Affinity Photo Effects tutorials

A guide to all the effects such as Gaussian blur, deform, mirror as well as extensions and also using them with channels, live filter layers, etc

Extensions/ Channels / live filter layers / mirror filter / equations editor / maximum blur / snapshots / grids / add noise / affine / average blur / bilateral blur / box blur / clarity / custom blur/ depth of field blur/ deform / denoise / diffuse/ high pass filter / diffuse glow / displace / field blur / gaussian / lens blur/ lens distortion / median / minimum / motion / perspective filter / pinch punch / pixelate filter / polar to rectangular / radial blur / rectangular to polar / ripple filter / shear / spherical / twirl / unsharp mask / zoom / how to use the perlin noise filter

How added setsto add extensions (Affinity Photo) to Apple Photo application - Develop, Haze, Liquify etc. The basic steps for adding the extensions are System preferences (dock) and then Extensions (Apple) and Photos in left panel. Select extensions for editing photos (right panel). Click the Affinity Photo extensions you want - Affinity develop, Haze removal, liquify, miniature etc. Start Apple Photo application. Click the edit photos button in top right corner. Click extensions at the bottom and display added items. Select liquify etc. Extensions have now been added to the Apple Photo application with the release of El Capitan. At present (Jan 2016, there doesn't appear to be a huge number of tools available but I guess they will start to appear over time. AP have jumped in with their own set of 6 useful tools that sort of match (to a lesser extant) the tools in the application such as develop and Liquify. So how to get them to appear in the first place ??? The effects / extensions are added during the install of Affinity Photo but you can select them via preferences. Well, they are added by the app in the first place and if you have no effects then either the app doesn't add them or something has failed in the install process and in the case of AP, I would contacting Serif with the details as they should be available if you are using 1.4+. OK, first thing to do is to go to the Apple application or to the system preferences, either is fine. In system preferences go to the extensions. You will see an entry for photos. Click on that on the left side panel. You will see 6 entries such as retouch etc. You can select them depending on whether or not you want them in your app. The following extensions are available : Develop + Haze removal + Liquify + Miniature + Monochrome + Retouch. You can also do the same in the Apple app via the extensions button at the bottom of the edit panel. To quickly access the tools in Apple Photo via the edit button. Start up the Apple application. Click on a picture though before you do anything. I would suggest that you duplicate the photo and at least you can always go back to the source image. Far right at the top there is a little edit button (could they have made it any more obscure ?? why isn't the edit in the edit menu ?? ) Click on that. Once you are in edit mode, you will see the picture and the tools / filters etc down the right side (enhance, rotate, crop, filters, adjust, retouch, red-eye, extensions). Click the (...) and if the installed items are there (excellent) if not then go for the more and then add them via the preferences. Now use them as required. It should be noted that the Affinity Photo extensions in Apple Photos has slightly changed and instead of seeing the command next to the retouch, you can see the small three dot button along the top bar of the application next to the information button. Click that and you will see the develop, haze removal etc. Other than that, much the same as earlier. Many different features are included in the tools such as haze, liquify, miniature, twirl etc. Say you go into the miniature extension then you will find much the same features as the features in Affinity Photo - you will see elliptical and tilt as well as vibrance and clarity and strength as well as the lines / circles to modify the origin and range etc. If you go into develop you will see a vast range of settings such as exposure, contrast, saturation, vibrance, white balance, temperature, tint, shadows, highlights, color, luminosity etc. Just move the sliders to change the settings and create amazing designs. Once you have finished your edits, click the cancel or save changes. Video tutorial on the extensions subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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channelsHow to use channels in Affinity Photo with filters to create amazing effects in seconds. View menu in Affinity Photo. Studio and then Channels. Select composite red etc and apply filter in that channel. Select composite green etc filter menu and apply effect to green etc. You can use the red and green and blue separately and add effects to them. Open a document in Affinity Photo and then go to the channel panel View menu and studio and channels if it is not available). Once you have the panel displayed, you will notice a number of panel entries such Composite red + Composite green + Composite blue + Composite alpha and a number of others depending on the document such as spare channels (from selections). To reset back to RGB, click the little circular reset at the top of the panel to bring them all back online - you can still go back to the individual entries at any point and make additional changes. You can use the effects in the red channels or green etc as well as the blue etc independently. Go to the panel. Select red channel. So now, go to the equations editor (or blur etc) and then you will see the equations editor panel. Using the default coordinate system and set extend mode to wrap and the x= to x+500 etc (half of the current size of the document, I don't know if there is an equations constant for the document width) and then you will see the image shift in the red only half way and wrap half way. Click apply. Now select the composite green in the panel. Go to the equations editor and instead of using x+500 etc, set the y= value and set to y+500 etc (depending on the height of the document and half of that). Again, select wrap and then click apply. Go to the composite blue. Go back to the equations editor and now click the polar option and wrap and set the r= to r+200 and then go back to RGB. There is also an entry in the panel for pixel selection which is very useful as it enables you to create masks / selections by clicking the little icon 'toggle quick mask'. You can then apply brush strokes etc to the quick mask and then also add the equation editor or radial effects to the mask and them toggle the quick mask for a fairly unique selection for use in your work in seconds. Video tutorial on the subject of channels by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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how to use live filter layers for Affinity Photo tutorialHow to use the Affinity Photo live filter layers tutorial - use with many effects. Layer menu in Affinity Photo and then New Live filter Layer. Gaussian Blur filter. Manipulate settings for live filter layer. Go to layers panel. Move live filter layer to normal layer etc. The live filter layers can be applied multiple times with multiple effects and settings to create amazing artworks. The app includes many wonderful tools such as LFL (a sort of equivalent to the smart objects and smart filters in Photoshop) and these LFL are standard layers (though filled only with the filter effect) and they can be treated as a layer and moved around and positioned beneath or above other LFL as well as other layers such as pixel layers as well as vector layers and more. The key panel to use is the layers panel which can be found via the studio in the view menu. You can find the live filter layers via the layers menu. For example, goto the layers menu and new LFL and select gaussian blur or pixelate or field blur or clarity or lens blur etc and that will be added to the panel - depending on what is selected or not. Not all filters are available in this menu and to be honest I have no idea why the mirror filter is not there but it is not, perhaps this will change with the next version of AP. You can add multiple LFL to a pixel layer etc as well as add multiple LFL above all the other layers and also you can use blending modes with the LFL and the pixel / vector etc layers. You can also set via the settings / blending mode the blend to lighten or difference to create a difference gaussian blur with the layers below. Using blending modes and opacity is a great way to modify the effects in 1000s of ways with the other effects and layers. You can one or multiple entries via the menu - they will all be applied to the entries below so if you have 10 entries such as duplicates of the background or type etc then they will be modified by those effects - though the results will only be seen if the blending modes are set so that you can actually see the result. If you have nothing selected and you then go and create a new effect then the entry will be placed above the entire selection of entries in the panel which you may or may not want. If you want to move it so it is only applied to the one entry such as the background then select that effect layer and move it to the required layer. If you click on the sphere filter icon (I personally find it more consistent to use the icon than the whole line but that is up to you) and then drag it to another line such as the third layer down - you will not see the effect. You can see the effect only if the layers above have blending modes that the layer and effect to be seen. You can also click on the name such as (sphere) and change it to something like 'sphere filter effect etc'. You do not need to keep it as the default name and may find it easier to mark it as something else (especially if you have multiple effects and multiple layers). If you de-select all the layers and then use the layer menu and LFL, the LFL will be added above all the other layers. For example - De-select the layers and Go to the layer menu and New LFL. Gaussian Blur (or some other LFL filter). If you want to apply the LFL to a layer only then just select that layer and then apply the effect and you will see the effect 'attached' or beneath the layer. You can always select the little icon in the layer menu and drag the effect above the current layer or drag it to the top most part of the layer menu. Likewise, if you have a top most layer and you want to add it only to that layer (and for the effect to be only seen attached to that layer), just select the little LFL icon and drag down to the layer icon and you will see a little expand triangle appear. You can also add the LFL to another LFL but that doesn't appear to have any effect at all though visually you can see the expand option for that effect; likewise if you do the same with an adjustment layer as that also have no content. The key thing to remember is if the LFL is added in the wrong place then it can be moved. you can always just select it and drag it to the layer you want. The layers panel and the order and the LFL are definitely not cast in stone. You can add multiple LFL effects to a layer and so you could end up with gaussian blur / gaussian blur / ripple filter / pinch / noise / twirl etc. You may want to move the twirl LFL to the top position within that layer then select the icon for the twirl effect in the panel and drag that above the gaussian blur entry. The order of the effects will modify the observed final effect. The effects below such as the gaussian blur may not be visible unless the twirl LFL etc has a blending mode or opacity that allows the effects to be seen. You can also move the effect from one layer to another layer etc. If you have two layers and Layer 1 has a twirl LFL effect / blur LFL effect / ripple LFL effect and Layer 2 has a gaussian blur LFL effect / sphere LFL effect. And if you want the sphere live effect to be applied to the layer 1 then simply select that line in the layer 2 drag to the layer 1. Place at the top of that layer thumbnail. The layer live effects will now have Layer 1 with sphere LFL, twirl LFL, blur, ripple and Layer 2 with gaussian blur only. This can be done over and over until you are happy with the effects. The actual displayed result will only be visible if the blending modes and opacity and visibility allow it. The effects are layers so you can go to the layer menu and select the duplicate to duplicate the current selected LFL effect (to create 10 or so ripple effects if you wish) or just select the effect and then go to the layer menu and select the delete option and the effect will vanish. You can also simply de-select the effect via the layer panel and so you don't need to delete it. You can also right click to see a context menu such as on the left image for the layer where you can duplicate it in situ and delete and hide etc. You can also add a mask to the layer, though it should be noted that this does not work with the filter applied to a layer itself but just as a separate layer. You can select a layer and then click the mask button at the bottom of the main panel and click on the (mask) and then select a brush tool and set the color to black or gray etc and then paint the mask or paint with white to remove the entire effect. You will then see more or less of the effect added to that layer and that can be done for all the LFL. You can also apply standard filters to the mask through you can't add a live effect to the mask layer (guess that would be getting a little complex). I would say adding masks etc as well as multiple effects even pushes Affinity a little. Another interesting area to explore is to use a selection and then add a LFL as the gaussian blur etc effect is added only to that part of the selected image. The selection can be a basic selection but it can also be a more complex selection such as a tonal selection via the select menu and it can also use multiple effects such as twirl and blurs etc. You can re-select and again apply another LFL effect to the current selected item in the panel. Video tutorial on the live filter layers subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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How how to use mirror filter in affinity photo tutorialto use the amazing symmetry creating mirror filter in Affinity Photo. Open document and Filters menu and then Distort and Mirror. Drag the mirror panel to where you wish to use it. Change the number of mirrors (from the default of one). Change the input source angle. Change the output source angle for the mirror filter. Change the origin point for the mirror (by clicking the document). Apply and Repeat (if required). The mirror filter is found in the distort sub menu (part of the filter menu). Probably my favorite tool with excellent interactive effects and the results can be used once or multiple times with the mirror filter to create all kinds of amazing artworks. You can use the mirror filter with images and type along with other presets such as brush strokes and patterns. The mirror filter can be used with type layers, with image layers, with fill layers (after rasterizing them) and more. Sadly there is no live tool related to the mirror. The tool is a fun tool as well as having practical uses such as adding reflections. You can also create all kinds of beautiful symmetrical and intricate lace like designs. If you set the number to 4 or 8 etc and leave the origin point at the center of the document then you can use the tool to create seamless tiles (say if the document is 1000 x 1000 etc) with any image. As soon as you move the center point that ability is lost. You can repeat this numerous times and create an infinite range of seamless tiles from any image. That image can then be saved and used as a resource perhaps with other tools such as displacements and bitmap fills etc.

