Podplayastrator (A How-to)

I’m documenting how I did the “podplayastrator” (a telestrator for OBS) because, if I may toot my own horn, I think it’s kinda clever. You can see it in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8Sm-XPuazg

Anyway, one day my bestest buddy in the whole wide world, Diaper Chris, and I were talking on the gchat, as we have so often before. We were discussing the speedrunning community, as we have so often before. He lamented the lack of innovation, and offhandedly suggested that speedrunners use a telestrator. I laughed a lot at the idea, which meant that we had to implement it for ourselves.

I googled around and found very little on the topic. There was one video that suggested using MSPaint as an overlay in OBS. This is nice, but it would take the focus away from the Genesis emulator we were using, and wouldn’t work. But it was inspirational.

I’ll spare you the details of the other solutions I tried before arriving at what you see in our final product.

I downloaded a free program called “NetPen” (http://rainbowsedge.net/software/netpen/). NetPen is basically a whiteboard that allows for sharing on the network. I used my laptop as a method for drawing crap on the server, which updated on the client running OBS. There might be better utilities out there (especially since this runs in gross Java), but this is what I did.

Open up NetPen. At the top, hit “Connection”, then “Host or Connect”. It’ll yammer about email, hit “No”. You’ll need to figure out what’s most sensible for what machine is a host or client. I picked my laptop as the host to alleviate an admittedly small load on my streaming pc, but I doubt it’s much a difference.


You’ll want to check “Hosting”, then “Start”. Then, on your client, do the same steps except don’t check “Hosting”. Enter in your server’s IP address to connect to in the “Host Name” tab.


Next, we’ll add an overlay to OBS. I should note here that you probably need Aero running on Windows so the screen will update even when the program is minimized. Or you need to have it non-minimized behind a window. I dunno, Windows is so “cray” (crazy).

I’ll assume you’ve used OBS before. It drives me nuts when a tutorial assumes you’ve never done anything in a program before when you’re clearly trying to learn a more “advanced” feature than “how do I do anything at all”. Right click on your “Source” in your scene, add a new Window Capture source. You’re going to want to check “Sub-region” and select a region of the window that doesn’t include the interface. Also, hide your mouse cursor. Select “use color key” so it’ll be transparent. Blend to 10, similarity 20. Experiment with these if you want.


This is really about it. You’ll need to play around with scaling. I would recommend a nice program called “Sizer” (http://www.brianapps.net/sizer/) to save/load window sizes so you can close out NetPen, reopen it and select the correct aspect ratio for your screen.