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iChat: Use Video Special Effects and Backdrops

Since the 4.0 version of iChat that shipped with Leopard OS X, users have had the ability to do real time special effects while participating in a video chat. This tech-recipes tutorial will walk you through how to use these new video effects and backgrounds.

Communicating with iChat is a blast and many mac users use it frequently for both business and pleasure. Modern versions of iChat (including the version that ships with Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Lion) have the ability to use backdrops and real time special effects during video chat. This makes chatting much more entertaining and creative.

1. Open iChat
2. Click Video menu and then Video Preview. This will allow you to try out the video effects to see which ones you like.
3. Click the Video menu again and select the Show Video Effects option
4. Experment with the different settings and see which ones you like.

If you don’t understand the ones on the last couple of pages, select one and then move around. If the lighting is correct, you’ll have a cool Max Headroom kind of affect. If the lighting sucks, it won’t work well. Front lighting against a dark background works the best.

5. If you want to use your own backdrop, just drag and drop a media file into one of the User Backdrop slots.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.


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