The Photos app was already one of the best apps in Windows 10, but now it is even better. Microsoft has added new drawing tools and lets you share animations online with your friends.
The recently updated app lets you load a photo and then crop it, rotate it and apply various filters. It can then be opened in a drawing editor and the pens, markers and pencils used to draw on top of it.
The resulting image with artwork can then be shared online or via other sharing options as a static image or as an animation. Whatever you draw on the photo is recorded and then used to create a short video clip. Your actions are replayed in the clip so the viewer can see them being redrawn.
It looks good when shared with Facebook for example, and if videos are set to auto-play, the animation starts when someone sees your post. If video auto-play is off, the viewer can click the play button to watch the animated clip.
It is an interesting feature that you might find fun to use when posting on social networks.
Check for updates
The Windows 10 Photos app should update automatically and the new features may already be present. There is no harm in checking though. Open the Windows Store app, click the three dots in the top right corner to show the menu and then select Downloads & Updates. Click Get Updates.
Crop photos and apply filters
Open the Photos app from the Start menu and find and click the photo you want to edit. Click Edit & Create at the top and then select Edit on the menu that is displayed. This enables the photo to be cropped and rotated, and there is a collection of filters that can be applied.
Click any of the thumbnails to see the filter effect applied to the photograph and when you are happy with it, click the button at the bottom to save a copy of the image. (Never overwrite the original.)
Draw on a photo
Return to the Edit & Crop menu and this time, select Draw, There are three drawing tools at the top and left to right they are Ballpoint Pen, Pencil and Calligraphy Pen. The fourth icon is an eraser, which erases your drawing without touching the image.
Click once on a drawing tool to select it and then click again to open a colour palette and pen/pencil size. There is nothing fancy here and it is probably easier to draw with a finger on a touchscreen than to use a mouse.
I can’t draw with a pencil and trying to draw with a mouse makes me even worse! You can probably do better than I can.
Share your photos
The usual sharing options are available and the appropriate apps must be installed. For example, if you want to share your photos and drawings on Facebook, you must have the Facebook app installed. It is in the Windows Store.
Return to the photo screen again and click the Share button. Choose whether to share the photo with your drawing, or to share a video clip. This is a live replay of you drawing on the photo.
I shared it on Facebook and as usual with posts, you can add a comment, choose whether to make it public or just to share it with friends and so on.
Microsoft calls these videos of you drawing on a photo living images. Open your photo/drawing and click Edit & Create. There is a Save photos menu option, subtitled Save frames from living image.
This opens the photo/drawing animation and you can step through it one frame at a time and save any or all of them.
This is a great new feature in the Photos app.