Custom Video Filters

Custom Video filters are rolling out to Teams Public Preview ring at the time of writing.

The Microsoft provided filters enable applying colour filters to your video feed such as Black and White

And also applying a overlay

Both work with virtual backgrounds and video, but will not support the upcoming Avatars.

Whilst this feature as is doesn’t have an obvious business benefit it is still interesting for two reasons:

  1. The opportunity to have custom apps with organisation or event overlays, which adapt to web cam configuration will offer additional branding options for organisations and events.
  2. The way in which the filters are enabled is an excellent example of app governance in Microsoft Teams

This feature is currently only available in public preview. A tenant admin needs to allow you to switch to public preview  (Admin guidance) and then you can enable it from the … menu in your Teams client (user guidance). 

WARNING: As things stand during the preview, the Custom Filters app does appear to be a little difficult to track down.  Since it started rolling out and whilst I’ve been writing this article over a number of days, the app keeps appearing and then hiding in the client and admin center.  I am certain, this will be fixed before rollout to general availability.  Just be aware if testing early release.

Authorise the App – Teams Admin

The Microsoft Custom Filters app is available in the Teams Admin Center and enabled by default in commercial tenants and available in education tenants but disabled by default.  Additional apps from third parties are expected such as Snapchat and Mabelline.

To allow any of your users access to the Microsoft provided custom filters, you need to first enable the app at tenant level.  In the Teams Admin Center choose Apps > Manage Apps.  Locate Custom Filters in the list and ensure it is set to Allowed.

The app also needs to be added to the appropriate App Permission policies so users can add the app to have the feature in their client.  The app is listed under the Microsoft Apps in permission policies. 

This app cannot be added to the App Set up policies as each user needs to grant it permission to access their video.  This is due to the AI process which analyses the video and overlays the filter and therefore is considered a potential impact to individual privacy and as such needs the individual to consent.

The Video Filters settings in the Meeting Policy only apply to virtual backgrounds and do not impact this new filter functionality.

Add the App – Teams User

The Custom Filters app is added from the Teams App Store and can be found under the Built by Microsoft  category

As you add the app, you will need to give the app permission to access your video and thus the app will need to be added by each user.  In doing so you give the app permission to analyse and modify your video.  For more details on the exact permissions you are granting this app follow the links to the Privacy policy, terms of use and permissions link in the dialog box.

Applying a Filter

The filters can be applied from the Video effects button under the video preview on the meeting join screen

This is also available on Mac

And once you have joined the meeting filters can be added, removed or changed via the More menu and Video effects.  The Video Effects pane, also includes virtual backgrounds.

On the meeting join screen selecting More Video Effects, opens the Video Effects pane, complete with all virtual backgrounds and filters.  The filters in the Custom Filters app include frames and video styles.

The frames apply an overlay to the video, mainly along the lower edge, but some are complete 4 sided frames, whilst styles change the colour of the video.

Once applied the frame overlays the image.  Shame it’s too late or too early (depending on your perspective) for the festive frame!

Changing the filter once you are in the meeting, shows a small preview, but be aware that whilst you are adjusting the filter your camera is off.

Message Center Announcement Post for 7th Jan 2023 is shown below for reference

Published by sfennah

I am a freelance learning professional with over 22 years’ experience including holding 30+ Microsoft certifications and Microsoft Certified Trainer status since 2008.

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