Saturday, April 4, 2020

fun with zoom virtual backgrounds

I am a little astonished at how completely Zoom has become the default for team video conferencing, almost at the risk of becoming a genericized verb, in a way "to google" has, or "skyping" was.

One popular feature are the virtual backgrounds, using crude but effective algorithms to treat any workspace backdrop like a greenscreen and replace it with... well, anything, including moving images now. Some people go for the whimsical, some for the aspirational (like a beach scene), others are a bit more droll (the "This is Fine" dog)

I wasn't a fan at first, but they've grown on me - they can be a bit glitchy, and I just like the honesty of seeing people's home offices. But now I realize they can provide an important layer of privacy, maybe not every Zoom user is sitting in front of a scene they wish to show all of their peers all the time.

During a casual "virtual happy hour" hangout, we got in a "virtual background" more and I made this goof:
Not only is it playfully self-absorbed, but that is my most pretentious hoodie, from David Byrne's recent American Utopia live show.

Here it is in action:

It was pretty easy, I stood in front of a reasonably blank wall and had my partner Melissa take a bunch of shots, then I used PhotoScissors 6 to clip out the backgrounds, and assembled them in Acorn.

No comments:

Post a Comment