May 26, 2021

Building an Online Course with a Virtual Set

Legacy International approached us earlier this year to help launch an online course platform with live webinars, in partnership with Keller Williams. This course was designed for real estate agents to teach them how to expand their inventory with the new home sales market. We were tasked with creating a virtual set and video production assets for the online platform as well as several live broadcasted webinars for agents. A project like this had some unique challenges to overcome along the way. In this post, we'll share our process from start-to-finish, including key takeaways and insights on what these live webinars such a success!

Why use a virtual set? (And what is it?)

Online Course with a Virtual Set

A big discussion at the start of this project was all about creating the right look for the online course platform and live webinar series. The team at Legacy wanted to create a modern and unique setting for the course content. As we walked through options for a physical set design, we quickly realized they needed much more flexibility and multiple set options throughout the series. Enter the virtual set option.

So what is a virtual set? A virtual set is filmed on a green screen which is then replaced with a digitally created studio. This allows for more flexibility in set design and a higher level of production value. Virtual sets provide high quality, flexible options with the ability to quickly change background designs without re-prepping an entire physical studio space. We developed two main sets with the ability to quickly change out backgrounds and camera angles.

Our virtual sets for this project include a desk that the panel can sit behind during their talks. You can see in the behind the scenes picture to the right how we covered a table with green fabric to give the panel an actual surface to use, which is then replaced in the set with a digital one.

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Filming and Live Streaming

Green Screen Production virtual sets

Most video production pros will tell you that green screen can be difficult to work with. The process of digitally replacing the green screen is called "Keying". The biggest key (no pun intended) to success is even lighting across the entirety of the green surfaces. Just a little shadow from your talent can cause all kinds of issues when it comes to editing. An additional challenge is keying out the green screen LIVE - which we were going to do a lot of. We built a custom PC to handle the heavy processing required for running multiple cameras and virtual sets through Vmix with a live key.

Producing with a virtual set in Vmix

With Vmix, we're able to live switch the entire broadcast and control all our media from one set of controls. We're able to run multiple camera feeds, the client's PowerPoint presentation, pre-recorded video, and run outputs for the teleprompter and confidence monitors.

Delivering the live webinars

With a large number of participants logging in for each virtual session we wanted to focus on delivering a reliable and high quality stream with interaction tools. We had a lot of options available for our distribution platform where the real estate agents would login to view the content. This format of content presented a unique set of requirements however as many of the agents would be taking the course as a "continuing education" (CE) offering. Continuing education opportunities are often required to maintain a license from a state, and carry specific regulations. In this case, agents have to attend the entire session, remain in camera view during the entire session (with breaks), and participate in recap quizzes. While there are platforms that we love way more than Zoom, we ended up using Zoom webinars to fulfill these requirements as they're designed for exactly this purpose.

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