Step-by-step Edit a video in the Photos app
1 Import your files
There’s an Import button at the top right of Photos’ interface, which drops down to give you the option of importing from a folder already on your PC, or from a connected USB device. The button that appears if you choose a folder isn’t Open or Import but ‘Add to Pictures’ – what you’re doing is linking the folder to Photos so it knows it’s somewhere your files might be.
2 Create a project
Open ‘Folders’ and select a folder containing video clips you want to use. Then, from the Create menu, choose ‘Custom video with music’. The app will automatically assemble a video for you if you choose that option, but you’re better off doing it manually, since Photos’ algorithms don’t know what’s important to you in a video clip. Give your creation a name, which you can edit later.
3 Arrange and trim clips
Photos normally puts your clips in chronological order using their time and date stamps, but you can also drag and drop clips into the order you want using the Storyboard along the bottom of the window. When your clips are in the right order, trim unwanted bits at the beginning and end using the Trim button. Click it, and your selected clip appears, with blue markers you can move.
4 Add a title
Titles are easy to create. Select the first clip in your storyboard, and click the Text button above it. This switches to a dedicated window, from where you can choose a position and a text style to accompany your chosen video title. Use the Filter button to adjust the colour balance of your clip. There aren’t many title styles, but they can be applied with a single click.
5 Add motion
The next button along is Motion, which enables you to zoom into your clip and pan the viewpoint about as if it were a virtual camera. The effect takes place across the entire length of the clip – there seems to be no way to affect its duration, and it can be relatively subtle, but the sense of movement it imparts is undeniable. There are 11 tilts, zooms and pans to choose from.
6 Add a theme
The Themes button is at the top of the interface, next to the handy Undo and Redo buttons. Selecting a theme changes every filter, music clip and text style you’ve used in your video to one set by the theme, giving your movie a consistent look and feel. You can change themes easily, just by selecting them from the list on the right of the window that pops up when you press the button.
7 Add 3D effects
These are a selection of special effects that insert various items into your video, ranging from snowflakes to butterflies, and are accessed using the 3D button above the storyboard. You can choose how much of a clip an effect is visible on by dragging the blue bar across its running time. Effects that come with sound can have their volume modified. 3D effects can also be customised.
8 Add music
Photos comes with built-in music clips to accompany your video. Find them by clicking the Music button at the top of the main window (click the word ‘music’, not the speaker), then the Recommended tab. These tunes can be synced so their beat affects movie playback, but there’s no way to control how this is done. Click the arrow next to each one to hear a preview.
9 Get more music
Select the ‘Your music’ tab and you’ll be able to use music files on your PC. Photos will find and flag up every music file on your PC, and some of these will be protected by copyright. Since YouTube takes a dim view of copyright infraction, and mutes videos in which it detects copyrighted music, get some Creative Commons-licensed tunes from www.bensound.com instead.
10 Export and share
Photos offers three options for exporting your video: Small, Medium or Large. If you’ve shot in HD, you might be disappointed by Small or Medium, which resize your video to 940x540 and 1,280x720 pixels respectively. Large keeps the full 1,920x1,080 resolution, but takes longer to produce with larger filesizes. Your movie is saved to your PC, and can be shared on social media.