Given the proliferation of remote workers and video conferencing tools that can save companies of all sizes, it is not surprising that more than 78% of companies communicate via video calls.
These tools make real-time, face-to-face communication and team collaboration possible, but yes, they have also led to an increase in the number and duration of weekly meetings.
However, since 70% of team members are multitasking during the meeting, you need to make every effort to keep the participants in the video conference interacting with the material being presented and with each other.
Making meetings more entertaining and personal is a good way to achieve this goal, especially when using Zoom, one of the most popular web conferencing tools.
Zoom provides a variety of virtual backgrounds and filters. These virtual backgrounds and filters can not only make the meeting lively and lively, but also make the participants more private.
Read on to learn more about these backgrounds, their benefits, and the “zoom” virtual background option at the top of the next meeting.
What are the Zoom Meeting backgrounds and why should I use them?
The zoom background is a free image/photo uploaded by the user to their real-time video stream of the meeting to avoid showing their “real” background to everyone in the meeting, such as an office.
Users can choose their own personal background, or the host can enable the same virtual background for all meeting participants. You can choose from pre-loaded free Zoom backgrounds, or users can upload their own images to use.
Some videos can also be used as backgrounds, as long as they are in MP4 or MOV file format and have a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.
You can use the background in Zoom meetings, web seminars, and Zoom Room. All zoom backgrounds (including the new “immersive view”) are available in paid and free zoom plans.
Why use the meeting background?
Using a virtual meeting background brings many benefits to both the meeting host and attendees.
First of all, these backgrounds provide excellent branding opportunities, especially for webinars or meetings with customers and investors.
A custom meeting background with a company logo can not only add a sense of professionalism in a remote environment, but also help increase your overall brand awareness. 75% of people say that a logo is the best brand identity, while the rest use the company’s colors and overall visual style as an effective way to remember the brand.
A custom background allows you to put all three identifiers in one place.
In addition, the background provides a higher degree of privacy for everyone in the call. You may have family photos, sensitive business documents, or anything that makes the location of your house or workplace easily identifiable. If you are attending or hosting a public meeting, you must be vigilant.
Also, especially since there are many people working remotely now, your home office (or kitchen or living room) may not be as neat and tidy as you would like. The last thing you want your boss or client to see is scattered spaces, dirty dishes, or even one of your children running around behind you (such as this famous video)
Using a virtual background can hide all the ugly things, and allows you to share photos or even videos of your favorite things, thereby sparking conversations and encouraging team building without any real effort.
Best zoom background
Not sure where to start when determining the correct zoom background for a meeting, conference or webinar?
The following virtual backgrounds are some of Zoom’s most popular options.
Scale default background
When you follow the steps to enable the background (more on that later), you will notice that Zoom has 3 default photo background options and 2 default video background options.
These photo options include the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, super close-up shots of grass blades, and views of the Earth from space. Video options include calm beach scenes and palm trees fluttering in the wind or a meditative northern lights background.
Click here to view other conference backgrounds available on the Zoom website.
If you don’t like any of the default options provided by Zoom, that’s good news: almost all photos (and some videos) can be used as background images.
This means you can upload a photo to make it look like you are in Paris, in the middle of a theme park, on a field or stadium, or in a luxurious high-rise building.
You can use your own photos or visit sites such as Unsplash or Pexels to download free stock images to use as background templates.
In fact, some of your favorite brands and TV shows (Disney, Fox, CBS, Pixar, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Stricker Creek, The Simpsons, Parks and Entertainment 》) You can make stunning virtual background images, which you can download and use for free. Examples of this include backgrounds from Hallmark Channel, West Elm and even Airbnb.
Slideshow sharing background
In the past, you could give PowerPoint and KeyNote presentations in standard Zoom meetings, but doing so meant that users would not be able to see the speaker clearly or at all.
Now, Zoom allows hosts and attendees to use slides as virtual backgrounds, while placing a clear video stream of the presenter at the bottom of the screen.
This is particularly useful for teachers and Zoom for Educator users who need to look for an attractive distance learning program, while ensuring that students can easily view course materials to take notes.
A more complete guide to sharing a presentation as a background is available on the Zoom support website.
Technically speaking, from March 2021, Zoom is no longer a virtual background, but now it provides users with the ability to completely blur their background.
