At home, my video would always show a silhouette in G+ and Skype, and I always thought that this was because the lighting at home was not sufficient. At office, the video was decent. But, moving to sit right under the light also didn’t help much.

Struggling with a bunch of tools like v4lctl, guvcview didn’t help. But, during these struggles I noticed that cheese would show me bright and cheerful, while all the other programs showed my silhouette.

I set out to “fake” the output of cheese as a video device that skype and other programs could use. But, I didn’t have to go all the way. I ended up using v4l2loopback to create a loopback video device, and just using gst-launch to redirect video to that device, did the trick! Thanks gstreamer! Thanks v4l2loopback! :)

Here’s a convenient script to use it every time I need it.