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Finding Images: Open Access and Free Images

Guide to finding images in MIT visual collections and online through large repositories of images appropriate for academic audiences

Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

Find open source virtual backgrounds at the following resources: 


MIT Campus: 

Virtual background tips: 

An easy and quick way to create a high-quality image for your virtual background is to adjust the aspect ratio of any template to 1280 x 720 pixels and add, remove and customize elements to your liking.

  • For the best virtual background effect, use a high-contrast, solid-color backdrop, preferably a green screen, but this is not required. Whatever you decide to use, choose a matt, non-reflective background.
  • Use high-quality, high-resolution images.
  • Zoom recommends using background images with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
  • Zoom recommends using background videos (MP4 or MOV file) with a minimum resolution of 480 x 360 pixels (360p) and a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p).
  • If your background image includes text, uncheck the ‘mirror my video’ option in your video settings.

Completely Free Image Resources

These image resources are created under either a completely unrestricted use license, or a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning that you can download, use, manipulate, share, distribute, or otherwise use them for whatever purpose you'd like without permission. It is strongly recommended that you credit the creator(s) of the image, but it is not necessary.