With so many small business owners and their employees currently working from home, many are using video chat services like Skype and Zoom to stay in touch. Many of these users may want to hide their boring or messy homes or offices when they’re on calls. So there’s an increased demand for virtual backgrounds.
On Skype, you can change the color or blur your background directly within the Skype for Business app. But Zoom allows you to add custom background images or videos, leaving more room for customization. This feature works best for those with a green screen and consistent lighting, since that allows Zoom to easily detect the difference between the user and background.
There are no size restrictions on these virtual backgrounds. So you can use nearly any visual you’d like. However Zoom does recommend cropping or choosing images that match the aspect ratio of your computer’s camera. So standard images of 1280 pixels by 720 px or 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels often work well.
Sources of Virtual Backgrounds
If you want to add Zoom virtual background images to your video chats, here are some of the top places where you can find options online.
In the Zoom App
If you’re not picky about the backgrounds you use, there are a preloaded set of background images available directly within the Zoom app. These include cityscape, space scenes, and basic office images. To access this part of the app, go to your settings and then find the virtual backgrounds tab to choose the option that you want for your meeting.
Zoom Virtual Backgrounds
This site offers more than 200 images and videos that are made specifically for this purpose. Some of the videos even include subtle movements like cars driving by the windows or coworkers walking by so you can mimic the look of a real workspace. You can browse through the selection to find specific options that fit your needs or even purchase the entire bundle so you have them on your computer whenever you want to upload a new background.
Shutterstock is a stock photo platform with millions of royalty-free images available for use in Zoom virtual background images. You can browse images with that specific tag or search for another keyword that fits your needs. The site includes pretty much everything from basic office photos to vectors. But you’ll need a subscription to download.
Adobe Spark offers an array of Zoom background images that users can download or even customize within the app. Each one starts out as a template that you can add text or other graphics to. Some of them even offer a bit of humor like a customizable “Employee of the Month” frame.
If you’re looking for free virtual backgrounds, Pexels is a stock photo site that includes a huge variety of images. You don’t need an account or membership to access images. And you can find photos of all styles and aspect ratios. However, some may need to be cropped in order to fit the camera on your computer.
Unsplash is a free stock photo site that allows you to easily download a huge variety of images that you can use or customize for your meetings. The site’s Zoom background section is full of office related images that fit the aspect ratios of most standard cameras.
The Points Guy
For those who love to travel, the Zoom backgrounds offered by The Points Guy may be right up your alley. Many of these images are based in airports, lounges, or popular destinations that many people aren’t visiting these days. And they’re all available in a Google Drive folder for free.
If you’re looking for some funny or unique images to lighten up your virtual meetings, Pocket-Lint has a variety of photos from popular shows, movies, games, and even memes that are sure to get a laugh. These free virtual backgrounds are easy to download to your computer and then save on Zoom so you can add a bit of your favorite pop culture elements to your workday.
Make Your Own
If you have a really specific vision for your virtual backgrounds for video calls, you can always design your own. Use your photo editing app of choice to create an image in your desired aspect ratio, then add the graphics or text that you want to display in your meeting. Programs like Canva even offer templates to help you get started quickly. This can help you gather some inspiration but still give you the freedom to customize your desired background.
Your Camera Roll
You don’t have to download virtual backgrounds for video from online platforms or separate websites to customize your Zoom meetings. You can upload pretty much any image from your computer to use for this purpose. So if you want to add personal photos from a recent vacation or maybe even a picture of your dog, you can simply take your own pictures and then add them in the Zoom app.
More in: Coronavirus Biz Advice