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equation editorHow to use equations filter (editor) in Affinity Photo along with a selection of examples for use such as mirror and warp and distortions. Filter menu and Distort (to find the Equations filter editor in Affinity Photo and access the equations settings and extend modes etc for the filter). Equations menu command. Set x = x*5 and Set y=y*5 and Set extend mode to wrap. Click apply for the equations filter editor. The equations filter is a new feature of 1.5 +. It is a powerful tool to warp and distort and transform images in 1000s of ways. It can be used with images as well as layers. The equations filter editor can be found in the filters menu and distort. Use it to modify images and layers in 1000s of ways. You can currently use Cartesian (x,y) and polar (r,t) as well as three parameters, a and b and c as well as extend modes of zero, full, repeat, wrap, mirror. The initial factors are the a / b / c / x / y / r / t. If you are using cartesian then use the x and y and if using the polar then use the r and t (sadly there appears to be no conversion tools to work with both coordinates though I stand to be corrected on that). Instead of using 5 or 0.2 etc just use 'a' or 'b' (they are the only ones given to you by AP). You should add whatever factor you need to make the a and b parameter etc work for you i.e. set 5 * x * a instead of just 5 * x and then you can set the 'a' to a value. If you want your image to fill the screen 16 times in a grid 4 x 4 then you can do this by using the cartesian and x*4 and y*4 for the x= and y= values, so if you have a document sized 1000 x 1000 then the image is reduced into a size 250 x 250 and then this is placed into the 16 sections of the original image. To get the images all up the right way then use the wrap extended mode. If you use the mirror then you will see the images mirrored. Repeat just places it in the corner. Full reduces it to the corner but with the background color and the zero the image in the corner with transparency background. The tool can be applied again and can also be used with layers to create interesting combinations of wrap and mirror etc Say you want to do the same to create 144 copies of the image then use 12 * x and 12 * y. Of course, you don't have to use the same for both of the x and y, you can use 12 * x and 6 * y etc. Will add to this list as I find out more but the key controls are noise (param) - create noise + abs (param) - absolute + sin (param) - sine function for waves etc + max (param,param) - maximum + lerp (x,y,a) + sqrt (param) - square root etc. The examples generate a variety of different visual effects but the results will depend on the image and the layer. All the ones below are for a full image and no selection etc. You can also replace the values such as 5000 with a or b etc but you should also remember to apply a suitable factor to the a and b to allow it to actually reach 5000. Please feel free to use any of the below in your projects. All are for the wrap extend mode. The equations will be a very useful tool but it really needs a little more features such as perhaps use of color channels and perhaps more mathematical functions as well. You can also combine the the settings in 1000s of ways to create many unique effects in AP. Video tutorial on the equation's editor filter subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

