If you’re pining for the return of Windows Movie Maker, wake up: Windows Insiders on the Fast and Slow rings can now access a Photos app update that provides a surprisingly great video editor.
This update also provides some very basic Story Remix features for videos only, including some 3D effects.
I’ve already detailed the torturous route that Microsoft has taken since the ill-begotten Build 2017 keynote at which Story Reminx was demoed and the software giant took “over-promise and under-deliver” to new heights (or, lows, I guess). So rather than provide further editorializing, here’s what’s happening.
After months of false starts, Microsoft quietly revealed in early September that it would make Story Remix features available as part the Photos app concurrently with the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update on October 17. That is, the Fall Creators Update will actually ship with an older version of the Photos app that lacks Story Remix functionality. But once you update the app in the Store, you’ll get Story Remix.
To date, only the handful of Insiders on the Fast ring who opted into Skip Ahead have had access to this new version of the Photos app, which limited the testing field. But as of now, everyone in the Windows Insider program—those on the Fast and Slow ring—have access to the new Photos app.
There are two big new feature chunks: The new video editor and Search. The latter is pretty straightforward, so we can ignore that. The big news here, of course, is the new editor.
To find this functionality, select the Create button in the Photos app. When you do, you’ll get three choices: Video remix, Video project, and Album.
Video remix works like a typical wizard: You select two or more photos and then Photos creates a video from that content. The created video, which includes music and transitions, plays automatically once it’s completed, and you can press a prominent “Remix it for me” button—similar to that found in Sway—to have the wizard recreate the video completely.
When you find a version you like, you can export or share it, or open it in a new video editor.
That new editor looks and works like a very basic version of Windows Movie Maker, and I’m curious to see whether readers feel like it meets their needs.
I think it will. It provides the same video/photo import capabilities as Movie Maker, a nice preview window, a simple timeline that supports drag and drop reordering, and tons of filters, text captioning, and motion effects. There are also video-wide themes, some surprisingly nice music choices, and even aspect ratio controls. Seriously, it looks solid to me.
(Also, this editor is what you get when you choose Create > Video project.)
If you edit a video—not a photo slideshow, but an actual video—you can also add some Story Remix-style 3D effects. I haven’t played with this too much yet, but then I didn’t even see this feature until after I rebooted the PC either.
Obviously, there is a lot to explore here.