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AlterCam review

Download.com staff

AlterCam adds all kinds of borders, overlays, and effects to your webcam feed, including cool new animated effects. It can distribute your webcam feed to as many programs as you like without error messages or conflicts. AlterCam works with your other video capture devices and feeds, too, and it even records desktop video. Updates in Version 1.8 include animated GIF compatibility, new animated overlays, and three "experimental" functions.

Pros

Driverless: AlterCam doesn't replace your webcam's drivers or add its own since it doesn't have any, so there's no rebooting, resetting, or driver conflicts.

Experimental features: The Tricks tab offers three beta features: Transparency by Color, ChromaKey, and Transparency by Background.

Previews: We could preview effects in before-and-after views that also let us change colors and set effects thresholds.

Animated overlays: Penguins, frogs, Santas, and more can add motion and activity to static feeds, or just make ordinary feeds more fun.

Cons

Bells and whistles: Webcam enhancements are fun but can get out of hand, and programs like AlterCam sometimes make it too easy to "overfeed" your feeds with resource-gobbling animations.

Beta bugs: The experimental features were occasionally difficult to turn off or reset, and some seemed to cause the program to balk, especially in previews.

Bottom Line

AlterCam is easy to use and has a nice mix of fun resources and effects. Freeware with similar capabilities is available, but you can try AlterCam before committing.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of AlterCam 2.0 build 110.

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