PTZ Camera Controls in vMix
Written by Paul Richards on November 11, 2020
PTZ Camera Controls in vMix
vMix has modernized live video production and increased what small video production teams are able to do. vMix 4K and Pro editions include multiple ways to control pan, tilt and zoom cameras which can help automate video production workflows even further. vMix can currently control specific PTZ cameras over an IP connection and USB cameras that support UVC.
Here is the list of PTZ cameras that vMix currently supports:
- HuddleCamHD (via USB)
Enabling PTZ Controls
You can enable PTZ camera controls inside of vMix by opening an input and clicking on the PTZ tab. Here you can select one of the supported devices in the dropdown menu. Most PTZ cameras will require a static IP address for vMix to connect. USB cameras like the HuddleCamHD Pro can be controlled via a USB connection by selecting the UVC PTZ option.
To gain IP controls of any IP supported camera you must make sure your computer is connected to the same network as your PTZ camera. You will also need to know your camera’s IP address. PTZOptics cameras for example can receive an IP address in two ways. One is a statically assigned IP address, where you manually give the camera an IP address on your network. The other way is via DHCP. DHCP allows your camera to automatically receive an IP address from your network’s router.
Pro Tip: Your camera and computer should be on the same IP range. You can find the IP address of your computer using the Command Prompt in Windows and typing in “ipconfig” and pressing Enter. Look for your computers IPv4 address. Make sure your camera’s IP address is on the same IP range which means the first 3 sets of numbers are the same, and the last number is unique.
Click Add Input and select Camera. If you have an NDI camera click NDI and choose your camera from the list. Select your camera from the list and click OK. Once your camera is inside of vMix you can click the settings cog to find the PTZ section. Inside the PTZ section you will see a device type dropdown menu.
Note: ZCam camera models from PTZOptics do not offer pan and tilt but vMix can control presets and zoom.
Once you select your camera’s control method, you can enter your camera’s IP address and press connect. This you will unlock the pan, tilt and zoom controls of your PTZ camera. You will notice two control bars which allow you to select the speed of your pan, tilt and zoom. There is also a slider designated to control the speed at which the camera moves in-between presets. This is ideal for adjusting the camera to perform slow moving scenes that sweep across an area, or quick movements that are hidden from viewers while the camera is in preview.
You should also notice a Create Input at this Position button at the top right of the input settings window. You can click this button to create a PTZ preset inside of vMix. When you click this button vMix will create a new input inside of your vMix production. When you bring this input into preview the camera will automatically recall the camera’s PTZ preset position.
You will notice that vMix takes a screenshot of the camera’s position when saving the preset inside of vMix. In this way you recall PTZ presets with a visual aid that is inside each thumbnail. The idea for professional productions is that when you use one of the PTZ presets in the preview window the location of the PTZ preset moves. In this way, you can hide the PTZ movements from your audience if you would like to.
It is worth noting that PTZ camera controls are also available inside vMix shortcuts. Therefore, you can control PTZ cameras using a variety of hardware solutions that integrate with vMix. For example. you can use an Elgato StreamDeck, an Xkeys controller, or even a USB connected xBox controller.
UVC controls allow you to control webcams that support UVC. To use this PTZ method, simply bring your camera into vMix using the camera input via USB. Then inside of the settings window, in the PTZ section choose UVC PTZ and click connect. Wow. It’s that easy. Now you can operate PTZ camera control functions inside of any PTZOptics or HuddleCamHD connected USB camera. UVC controls are limited in comparison to network connected PTZ cameras but they are easier to connect with plug and play USB cabling. The HuddleCamHD Pro is an interesting camera that was designed to be used like this. USB cameras with high resolutions sensors like the 4K HuddleCamHD Pro can be used with UVC or virtual PTZ options inside of vMix very effectively.
Digital PTZ controls
Finally, vMix features virtual PTZ options. High resolution cameras like the HuddleCamHD Pro allow you to digital zoom in using 720p or 1080p productions without loss of quality. You can also use cameras with 4K Blackmagic capture cards to bring the video into vMix and operate with digital PTZ controls.
Once this input is inside of vMix, in the settings window, in the PTZ tab, you can select Virtual PTZ and choose a Zoom Limit. Once you press connect you can now operate the digital pan, tilt and zoom inside of vMix with the set Zoom Limit. You can set presets and operate the input like a real PTZ camera.
Pro Tip: Try the merge function between two digital presets. It almost looks like a real PTZ camera! Digital PTZ controls can be added to almost any input.
Start Learning vMix
- What is vMix. Learn here
- Getting Started with the vMix interface here
- Learn how to work with vMix inputs here
- Mixing Inputs Together with vMix Multiview here
- Learn about vMix titles here
- Learn how to mix Audio in vMix
- Learn how to use VST3 audio plugins with vMix here
- Learn all about vMix settings here
- Learn about how to use vMix Full Screen and Multiview here
- Learn how to record video with vMix here
- Learn how to live stream with vMix here
- Learn how to use vMix video overlay channels here
- Learn how to make Stinger Transitions in vMix here
- Learn how to use social media comments in your live stream with vMix Social here
- Learn how to use vMix shortcuts here
- Learn how to use GT Title Editor to make custom vMix titles here
- How to use vMix Call to bring guests in your live stream here
- How to control vMix remotely with the web controller here
- How to use vMix color correction tools here
- How to use virtual sets with vMix here
- How to use NDI with vMix here
- How to control PTZ cameras in vMix here
- Learn how to connect vMix with Zoom using the virtual webcam output here
- Learn how to use automated playlists with vMix here
- Learn how to use data sources with vMix here
- Learn how to use vMix triggers here