Liven up Zoom Classes with Video Filters & Studio Effects

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Feeling a slump in your teaching? Are your students losing engagement? This tip shows you how to activate video filters and studio effects, so you can customize your on-camera appearance and add a little fun to your lessons! 

Video filters allow you to overlay virtual images atop your live image so you can give yourself a pirate hat, an eye patch, or a pair of glasses. And studio effects allow you to change your lip colour, eyebrow shape, or even have a moustache!  

A little fun can go a long way. Tews, Jackson, Ramsay, and Michael (2015) found a positive relationship between fun delivery of lessons (e.g., humour, storytelling) and student engagement. 

Using Video Filters 

  1. To enable filters, you will need to download the Zoom application and make sure the version is 5.2 or newer.  
  2. Once you’re in the Zoom application, click on the “^” button next to the “Start Video” icon and select “Choose Video Filter.”
  3. This will bring up the menu of video filters, which will allow you to overlay virtual items such as hats and glasses to your live image.
Close up of Video Filter Option in Zoom, with "Choose Video Filter" highlighted
A close-up screen shot of the Video Filter Zoom setting.

Using Studio Effects

  1. Once the video filters menu is opened, select the “Studio Effects” option located in the bottom-right-hand corner of the menu. 
  2. This will open a side window to the right, which allows you to customize your eyebrows, facial hair, and lip colour. Have fun!
A screenshot of a window displaying visual filters and studio effects menus. The menu window allows the user to preview the filters before adding them. The screenshot shows a man with a hat filter display is previewed.
An image of the Video Filters and Studio Effects menus in Zoom.

For additional help with other Zoom-related topics, visit IT Conestoga’s Zoom page.


Tews, M. J., Jackson, K., Ramsay, C., & Michel, J. W. (2015). Fun in the college classroom: Examining its nature and relationship with student engagement. College Teaching63(1), 16-26.

Mike Wong

​Michael Wong holds a Ph.D. and brings his experience as an educator, researcher, and neuroscientist to the Teaching and Learning Consultant team at Conestoga College. Prior to joining the team, Michael was a professor and instructor at Sheridan College, McMaster University, and most recently at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He has taught and designed/refined courses and curricula in many subject areas from neuroscience and psychology to research methods and child health. He is a proponent of active learning and has an interest in neuroplasticity, gamification, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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