TLDR: I made an app, VDCAssistant-Killer, to restart the process that manages the Facetime camera on your Mac.
Anyone who uses a Cinema Display with their Macbook has undoubtedly noticed that occasionally the Cinema Display Facetime camera will not be available for use in Hangouts/Zoom/Facetime call. The only fix was to restart the machine which usually made me late (and is a terrible solution in 2017).
Since I'm on video calls quite a bit this quickly started to drive me batty. I jumped into a google deep dive and found out the culprit was the process that manages the Facetime cameras on a Mac, VDCAssistant.
Ever have your Cinema Display Facetime camera stop working?— Adam Simpson (@a_simpson) November 8, 2016
sudo killall VDCAssistantshould get it back 😓
This command worked fine for anyone comfortable with the command line, but what about folks who would rather have a GUI to do this? So I made VDCAssistant-Killer a menubar app that executes the exact shell command to restart the VDCAssistant process for you. You shouldn't have to restart the computer or even the video call program, the assistant should automatically restart and make all connected cameras available to you immediately.
A few other notes: