Zoom allows you to change the background of your video call to a picture of your choice. The ability to apply virtual backgrounds not only gets you a fresh way to present yourself in a meeting but also adds a sense of privacy to what’s around you.
Besides being able to change the background image, remote collaboration tools have also started including a background blur option. But can you use background blur on Zoom? That’s what this post is all about.
Does Zoom allow you to blur your background?
No. While you can apply any number of virtual backgrounds on Zoom, the popular video conferencing solution doesn’t yet feature the ability to blur your background in a meeting.
In contrast, Microsoft Teams and Skype already have the means to blur the background of your video feed while Google is planning to roll it out to its Meet service in the near future.
How to instantly make a background blur effect on Zoom
If you want other participants to not see the room that you’re in but do not want to completely change it, there’s a way you can do that. While Zoom doesn’t natively have a background blur option, it does let you change backgrounds easily. You can achieve a similar effect to that of a blurred background by capturing your background, manually blurring that picture, and then applying it as your virtual background.
Here’s you can do it:
Step 1: Snap a picture of your empty background or the view that’s usually visible to others when you’re in a meeting. You can click the picture using your PC’s native webcam or through a smartphone but ensure that it’s positioned at the same place where your webcam is.
Also, make sure you follow these checkmarks:
- The captured picture should NOT include you
- Elements that are usually moving aren’t in the frame like your chair, clock, etc.
- The setup is well lit and not THAT shabby
Step 2: Head over to the Kapwing editing tool and create an account for free.
Step 3: After you’re signed in, click on ‘New Project’ and then select ‘Start with Studio’.
Step 4: On the next page, click on ‘Start with a blank canvas’.
Step 5: Now you need to upload the picture that you clicked earlier. You can do so by clicking on ‘Upload’ at the top left and dropping the picture you clicked in Step 1.
Step 6: After your picture is loaded onto the canvas, click on the ‘Adjust’ button on the right-hand side of the screen.
Step 7: You can now proceed to blur the image the way you want. To do so, you can slide through the ‘Blur’ adjustment at the bottom and adjust the blur effect the way you want. A preview of the blurred image will be shown on the left side of the screen.
For best results, we suggest you keep the Blur setting at ‘2’. After the adjustment is done, click on the ‘Done Adjusting’ button at the bottom right.
Step 8: To save the edited picture, click on the ‘Publish’ button at the top right, and then click on Download.
Step 9: You can now apply the edited picture as your virtual background inside Zoom. To do so, open the Zoom client, click on your profile picture at the top right and head over to Settings > Virtual backgrounds. You follow the guide in the link below to add the blurred image to your Zoom virtual background.
▶ How to add a Virtual Background on Zoom
Other options to blur the background on Zoom:
If you’re not satisfied with the results from the guide above, you can check out the methods below to apply the background blur effect on Zoom.
Virtual background effect using ManyCam
ManyCam offers you to replace your background during a video call using the Chroma Key feature. After installing ManyCam on your PC, open the Chroma key tab, and toggle the switch adjacent to ‘Virtual Background’. After switching ON the Virtual Background feature, select the Blur option.
Glow In The Dark lens on Snap Camera
Snap Camera is a neat utility that gives you more raw power if you want a different background. Developed by Snapchat, the tool can be installed as a virtual camera to be used with any video collaboration platform including Zoom, Hangouts, Skype, and more.
Snap camera offers you different looks using lenses and one such lens that it offers is the Glow In The Dark lens. Although the lens highlights your face in green, it offers the cleanest look by toning down the background, especially when your surroundings are shabby. Check out the links below to apply this lens using Snap Camera on Zoom.
▶ How to enable Snap Camera on Zoom
▶ How to choose Glow In The Dark lens on Snap Camera
Which video conferencing app lets you blur your background
If you’re not satisfied with the results from this guide, you might want to switch to another video conferencing app for your background blur needs. Take a look at the apps that offer custom backgrounds from the link below.
▶ Best video calling apps with blur and custom background features