Polar

r

t*12

Cart

x*sin(x)

y*cos(y)

Cart

x+150

y+150

Cart

x+5000/x

y+5000/y

Polar

r/sin(r/2)

t

Polar

4*r/t

t

Polar

r*Average(r,t)/20

t

Polar

r*sin(r/4)

t

Polar

500*noise3(r/30,5*t)

t

Cart

x-30*sin(200*noise3(x/10,y/10)

y

Cart

x+y

y

Cart

x+y

y-x

Cart

y-x

y-x*2

Cart

3*x + 10*min(x,y/2)

3*y + 10*min(x,y/2)

Cart

x*sin(y)*cos(x)-x

y

Cart

x*sin(y)*cos(x)-x

y*sin(x)*cos(y)-y

Cart

4*y-x*sin(y)*cos(x)-x

4*x-y*sin(x)*cos(y)-y

Polar

r*sin(t*r-t)*cos(5*r)-r

t*sin(t*r-r)*cos(t)-t

Polar

r-300*tan(r/3)

t+200*tan(2*sin(t*2)

Cart

x+tan(x*2)

y+tan(y*2)

Cart

X+x*sin(y-x/2/2)

y

Cart

x*sin(sqrt(x*x+y*y))

y

 

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The maximum blur filter for Affinity Photo maximum bluris a powerful blurring tool to emphasis the white or lightness of an image. Filters menu and Blur. Maximum blur filter (MBF). Set radius. Set circular. Apply. It can be used to create interesting sparkle effects with the lightness / white of the image. It can be used to totally blur and lose an image in intense white and lightness. The Maximum blur can be found in a sub menu of the blur filter category (found in the filter menu). The maximum blur filter is a destructive filter that can be used with images as well as resources such as fonts and brushes etc. The key point of the filter is that it blurs and intensifies the white / lightness of an image resulting a smudge or sparkle. to any image. The MBF comes with only two settings radius and circular. If you select circular, the blurring is circular (dots) or the blurring is square by default. The MBF radius can be set to 0 (no blur) to 100 (total white blurring of an image though that does depend on the size of the image). Any white in the image will be blurred into the darker parts of the image. If you use a low setting of radius then the result will generally be a sparkling effect. If you use a very high setting then the result will be a far more white smudged image. The MBF is easiest to use by duplicating the original image and then using the MBF on the new layer. If you use the MBF on a layer, you can delete the layer but you can also combine the layer and effect with blending modes and opacity. There is no live filter layer for the MBF so the layer approach is closest to the live filter approach. You can also create interesting effects by duplicating the layer and applying the MBF and re-sizing the layer (as well as rotating). The MBF can be used on its own. The filter can also be used with other filters such as Gaussian blur. You can use the effects pre or post the MBF to create all kinds of unique images. The filter also works amazing well with live adjustment layers so you can add channel mixer adjustment layer to modify the color of the filter result so all kinds of amazing colorful effects can be created with subtle changes of the adjustments combined with the filter effect. You can use the channels panel with the MBF. You can add different effects and settings to each channel. Channels panel and then Select red channel and apply with the required settings. Select green channel and apply the maximum filter with different settings such as a different radius. Select blue channel and apply the maximum filter to the blue channel with different settings such as a different radius etc. You can then merge them all back to a single RGB. You can also use the same effect with adjustment layers such as black and white adjustment layer. The channels option does allow for the interesting creation of edges in colors (if using different radius settings for the filter). You can use the maximum blur with text. Create some text (in black) and then merge down. Use the maximum filter with that on a white background and the text will thin as you increase the radius setting. If you use the same text but as a layer with the filter, you will see black text start to thicken as you increase the radius (using either square or circular). Create some text using the artistic text tool. Set to black for the artistic text and apply the maximum blur with a low setting. The text becomes much bolder and nearly unreadable. Create some text using the artistic tool and Set to black and Merge down via the layer menu with white background. Apply maximum blur filter with low setting (if set too high the text will just vanish). The text is a lot thinner. Of course, if you are using a black on a blue background the result is totally different. Video tutorial on the maximum blur subject by graphicxtras.com

 

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snapshotsHow to use snapshots in Affinity Photo to be able to return to an earlier point in your history tutorial. Start the application and open document and then apply effects, add type etc and go to the Document menu and add snapshot. Supply a name though the default is fine as it gives the current date and time. Many apps have a similar feature (in Photoshop it can be found via the history panel). If you want to get back to an earlier state (if you have made a hash of your work or have changed your mind about a certain change to an image) you can quickly restore back to this stored point in your work. All the effects etc are instantly removed. The key menu commands is in the document menu - Add and Restore. So you have added a number of layers and effects as well as adjustments and type and at that point you wish to save a current state / history state. Go to the document menu and then select the add command and the current work will be saved. You have not saved the actual work to a real file so the current JPG or TIFF file has not been updated. Nothing else has been changed. You can use the add command multiple times (I don't know if there is a limit but I assume that all this data has to be held somewhere in memory or on file) - so it is super easy to use snapshots in Affinity Photo. When you save the document, these entries are all saved with the document. If you then close the application and then re-start the application and re-open the file and then go to the restore, you will find all the same added entries in the list - they are not deleted on exit from the application. They are lost if you don't save the document though. It should be noted that the history panel is not restored so all the added brushes, layer details, effects added are not added back into the history panel. You can find the generated entry in the restore section in the document menu and this will be listed with the time and date etc unless you gave it a different title. How to restore ? That is the next menu command in the document menu. Use the add and give it a name, add a number of effects and type and layers and then go to the restore command and select the required history state and all the effects and type and layers are removed and everything is restored to the recorded entry. You can also create a single layer from the recorded information. To generate this pixel dump (it is not a record of the layers or brush strokes etc) as a new layer, go to the layer menu and new layer from snapshot and select an entry in the list. You will see a new layer added to the layers panel and that can then be moved up and down the layers panel and can have filters and live filters and adjustments added to the artwork. You can select any of the recorded states and use the Affinity Photo snapshots to create in 1000s of new ways. Once you have your layer, you can also change the layer's blending mode and opacity. There is also a dedicated panel for all these recorded states and this can be found in the view menu and studio and snapshots. Personally I never use the panel but it does have all the usual features such as add and restore but it also has a delete feature so you can clear the selected entries. You can also use the panel to create a new document from the selected entry (oddly it does not offer the new layer but a new document). The information is the same as the restore entries. There is no rename feature though so once you have added and named the entry, there is no way to rename it. The panel can be closed and then re-opened via the studio menu. Video tutorial on the snapshots subject (youtube) by graphicxtras,com

