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How to Create a Custom Zoom Virtual Background

By Melanie Doncas | Inspiration

If there’s one thing that got us all through the isolation of the global pandemic, it was the face-to-face contact that video conferencing has to offer. Whether you were logging onto Zoom to use it as a virtual meeting place for your loved ones, or to stay in the loop with co-workers while working from home, there’s no doubt that the platform has been getting a workout in the past two years—and it’s here to stay.

Rather than risk a messy bedroom backdrop or use that same plain white wall in your living room again, why not elevate your entire video calling experience by creating a fun, custom Zoom background? From colorful graphics and patterns to breathtaking photos and more, BeFunky’s Graphic Designer has everything you need to give yourself a change of scenery!

zoom example

What Are Zoom’s Virtual Background Requirements?

Before we show you how to make a custom Zoom background, let’s look at some important requirements.

Firstly, what is the ideal Zoom background image size? According to Zoom, the recommended dimensions for a custom background are 1920px by 1080px, which is a 16:9 aspect ratio. If your virtual backdrop doesn’t have an aspect ratio of 16:9, the platform may add some black bars beside the background image.

Here are some other important tips to keep in mind before you design your own Zoom background:

  • Keep the image quality as crisp and clear as possible to avoid blurriness or pixelation
  • High contrast backgrounds are best, as they allow you to stand out more easily on the screen
  • Try to avoid backgrounds that are too visually chaotic, whether that be a busy photo, a confusing pattern, or a clashing color scheme
  • Don’t include too much text on your custom design, as this can distract meeting participants and take away from the visual impact of your background

How to Make a Custom Zoom Background Using BeFunky

Ready to create your own custom Zoom background? Head to the Graphic Designer to get started!

Step 1: Choose a Blank Canvas

In the Start a Design menu that appears, select the Blank Canvas option at the top (located next to Templates). Underneath Social Media, look for the Presentation (16:9) sized canvas. This is already optimally sized for a Zoom background, as it measures 1920px by 1080px.

blank canvas for zoom

Step 2: Add Your Background Image

Next, it’s time to add your Zoom background image. Navigate to Image Manager in the main menu on the left.

From the Image Manager, you can upload an image from your computer’s files or click Search Stock Images to choose from millions of free stock images. You can also click on the three dots () to add an image from your BeFunky account, Google Photos, or Facebook.

zoom image manager

For this tutorial, we’re using a watercolor background from BeFunky’s huge Stock Photo Library. In the Stock Photo Library, simply click the images you wish to add to your Image Manager. Then, click the ‘x’ in the top-right corner to close the Stock Photo Library once you’ve finished browsing.

add stock images

Simply drag and drop the image from your Image Manager onto your canvas, then resize and adjust as necessary so it fills the space.

Step 3: Add Graphics

Next, we’re going to add graphic elements to bring our custom Zoom background to life. Click on the Graphics tab in the main menu on the left, followed by Search Graphics.

Here, you'll be able to search our huge library of shapes, symbols, lines, and so much more. Just type in a search term of your choice or search by Popular Tags.

Whichever graphics you click on will be added to the Your Graphics section of the Graphics tab. Once you close out of the Graphic Library, you'll see them there. Simply drag and drop them onto your canvas to place them in your design.

add graphics

Step 4: Customize Your Graphics

You can use the blue circles around each graphic to resize and rotate it, as well as use the Graphic Properties menu that appears to customize elements such as color, opacity, and more.

To change the color of your graphic, click on the square located next to Color Overlay and choose your desired color from the Color Chart, use the Eyedropper Tool, or type in the Color HEX Code if you know it.

adjust graphic properties

Step 5: Save Your Custom Zoom Background

Once you’ve finished creating your custom Zoom background, click Save at the top of the screen to save it to your Computer, Dropbox, or more so it’s ready to upload into Zoom.

save zoom background

Step 6: Add Your Custom Background to Zoom

Wondering how to add or change a Zoom background? If using your PC, sign into your Zoom account, then click the Settings button in the top-right of the screen. Click Background & Effects from the menu on the left. In the Virtual Backgrounds panel, you’ll see a ‘+’ sign on the left-hand side. Click this to add your own image or video file, which will serve as your custom Zoom background.

add new background to zoom

You can also change your Zoom background in the mobile app. Simply open the app, then sign in and join a meeting. Click the three dots at the bottom right to open the More menu, then select Virtual Background. From here, you can upload your own virtual Zoom background to use.

Final Results

BeFunky has everything you need to create the Zoom virtual background you're envisioning, whether you want to add text to a background, turn a background photo to art, or anything else. Be sure to play around with the different tools and effects to get the look you're wanting.

zoom background final

Zoom Virtual Background Ideas

There are so many possibilities when it comes to creating a custom Zoom background; you’ll be spoiled for choice!

We’ve rounded up our favorite themes below to help you narrow down your ideas and provide you with inspiration for your next virtual meeting.

Painted Scene

If you love paintings of eras gone by from famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and more, then you’re in luck. Many of these artworks are now in the Public Domain, meaning you can easily find stock images of them to use in things such as your own custom Zoom background!

In this example, we’ve chosen artwork from 1800 by artist Charles Rudd due to its simple, old-world charm.

artwork zoom background

Stylish Home Office

If you’re tired of attending Zoom meetings from your same old home office, then you might be in need of an upgrade. Home makeovers can be expensive, however, so why not just virtually upgrade your space to something more on-trend?

Look for a stock photo of a room that isn’t too busy, yet features modern styling and a professional aesthetic. Trust us, you’ll instantly feel more productive and inspired during those all-important Zoom meetings.

home office zoom background

Tropical Getaway

Everyone loves dreaming of a tropical getaway, especially when they’re stuck at home or in the office working. While a trip to Hawaii, Fiji, or Bali might not be in your immediate future, that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace all things tropical during your virtual meetings.

A tropical backdrop can instantly put you and your meeting participants in a more Zen frame of mind, so it’s beneficial for everyone involved.

vacation zoom background

Funny Caption or Doodle

Give your friends, family, or co-workers something to laugh about with a background featuring a hilarious caption or perfectly placed doodle. While these aren’t exactly suited to those important meetings with the CEO, you can reserve a funny Zoom background for virtual Friday afternoon drinks or a birthday call with a loved one. Get creative!

funny zoom background

Famous Landmark

Ever dreamed of having a Zoom meeting underneath the Eiffel Tower, at Disneyland, or by the Golden Gate Bridge? You might not be in a famous, faraway destination right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend! Transport yourself to your favorite landmark virtually, thanks to the wide range of stock photos available from all over the world. You can even choose a different destination for each day of the week, depending on where you wish to travel online. Where will today’s meeting take you?

landmark zoom background

Ready to Create the Ideal Zoom Background?

Who said working remotely couldn’t be fun? With your custom Zoom background, you’re ready to rock your next video conference in style!

Thanks to BeFunky’s Graphic Designer, the options are endless when it comes to creating your own backdrops for Zoom. Change your virtual background depending on your mood, the participants, or even the theme of the meeting. Go on, create your custom Zoom background today to see just how fun it is!

Graphic Design, Simplified.

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