Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

Modified on Mon, 29 Jan 2024 at 10:38 AM

Are you working in a shared space right now? For most of us, our transition to at home work and learning has been a big learning curve! We all have unique living situations and have been confined within spaces that we haven't considered work spaces in the past. One way to help with the added stresses and challenges of virtual environments is the use of virtual backgrounds.

Virtual backgrounds can bring your virtual meetings up to the next level. Having your camera on, being well lit and using a background feature will turn up the value and formality of any meeting, large or small!

Background Images VS Background Videos

ImagesBackground images transform the space around and behind you during a meeting. These can be any of the default pictures from Zoom, a picture of your own and now if you have V-5.5 or above you can blur your background. There are also Lesley backgrounds that can be downloaded from Lesley's Virtual Meeting Backgrounds website!

Here I am in our very own Marran Theater!

Video Filters- These are mainly for more fun uses than practical. The most important of the bunch of them are in the top row that can be seen below. These alter your image in terms of warmth, saturation and color temperatures. This is the same background as above, but with an added filter.

Now that you know what they are, let's show you how to use them!

How To-

  1. Sign in to the Zoom desktop client.
  2. Click your profile picture, then click Settings.
  3. Select Virtual Background.
    Note: If you do not have the Virtual Background tab and you have enabled it on the web portal, sign out of the Zoom Desktop Client and sign in again.
  4. Check I have a green screen if you have a physical green screen set up. You can then click on your video to select the correct color for the green screen.
  5. Click on an image to select the desired virtual background or add your own image by clicking and choosing if you want to upload an image or a video.
    If prompted, click Download to download the package for virtual background without a green screen.
    • Ensure that you are using a solid background color.
    • After you select an option, that virtual background will display during your meetings.
    • To disable Virtual Background, choose the option None.

Here is a list of system requirements to use virtual backgrounds

Using Avatars in Meetings and Webinars

Avatars enable you to replace your appearance with a 3D virtual avatar that mirrors your head movements and facial expressions. Avatars are easy and a fun entertaining way to engage with your attendees. Avatars are great for those who do not feel comfortable in front of the camera but would still like to leverage the power of body language and facial expression. 

Keep in mind when this feature is enabled during a meeting, Zoom's technology uses your device's camera to detect where a face is on the screen and apply the selected Avatar effect. This feature does not use facial recognition, which means that it does not identify who you are. So while the Avatars feature can tell what is or is not a face, it does not recognize or distinguish between individual faces. 

Apply an Avatar to your video

To change your video appearance to an Avatar:

  1. Start or join a meeting (or webinar).
  2. Next to the Start Video Stop Video  button, click the  button and then select either Choose Virtual Background… or Choose Video Filter….
  3. Click the Avatars tab.
  4. Click on the avatar you want to apply.
    Note: Each animal option includes a version wearing a hoodie and a version wearing a T-shirt.

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