Move over Windows Movie Maker – and start making movies on a PC/laptop with the free Microsoft Photos app!
If you previously had been used to using Windows Movie Maker to quickly create videos, you may not even have noticed on devices running Windows 10 and later that you have the latest version of the video editor built right into the Photos app on your PC/laptop.
Getting started with Video editor in Microsoft Photos app
To get started using the video editor built into the Microsoft Photos app simply go to your Start menu on your PC/laptop, then look at all of the software listed in alphabetical order. Just go to P for Photos or V for Video editor and once you’ve located either, you’ll find you are accessing the same app from the Start menu as Video editor or Photos app – and then simply choosing “Video editor” from the topmost menu within the Photos app to get going.
The Video editor within Microsoft Photos app gives you the choice of making a quick-creation video from a bunch of images and video clips or you can build it from scratch adding each element in turn.
If you choose the “Make a video for me” menu choice, the Microsoft Photos app Video editor lets you quickly jump right into creating a video just by selecting images and video clips and letting the app auto-create a quick video with timings, titles and background music automatically applied. That’s great for making that quick video – yet even though it has been quickly auto-created it still lets you change how it looks, text and images/video clips.
If you choose to start a new video project you are presented with a familiar video editing storyboard or timeline where you select the elements you want one by one, dragging images and video clips, placing transitions, overlay text/titles/captions, motion and filters (including neat 3D effects) as you wish. You can use inbuilt music (which you can choose to auto-synchronise with the images/clips) or add your own backing music/narration if you prefer. And you have choices of inbuilt themes from which to select – these quickly apply a unifying look and feel across your video with theme-specific titles/overlay text, music, transitions, motion and filters.
So all in in you can create a professional looking video in minutes (though you’ll likely play around with all of the choices of themes if it’s your first time using the video editor so give yourself time to explore your options as you’ll likely like them all!!).
For a more detailed step-by-step guide to many of the features of Microsoft Photos app Video editor watch this video by Kevin Stratvert – if you go into the video on YouTube and look at the notes beneath the video you will see that Kevin has helpfully got timestamps on each element of the Video editor in the Photos app – so you can use the slider in the video to go to the feature you are specifically looking for – covering Launching Video Editor; Video Editor start screen; Name your video; Overview of editing interface; Importing videos & photos; Adjusting Project Library thumbnail size; Add title card; Add video & photos to storyboard; Edit items on storyboard; Trim video; Split video; Add text on storyboard; Add motion; Add 3D effects; Add filters; Adjust speed; Remove or show black bars; Rotate video; Cut, copy & paste on storyboard; Working with photos; Adding background music & audio; Adding themes; Finish video; Preview video
Learn about specific features of Video editor in Microsoft Photos app
The Windows YouTube channel has a helpful playlist of video guides for specific elements of learning how to use the Microsoft Photos app Video editor
Click here for the support page on the Microsoft Educator Centre specifically for the Video Editor in Microsoft Photos app – this provides links to the Windows YouTube playlist of videos about using Microsoft Photos app Video editor as well as a guide to the Microsoft support page about using the Microsoft Photos app Video editor – handy if you like to see written information laid out with accompanying images.
How to make use of Microsoft Photos app Video editor to support learning and teaching
The Microsoft Educator Centre has a free to download course about making use of the Microsoft Photos app Video editor in classroom contexts “Creativity in the classroom: Break into visual storytelling” – note that this is designed as a course to be presented to others and has all of the materials included to guide a presenter in leading colleagues through practical activities. And, as with all online on-demand free courses in the Microsoft Educator Centre, on completion of the course there is the opportunity to gain a micro-credential/badge and certificate and a record of this and any other courses you complete in the Microsoft Educator Centre. This course has elements of Moving Image Education included.
As a follow up to the above “Break into visual storytelling” course the Microsoft Educator Centre has “Dive deeper into visual storytelling” free to download course (designed as a course to be presented to others with all of the materials included to guide a presenter in leading colleagues through practical activities). This explores how more advanced features of Microsoft Photos app Video editor allows teachers to highlight concepts like mood, tone, voice, and non-verbal communication patterns. And, as with all online on-demand free courses in the Microsoft Educator Centre, on completion of the course there is the opportunity to gain a micro-credential/badge and certificate and a record of this and any other courses you complete in the Microsoft Educator Centre.