This is how you edit videos in Microsoft Photos app

Many an amateur filmmaker thinks back to Windows Movie Maker with nostalgia. Don't worry, Microsoft has incorporated a similar video editor into its Microsoft Photos app. As usual, you can string several video clips together, while decorating the images with clear titles, original animations and beautiful filters. After about an hour of assembling, enjoy an eye-catching end result!

Because of its accessible nature, Windows Movie Maker was a popular part of Microsoft's operating system for years. Unfortunately, the American group pulled the plug on this program at the beginning of 2017. A new video editor was introduced in the Photos app a few months later, but this part has remained a secret for quite a few people. This function has now been expanded with interesting tools. That's why it's high time to get started with the built-in video editor of Windows 10.

01 Open video project

Naturally, you can open Photos by looking for this program in the Windows 10 start menu. Alternatively, you can also open the Video Editor application. In fact, this will launch the Photos app, with the difference that you will be taken directly to the Video Projects window. click on Create a video project to open the editing window. Think of a relevant name for the project and confirm with OK. Just as you may be used to from Windows Movie Maker, the user environment consists of three parts. On the left is the Project Library. Here you immediately add images that you want to use for the film. On the right there is a video frame where you can admire the film in the making. At the bottom is the Storyboard. This is more or less a timeline that determines the order of the film.

02 Add media

You will of course need your own video material for the installation. If necessary, connect a camcorder, memory card, smartphone, tablet or external drive containing the saved images to the system. If you store the video files on a NAS, then switch on this network device. At the top left, under Project Library, click Add. Through From this PC a Windows Explorer window opens. Browse to the correct (network) location and select the video files you want to use for the final movie. The good thing is that the program can handle just about all common image formats. By the way, you can also integrate photos within the video project. Hold down the Ctrl+key and click on the files you want to select. Do you want to use the entire contents of the folder? Then press Ctrl+A. Then confirm with To open. It takes a while for a large number of files to be visible in the Photos app. The images appear as small thumbnails in the Project Library. If you think they are too small, click at the top Show medium (icon with squares).

Photos Companion

You can transfer videos from your smartphone or tablet via WiFi to the Photos app on your computer. Handy in case you don't have a USB cable at hand. To do this, install the Photos Companion app on mobile devices with Android and iOS. In the Photos app, click on the PC under Project Library on Add / From Mobile. A QR code will appear. Then open the Photos Companion app and choose Send photos. Allow the application to access the camera and scan the qr code. Now indicate on the mobile device which images you want to transfer and confirm with Done. It is important to know that this is an experimental function. Microsoft may therefore change or discontinue the feature at any time.

03 Start video editing

If you want to use a video (or photo) for the movie, add the file to the Storyboard. Click on the thumbnail of the target video clip and drag the item to the Storyboard with the mouse button pressed. In white letters is indicated how long each fragment lasts. You can also adjust the sound level of the relevant video with the speaker icon. Useful in case, for example, quite a lot of wind noise is audible. You can easily change the order of the fragments by dragging them to another place on the Storyboard. Add multiple video clips and note that you can start a preview at any time on the right. To do this, click on the arrow at the bottom left of the video frame. Finally, to the right of the timeline, you can still click the icon Full screen click so you can examine the preview closely.

04 Trim videos

You may want to use only part of a clip for the movie. No problem, because you resolutely cut out boring parts. On the Storyboard, select a video clip and then click To cut. A fresh window will appear in which you will select the usable part of the video clip. With the blue colored marker on the left side of the timeline you indicate the starting point. You control this by dragging this marker while holding down the mouse button. With the blue marker on the right you select the end point. The program clearly indicates the playing time remaining. Are you satisfied with the result? click on Ready to finally incorporate the trimmed video into your project.

05 Filters and motion

Microsoft Photos includes simple tools for editing videos. For example, you can give the image a nostalgic touch with a filter and add movement effects. Select a fragment in the Storyboard that you want to work on and choose Filters. On the right, you can choose from thirteen filters, such as Classic, Ink, Sepia and Pixel. Try them out without obligation and press the play button to see the result. Once you have made a choice, click at the top Movement. You can use this to zoom in on a specific part of the video or photo. For example, if you want to emphasize an object on the left side of the image, choose Zoom in on the left. You can play around with this a bit, but don't expect miracles. The motion function is therefore more intended to make static photos more dynamic. hit with Ready the changes.

06 3D Effects

You can integrate fun animations within the video, where you let the animation follow an object. Select a video clip on the Storyboard and click 3D Effects. On the right side you can choose from various animations. Think for example of balloons, bubbles, lightning bolts, magical light, rain and fire. As soon as you click on an effect, an editing window will open on the right. Would you like the animation to follow a certain object in the video? Put the switch down Link to a point in that case on On. An anchor appears on the screen. Drag this anchor to the desired position within the video frame. Every animation also comes with a sound effect. below Volume use the slider to change the sound level as desired. You can adjust the size of the animation based on the square blocks around the animation. In addition, use the arrows to change the direction of the 3D effect. Depending on the chosen effect, you can easily change the duration. Dark blue markers will appear in the timeline. Drag the handles and decide how long you want the animation to play. Finally confirm with Ready.

