In a workplace setting, clear communication is important and being able to see the person you’re talking to helps with that. However, in an open-space office environment, it’s common for coworkers to have conversations when they’re sitting at their desks or walking from one area to another, and those conversations don’t belong in your conference call if you need to share what you’re doing on your screen with your team. The good news is that there are many ways to blur the background in Google Meet—here are six easy steps you can take right now.
Step 1 – Choose your environment
Before you begin, take a moment to consider your surroundings. If you’re in a public space, it’s best to choose a spot where you feel comfortable and won’t be interrupted. If you’re at home, find a place where you can sit or stand without moving around too much.
Step 2 – Focus on your body: Move the focus point on the camera over your entire body until you see what looks like a halo on either side of the lens. Keep adjusting the focus until you see only yourself with no other objects visible in the background.
Step 3 – Choose how long of an exposure: The next step is to determine how long of an exposure will work for you.
Step 2 – Know what you’re taking pictures of
Now that you know how to blur your background in Google Meet, it’s time to learn what types of pictures work best for this effect. When taking pictures with a blurred background, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
- The subject should be the main focus of the photo. For example, if you’re taking a picture of your dog and want the dog to have a blurry background, then take the picture from below so that only their head is seen on top.
- Anything in front of or behind the subject should also be blurry. To do this without moving them around too much, zoom out and take several pictures quickly while continuously moving around them so they are constantly positioned at different angles (and don’t forget to snap some photos from below).
Step 3 – Get close, but not too close
When you’re on a video call, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. If you’re too close to the camera, your face will fill the frame and can appear distorted. If you’re too far away, your face will appear small. The best distance is about four or five feet away from the camera. This way, your face will fill about half the frame and will be in focus. You’ll also want to make sure that there are no reflective surfaces behind you so that you don’t get yourself recorded by mistake. Reflective surfaces include mirrors, glass windows, whiteboards, windows with open blinds, etc.
Step 4 – Take several pictures
- Go to a well-lit room with a plain background.
- Stand about two feet away from your background.
- With your back to the light, position yourself so that your head and shoulders are in the center of the frame.
- Take several pictures, making sure to keep your head and shoulders still.
- Check the preview of each picture to make sure your background is blurred.
Step 5 – Select the picture with your desired effect
If you want to keep your current background but add a bit of pizzazz, try blurring it. This will create a more professional look and feel to your meetings, and it’s easy to do! Here’s how:
- Open Google Meet and click the three dots in the bottom right corner.
- Select Upload Image
- Select the picture with your desired effect: If you want to keep your current background but add a bit of pizzazz, try blurring it.
- Hit Send on the lower left side of the screen and voila – your blurred background is ready for use. You can upload an image as many times as you want, which means if there are other backgrounds that you’d like to try out this process with all you have to do is repeat steps one through four. If you find that certain backgrounds work better than others, save them by clicking on the heart next to the image while they’re still uploaded so that they’ll show up when you select Upload Image in step two!
Step 6 – Try again!
If you’re still having trouble, don’t worry! Just go into your settings and try changing the virtual background. You can also try moving around or zooming in and out. If all else fails, you can always try restarting your computer or reinstalling the app. Remember, these steps work best if you have a blue wall behind you that’s close to the same color as your shirt. Happy video chatting!