Webcam Effects That You Can Use on Skype
By Monica Dillon
While Skype has many features available to users, it's limited in its ability to add special effects to a user's webcam. Adding webcam effects is just one of the many ways users can entertain each other and spice up their Skype chats. Both the Mac and PC versions of Skype let users add webcam effects via third-party software.
While external webcam effects exist for both Mac and PC users, webcam makers Microsoft and Logitech both include their own effects software with select premium webcams. Microsoft's LifeCam PC software comes with the LifeCam Studio, Cinema and HD-3000 webcams and Logitech's C920 and C310 cameras offer effects for PC users. LifeCam features 3D images, filters, pan, zoom and foreground animation effects. Logitech's webcam effects include video masks, avatars and face accessories. Both Microsoft's and Logitech's webcams range from $40 to $100 as of July 2013.
CyberLink's YouCam is a Windows-based program that offers lots of avatar effects, 3D objects, emoticons and headgear gadgets. With software options for business Webcam presentations and personal use, YouCam users can select from a range of licensing options and activate YouCam in Skype's Preferences section by making it the default webcam. The Standard edition of YouCam 5 costs $35 as of July 2013. CyberLink offers four versions of the software ranging from $25 to $45 as of July 2013.
CoolwareMax's WebcamMax webcam effects is a popular PC program that offers a wide selection of backgrounds, filters, distortions and 3D animations. Additionally, WebcamMax offers screen doodling, picture-in-picture displays and external media playing. Select WebcamMax in Skype's Preferences section to activate the effects. As of July 2013, CoolwareMax offers a free version of WebcamMax with limited features and licensed versions ranging from $20 to $50.
While the PC and Mac program ManyCam's claim to fame is allowing a user to share his webcam in multiple programs at one time, it also offers several webcam effects for programs like Skype. Raindrops, afro hair, hipster glasses, sepia tone and old photo paper are among the most popular effects available to download the ManyCam site. Limited only by the imagination, ManyCam lets users upload and submit their own webcam effects to the community. Mac users can download the free ManyCam utility with limited effects, but ManyCam Pro and all pro effects cost $50 as of July 2013.
Ecamm's iGlasses 3 is Mac-compatible software that allows users to control and add effect to their webcam. The program appears as an additional camera selectable in Skype's Preferences section. iGlasses 3 boasts more than 50 effects including image manipulation, neon and comic book effects, and the ability to crop and zoom the webcam image. In addition to camera effects, iGlasses also lets users adjust their camera's brightness, color and contrast. As of July 2013, a registered license for iGlasses costs $20 and a free 7-day trial of the software is available.
Information in this article applies to Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP and Mac OS X 10.6 or newer.
Monica Dillon has more than 10 years experience in real estate sales, marketing, investing and appraising. She specializes in energy efficiency building practices and renewable energy. Dillon has been syndicated by the National Newspaper Publisher's Association. Her work has also appeared in the "Journal Of Progressive Human Services."