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How gridsto display the grid in Affinity Photo and use the features and set the options for the tool? File and open document to be used with the grid. To see the grid, go to the View menu and select the Show grid command. If you want to manipulate the grid then go to the View menu and then the Grid and Axis Manager (for the settings). It can be used to help in the creation of objects to a certain size or for alignment and snapping to a predefined layout. You can use the layout with images. You can use the layouts to align text and objects and much more in AP. To hide the layout in AP: View menu followed by Show grid and then the displayed grid will disappear. You will see veru little in the basic panel as the panel is default set to 'use automatic grid' and disables all the other settings such as basic and advanced modes. Show grid set to ON. Set the automatic to OFF and the settings will then be available. Set spacing to 100px or 600px etc (make certain that the opacity makes the lines visible) and as you increase the size of the spacing, you will see less and less grid lines displayed. Decrease the spacing and you will see more and more lines displayed. The spacing limit is 256px. In the basic mode, the grid is uniform and the horizontal and vertical spacing is set to the same. Set the divisions to 10 etc (make certain that the opacity for sub divisions allows them to be visible). Set the color of the lines. Set the color of the subdivision lines. Set the opacity for both types of line. Link the color for the lines if required. Close. For more advanced setups in AP. You can set a whole lot more advanced lines for setting up layouts for your images by clicking the advanced tab and you can then have standard + isometric + dimetric + oblique + trimetric + triangular + two axis etc. As well as a number of variants such as changing aspect, gutter, angle etc. It should be noted that some of the types do not allow for the full range of settings to be used. Snapping is a great way to create all kinds of imagery and AP have added a ton of wonderful options for snapping. Once you have added your layout, you can also use the snapping features included in AP. To do this, goto to the view menu and then the Grid and axis manager. Make certain the use automatic grid is OFF. Goto the Advanced tab. Select the 2:1 isometric. Set the spacing. Set the gutter. Set the divisions. Click close. Go to the snapping at the top of AP and Enable snapping ON. Make certain the snapping to grid is ON. Goto the Pen tool in toolbox. Click at the intersections of the lines. Video tutorial on the grid subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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The add noise filteradd noise filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the noise category in the filters menu. Filters and Noise menu. Add noise. Uniform / gaussian and select the Monochromatic if you want the noise grayscale. Apply the add noise. The tool only has two options - intensity and type. You can use the add noise filter multiple times or once in Affinity Photo as well as combine them with other filters. If you apply the tool to a layer then the filter result can then be blended with the underlying layer. You can create multiple copies of the original layer and then apply the add noise to each of those and then use different blending modes as well as different opacities via the layers panel. The combined result then can be used to create all kinds of unique noise especially when you combine it with other filters such as blurs and color operations.

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How affine filterto use the affine filter for all kinds of transformations. Filters menu and Distort and Affine filter. Set the following - Rotation, Scale X setting, Scale Y setting, Offset X, Offset Y, Extend mode (wrap etc) and then apply. The affine filter can be used once or multiple times to create amazing transforms of all kinds of images and type as well as resources as brushes etc. The tool can be found in the distort sub menu of distort (filter menu). There is no corresponding live filter for the tool. The key thing about the tool - it is for amazing transformations. You can use it for scaling and offset and rotation. There a number of options such as "scale X" and "scale Y" and "offset X" "Offset Y" and "extend mode". The extend mode works in the same way as in all the tools in the app in that it offers zero (generates result with transparency) and full (background) and repeat (single item) and wrap (actually repeats) and mirror (repeats but mirror). You can now transform your images with all these features. You can use the artwork as a background layer but if you can also use the artwork as a layer and use that with the tool. If you use the tool with a layer then the zero extend mode is more useful as you can then see the lower layers. If you use the other modes such as wrap then the layers can also be useful as the tool can create multiple repeat copies (set the scale x and scale y to 20% say). Use the blending modes such as difference or darken to combine those repeat copies with the original image. Use the blending modes for the layer via the layer panel so a difference blending mode or lighten. You can also use the filter with a layer made of a shape (such as a star) as well as type or perhaps a placed image and that can also be duplicated and scaled and rotated etc on top of other images or layers. You can just create a star from the toolbar and then run the filter and set the scale to 20% etc and you will generate a number of copies of that vector design. The same can be done with type so you can generate 100s of type design transformations. You can use the tool with other tools in the application. You can also use the tool multiple times with different settings. Just go back to the filters menu and distort and re-apply the tool and set the angle and scale and offset to different values than the first application. For example - first apply, set the rotation angle to 45 and scale to 20% and then re-apply the filter but set the angle to 315 and scale to 50%. All kinds of weird transformations can be created. With the one of the latest releases, a new feature was added - macros (which involves two panels, macro and library and they can be found via the studio command). OK, bring up the macro panel and then click the record command (at the top of the panel) and then apply the filter with different settings or perhaps combine with other filters such as gaussian blur etc) and then click the stop recording. You can also then click the add to library (top of macro panel) and save it to the application for future use. You can modify the Affine settings via the little gear beside each filter recorded or just remove the filter. Click the run button at the top of the panel. Or go to the library panel and click the macro or use one of the others Video tutorial on the subject of Affine filter (youtube)

 

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averageThe average blur filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the filter menu under the blur menu category. The average filter can be used with all kinds of images as well as the presets. Goto the Filters menu and select Blur and then Average. The average tool has no controls so if you use it with a single image then the result is just the average of the entire image and that probably is of little use. I guess it is probably more useful combining it with selections. Use the selection brush and then create a selection for white etc in the image and then go to the average command. You can also use the various selection tools to select a rectangle and then apply the filter. You can then repeat the selection and application over and over in different parts of the image. You can use the average in channels so select the red channel and then apply average. You don't need to apply the filter in the others. You can use the average with type layers and selections and much more.

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The bilateral blur is a bilateralblurring plugin that can be found in the blur category. Filter menu and Blur and Bilateral blur. Set radius and Set tolerance. Click apply for the Bilateral blur (BB). The bilateral can be used with images and layers and type. It comes with two settings radius and tolerance. The BB is great for edge preserving of an image as well as noise reducing. The bilateral can be found in the blur category of the filter menu, it is a powerful blurring destructive effect that can be used to modify all kinds of images as well as resources and presets available for use in the application. It comes with two options but they are very powerful features - radius and tolerance. The BB is for edge preserving and noise reducing. Push up the tolerance and radius to the max and you will see horizontal and vertical blurring and very little image (but also very little noise). Now if you use it with a little more restraint such as reducing the tolerance down (at zero you will see no blurring) to about 30% and radius at the max you will see a lot of blurring but any text will still be generally visible as well as any edges. Even with a low radius, you can see the vertical and horizontal blurring. By setting the radius high and tolerance low you can create a sort of blurry mist with the flat parts (such as walls) of an image with the edges still fairly clear. As with any tool, you can always use the BB more than once and combine that effect with multiple applications such as using low settings five or six times over. Another option for the destructive effect is to use the effect on a duplicate of the original image layer and then blur that and then you can either remove the BB or you can also use the effect with blending modes for the layer as well as change the opacity and so the effect can be seen in darken or lighten etc. You can also do much the same with the bilateral but via the live filter layer in the layer menu and you can then apply a non destructive effect as well as use blend modes as well as re-position the effect and how it is applied to the layers as well as the layers below. You can also use type / text with the BB, simply add a large font design into the middle of your image and then add the BB and the type will remain only lightly touched for many settings though that can be changed by adding noise and color to the type and then the type can be changed in a more extreme way. If you use the live filter layer for the effect and combine that with the type then the type will appear far more ghostly with the radius and tolerance set to the maximum or with a glow if the blend mode is set to screen. The BB can be added multiple times to type / artistic text and can be used to create all kinds of unusual edge effects (as with the image of some text on the right) For example, create some text and then goto the layer menu and merge down. Go to the BB and set radius and repeat the BB etc. The bilateral blcan also be used with other effects and can be used to create interesting smudge painter like backgrounds with the perlin noise and radius set to maximum and the tolerance set fairly low. You can also use the BB across color channels to create some interesting color effects. You can also use the result of the BB (with the settings set fairly high to create horizontal and vertical blurring) and then use that with tools such as deform to create some truly weird and distorted effects especially combined with the image on a layer and blending modes used to display the original layer and the effect layer. The BB is a very interesting and useful tool for all kinds of visual experimentation but as with all effects, the source material does alter the final outcome Video tutorial on the bilateral blur subject by graphicxtras.com

