The seven most intriguing things about OBSKUR, the first streaming app powered by Unreal Engine 5
By Dave Tach, Contributor
Its developers think so, and they’ve designed the OBSKUR app to simplify streaming, create and enable the purchase of virtual environments, bring VTuber avatars to life, and make high-quality broadcasting easier and more powerful. This is all thanks in no small part to UE5. The platform's promise: get broadcasters and VTubers building cool things and interacting with their audiences faster, with no professional studios or motion capture suits required.
Here are seven things that impressed us about OBSKUR.
A one-stop shop
Streaming without OBSKUR can be complicated. OBSKUR can simplify that for you.
Instead of daisy-chaining multiple apps for video, audio, and even avatar creation and animation, OBSKUR simplifies streaming by combining the power of many apps into one. You can create an environment using Unreal Engine 5-powered tools and put yourself or your avatar inside of it. You can also broadcast, moderate, interact with your audience, monitor engagement, and make money without ever leaving a single piece of software.
OBSKUR's approach is to keep things as straightforward at possible, with the view that streamers have more time to do the things they actually enjoy when they don't have to fiddle with so much software. They can do what they're really here to do: stream and entertain on platforms like Twitch, thanks in part OBSKUR’s Twitch extension.
The power of Unreal Engine 5 built-in
OBSKUR is the first broadcast software built to harness Unreal Engine 5 natively. That gets you Epic’s real-time 3D content creation engine running today, and it delivers next-generation applications.
OBSKUR’s 3D scene creator makes it simple for you to build and save dynamic environments, and with Unreal Engine 5 under the hood, everything you create gets industry-leading rendering, real-time lighting, and animations. It’s as easy to put yourself next to a giant banana—which is free to download in the marketplace, by the way—inside your virtual office as it is to put yourself on the (virtual) moon.
And you don’t need to be a programmer to take advantage of UE5’s lighting or interactive physics in the same way that you don't have to be a 3D artist to sit inside a virtual room or use audience interactions or environments. OBSKUR’s built-in asset marketplace can take care of that for you.
OBSKUR’s marketplace makes it easy to download virtual environments—some for free, and some for a price—like the free Gamer Room Environment. (You can purchase paid assets with VRT Coins, which are available through in-app purchases.) Or, from inside OBSKUR’s Environments tab, you can curate and lay out a virtual world of your own design.
You can, for example, download the free Gamer Room and combine it with the free Basic Fireworks Interaction. Everything you download lives in your OBSKUR inventory, ready to use when you go live or press record.
OBSKUR scales, too. If 3D environments aren’t your thing, you’re also free to use 2D environments.
Simply setting scenes
Whether you’re presenting as yourself or streaming as a VTuber avatar, OBSKUR aims to simplify the process in an environment familiar to experienced streamers.
The ability to create scenes with Unreal Engine 5 rendering is great, but OBSKUR also makes compositing those scenes rather simple with its scene-building interface. The final product is all about nested scenes, and in just minutes you can create everything you need.
- The Alert Scene is where your stream and browser alerts hang out.
- The Camera Scene holds your webcam video or VTuber model.
- The Capture Scene is the home of your games, windows, and anything you want to react to and share with your audience live.
- The Game/Browse Scene puts it all together, combining the Alert, Capture, and Camera Scenes.
Motion capture, in your preferred flavor
As a platform, OBSKUR has two parts. Until now, we’ve talked about the streaming application available for free in the Epic Games Store. The other part is the Mocap Box. Created by OBSKUR’s sister company, Xsens, it’s filled with motion tracking hardware that brings VTubers’ virtual creations to life.
The company behind OBSKUR, Movella (f.k.a. mCube), has spent more than a decade turning analog movement to digital with a combination of hardware, software, and analytics. You may have seen the product of its works with companies like Electronic Arts, NBC Universal, Netflix, Daimler, Siemens, and hundreds of sports teams. OBSKUR puts that technology in and around the PC at your home.
But VTubers don’t have to use the Mocap Box to animate their avatars. According to the official FAQ, OBSKUR is “planning to be hardware agnostic, so you can track yourself with just an iPhone, VIVE Trackers, Leap Motion, MVN Link Suit, or our own OBSKUR mocap gear.”
And if you’re an existing VTuber whose assets live somewhere else, OBSKUR can import your existing models.
So you’ve got your scene set, and you’ve got your avatar. Next up is OBSKUR’s Characters tab, where you can input your models or even just play around with the default character. To add them to a scene, all you have to do is add a Character Source directly to your scene or to an environment you’ve already created. The latter’s as easy as dragging and dropping your character in.
Making money together
If the app is free, then how does OBSKUR make money? It does so in two ways. One is the marketplace, which we wrote about above. The other is its Twitch Widget, which splits revenue with the developer. Streamers “set the interaction prices (even free) and have a revenue split of 80/20 in favor of the streamer,” according to the official FAQ.
If OBSKUR sounds as interesting to you as it does to us, you can download OBSKUR for free on the Epic Games Store and kick the virtual tires. Or maybe you can create some virtual tires, throw them in a virtual gaming room, light them up real nice, and tell the world about it live on Twitch.