Google Photos is my main source for cloud storage for all the pictures I take. Facebook used to hold that title before Photos came along, but the latter is better in so many ways, especially if you’re even halfway serious about photography.
Sure, Zuck’s Palace is cool and all, but it’s more specifically for storage and sharing, as to where Google Photos also allows you to edit your photos – and it’s pretty damn good at it, too.
In fact, I’m planning to do an entire series of tutorials about the service to help our readers who might not be familiar with it, or realize how easy it is to use and how awesome the results can be.
This is the first installment of our series, which we’re calling GP101: Getting to know Google Photos. And for our first topic, we’re showing you how to make awesome home movies using your own photos and video clips.
Unfortunately, you can’t make videos on the Google Photos website, so you’ll need to have the app installed on your Android phone or tablet to begin. Here’s a link – just in case.
Making movies with Google Photos
Make sure you’re on the “Photos” tab when you initially open the Google Photos app. You’ll see a grid full of your photos and videos, along with a search bar on top, a hamburger menu on the left, and a button with three stacked dots on the right.
Press the stacked dots menu on the right of the search bar and, under “Create new”, select “Movie”.
Now, you can add any photos or videos you want from your collection to your movie. Keep in mind, there’s a 50 item max, meaning you can only use up to 50 images or clips in one movie.
Once you have everything you want to include, hit the “CREATE” button in the top right corner. The app prepares the movie file, which shouldn’t take too long on newer phones.
You can name your movie, edit it, or add funky Snapchat-style filters to it to give it a completely customized look and feel. You can also add music to help set the tone.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the things you can do here, shall we?
On the bottom left, there’s a button that looks like a clapper board. You know? The things they use in the movies when the director yells, “Action!” This button lets you apply those filters I mentioned before.
There’s a bunch to choose from, and you can use whichever one you like best. It’s your movie. Do it big! Pick the filter you like, then hit the check mark in the top right corner to activate it.
The next tab over to the right (it looks like a music note) is for adding music. You can use your own tracks you have locally on your device, or you can choose from one of Google’s pre-installed tunes. The selection is somewhat limited, but there’s enough there to at least test the service before using your own music.
Editing your movie
The third tab over, on the far right, lets you add, delete, or rearrange your photos and video clips. If you decide the video is missing something, or maybe it needs a little more, you simply add or subtract as needed, and you can easily drag and drop everything where you want it.
Saving and sharing
After you have your movie exactly as you want it, it’s time to save and share it to the world. All you have to do is name your movie to save it. You can share it with the share button in the top right, or export it to your device with the stacked dots button next to it.
Now you’ve got an awesome home movie, like the one you see below.
It’s also worth mentioning that Google Photos will, from time-to-time, automatically create movies for you. You’ll get a notification when this happens, like I did for the one below, where El Googs put together this awesome little video of my pup, Carl.
I hope you enjoyed this quick walkthrough, and I’d love to see some of your creations in the comment threads. Stay tuned! We’ll have our next GP101 installment up in the near future!