– I Hate Virtual Backgrounds

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This Trick will Improve your Zoom Virtual Background | At Home with Tech – – There’s no need to panic, because your video isn’t actually backwards

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All rights reserved. Sounds pretty technical, right? The backdrop must be completely wrinkle-free and evenly lit throughout with soft lighting. Use a soft light, raise up the light, and increase the distance between yourself and the screen. Hence, effectively streaming a virtual background throughout your video call sesh. If you still want to move ahead and use virtual backgrounds, here are a couple tips to keep in mind when staging and lighting for this look.


So you wanna use a virtual background, ey? Read this first – It’s all about mirroring


When you light the green screen, the wrinkles will cause shadows. Above I said you need to avoid shadows from creases and wrinkles on the green screen. That advice also applies to you. There are three things you can do to cut down on those shadows.

Use a soft light, raise up the light, and increase the distance between yourself and the screen. Soft light is a broad light, like a softbox or umbrella light.

The light comes from a large area, which has the effect of helping to smooth shadows. By increasing the distance between the green screen and yourself, your shadow will fall even further down and out of sight. Ideally, you want your green screen to be uniformly illuminated across its whole area.

Just like avoiding shadows, uniform lighting cuts down the range in green shades across the screen. With fewer shades of green, Zoom will do a cleaner job of removing the green background. You can use one or two lights to illuminate yourself. Then use a couple of lights, one on each side, for the green screen. You do not need to make the green screen too bright.

In fact, I try to get the green screen to be a little darker than the subject. If you are lighting the subject you and the green screen separately you should find it easy to control the balance between the two. By having the green screen a little darker you will reduce the amount of green reflected light spilling onto you. If that were to happen you might find that the green screen software tries to remove part of you in error. You can also reduce the green spill on you by simply moving forward, so you increase the distance between you and the green screen.

One big giveaway that the shot is faked is to have a mismatch in lighting in the virtual background image and on you. So, try and match the color temperature of the Zoom background image or video clip. If you have bi-color LED video lights or RGB video lights you should be able to match the color temperature well and hence make the green screen effect look much more natural and convincing.

Sometimes you can get away with buying cheap. But often buying cheap results in buying twice. Alternatively, make sure you read the online ads carefully, and compare the details from a few different products. For example, my first collapsible green screen was green on both sides. That allows more flexibility in what I want to wear in a Zoom meeting.

Unless you have good lighting and a greenscreen solid green background and a good computer, you likely are not going to have a good look. I see this happen far too often. People check their virtual look by staring into the camera and they look fine.

Unfortunately, as soon as they move their head, or get their hands into the shot, that good look turns into something weird. They use virtual backgrounds to look better, but they actually make you look worse. Let me explain. The sad result is, the background looks better, but you look worse, so the virtual background is counterproductive. I often find myself trying to picture what their background really looks like without that overused shot of the bridge behind them. Left you aggravated and disappointed at the results?

John DeMato Blog Hi! So you wanna use a virtual background, ey? Read this first Before you go all in on virtual backgrounds for your conference I was shooting a virtual conference earlier this week that involved a slew of virtual speakers from all over the country.

You need to light yourself separately from the wall. Why is this important? The good news? Something to think about before your next event. Turning to you… What has been your virtual background experience?


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