Zoom’s virtual backgrounds come in the clutch when you need to make an important call but your room is too messy to be seen. Now that Zoom has become a household name, countless customized virtual backgrounds are available to everyone. With so many options, surely there's a blur feature to cover up your mess and give the effect of a professional DSLR camera.

Unfortunately, Zoom hasn’t added this feature yet. But, there’s no need to worry because you can easily blur a custom virtual background. If you want to emulate your current workspace, all you need is a webcam (or phone) and a free editor called Kapwing. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how to take a picture, add the blur and get it on Zoom in just a few steps. If you’re ready, let’s get started.

  1. Take a Picture of the Background
  2. Add a Blur Effect in Kapwing
  3. Upload the New Background to Zoom

1. Take a Picture of the Background

Since Zoom doesn’t have a blur effect built in, take a picture of your background to apply the blur effect inside another app. For this step, use your webcam or a smartphone camera -- just make sure the phone is positioned where your webcam would be. To take a picture with your webcam, use the Camera app on Windows or the Photo Booth app on Mac.

Now, you’re ready to snap the picture. First, make sure there’s good lighting and move your chair out of the frame. Next, set a timer on the camera and get out of the way. After the photo is taken, you can move onto the next step where we’ll add the blur effect.

2. Add a Blur Effect in Kapwing

First, open the Kapwing studio and press ‘Click to upload’ to add your background picture. Once it’s uploaded, select the picture and open the ‘Crop’ tool on the right to make sure it’s set to a 16:9 aspect ratio. This will ensure your background fits the full Zoom call screen.

Next, open the ‘Adjust’ tool from the right menu. Inside, you’ll see the option to adjust the blur at the bottom. Slide the scale to the right to increase the effect. I recommend a blur of 5 to give your background the perfect mix of visible and non visible.

When you’re done adjusting, you’ll notice a white line around your picture. To remove this, simply drag the corners of your picture so it’s slightly bigger than the frame. When done correctly, the white lines will get removed from the crop and leave you with a polished look.

Finally, click ‘Export Image’ in the top right to process the picture. Once that’s one, download the background and you’re ready to upload it as your Zoom background.

3. Upload the New Background to Zoom

Now, open the Zoom app and click the ‘Settings’ icon in the top right. Inside the menu, open the ‘Virtual Background’ tab. Here you can click the plus sign icon to add your picture and you’ll instantly see the blurred background in the preview.

If you have a green screen, check the option ‘I have a green screen’ to get the highest quality background.

Also, this works exactly the same for video backgrounds. Instead of taking a picture, record a video and follow the exact steps laid out above. Not to mention, you can blur custom backgrounds too. If you want to see the possibilities of Zoom backgrounds, check out this article with 50 free virtual backgrounds for you to try out.

Now you know exactly how to blur the background to give your Zoom call a professional but natural look. If this article helped with your background, be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page for new tutorials. And, check out the related articles to keep learning:

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