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The best Zoom backgrounds

There’s your home, there’s the office, and then there’s Zoom. With a little help, you can be in all three places at once, including somewhere you’ve only seen on TV, on a poster, or in a catalog. Zoom, the videoconferencing app, has achieved popularity as working from home becomes even more commonplace. What makes Zoom especially acclaimed is its ability to let you substitute backgrounds instead of having to tidy up your house before you can get started on a conference call with colleagues or clients.

In a previous article, we outlined the specific steps you need to take to substitute backgrounds in Zoom. Here are some of the best Zoom backgrounds you can use to spice up your video calls.

Note: If your camera is set to a 16:9 aspect ratio, an image of 1,280 x 720 or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels works well. For video, you need an MP4 or MOV video file with a minimum resolution of 480 x 360 pixels (360p) and a maximum resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p).

Modsy

No matter how much you try, your place is never going to look like Modsy’s updated redesign of Friends, Sex and the City, Frasier, Will & Grace, or Golden Girls dwellings. That shouldn’t stop you from inhabiting them in the public-private space of your Zoom conference, though. Modsy, the web-based interior design service, offers numerous popular home sets for you to inhabit in the Zoom zone. Just a heads up though: These backgrounds do feature Modsy’s watermark logo in their bottom corners, and these watermarks will show up in your video.

West Elm

You may want to redecorate your home in high style — or maybe just tidy up the living room before your meeting — but West Elm’s conferencing backgrounds will spot you one better. The company has collected images of its favorite real homes featuring its own modern furniture and décor — doggie included. Just scroll and download anything you like. Hey, you don’t even have to tell anyone this isn’t your pad — or pool.

Star Wars

Working at home may feel like you’re in a galaxy far, far away, but with Star Wars-themed videoconferencing backgrounds, the force can really be with you. Now you can transmit from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon or many other locations. Choose from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back‘s Hoth, the ruins of the Death Star, or many more background selections. These backgrounds also feature watermarks in their corners, but they’re far less noticeable than the ones seen in the Modsy backgrounds.

Storyblocks

Storyblocks, the stock video site, has debuted a new collection of videoconferencing backgrounds that feature hundreds of high-quality, motion-focused backgrounds in MP4 format. Choose from landscapes like Arches National Park to landmarks like the Pantheon Dome. Storyblocks offers a host of backgrounds free for download — no subscription needed. Just click on the yellow Download Backgrounds button and you’ll get a zipped folder of all the background files in this collection. (Don’t click on the video previews of each background. Otherwise, you’ll be prompted to sign up for a subscription to download that particular background.)

Pixar

Now you can join the fun and famous Pixar universe, to the joy of your kids and grandkids. Disney offers backdrops from all their best Pixar films in a high-resolution format that’s simple to install. You can select scenes from Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Cars 3, and even the secret marine depths of Finding Nemo. Remember to try out these backgrounds when visiting your smallest family members over Zoom. Be aware that these backgrounds will have watermark logos in their lower corners, but, similar to those of the Star Wars backgrounds, they’re pretty unnoticeable.

Canva

You can find a large variety of Zoom backgrounds for different applications with Canva. Its templates include photos, animated backdrops, and illustrations. Teachers will be thrilled to find multiple options for distance learning, but you’ll find a wide variety for any and all occasions. Don’t worry if you’re not a Canva member since you can sign up for free using Google or Facebook. Remember that you don’t need a Canva account to install these backdrops to your device. If you just need a background and aren’t interested in editing it or saving it to a Canva account, simply select your preferred background thumbnail (unless it’s a Canva Pro premium template) and then choose Use This Template on the following screen. Select Download and your preferred image format, and click Download one last time.

Unsplash

You’ll find a veritable treasure chest of free stock images with Unsplash that you can utilize with several different applications, including Zoom. You’ll find choices to fit your meeting’s tone and your individual style. With both indoor and outdoor selections, you’re sure to discover something appropriate.

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