Black bars

Vertically shot films often have black bars on the sides. Fortunately, the Photos app contains a function to make the video fill the screen. Right-click on the fragment in question and choose Resize / Remove Black Bars. Please note that part of the image may be lost.

07 Titles

With a somewhat longer film, you may want to use titles to introduce new fragments. On the Storyboard, select a video clip and click Text. On the right, you can now choose from ten styles. below Layout determine where the title should be. In the empty field at the top right, type the intended text. You try out several styles and layouts without obligation, where you can immediately admire the result. Unfortunately, there is no option to adjust the colors and title format. You can change the duration by dragging the blue markers in the timeline. Logically, you always place a title at the beginning of a fragment. Save the changes with Ready. By the way, you can also add a title to the film as a separate scene. Within the Storyboard, right-click on the fragment for which you want to edit this scene and choose Add title card. By default, this scene lasts three seconds, but via the option Duration you can easily change that. Of Background select a nice color, where you can also choose a patterned background. Finally, you put via Text Enter the desired title and confirm with Ready.

08 Add music

You provide the film with background music without obligation. You can choose from audio tracks that are standard in Windows Photos, although you can also select your own saved song. Click the icon at the top Recommended music (music note) and see if there is anything in the pre-chewed soundtracks. Use the arrow to play an example. Optionally check the option Sync video to the beat of the music at. This gives a professional result, with the film jumping to a different fragment with each beat. Unfortunately, the program drastically shortens all scenes. With the slider below Music volume adjust the sound level to your own taste. Prefer to use a well-known song as background sound? Navigate to Select your music / Music file and browse to the audio files folder. You double click on the song in question, after which you confirm with Ready. When the sound of the video drowns out the background music you have just set, it is important to turn the volume of the fragment down a notch.

09 Add audio

Would you like to add multiple audio tracks, for example your own song and spoken explanation? In the Photos app, you simply paste several audio tracks one after the other or you overlay the sound fragments. Keep in mind that the program cannot handle every audio format. In any case, there is support for mp3, wma, wav, aac and m4a. In the main video editor window, click the icon Import custom audio tracks or narration (musical note with doll). Through Add audio file select one or more files, after which you confirm with To open. The program immediately places these files on the timeline. Click on an audio clip on the right and determine the desired position on the timeline. By dragging the blue markers, you set the desired duration. Furthermore, within the thumbnail of the audio clip, click on the speaker to adjust the volume level. It is especially important for a spoken explanation that image and sound are synchronized. Use the play button to check that. Through Ready save the changes.

Set theme

Don't feel like working with the editing functions yourself? Windows Photos lends sloths a hand. You choose a theme yourself, after which the program automatically indicates filters, music and text styles. First drag and drop photo and video files that you want to use in the movie to the Storyboard. Within the video editor, click the icon at the top Set a theme (palette). Choose between Adventure, Electric, Beloved, Classic, Cool and Joy themes. As soon as you confirm with Ready the chosen theme will be active within seconds.

Automatic video

Windows Photos easily cobbles together a full movie for you. To do this, first close the editing window by clicking the arrow at the top left. Choose now Create / Automatic video and select all the clips you want to use in the movie. Through To make give the movie a name. click on OK to create the video. If you are not completely satisfied with the result, click next Have a remix made on the round double arrow icon. Windows Photos then automatically changes the theme, content, tempo, and length of the video. If necessary, click this button several times until you have achieved the desired result. Finally choose Export or share.

10 Save to OneDrive

Windows Photos saves a local copy on your computer so that you can continue tinkering with the video montage at a later time. Do you use multiple Windows 10 systems? In that case, it is smart to save the video project in the cloud, so that you can also work on the film on another PC or laptop. The program has built-in support for Microsoft OneDrive for this. Handy, because most Windows 10 users have automatic access to this online storage service via a Microsoft account. Click the icon at the top Save to OneDrive (cloud with arrow) and confirm again with Save to OneDrive. A black bar will appear where you can follow the upload process. This process takes a while, especially with a large number of files.

11 Save and Share

When you're happy with the end result, you can save and share the movie. In the main video editor window, click the icon at the top right Export a shareable video file (arrow to the right). You then select the desired file size, where you can choose between S, M and L. For the best quality, choose L, while S guarantees a modest file size. Make a choice and wait for Windows Photos to finish exporting. The program will save the movie in the default pictures folder of Windows 10. Click Show in explorer to open this folder. Unfortunately, you have no influence on the video format used. Windows Photos always saves movies as MP4 files. Via the option Share on social media, via email or any other app can you distribute the film further? Think, for example, of uploading to YouTube or sending an email with a video attachment. The options depend on the apps installed in Windows 10.

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