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Probably everyone who is forced to periodically make work video calls has at least once faced the problem of choosing a suitable background. The camera should be turned on, but at the same time I DO NOT want to demonstrate what is behind my back. We tried to find a way to solve this issue as efficiently as possible.

Overlay masks

Today on the net you can find a variety of programs that try to apply filters to the image. Some of them work like the popular MSQRD application. That is, they fix certain control points on the image and apply a mask on them. The same MSQRD puts masks on the user’s face, but there are alternative options that try to hide the background in a similar way.

It sounds, of course, not bad, but what do we have in fact? Alas, all this automation is very often and very much mistaken. If you have used MSQRD, then you already know that its masks look really good in the screenshots. In real-time processing mode, the image shakes noticeably, constantly adjusting to the subject.

change, background, web-camera

So it is with an attempt to change the background. We have tested several programs, including the popular VideoSkin and WebcamMax solutions. To replace the background, these programs need the user to take a picture of this background first. The mask is superimposed on top, and any object that enters the frame after that is superimposed on top of the mask. Alas, very often this does not work correctly. The mask often “jumps” on the user’s face. Thus, during a video call, the whole person or parts of his face can spontaneously disappear and be cut off in the most bizarre way. Also, using masks requires the background to be static. The slightest change in camera angle, lighting or focus will cause the mask to fly off.

Of course, the same WebcamMax has many fun effects that can be superimposed over the image, like, for example, the new stickers in SnapChat. But this method is not suitable for professional background replacement.

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Good old chromakey

Alas, in mankind there is still no other way to qualitatively replace the background, except to use the Chroma key effect. Chromakey. technology of combining two or more images or frames in one composition using a special color key. This method has been used by Hollywood since the 1930s. For almost a hundred years, he has not been found equal. The most modern blockbusters are shot against a green background. Fortunately, this method is also available to ordinary users.

The only drawback. to use chroma key technology, you need a physical solid color screen. A solid-colored wall will do, but it is still desirable that the screen be of some bright color, for example, blue or green. If you regularly make video calls or, for example, decide to ever make money on YouTube, you, in any case, need such a screen to look more or less presentable.

How to use chroma key

To use the green screen method, you need a program that supports chroma key technology. One of the simplest and most convenient programs of this type. ManyCam. It allows you to process a video stream and broadcast it to a large number of services, including Skype.

When you start ManyCam, you will see the Video tab where you can select the stream source. To select, just click on the box with the proposed video. The source can be an image from a camera, a video game, a stream from a remote Internet camera, other devices, media files, videos directly from YouTube, your desktop or a color splash.

When working with a camera, you will need to select the Corresponding item “Cameras”, and then. your connected device. As a demonstration, we use a video from YouTube, where the actor Jean-Claude Van Damme jumps, shoots and speaks Pretentious phrases on a ready-made green background.

To start working with the Chroma Key technology, you need to select the Chroma Key tab at the bottom of the program window and enable this effect by clicking on the ON button. Then you need to select the background that you want to replace. This can be done by clicking on the “Define color” button (the button with the eyedropper image next to the ON button). Then. just Click on your screen in the video window. The screen will automatically begin to replace the picture or background as you set.

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Three color scales under the buttons are needed in order to fine-tune the background filter and remove the possible border between the screen and the subject. When the image fits perfectly, it’s time to start broadcasting the video. By default, the ManyCam program creates a virtual camera in the system under the name ManyCam Virtual WebCam (N), where N. is the number of video streams. To start broadcasting a stream, for example, in Skype, just select it in the settings.

As soon as Skype connects to the stream, the red ON AIR button in ManyCam will light up (on air).

Please note that the Skype image can be rotated 180 degrees in relation to what ManyCam produces. To fix this, you need to return the image in the ManyCam itself. To do this, at the bottom of the window, select the “Picture” tab and set the mirror orientation using the “Rotate and Flip” buttons.

In such a simple way, you can not only make a beautiful Skype call, but also start your career as a video blogger.

How to change the virtual background Zoom

Zoom. online service for creating video conferencing. With the advent of the coronavirus, the service has become very popular. In previous articles, we have already covered how to use Zoom to create online video conferencing and group training courses, and showed how to record a conference, and also posted a selection of free Zoom backgrounds.

If you are going to use Zoom at home, and you are concerned about privacy, or you just do not want the clutter in the background to be displayed during Videoconferencing, you can hide it by adding a virtual background to the online video. Here’s how to change the background in Zoom.

You don’t need a green screen to change the Zoom background, but if you have one, Zoom can use it.

How to Change the Virtual Background of Zoom Video Conferencing

To change the video conferencing background, you need to install the Zoom application. The app comes with Multiple background images, but you can also use your own image.

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Go to the download page for the Zoom app. Download and install the app.

Log in to Zoom Using your suite and password or one of the social networks.

Click on your profile icon in the upper right corner and select the “Settings” menu.

Go to the “Virtual Background” tab and select one of the backgrounds, or click the little plus button and select an image on your computer.

Important! If you are going to use the app, I highly recommend reading the article about securing Zoom Video Conferencing.

When you select a background, you will be prompted to “Download Smart Virtual Background Pack”. Download it and it will be installed automatically.

Zoom will now remove the background from your video and replace it with the image you selected. You will still be visible in the video, and as you move, the background will adjust accordingly. For best results, turn on indoor lighting during online video.

If you have a green screen, you must enable the “I have a green screen” option under the available backgrounds. If you later find a more suitable place for your conference call or class, you can turn off the background by selecting the Net option.

What images are suitable for backgrounds in Zoom

But not all images are suitable for use as a virtual background. You must choose an image. Equal to or higher than the resolution of your WEB-camera.

If you don’t know. What is the resolution of your webcam. You can get detailed information using the webcamtests online service. To do this, go to webcamtests.com and click “Check WEB-camera resolution”.

Zoom works very well even if your webcam is not of the best quality. A regular laptop webcam is perfect for this. If body parts (head or shoulder) are not displayed in the video. this may be a prerequisite for sitting under a little shade, so turn on the lights in the room. I also recommend wearing clothes that will stand out against the selected background.

Recently, an interesting video appeared on the network, which tells in detail about the coronavirus. The video is in English, but there are Russian subtitles. I highly recommend watching!