Review of WebcamMax – what you will see on our Skype Cam

27 12 2010

For the New Year, we have obtained a copy of some fancy webcam software that works with our Skype account (Skype: globalcoachtours). Not only will you see the travel agent you are speaking with, but we will be able to add graphics such as maps or show you photos and videos relevant to the tour you are asking about. The webcam software is called WebcamMax and it works very effectively with our Microsoft HD widescreen web camera.

For the technically interested, the software adds a ‘virtual’ camera to the Skype video feed which is selected instead of the name of the camera.

It doesn’t stop there. We’ll be able to show you video clips both full screen or in the corner of the screen. How about looking at the same web page together? Simple. We will share our desktop and show you relevant details. This is all part of our future way of interacting with our customers. Not just Global Coach Tours, but many more agents will be using the Skype service in 2011 via www.SeeYourTravelAgent.com

Whilst WebcamMax has many fun aspects, such as animated graphics, we believe it has serious business applications. We haven’t discovered all the features yet. One idea we would like to explore is the creation of custom backgrounds. It seems there is a WebcamMax format for these called an *.efc file and we are still looking into how to create these. Thus, as a travel agent we can be sat in front of virtual mountains, lakes or on beaches! We look forward to seeing you soon.


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26 03 2011
Suthnautr

Absolutely in agreement with you on the serious side of possibilities for the WebCamMax application – I have it installed myself (purchased primarily for uploading pre-recorded videos to UStream.tv which normally only allows live recording).

I’m was also quite interested in the .efc file format and tried for some time to find documentation on how to make my own.

Here’s how to do it:
1) Go to the Backgrounds and choose any one of them (don’t click on it, just select one).
2) Right click on the one you’ve chosen and select “edit”.
3) It will open up the “click to take picture in 3 seconds” window – do NOT take picture, just close that frame instead.
4) Go to the Miscellaneous tab on the right.
5) Click on “Import”
6) An Import Picture frame will open up – click the orange button on the top right next to the empty text field.
7) Browse to the image you want to import (you’ll have to play around with the images to see which size works best for you. The one I chose was 600 x 450 and that worked. Both .jpg and .png formats work, but I used a binary editor to look into the original .efc files and noticed that they are using .png images (I think it’s because they support transparencies as they would for some of the effects, such as frames, where a transparency would be needed, as well as for some of the animated effects such as butterflies etc).
8) Click “Update Icon” and then close (so it gives your new background a new icon).
9) Rename the effect so you don’t over-write the original one and also make sure the radio button for “Resource” is selected (otherwise it will show a screen shot of you there as the new icon instead of a shot of the picture you just replaced – it will still work but you want it to show the picture so it’s easier to select it when you want to use it).
10) Now you’ll see the new item in your Backgrounds and can choose it and use it just like any of the other backgrounds.

3 05 2011
Global Coach Tours

Thanks for the useful information about this application. The service http://www.seeyourtravelagent.com is launching imminently.

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