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A blurrun through about the options and features of the box blur application (an application from Serif). The box blur filter can be found in the blur category under the filter menu. It should be noted that the effect totally modifies the image in a destructive manner. Filters menu and Blur and then Box blur filter. Set Radius and Apply. You can apply the box blur once or multiple times. You can set a variety of radii. With low values, the box is really hard to see but with higher values the difference can be seen. You can select parts of the image and then apply the tool. You can also use the box blur in different channels. You can use the tool with layers and combine the results with blending modes. The box blur can also be found in the live filters section so a layer can be generated.

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The clarity filter can be found in the sharpen category of the Affinity Photo's filter menu commands. It is a destructive (as well as subtle tool to create interesting effects and modifications to images). It can also be used in combination with various presets and resources. clarityFilters menu and Sharpen menu and Clarity and then Set radius and Apply

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custom blur filter affinity photoFilters menu (to access the custom blur filter) and then Blur and go to the Custom blur filter command. Set values in table such as entering 1 or -1 or 2 etc. Set divisor if available. Set offset and then Apply. The custom blur filter can be found in the blur category of Affinity Photo's filter menu, it is a powerful destructive filter effect and can be used with images as well as combined with other resources. One of the slightly annoying features with the filter is that there is no way of saving the presets for the tool so if you find a wonderful combination of offset and divisor and settings, you have to remember the values. One way around that is to set up a macro for the custom blur and then you can repeat any of your discoveries. You can use positive as well as negative values in the custom blur.

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depth of fieldThe depth of field blur filter for Affinity Photo can be found in the blur category of filters. Filters menu and then Blur and Depth of field blur. Set the Mode (elliptical etc) and Set center / focus and the transition area (inner and outer) along with the Radius and Vibrance and Clarity and then click Apply. The tool is a destructive filter effect and can be used once or multiple times to great effect in the application. You can use apply the effect via the filters menu and blur and use the interactive controls in the filter to modify the inner and outer circles / ellipse for the blur transition as well as the origin point for the DOFB. You can apply this to a duplicated layer and then use blending modes and opacity to blend the result with the original image. The depth of field blur can also be used via the live filter layer in the layers menu and you can then use the blending mode and opacity (as well as the transition and radius etc interactively). You can use the DOFB combined with other effects to create interesting imagery modifications that can be saved to a single macro for re-use with other images. The Depth of field can also be used with channels so one effect can be applied to the red channel with one radius setting and to the green channel with another setting etc. The DOFB can also be applied to a selection though to be honest, the effect is never that great. Video tutorial on the depth of field subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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The deform filter in Affinity deformPhoto can be used to distort and transform images in countless ways. Open document and then Filters followed by Distort and then the Deform filter to display the deform panel. Add handles. Drag and distort the handles (and image). The deform filter can be found in the distort sub menu of the filters menu.It is one of my favorite filters for modifying images as well as other resources in the application. You can use the deform filter to create very subtle deform actions such as move a small part of an image or you can use the deform filter to create truly weird and abstract artworks. You can use the deform filter with channels as well as layers and much more. There are very few initial options in the panel - master deform and rigid / similarity constraint (have to say I have seen little difference between those two but apparently rigidity drags only related pixels and similarity affects surrounding pixels to be transformed and rotated but it is often very subtle). The actual functionality comes by clicking the image or layer to add a handle / pin and then select and then moving the handle as well as adding other handles / pins and again selecting and moving the handles / pins. The tool doesn't appear to work at first if you only add one handle / pin, it does need two or more handles to work and deform. Click the document to add a handle for the deform filter. You can click multiple deform handles (it only works when you have more than one handle) Also, if you move the master back to 0% then the image will go back to its original state. You can select the handle and move and pull them from and towards other handles or pins to distort the image. You can click on the handle and delete them by pressing the delete on the keyboard though there is no 'clear all' which would be a nice addition to the deform filter. Another feature that would be nice, a preset of the handles so the same layout (proportionally) can be added to any document so if you add handles all the way around an image, the preset can do the same or add a circle of presets to the center of an image then the preset can do the same (that does not exist at present). So if you want to pin multiple handles on the image and not see any distortion, then just click and do not select and move the handle and this can be done across the document such as all the way around the edges which is good for holding the main picture in place. You can add handles all the way around an image and then just distort parts of the center of the image and drag those out to create interesting edge effects or frame distortions (though all are warped and curved and not straight edged distortions). It would be another useful feature is there was a 'don't move the edge' option or a pin edges command. You can use the marque to select multiple handles to move at the same time and that can also be useful to create an interesting deform effect of pulling all the handles (or perhaps not all) at the same time. Say you have an image of a face or a piece of machinery or perhaps a car. You can click around the edge of the image (of the car, face etc) and then go to a single part of the image and add a handle and drag that outwards from that position and that part of the image (say the mouth or eye or car wheel etc) will be dragged out to the point where you release the mouse. You can then repeat this with different handles so multiple copies of a wheel or eye or mouth can be placed throughout the image (all will be distorted and rotated in some way). You can then repeat this distortion effect with the result of the previous filter to create a truly mixed up and abstract image. The image on the left does end up looking pretty chilling with multiple eyes and distortions but would be great for surreal effects in movies perhaps. You can add an artistic text layer and distort that with the deform filter. You can add multiple handles inside as well as outside of the text area and drag and distort the type layer in countless ways. You can also use a similar approach to as above and add multiple handles (all fixed) around the edge of the type and then click into the type layer (or outside of the layer) and then drag that handle to pull out parts of the type in a warped style and multiple handles can be added and dragged and multiple warped area of type can be blended and warped together to create some truly extreme deform filter type. You can also multiple text layers and deform those text layers individually to create even more extreme type effects. The tool can also be combined with other filters such as the powerful mirror filter effect. You can also use the tool and then apply that and then use it on the same text layer and create even more unusual type distortions. You can also simply use the repeat deform command found in the filters menu. Video tutorial on the subject of the deform (youtube)

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denoiseThe denoise filter can be found in the noise category in the filters menu. The denoise filter has a number of options to manipulate the noise in the image such as luminance and color settings along with detail and contribution. Does an effective job of removing noise especially when setting the extreme settings. Does blur / smudge the end result though. You can use it with layers and then use blending modes. You can also use the denoise with the live filter layers via the layer menu. As a live filter layer, you can add in blending modes and opacity as well as apply it only to part of the layer or a single layer.

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diffuseHow to use the diffuse filter. The diffuse filter can be found in the noise category of the filters menu. The diffuse filter can be used multiple times or once and can be combined in millions of ways with the other filters. A low setting for the diffuse noise will only add a sprinkle of noise, a high value will reduce the image to just noise. It can also be used as a live filter layer with the same intensity setting but the live tool allows for blending modes and opacity to be added to the design. You can also use the diffuse in different channels and to selections.

