Many of us are spending a lot of time in Zoom meetings this days (apologies to those primarily using Teams, Webex, etc). Over the past year (heck, the last 6 months), they’ve add A LOT of features to improve virtual meetings. Recently, they’ve really expanded their video settings and new Studio Effects, which can add some fun and flavor to your virtual meetings.
What are Zoom Video Settings?
If you click on the Video icon in the lower left hand corner, you’ll see a few new-ish options.
- Choose Virtual Background
- Choose Video Filters
We’re beyond familiar by now with Virtual Backgrounds, right? If you aren’t, let’s discuss!
What are Virtual Backgrounds?
Virtual backgrounds replace your live background with an image or video of your choosing. Zoom provides a few by default. You can upload others. Some companies are even providing branded, company-appropriate backgrounds as options.
There are a few common sense rules for Virtual Backgrounds (VB):
- VBs should be appropriate for your audience. Leave backgrounds with more “personality” for your 1-on-1s or team meetings. Else, keep things basic for those important audiences
- VBs should not be distracting especially if you’re the speaker. The camera should be focused on you. Not the menagerie in the picture.
- When you’re not sure if Rule 1 or 2 applies, KEEP THINGS BASIC.
BUT NOW Zoom has added Video Filters!
What are Video Filters?
Think Insta or SnapChat filters but for Zoom meetings. These can add flair and fun to your Zoom meetings. They can also create trouble. Follow the same 3 VB rules above for Video Filters.
To access these new features:
- In Zoom Settings, click Background & Filters
- Click the Video Filters link to view the filters. The filters appear. Click one to view it in the preview window.
- In the lower right corner of the Video Filters, click Studio Effects (beta)
- The Studio Effects panel opens.
When would you use Video Filters or Studio Effects?
If you’re working with an audience over the age of 12, there’s probably no reason to use the filters. However, the new Studio Effects, available from the Video Filters page (in Zoom version 5.3.1) are the bomb-diggity for those of that can’t muster the energy to wear make-up!
Check out the eyebrows and lipstick feature. This can give your face a little color and definition. And when paired with Zoom’s extra awesome Touch Up My Appearance feature, you can wipe that Zoom fatigue right off your face. Or, ladies AND gents, you can sport a mustache just in time for Movember!
But seriously, Zoom continues to improve their video settings with each release. As evidenced by the fact that Zoom refers to the Studio Effects as “beta,” there are more features coming that will expand how we see and manage our virtual identities through this platform.