Complete beginner needs Blackmagic advice

  • I have a new pc latop (Dell Precision 7550, i7 processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000) for work. I am working through the Isadora tutorials on YouTube. I am on video capture. I see an input choice of Windows or Blackmagic. I tried looking up BM to better understand it. I downloaded it, but can't get an image out of my usb 2 webcam. From what I read, I understand I need to go through the lightning port (convert it). Is Blackmagic worth this trouble? I still couldn't see my camera using windows. The caveat being I'm only using the demo version of Isadora as I learn. I have noticed it dumps me out. Any help setting this up would be appreciated.

  • @rhyamamoto Hi, good question. You usually only use Blackmagic in case BM hardware is connected, like mini recorder or suchlike, i.e. a Blackmagic capture device in one form or another. A USB webcam is not a Blackmagic device so I wouldn’t go that route. 

    Is the camera recognized by other software? Like Skype or suchlike, or is another application running that utilizes the webcam? That could be the reason Isadora can’t access it

    Hope this helps you to get started. 

  • @rhyamamoto said:

    Dell Precision 7550, i7 processor, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000

     Several of us on here would be curious to know if, in the bios of this machine, you can disable the inbuilt Intel GPU and just use the Quadro Card for all GPU processing...


    Mark (not that Mark)

  • @rhyamamoto Thank you for the help. I can see my camera in Zoom and Teams plugged in normally through it's USB port. Neither of those is running when I'm trying these tutorials. Good to know about Blackmagic. I just don't know what I need. Here's what I'm working towards. This past semester I've been creating digital theatre using OBS and Zoom. I am inspired by Jared's work and am trying to get a handle on Isadora now that I have a more substantial machine to work on. There are way too many "how to's" on how to set things up and what 3rd party softwares to use. Baby steps.


  • @mark_m Ah, Mark. This would imply that I have a clue about what you wrote. I'm inclined to say "no" because it is a work machine, and I don't have admin rights to do many things. I am talking with the school ITS person today. I'll ask. What would this do for me? Again, as the previous post, thank you for the help.


  • @rhyamamoto

    Hi Ruth,

    Many higher-end Windows laptops, like yours, have two graphics processors (GPUs) in them. One 'discrete' - in your case the Quadro RTX3000 - and one that is part of the Intel i7 processor itself. The Quadro is much, much more powerful than the one which is part of the i7 processor.

    Many effects in Isadora rely heavily on the graphics processor, so clearly one wants to use the more powerful of the two available on a machine like yours (and mine, for that matter). However, it has proved really difficult with some laptops to choose which GPU to use for all of Isadora's needs. So often the easiest way to do that is to turn off the Intel GPU entirely so that everything runs on the discrete, powerful, GPU. The Quadro in your case. Some laptops offer the option to turn off the Intel GPU in the BIOS. BIOS stands for Built In Operating System, and that's the little programme that runs on the machine when you start it up, just before it starts to load Windows. Your school ITS person will be able to figure out if it's possible to do this.

    What it would do for you would be to allow you to use your machine in the best possible way for Isadora. It's a pretty powerful beast you have, and will function fine as it is, but if you wanted to start using multiple projectors, and lots of effects, then you'd want to utilise the Quadro GPU as much as possible.

  • @rhyamamoto

    Is it just an ordinary USB 2 webcam that you have? And it works fine in Zoom etc etc? If so, then Isadora should be able to use it OK.

    This is a good tutorial that tells you how to set it up. The bit you need is from about 7 minutes in.

    All of Monty's tutorials are good: I'd recommend watching the entire series if you haven't already.

  • @mark_m


    Yes, these are exactly the tutorials I've been watching and playing with. #8 is where I got to when I couldn't get things to work right for me. I'll keep trying. I understand more about the GPU too now. Thank you for that.