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high passThe high pass filter is for sharpening edges of images (as well as creating interesting glows etc). Filters menu and then sharpen and then High pass. Set radius etc. Apply the high pass filter. The high pass filter can be found in the sharpen menu (beneath the filter menu). The HPF is a powerful tool for creating all kinds of sharpening the edge of images and embossed edge-like effects and much more. There are panelnot many options available, just two and that is the radius of the effect and the monochrome option (which is a bit of an odd one as you can always change the color to a black and white etc / monochrome etc by using the HPF with an adjustment layer. The radius at 0 shows hardly anything beyond a very gray image but as you increase the radius setting to change the edge sharpening, you will see more and more of the original image and more of a glow around the image though you will never remove the grayness. At the very highest setting, the HPF gives a slightly surreal gray glow to the image and very little of the fine edge sharpening effect. You can also use the mouse to modify the setting of the radius by dragging across the image (though it is not so effective in this filter). If I am using the filters, I generally go for a duplicate of the image before I start to use a filter such as the HPF as I can always then just delete the result if I am not happy with it but it gives me an option to blend the result with the original and that may have even better results than just the single application. To duplicate the current image, go to the layer menu and duplicate and then use the sharpening feature. Go to the layer menu and change the blending mode as required (such as linear light). The HPF does not block you in changing the blending mode so you can alter that as you set the setting for the radius (on my version, the result is not instant but it certainly better than changing the blend and back to the filter etc). You can then use the HPF for some interesting glow effects say in color burn blending mode. Instead of using a layer and blending modes, you can also use the HPF as a live filter layer via the layer menu and the layer has the blending mode (best results for sharpening use the linear light) and opacity built in and it is live so the result can be changed at any point as well as deleted. In some tasks, the live filter proves a very useful alternative and especially combined with adjustment layers as it does mean instead of creating a gray look (which, of course, is not the real intention of the filter unless you want it to be) you can have a blue and red image but if the HPF is purely a tool to generate a layer to blend and mix with the original, that is not such an issue anyway. You can also add into the mix any of the other (albeit) small number of sharpen filters as well as blurs etc all as live filters which can be changed and tweaked depending on the project. If you wish to apply it to all layers, de-select all the layers. If you wish to apply it to a particular layer, select that layer. For example, goto the Layer menu and New live filter layer and HPF and Set radius (probably best to be around 1px but depends on the image and result required) and Set monochrome or not and Set blending mode to linear light or another mode and then Set opacity and then Close or just ignore the panel. It can be used for some very subtle edge sharpening changes and final touches for an image. It can also be used for a whole lot more such glows, ghostly effects and more. Video tutorial on the high pass subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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The diffuse glow filter in diffuse glowAffinity Photo can be found in the blur category under the filter menu command. The filter is a powerful diffuse tool but it is a destructive filter effect that modifies any image etc. Filters menu and Blur and Diffuse glow filter. Set radius and then set intensity. Set threshold and set opacity. Apply. Use the opacity to reduce the glow. The radius extends the glow. The intensity controls the strength of the applied glow. Decrease the threshold brings in more of the glow, increasing the threshold completely removes the glow. The diffuse also has a live filter layer option which allows for the use of the glow with a blending mode and opacity. You can add multiple diffuse glow layers. You can use it with channels as well as selections.

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How to use displacethe powerful displace filter. Filter menu followed by distort category and Displace (filter). Select strength and set scale to fit (on / off). Load map from file (or the load map from layers beneath) PNG format map file. Apply. The displace filter can be found in the distort section of the filter menu. The displace filter is fairly different from the other distort filters in that it requires an additional input and not just the image or resources. The filter shifts / moves the pixels of images based on another image (grayscale) and can be used to create wonderful glass like distortions. As the effect uses any number of different source images as the map, all kinds of displacements and distortions can be created. The displace filter can be applied once or multiple times. Goto the Filters menu and then distort and use the effect again and set the strength followed by whether or not to scale to fit the map (depends on the size of the file for the best result there). Load the map from a file or use load from the layers beneath. The maps use PNG fills so if you have a large selection of PSD from Photoshop then you will have to convert those if you wish to use them. The live layer filter can also be used on all the layers below or on one layer. Select a layer or just use as is without any layers selected so the effect is applied to all the layers below. Goto the Layer menu and live filter layer and use Displace and set the strength and then the map as before and also now you can set the blending mode and opacity for the effect. The live filter layer can be moved to above all the layers or above some layers. It can be used with one layer. When you apply this to a layer, you will see the pixel layer along with the attached displacement map in Affinity Photo and effect. Click on the displace filter icon in the layers panel to change the settings.

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The field blur filter fieldcan be found in the blur category of the filter menu in Affinity Photo. The field blur tool comes with a variety of options and controls to manipulate images in many different and exciting ways. Filters menu and Blur and Field blur filter. Set global radius. Set selected handle level. Set selected handle power and then Click apply. The field blur is a bit like the deform tool, it has the ability to add multiple pins in different regions of the image and each of the pins has a different setting for the handle level and power. The global works for the entire image. Use a combination of power and level to control the selected pin such as increase the power decreases the area of a localized blur, decrease the power and the blurring is more diffuse and less concentrated. Increase the handle level and the range of the blur is more spread out. It can be used to create odd blurring effects in different parts of the image. Not sure if there is a limit to the number of pins added. You can also use the field blur with live layers and then add blending modes and opacity into the mix. You can also use the tool with channels and selections and more.

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The gaussian blur filter gaussianis a powerful filter tool and can be found in the blur category in the filters menu. Filters menu (to find the gaussian blur) and Blur category and Gaussian blur and Set radius and Click apply. The gaussian blur is a powerful destructive filter that can be used on layers as well as with selections and also channels and more. The tool can be used repeatedly with any image. You can also find it in the live layers and use it with blending modes and opacity. You can apply the tool multiple times as well as apply it in small areas by using selections.

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The lens blur filter for Affinity Photo can be lens blurfound in the blur category of the blur menu in Affinity Photo. The lens blur filter is a powerful tool that can be used once or multiple times on any image. Filters menu and Blur and Lens blur filter. Set radius as well as Number of blades and Blade curvature and Bloom threshold along with Bloom factor and Bloom color. Apply. Increase the radius setting for the overall blur. This is also an interactive setting so you can move the mouse back and forth to modify the effect. Reduce the blades to reduce the overall blur as well. Curvature is fairly subtle. Threshold does nothing unless factor is set to greater than 100%. Color adds an extra intense glow. Push the bloom factor up to high and the results becomes a very abstract image. You can also use the tool with layers and that adds in blending modes as well as opacity. You can create a lens effect with lighten, exclusion, difference etc. You can also use the tool with channels and selections as well as combine the lens with other tools such as deform etc for really amazing artwork. The image on the right uses the exclusion blending mode with the lens. Video tutorial on the subject of the lens blur (youtube.com)

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A lens distortionquick tutorial on the lens distortions filter for Affinity Photo and how to use and apply. The lens distortion effect for Affinity Photo can be found in the distort sub-menu (which can be found in the filter menu). The lens distortion filter can be used multiple times and combined in 1000s of ways with the other filters that come with the powerful graphics application. You can use the lens distortion filter with images as well as the presets. Filters followed by Distort and Lens distortion filter and then set distortion as well as click on the document to set the center for the distortion (there is no equivalent panel control) and click apply. You can also use the tool with channels so click on the red channel and apply the distortion and then go to the green and create a different distortion and so on. You can also use the tool with a layer as well as with selections. You can also find the lens in the live filter layer section and apply multiple layers as well as combine with blend modes and opacity to create all kinds of weird colorful artwork.

