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October 15, 2013

Right from the Start: Apps for Creative Expression

Recently we kicked off the “Right from the Start” blog series highlighting the apps and services of Windows 8.1. We have talked about Xbox Music, Bing apps, Reading List, the Mail app, and IE11. Today, we are excited to talk about new and improved apps for creative expression: Photos, Camera, Movie Moments, and Fresh Paint. All these apps are available later this week with Windows 8.1, which is a free update for Windows 8 consumers starting on Oct. 18th.

Your Creations – Just the Way You Want Them

As a society, we’re snapping more pictures and taking more videos than ever before. It’s been said that more pictures are taken every 2 minutes than were taken in the entire 19th century! With so many pictures and videos, we have all felt the pain of missing the perfect shot or taken photos where the lighting or quality was a little off.

With Windows 8.1 comes an exciting set of new and improved apps – apps that allow you to go from capturing images to making brilliant edits to sharing within a matter of moments. These apps make the images, memories, and creations you care about easy to capture, simple to edit, and seamless to share.

In addition to the apps that help you capture the beautiful images around you; the new version of Fresh Paint will also help you unleash your inner creativity, further pushing the boundaries of creating art.


From Camera to Photos: Never miss a moment, even when the moment surrounds you

If you prefer photography to express your creative side, there is a great range of Windows 8.1 devices with great cameras built-in. Every step from capturing to sharing is a delightful, fast, and easy experience – and you have all the great editing capabilities of the photo app built right into the camera app:

  • Easy Controls: With the built-in Camera app, you have easy-to-use controls to help you capture photos and videos. You can even quickly access the camera from the lock screen.
  • Video and Photo – yes, at the same time: No need to decide about taking a video or a picture. A new feature of the Camera app allows you to record a video, then tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture without stopping the recording!
  • Editing in seconds: The updated Camera and Photos apps have great photo editing capabilities. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or first time photographer, you can auto-fix or tweak your photos in a matter of seconds. The controls are along the sides – so if you are on your tablet, you can quickly take the picture and do all the editing with thumb controls. And they work great with a mouse and keyboard too.
  • Capturing the world around you: The panorama feature in the Camera app is based on the popular Photosynth technology, this allows you to capture and automatically stitch panorama photographs of the world around you. Check out this video of the panorama feature.
  • Never miss a moment: And, one of the most exciting parts of the new Camera app with Windows 8.1 devices is photo loop. If you’ve ever experience missing the perfect shot, photo loop allows you to capture a series of pictures one second before and one second after you press the shutter button, allowing you to always select the best picture from a series of rapid shots.
  • Your photos, always with you: Photos taken with the camera are automatically synced to SkyDrive, so you can feel confident that you always have your photos with you.

Photos: Edit and organize, beautifully and quickly

With the Photos app in Windows 8.1, you can edit photos both stored on your computer as well as photos stored in SkyDrive through one seamless experience.  The Windows 8.1 Photos app gives you beautiful full screen photo viewing and editing across all your Windows apps and the desktop. The one-tap edits not only let you quickly and easily pick from a set of auto-fixes that make your photo stunning but also provides the ability to edit and enhance your photos like a professional by removing blemishes and having fine control over brightness, hue, saturation, and more. If you want to get even more creative, try color enhance, a new feature that gives you the ability to pick a color you would like to make brighter and instantly change the depth and richness of your photo. To see how easy it is to make amazing enhancements, see this video.

Right from the Start: Two amazing apps in the Windows Store

Two apps for creative expression that are available in the Windows Store for Window 8.1 are Fresh Paint and Movie Moments.

Real life moments can be unpredictable, so when taking videos we often take a bunch of extra footage. Sometimes these videos sit dormant on our devices – when just a few edits would make the video instantly shareable! Movie Moments is a simple app that helps tell the story of the interesting moment in your video. Within moments, trim the video, add short captions, and put in some music and now you’ll have a short clip that you’ll want to share!

See these examples here of some Movie Moments:

After getting the Windows 8.1 update later this week, be sure to visit the Windows Store and download Movie Moments!


Add your own style to your short video:


Fresh Paint

It’s easy to create whatever you can imagine in Fresh Paint. Whether you are an artist who wants to make a masterpiece from scratch, or someone who wants to make a painting from a photo in just a few seconds, Fresh Paint is the canvas for your big ideas.

Fresh Paint is getting a major update for Windows 8.1.

The new version of the app not only includes the oil and other mediums in the original version; it also includes new features and tools like watercolors, a new graphite pencil set, a new clean, modern user interface, new brushes and more. You can now print your paintings to canvas in just a few steps through a partnership with CanvasPop—a company that produces canvas prints using the best materials and craftsmanship. We’ve also added a new Inspire Me feature to help you find inspirational images to get started, and we’ve added new image filters, custom palettes, and the ability to start a painting on your Windows Phone and finish it on your PC by importing it with SkyDrive.

No matter whether you are creating snapshots or short videos, you can use Camera, Photos, Fresh Paint or Movie Moments to express yourself just the way you want to. These new apps will be available later this week. In the meantime, here’s what is being said:

“New to Windows 8.1 is a Movie Moments app that lets you edit your personal videos—the videos you’ve taken with your Windows device’s camera, a smart phone, or other camera—into short, fun creations you can then enjoy and share.” – Paul Thurrott

“Fresh Paint is the most realistic painting app ever.” – WinSource

“When Microsoft released Fresh Paint with Windows 8, the app was justifiably lauded as one of the best experiences on the new OS.” – PC World

“There’s no better demonstration of the cool types of things you can do with multitouch than Fresh Paint.” – PC Mag

Whether you update your Windows 8 device or buy a device with Windows 8.1, I can’t wait for everyone to be able to try these new apps. You’ll be able to do this starting later this week – October 18th!

Ryan Gavin
General Manager
Microsoft Apps & Services