Zoom help, please

As many of us are now zooming, I thought this might be a good thread to start so folks can chime in on what’s working well and what’s not.

I just filmed a 105 minute meeting and want to post it to my website. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize it would also capture the thumbnails of participants, sone of whom are patients.

Any suggestions on how to crop them off or I guess alternatively blur them out? Any recommendations on best software to use (free preferred)? I have zoom pro and was thinking of posting video on YouTube and linking from my nonprofit’s website to our YouTube channel.

Next time, will have to adjust settings so there are no thumbnails of participants recorded. Thanks for any help.

This is so important not to have ANY identity of these people - if I were you I’d message Zoom and ask them directly. Are they visible just at the beginning or throughout the video? Is there a way to only post audio of the recording?

what format was the taping saved with? Maybe you can use a video editor to eliminate it.
Sorry never done a taping on zoom.

Business Insider has an article about editing Zoom recordings. One option is free. Could you replace the frames with a graphic or some other video?

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-edit-zoom-recording?op=1

Thanks—we are trying to see if we can crop the frame to remove the faces with a free video editor. Openshot.org is one such free editing program.

I really appreciate folks ideas. I have never used zoom much before February. I bought a pro subscription in August because it seems safer than meeting in person, especially for medically fragile people that I serve.

I guess it’s time to enter this decade. :wink:

Just saying, entering this decade is one thing, but I find a lot of the tech programs are simply not user-friendly on release. It’s OK to use some older format that you’re confident of.

When I get on Zoom, it’s been hunt-and-peck to figure out how to appear or not, close out thumbnails and more. If there’s a way to trial my set-up, I haven’t found it. (You log in and you’re live. Every dang conference has started with the distraction of getting people to unmute, be visible, whatever. Waste o’ time.)

A group decided to use Ring Central and I never did get it going. And I’m savvy enough.

I want to use zoom because it’s a platform that is user friendly for the attendees but sadly I’m not sure it’s the best for archiving recordings. :frowning:

There’s definitely a learning curve. I was attending a Zoom webinar on Thursday where the moderator spent the first 10 minutes getting unmuted because no one could hear him! At least that wasn’t one of my issues.

I agree, I work in tech and it’s surprising how unintuitive many interfaces are. I think it’s a consequence of rushing new features to market and not leaving enough time for user experience testing. Although even mature technologies like Macs have had UI warts that persist for years.

Anyway, for zoom you can test your setup pretty easily. Just start a meeting as a moderator then join via an incognito window (or from a different device or browser) as an attendee. I spent about an hour testing out different things that way a few months back.

Turns out there’s a difference in what users see when you share just a window or app vs your entire screen, if you’re using certain external presentation features like a Logitech Spotlight or MacOS accessibility zoom in/out. It’s worth taking the time to test everything out if you’ll be using zoom a lot.

If you host zoom meetings a lot and share your screen, there’s also a nice feature where you can see what attendees see while you’re sharing your screen (i.e. you get an attendee view instead of seeing speaker’s faces). So there’s no need to ask, “can you see my screen? or “is this widget on my screen showing?” Probably tough to use on a normal size single monitor, but very useful on a ultrawide or dual monitor setup.

Yes, I do have two monitors but haven’t been using them as efficiently as possible. I opened an iPad too, to see what zoom participants were seeing.

The recording didn’t turn out quite as expected. My D is going to splice in the video that was being shared but didn’t show up in the recording. It has the poor quality audio but no video. :frowning: The video is good quality and audio in the inserted video is also fine.

The exercise demo (which was one of the speakers), also didn’t turn out full-size—she’s just a thumbnail, so hard to see, sadly. :frowning:

When she was doing it, I spotlighted her and she filled the screen but recording just shows her on the side as a thumbnail.

I know I have lots to learn!

We may ask the exercise instructor for a short video clip to put into our video.

Video isn’t like photographs. You can cut an 8x10 photo to make it a 4x6, but video has a specific aspect ratio.

Do you have video or stills that you can splice in over the frames you want to cut? If the faces are in a particular area of the screen (always in the lower 3rd, for exame), you could add a graphic. Or you could add a plain graphics bar that’s semi-tranalucent that would blur the background.

I’ve participated in monthly Zoom meetings that have been recorded. I’m able to watch them later if I can’t be part of the meeting.

The administrator of that Zoom meeting is able to control who is viewed in the video portion…as well as mute participants.

@HImom as the admin of your meeting, you should have been able to close video and mute all others watching. Maybe this particular one should get NOT shared. If you want to share it…then do the whole thing again, inviting folks who might have missed it to take part. Mute and close video before you start…for participants. Then tape only what your presentation.

Then share that after the second airing. I believe that should work.

Ah, such a learning curve! IMO have new appreciation for all that folks do to record and then archive their events. Will pass all your great suggestions on to my D who is my tech support.

Just an aside, there was a zoom meeting with Hong Kong pro-democracy participants in many locations all over the world. The very next day, some of the participants’ accounts in the US and elsewhere were deleted. There was an uproar and Zoom promised not to delete accounts anymore. But they didn’t promise privacy of the account holders. The US government, many universities and medical providers are not using Zoom because Zoom can’t guarantee privacy and security.

I’ve met the CEO of Zoom and my take is that Zoom has massive Chinese government financial and technical backing.
I am not here to discuss politics, just information.

If you were presenting a slide presentation, I would just re-record it using Screencastify. You could get your video in at the appropriate time that way too.

Thanks for your thoughts. I have to learn more about zoom and other media. :frowning:

Anomander, interesting to know there is an attendee view. I use dual monitors to show slides and video and am never quite sure what my attendees as seeing when I share my screen. How do I access “attendee view”?

This other Business Insider article discusses how to use the blur feature in YouTube. It describes how to blur a face or a license plate number.


Yes, I’d love to know what attendees are seeing. Also, how can you NOT have thumbnails for a webinar—just have the speaker’s face fill the screen? I know you can spotlight them but when you record it doesn’t have their face, just them in thumbnail.

My lectures are recorded in Speaker-view only, where they only show the entire chat w/names (not private ones to a specific person) and the speaker’s video (or screen if screen-sharing) in the recordings (during the live class Zoom still functions as a normal Zoom call, with a recording icon blinking at the top left hand corner.) From the following Zoom article, you can do this whether or not you are recording locally or to the Zoom cloud. You’re probably looking for the “Active Speaker” layout. I believe the Active Speaker will change if any participant unmutes themselves and talks etc, so you may have to have questions at the end of the presentation so that you can stop recording before then.

Zoom Layouts: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/360025561091#h_2e32d41b-5347-48f6-bfef-e20a5e3d2459

If you have a paid Zoom account, you are able to record to the Zoom cloud. Instructions below: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/203741855-Cloud-recording

Hope that helps!