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Median The median blur filter effect for Affinity Photo can be found in the blur category of the filter menu. Filters menu and Blurs and Median blur. Set radius. Apply the median blur filter. The median blur filter is a powerful tool that is a destructive effect but it can be used to blur color areas and create a painted effect which can be then used as a source for other effects. There is only one setting: radius. Set the radius low for a subtle effect, set it to a high value to make the image look very chunky with hardly any detail in the image. You can either add this via the slider or via the edit field or via the screen itself (not so controllable). The median can be applied with a low value and create a subtle blurring and smudging of the image giving it a sort of painted look which can be used as a great start point for other filters and perhaps combining with brush strokes. You can apply the MB once or multiple times, perhaps varying the value of the radius and perhaps combining with others. You can also duplicate an existing layer and then apply the MB to that and then set the blending mode for the MB / layer to darken etc to create different pencil sketch like designs (perhaps combining with black and white adjustment layers). The MB also can be found in the layer menu and live filter layers and you can then use the effect with blending modes and opacity. You can also combine the live layer with other layers such as adjustment layers and black and white or vibrance. You can use the tool with selections, simply select an area and then apply the blur to that. You can also use the median with channels so go to the channel panel and then set to red and apply the MB to the red, apply it to the green with a different radius setting and also the blue. The MB can also be used with text, select a text layer and apply and with a low value the text will look like a poor photo-copier repro. Set it to a high value and the text will be totally lost reducing it to a few dots. You can use the MB with gradients to smudge the colors - depends on how large the document is to the effectiveness of the smudging though. There is also a related brush which can be accessed via the tools. It is a noise reduction tool and blends pixels when applying the stroke to a local area of the image. There are a number of options such as width, opacity, flow etc. Video tutorial on the median subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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minimumThe minimum blur filter is a powerful tool found in the blur filter category (filter menu command). The minimum blur filter can be used with images as well as resources / presets. Filters menu in Affinity Photo and Blur and Minimum blur (filter command). You can then set radius and set circular or not. Click apply. The result smudges an image so you will see smudged black lines appear even with low settings. Setting it to a high value and the image will turn black. There is no minimum live layer so a way around that is to use multiple duplicated layers and apply the minimum to one of the layers and then combine with blending mode such as negation and exclusion. Video tutorial on the minimum blur filter (youtube.com)

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Motion Blur filterThe Motion blur filter for Affinity Photo can be found in the blur menu in the filter menu. Filters menu and Blur and Motion blur. Click document to change radius and rotation. Or use use sliders to change radius and rotation. Apply. The motion blur can be applied once or multiple times in your projects. You can use it with different settings each time you apply the effect. You can use the motion blur in the RGB channels but you can also use them in the separate channels. To display the channels panel via the view menu and studio and channels. Open an image and select the red composite and apply the tool using a radius and rotation. Select the green channel and repeat with different settings. Repeat with the blue channel with different settings. Click the little circular icon at the top to return to RGB. You can also use the tool with a selection. Create a quick selection by using the rectangular marquee tool and then apply the tool with a setting for the radius and rotation. You can then select another part of the image and the apply the tool again with a different selection. You can use the other selection tools found in the select menu such as tonal range and color range and use the effect with those. You can apply the MB effect as a live filter layer via the layer menu. The live effect means the effect can be altered at any time as well as removed as well as applied to a single layer or all layers. You can also set the blending mode for the effect so the blur is applied as a difference or darken mode and you can also set the opacity for the effect. To use the effect on a particular layer, select the layer and then apply the blur. If you want to apply the tool to the entire image, just don't select any layers and then it will be applied above everything else. The slider for the MB 'radius' is limited to 100px. You can go to the edit field for the radius and set the value to a maximum of 1024px resulting in an extreme effect. You can use the tool in combination with any other effect and also combine them using the macro recording feature. You can find the macro feature via the view menu and studio. You can use the tool with text / type as well as normal layers. All kinds of amazing text effects can be created with the motion blur such as creating rapid zooms of the designs. You can use it with single characters as well as with multiple characters. Video tutorial on the motion blur subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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The perspective filter planecan be found in the distort menu beneath the filters menu. Open image and then go to filter menu and Distort and Perspective filter. The perspective effect is a wonderful powerful distortion tool that can distort any image in many ways in single plane or duo plane mode. You can use the PF with images as well as type and also resources such as patterns and brush strokes. Basic perspective filter - single plane option. Go to the image and Filter menu and Distort category and then perspective filter. The grid appears as well as panel. Select planes and mode Move grid as required using the displayed control points (little square block points). OK, there is a lot more to the perspective filter such as the source mode and autoclip as well as two types of planes (single and dual plane) and you can also use the perspective filter to create subtle shifts of an image as well as truly extreme distortions, really depends on what you want to do such as add an object / layer in the same perspective as the background. You can really create some weird distortions / extreme distortions with the single plane (as well as the dual) using the perspective filter. The perspective filter can be applied multiple times but you should realize that it is a destructive effect when using the filter and the only way to return to the original image is to use the history panel. Open image and then the Filter menu and distort category and 'perspective'. Go to the top left corner of the perspective warp grid. Select the control point. Drag close to the bottom right corner (not all the way but fairly close) distorting the grid (and overlapping the image) - the key thing is to make certain you still have some of the original image still there otherwise all you will get is stretched pixels from the edge. Press return. Filter menu and distort category and PF. Perhaps choose the top right corner control point this time and Repeat distortion and then Press return. Repeat this distort. The dual plane option in the perspective filter can be selected instead of the single plane. With the dual plane you have an additional set of control points to manipulate (center). You can use the tool to distort images but you can also use the tool to add perspective and alignment to perhaps buildings and text and other objects . Open image and then Filter and Distort and then the filter and Go to the panel for the filter. Set to dual plane. Go to the control points in the center and move up or down or left and right. Go to the control points at the far ends of grid and distort as well. Press return. You can create all kinds of unusual distortions such as a mirror effect with an image. You can mirror (and distort) the artwork using the dual plane option in the perspective filter in Affinity Photo. Open image and go to the Filter menu and distort and PF. Dual plane in dialog. Go to the left control points. Select bottom left control point and move above the top left control point. Move the previous top left point further down below the previous bottom left point. Drag the left points off the screen. Move the center points to position the 'mirror'. You can create all number of variants of this twist and you can also repeat the effect again and again to create even more extreme effects. You can also use the perspective filter as a live filter layer by going to the layer menu and using that above existing layers or applied to a single layer (if layer selected) as well as using blending modes with the effect to see the underlying image and effect combined as well as preserving the alpha. I think the layer approach works best for many projects but the destructive filter approach requires less thought to the underlying layers etc. Open image and then Layer and go down to the Live filter layer and select PF and Distort grid as required and click OK. Go to the layers panel. Select the layer with the effect added. Go back to the layer menu and live filter layer and add an another effect. Distort grid and OK. You should now have multiple entries with the effect displayed in the layer panel. You can manipulate them later if you wish as they are 'live'. The Affinity Photo perspective filter tool is also available via the toolbar with the same functionality as the filter. As soon as you select that tool in the toolbar, you will see the panel which can then be used to manipulate the grid (it is easier if you use the show grid option). You can use the perspective as a live filter layer as well as the normal filters with layers. You can add subtle shifts of perspective to a layer / element in an image such as distorting a house etc to match another house in the image background. You can use it also for interesting and more extreme collages of images and layers. Open image and File menu and place. Filter menu and Distort and then perspective to the new placed layer (single or dual plane). Distort the new layer (which may be the same image or not) Repeat with a new layer and so on. This can be done with a couple of layers as well as many layers. In the image on the right, only two layers are present in the perspective filter in Affinity Photo but you could easily have 10 layers and the perspective filter applied to each and every layer and distorting them all to create a truly abstract design. The great thing about the layers is that they can be used with blending modes as well to create even more interesting color effects as well as adding masks and layer effects into the mix. With the single plane, you can move the four corners which by default fill the entire image or layer. With dual plane, you can move the four corners as well as the central line (two points) but sadly there is no rotation ability for the line though the four corners can be twisted over themselves to create some truly extreme distortion of images. All kinds of extreme distortion can be created as well as subtle changes in both plane types with layers. Personally, I like to work on a layer as you can see the original image behind the distortion in the left image (it is a dual plane image with the left half hardly distorted and the right half stretched to the near limits). You can also use the single as well as the dual (but I think the single works best for basic transforms) just to add a subtle scaling of a layer as well as add some elements of perspective such as on the right and it can be combined with layer effects as well. To have the image slightly shift into the distance, as a plane on the ground. Probably the oddest, the destination mode gives a more visual feedback as the grid moves as you move the points with the perspective filter. With the source option, you can't see anything but the results can be even more dramatic (though perhaps not so predictable). As with all filters, you can re-apply the perspective filter either using different settings or just the same settings via the filter menu and repeat. The repeat with the source as well as destination mode can result in even more extreme image effects with the distortion fragmenting the original image.You don't have to use the entire layer, you can use the perspective filter with a selection. Create a selection using the rectangular marquee tool and then go to the PF as normal and apply. You can now distort just the selection part. Weirdly, you can create interesting echo or fragmented effects with the destination mode such as on the left (the source mode still does the same fragmentation with the selection as with the full layer). Anyway, you can use the selection approach with the effect to create some subtle changes to a particular area of an image but also for some really unusual distortions of an image. Of course, you can also use different selections and not just circular ones. The image on the left used multiple selections and multiple applications of the destination mode / dual plane. Video tutorial on the subject of perspective (youtube)

