit.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Download the NewTek NDI Tools package to your PC
- Open the NDI Screen Capture application.
- Once NDI Screen Capture is running, it will automatically begin broadcasting your screen to the network.
- Open Filmora and launch the project you want to broadcast.
Step 3: Open Zoom on your second system.
Step 4: Open “Preferences” in Zoom, and locate the Video preferences menu.
Step 5: Set the video inputs to the NewTek NDI Video stream. A broadcast of your desktop running Unreal Engine should now appear in the preview window. If it doesn’t, ensure that NDI Screen Capture is running on your other system.
If you’ve done this successfully, you should be able to stream your editing screen live over Zoom while talking with your co-collaborators.
Workaround #2: OBS VirtualCam
This workaround uses OBS and an NDI on a single system with two monitors. It is similar to the previous workflow but with some minor differences.
Step 1: Download and install OBS VirtualCam to your Mac.
Step 2: Download NewTek’s NDI Tools package for Mac.
Step 3: Start NDI Screen Capture and select the screen that will be running Unreal Engine as your source. Open Unreal Engine and whatever project you want to stream on that screen.
Step 4: Open OBS and Zoom on your second monitor.
Step 5: In OBS, select your first video input source and set it to NewTek NDI Screen Capture.
Step 6: (Optional): Select a second video input source and set it to your webcam feed. This will allow you to stream your face as well as your screen. You can position this second feed anywhere on top of the screen sharing feed.
Step 7: Start “Virtual Camera” in OBS by going to “Tools” then selecting “Start Virtual Camera.”
Step 8: Open Zoom, go to “Preferences,” then select OBS as the source for both your audio and video. This will allow you to stream whatever is in OBS directly to Zoom.
A note on the audio: You can connect an external microphone through OBS as well to be able to speak with your co-collaborators, or you can set your audio input in Zoom as your built-in microphone.
Problems with Streaming Unreal Engine Over Zoom
While these two workarounds do technically work, they come with a lot of drawbacks. This includes:
- Dropped video/audio feeds
- No tools for accurate note-taking or annotation
- Multiple programs running means a high strain on both network bandwidth and CPU resources
Zoom is also just simply not built to handle high-quality streaming of detail-heavy workspaces and video like what’s produced by Unreal Engine.
So, if Zoom is such a headache to stream over, what's the solution? Well, thankfully, the team at Evercast has purpose-built a platform for editors, designers, animators, and all other creative collaborators to be able to stream their workflows seamlessly on one simple platform.
A Better Solution
Evercast is specifically built as a platform for seamless creative collaboration. It can broadcast your Unreal Engine editing workspace while you live video chat with your creative team and make edits in real-time.
Benefits of using Evercast to stream Unreal Engine:
- Low latency streaming (on average, less than 150ms)
- Built-in video chatting
- On-screen annotations and timestamped comments make collaborating on edits super easy and straightforward.
- 24/7 white-glove support from Evercast’s support team
If you’re looking for a better way to bring your remote creative team closer together and collaborate more efficiently from a distance, check out Evercast. We believe collaboration is the magic behind the movies, and better collaboration starts with software that works with your team, not against it.