This means that there will be a completely blurred light gray background behind you, and no one can tell you where you are calling from or how much chaos is behind you.
New zoom and immersive view
Zoom’s background option “Immersive View”, which will be launched in April 2021, allows up to 25 participants to “meet” in a virtual meeting room and display all participants at the same time in a surreal environment.
The host can choose from the immersive view of the auditorium, the board meeting room setting or the standard office meeting room. Think of it as an upgraded gallery view, which also allows the host to resize and individually place the video stream of the attendees.
Please note that if your video conference has more than 25 participants, the rest of the video stream will be displayed in the gallery view bar at the bottom of the screen.
How to change the zoom background
In order to enable and change the background in Zoom, first, log in to the Zoom web portal.
On the left side of the page, click the “Settings” option, scroll to “Meeting (Advanced)”, and then slide the gray bar showing the “Virtual Background” to make it blue.
You can check the “Allow video in virtual background” box, but please note that this feature is only available on Mac OS 10.9 and higher or Windows 7 and higher.
You will be able to see the available “zoom” photo and video backgrounds, and you can click the blue link “Manage Virtual Backgrounds” to upload your own images or videos via drag and drop tools.
Next, log in to the Zoom desktop app, click the “Settings” tab, and select “Backgrounds and Filters.”
Here, you will be able to view all custom backgrounds as well as the accompanying “zoomed” photo and video backgrounds. Click the image/video you want to use.
At the bottom of the screen, you will see a box labeled “I have a green screen.” If your screen is green, make sure the box is checked, if not, uncheck the box. If there is no green screen in your space, Zoom will automatically detect the end of your face and the beginning of the background. You will also notice a checkbox that says “Mirror my video”. You can check or uncheck the checkbox according to your preferences. You can also choose to click a box to apply your background preferences to all future meetings.
Note that you can also upload new custom images or videos in the “Zoom” app.
After making your selection, click “Close” and join the meeting with the new background.
Zoom also has an excellent video guide on how to enable and change the background on its website.
What is a zoom filter?
If you really want to take the background to a new level, you can add a filter to the video stream (or use a filter without a custom background).
The basic filters include some subtle lighting change options, a view of the viewer centered on the video stream, and even an old-fashioned TV that “broadcasts” your stream.
More entertaining options include masks that can be worn on the face, sunglasses, hats and animal ears. Although not always appropriate, for easier video conferencing or even virtual office happy hours, these filters may add some fun.
However, as long as you make sure to clear future conference filters, you won’t impersonate yourself like this notorious lawyer, he found himself appearing like a cat in front of the judge in the virtual court!
Zoom recently released a Beta version of Studio effect filters. This allows users to upgrade the shape and color of their eyebrows, improve beards and beards, and even add some lipstick-kind of like those Instagram “photo enhancements” that we all claim not to use.
Since Studio Effects is still in beta, users can send feedback to Zoom.
Best practices for scaling backgrounds
To ensure that the virtual background (for Zoom and Zoom alternatives) is of the best quality, there are several best practices to follow.
First, invest in video conferencing webcams with top-notch features that have autofocus, high frame rates per second, and high-definition video in high and low light.
To ensure that the image you choose fits your screen perfectly, make sure you know the aspect ratio of the built-in camera or external webcam. This prevents part of the image from being cut off and presents a less blurred version.
Next, focus on the most important thing-lighting.
Unfortunately, until it looks correct, this is something you must try. For best results, buy a vertical ring light or desk lamp with adjustable color tone and brightness. If the light is too dark, part of the background image will be cut off, if the light is too bright, the face will be washed off.
If possible, sit in an area with a solid background, even before the green screen.
In terms of background and hair color (and even the color of clothes), achieve high contrast. If your furniture keeps popping out in the background, try to cover it with another colored towel to make it disappear forever.
Although complex, colorful backgrounds are interesting, they can also be distracting. It is best to aim for a clean and concise background with no more than 3-4 colors.
What other video conferencing tools provide virtual backgrounds?
Zoom is far from the only video calling tool that allows users to customize the meeting background.
Video communication solutions that also provide virtual backgrounds include:
Please note that although other platforms (such as GoToMeeting) do not have native virtual background capabilities, they provide application integration that makes this possible.
In addition to the virtual background, the above video conferencing software also provides excellent functions, such as group discussion rooms, advanced meeting recording, file sharing, screen sharing, etc.