Who knew so many of us would be hosting family holiday gatherings on Zoom? Or utter the words “Zoom happy hour”? These are challenging times – and not just because we discovered that all-hands meetings are even more boring when they’re online.
Zoom, of course, is the incredibly popular online meeting platform that – mercifully! – has allowed us to keep in touch with our families, friends and colleagues. But, let’s face it, the backgrounds can be so boring – barring the occasional pants-less family member absentmindedly wandering in the background. But we can’t always count on that.
So, if you’d like to add a little spunk to your next Zoom meeting, we propose uploading an AtmosFX Digital Decoration into your Zoom preferences. We’ve created two easy ways to do it.
The first, and easiest, way is to simply purchase an official AtmosFX Virtual Background Bundle. These bundles are created from official AtmosFX Digital Decorations and optimized to perform perfectly as a Zoom background. Because they’re not complete digital decorations, they are easier to use and less expensive than a complete digital decoration. There are multiple bundles available, both merry and scary. The two newest bundles are a Santa bundle and a Winter Scenes bundle – perfect for online family holiday gatherings.
You can also upload an entire digital decoration as a background. Obviously, in this way, you’ll have more options and be able to ensure your dynamic background is exactly the way you want it.
Either way, it’s easy. And in minutes you’ll be chatting-up your family from the Santa’s toy workshop at the North Pole, or maybe from the transporter room on the U.S.S. Enterprise. Or, perhaps an invasion of brain-craving zombies might help end a meeting that’s gone 20 minutes overtime?
You can do all this by creating a “virtual background,” and we can show you how to set it up.
Step #1: Choose a Good Location (and Good Clothes)
Obviously, start with a computer, tablet or smartphone that has a video camera. You will want to set that up in a location that is well lit, but not too bright, and where there is not a lot of clutter behind you. A blank wall is perfect. Zoom suggests a “green screen” like they use for television and film – if you have a green wall, use it. But that isn’t always necessary – what’s important is that your backdrop is plain, uniform and with as little clutter as possible.
Oh, and make sure whatever clothing you are wearing is NOT similar to the color of your backdrop. That’s important.
Step #2: Choose Your Digital Decoration
Zoom allows you to upload any photo or video, of any size, to create a virtual background. That includes full AtmosFX Digital Decorations, or smaller-size AtmosFX Virtual Background Bundles. Pick what you think would make for a good background – a zombie attack, a winter snowfall, or whatever. Here, we’re using the “Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan” individual decoration from Star Trek: Beam Me Up Digital Decoration collection.
Your digital decoration will be an MP4 file. (That’s a video file.) It is stored in a folder wherever you keep your AtmosFX Digital Decorations. It is important that your digital decoration has a background, so select TV or Window Mode. For example, the Star Trek: Beam Me Up Digital Decoration file will look like this:
Step #3: Log into Zoom and Adjust Your Settings
If using your computer, make sure you have downloaded the Zoom desktop client because, ultimately, that’s where you’ll click to enable your virtual background. If you are using a tablet or phone, use the Zoom app. (You probably already were!)
If you are using the Zoom desktop client on your computer:
- Log into your Zoom account through your web browser to enable your virtual background. You’ll need to do the following things:
- Go to “Settings.”
- Find the meeting “Meeting” tab and then click on “In Meeting (Advanced).”
- Find “Virtual Background” and confirm that it is turned on. If not, do so! Then save your changes.
- If your Zoom desktop client was already open, quit. Then, relaunch. If it was closed, you’re set.
Once you have made your account changes, launch the Zoom desktop client. Under “Settings,” you will find “Video.” There, you will find a menu of pre-made virtual backgrounds, as well as an opportunity to load your own photos or videos, by clicking on the “Plus” symbol.
If using the Zoom app on your tablet or phone:
Your virtual background is already enabled, so you do not need to log into your Zoom account via your web browser. Now, join a video meeting. Once you have done so, click “Settings.” You’ll have the option to select either “Video” or “Virtual Background,” depending on your device. There, you will find a menu of pre-made virtual backgrounds, as well as an opportunity to load your own photos or videos, by clicking on the “Plus” symbol.
Step #4: Load Your Digital Decoration and Amaze Everyone!
Now, simply click the “Plus” symbol and search for the digital decoration you want to use. For example, we are using the MP4 file we identified in Step 2, so we will find that file on our computer and click to upload it. Once your file is uploaded, you will be able to select it and use it as your new virtual background. Congratulations – you are about to blow the minds of your family, friends and colleagues!
For more detailed information on creating a virtual background in Zoom, including system requirements, steps and a helpful video, click here.