11 Feb 2021: Here's how you can add facial effects on Zoom calls
Video conferencing app Zoom had added the Studio Effects beta feature in September 2020, however it has been garnering users' attention just lately.
The visual effect tracks your facial expressions and overlays facial hair and lip color on your face in the video feed.
The feature has more comic value than utility, but it highlights advancements in AI face detection and subject tracking technology.
All work and no play: Zoom wants to make video calls 'fun' with Studio Effects
The company claims the feature brings casual and fun elements which were amiss from virtual meeting culture.
The Studio Effects beta feature will improve with time as the accuracy of machine learning and AI algorithm improves with training.
For initial setup prior to a call, you can play around with the feature by navigating to Settings > Backgrounds and Filters > Studio Effects.
Customization menu: Settings let you define facial hair, lip color, and opacity
In the Studio Effects panel, one can choose a mustache and beard, pick their colors from a few options provided and define the effect's opacity.
Lip color can be defined from a few shades of red, or users can pick a color they prefer from the color wheel.
The panel has a checkbox to apply the effects by default for all future meetings.
Join the fun: Studio features dynamically adapt to your facial features and expression
Zoom will track your facial features and automatically adapt the shape and edges of the effects to match just like its Virtual Backgrounds feature.
To access the feature during a call, click on the arrow alongside the camera icon at the bottom of the screen. From there, you can access the Video Settings option, where Studio Effects are available under Background and Filters.
AI everything: Studio Effects joins Zoom's growing arsenal of AI tools
The video calling platform also features skin retouching, low-light compensation, automatic video sharpening, and video filter features under Touch up my appearance, Adjust for low light, Enable HD, and Video filters respectively.
The system requirements and how-to guides for these Zoom features can be found here: https://bit.ly/3d290BO.
Zoom also features background noise suppression for audio available under the Audio section of the Settings page.
Fact: Twitter users express surprise at Zoom's Studio Effects
Word of caution: Be careful with the 'Apply to all future meetings' checkbox
As stated earlier, Studio Effects add light-hearted humor, if anything, to video interactions on Zoom. However, be wary of potential embarrassment if you forget to uncheck the box prior to your next job interview.
That said, although the feature is in beta, it performs well. It demonstrates how AI subject tracking and facial feature tracking have improved in recent years.