We’re stuck at home, so we may as well fake the location.
Millions of folk the world over are adjusting to a new life of remote working. It’s pretty obvious that a huge winner in the SaaS space is web conferencing tool Zoom.
Yes. Alternative software like Google Hangouts, Skype and Microsoft Teams does exist, but the ability to create a virtual background in Zoom is delighting a lot of folks. Why face the prospect of cleaning up the spare room or hiding piles of dishes and washing when you can fake your location entirely?
Teams and Skype both offer a “blur background” feature which could do the trick, but that’s nowhere near as cool as some of the below options.
How do I get a custom virtual background in Zoom?
First of all, you need to ensure your PC or Mac are running up-to-date versions of 4.6 or higher of the Zoom Desktop Client. You might need to update your Mac or PC OS.
There are a few things Zoom suggests to get the best virtual background experience. These are:
- Use a solid colour background, preferably green. Who has green painted walls at home though?
- Use uniform lighting and colour, wallpaper and patterned clothing aren’t recommended.
- Do not wear clothing that is the same colour as the virtual background.
- Use a background image with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a minimum resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels.
- Or; A video (MP4 or MOV file) with a minimum resolution of 480 by 360 pixels (360p) and a maximum resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels (1080p).
- For all the info on how to utilise this feature head to this handy support document.
There are some great online (and free!) resources you can use to create your own unique virtual background for Zoom, such as the Adobe Express virtual background maker and Canva’s virtual background templates.
Or, you can upload video and gif loops. There have been reports of hilarious people looping videos to fake attending meetings. However, a great background image chews up way less data and bandwidth (definitely an issue here in Australia).
These are some of our favourite nerdy versions readily created and available to you…
Captain The Starship Enterprise
A swathe of awesome Star Trek backgrounds have been uploaded to twitter for your use from the original series to Picard. Engage!
Play Dejarik on the Millenium Falcon
Sure you could also fly the falcon from the cockpit but you wouldn’t hold a zoom meeting from there, would you?
Be a Maverick (or a Goose)
Paramount has released a series of Top Gun virtual backgrounds that put you right in the cockpit. They actually look pretty convincing (as modelled by our Product Manager Rich, above)
Re-create an awkward BBC moment
TBH you can probably re-create this one in real life if you’re also working from home with kids. Our Founder Alan had the team crack-up when we realised what it was.
Grab the original image here:
Run for office in Pawnee
Parks and Recreation fans rejoiced when they could step into the offices of Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson. We just wonder if Covid-19 would be solved with Leslie at the helm?
Host an interview with The Office
Are you a Michael, a Jim or a Pam? This one might take people a little time to get, but when they realise it’s totally worth it.
Go into an isolation Odyssey
We’re already physically distancing and isolating where possible right? Take it to level 2000 with the set of 2001 A Space Odyssey.
This is fine
Channel how many of us are feeling with this relatable cry-laugh worthy background. Probably the most popular one we’ve seen on twitter and one of the best.
Runaway to Springfield
Fox have jumped on the trend and given us a bunch of Simpson’s backgrounds to choose from. Laze on the couch or have a Duff at Moe’s… or both?
Blue Screen of Death
It’s bleak. And relatable.
Bonus: BugHerd your Background
Our amazing artist Sher Rill Ng creates the most dreamy illustrative works. You’re welcome to use them for your own virtual backgrounds. We welcome the positivity and light <3