I attempted to scare my friends on April Fool’s Day by creating an “apparition” of myself on Skype. As I was video chatting to my friends, I played a prerecorded video of myself walking in front of the computer and staring at my “live” self. I also affected my voice to make it extra frightening! The people I was talking to on Skype thought that what they were seeing was innocent live input from my webcam. As I lured them into nonchalant conversation, I triggered the effect!

I used a combination of Max/MSP/Jitter, Soundflower, CamTwist, Photo Booth and obviously Skype.

This video has no sound to avoid embarrassing myself and the person I’m talking to.

Skype Prank Call using Max/MSP/Jitter from Andrew Spitz on Vimeo.

the process

I placed the computer on surface where I was sure it wouldn’t move.

Using Photo Booth, I made a video of myself walking past the camera.

I made a Max/MSP/Jitter patch that plays the video that I just shot while combining live input from my webcam. The video of myself walking past has got a “slide_up” setting and a little bit of transparency to make it a bit more ghostly.

In the same patch, I also pitch shifted down my voice 4 semi-tones, this is triggered at the same time as ‘my ghost’ walks past. I used [gizmo~] for that. To route the audio to Skype, I used Soundflower as the audio driver.

CamTwist allows me to route video from my desktop to Skype, so that it thinks that my desktop is the webcam. With ‘Desktop’ selected on CamTwist, I capture only the area of [jit.pwindow] where the final composite of the video I want to be shown in Skype is.

In Skype I set up CamTwist as the Webcam input and Soundflower for the audio.

And that’s it.

3 Responses to “Skype Fools Day { sound + hack }”  

  1. 1 angel

    it is a great effect, and a great joke, I am starting with Max will you be able to share the Max patch to see how did you make it.

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