Story Remix – At Last a Worthy PhotoStory Successor
PhotoStory 3 (Windows XP’s slideshow creation tool) first released in 2004 continues to hold cult status among many teachers. Photo Story was (And is) a free Windows XP program for creating video presentations from photos complete with titles, captions, sound effects, narration and background music. It’s simplicity and flexibility made Photostory an instant success with teachers and to this day is in regular classroom use, right across the curriculum. Whatever the activity; digital storytelling, nature walks, school trips, local history, project work or indeed end of year presentations/graduations, Photostory remains the go-to tool for powerful digital narratives. That said, Photostory has long since started to show its age (Last updated in 2006) and a more modern (And free) alternative has not been forthcoming…Up until now, that is…
Story Remix is similar to the discontinued Windows Movie Maker but reimagined (Microsoft’s PR not mine) for Windows 10. It finds relevant content and automatically creates videos that you can keep, share and edit. Story Remix comes bundled with the preinstalled Photos App with the latest version of Windows 10, Fall Creators Update (Version 1709- Check Your Version). At this point It’s important to note you’ll not find any reference to “Story Remix” in the updated app. Instead, within the Create menu, you’ll find new options: Video remix and Video project. Some Videos (Mixes) will be created automatically based on your existing content and you can get the Photos app to create a new video automatically on selected photos by selecting Video Remix from the Create menu. However, to get a true flavour of Story Remix’s potential (and for the purposes of this walkthrough) I’m going to focus on creating a Story (video project) from scratch…
- To get started, open the Photos app and from the Create menu choose Video project.
- Select the images (and or videos) you want to use and click Add button top-right.
- Story Remix will automatically create a new video with the selected images and the video editor will open so you can edit, preview, and share your creation.
- The video editor screen above is divided into 3 parts: The photos (and or videos) selected previously in the top-left, the video preview top-right and the video timeline along the bottom. Select the + Add photos and videos in the top-left to add new media and then drag and drop the content onto the timeline. Depending on the content you’re adding you’ll see a set of editing options above this line; for photos you get Duration, Filters, Text, and Motion, for video its Trim, Filters, Text, Motion, and 3D effects.
- Adding multimedia: The quickest way to customise your video with transitions, filters, music, and text styles is by applying a preset theme from the Themes menu (A preview of each is available from theis window also)
- If you find the themes too constrictive, you can customise music, filters, transitions, motion and 3D effects, choose the required option from the appropriate menu. Music and video apect ratio from the top toolbar, all other options from the context sensitive timeline menu.
For instance, if you want to customise the background music, choose Music from the top, here you can choose one of the inbuilt tracks you can browse and add your own from clicking Your music and then Select a music file. To customise slide duration, photos filters, custom text and motion paths, select the photo you wish to change and choose the required option from the timeline toolbar.
- Saving & Sharing: The Photos app automatically saves your video as you edit but to view the video outside the app or share it, you need to export the project as a video. First rename your video by clicking on the default New Video title in the top left. Then choose Export or share in the top right, then one of the three export option.
The video will export and on completion a preview window with view, file and sharing options.