 

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How to use pinch punch the pinch punch filter in Affinity Photo ? Filters menu and Distort and Pinch punch filter menu command Set original point using cursor. Set pinch and punch. Set radius. Apply. The pinch punch filter can be found in the distort category of the filters menu. The filter is a wonderful distort tool that can be used once or multiple times to great effects. The pinch punch value can be positive or negative. You can interactively set the center of the pinch punch by using the cursor across the image. Set the pinch / punch and radius (default 0) to a high value to create a large distortion. If you use a selection then only that area is distorted. You can also use the tool with channels. There is also an equivalent live filter layer which can be used with the current selected layer.

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How to pixelateuse the pixelate filter ? Filter menu and Distort and then Pixelate filter (PF). Set quantization. Click apply. It is a fairly basic filter for square designed designs / blocky designs but as with all filters, you can manipulate the results in countless ways by using other filters or repeating the effect over and over. Sadly there is no blending mode option for the PF but a quick workaround to that is to duplicate the existing layer. Goto the layer menu and then use the duplicate command to duplicate the current image and then go to the filter menu and to the distort category and then run the PF and set the value for the effect and click ok and then go back to the layers panel and then change the blending mode to darken or difference etc. Of course, you can set the value of the blend before you run the effect as well. All kinds of interesting combinations can be generated by using multiple layers with multiple blending modes and different settings of quantization. You don't have to use the effect once and you can apply it multiple times and you can also combine it with other effects such as blur which can be used to create some very interesting effects. You can also re-color the result using live adjustment layers such as curves. Go to the layers menu and new adjustment layer and curves adjustment and set a value for this. You can apply it to the single layer or just apply above all the layers to have the curves adjustment effect all the layers. The result of combining a blur and the PF can be a lot softer. You can create all kinds of interesting color effects by using the channels panel. Goto the View menu and studio and select the Channels. Select composite red and Apply PF and different setting. Select composite green and apply PF and yet another setting and click the little circular icon in the panel to return it back to the RGB. You can also just create a selection and feather that selection and use that with the PF. So if you have a face in an image and only want to obscure the face then simply select the selection tools and select that area and apply the PF. For example, Select the elliptical marquee tool in the toolbox / toolbar. Create a selection over the face etc. Select menu and Feather and Set radius and apply. Goto to the filters menu and distort and PF and then apply to create an interesting blocky effect over a face or perhaps text etc. Video tutorial on the pixelate subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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How polarto use the polar to rectangular filter ? Filters menu and then Distort followed by Polar to rectangular filter menu command. It is a fairly basic distort filter with no options but it can be used more than once to create its own unique effects in Affinity. You can also use it with channels as well as with selections.

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radial blurThe radial blur filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the blur category of the filter menu.

Filters menu and then Blur and Radial blur filter. You can then set angle and set focus point / origin and click Apply. The radial blur does not come with a vast number of options (one in fact) but the radial blur can be combined with other effects as well as used multiple times to create interesting effects in Affinity. You can also use the radial blur filter with images etc as well as other resources such as those that can be found on this site

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rectangular to polar filter tutorialThe rectangular to polar filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the distort sub menu (which can be found in the filter menu). Filters menu and then Distort and then Rectangular to polar filter. It is a fairly basic but powerful filter with no options but it can be used more than once as well as combined with other filters to create some truly unusual effects. You can use them with brush strokes and fonts and images and layers etc

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ripple filter The ripple filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the distort sub-menu of the graphics application (which can be found in the filters menu). Filters menu and Distort and then Ripple filter and you can then set origin or focus point and Set intensity. Apply the ripple filter. You can use the RF via the filter menu and also via the layer menu and live filter layer. The RF creates a circular distortion effect, sort of simulating water effects. The RF has only a very small number of settings and one that is not even visible on the panel in that you can just use the cursor to modify the origin point of the effect. You can modify the intensity of the effect via the panel. Always remember to click apply otherwise the effect will be lost. You can apply the RF multiple times perhaps with different intensities as well as different origin points. You can use the RF with layers so you can add multiple layers and then use the RF and blend the layers with different blending modes to create different combinations of the distortion effect. You can use the RF in different color channels and that can be done by going to the view menu and studio and channels and then go to the individual channels red green and blue and applying the RF to each channel with a different origin point for the effect as well as a different intensity. You can use the live layer with a selected layer as well as selected text or just adding it so the live layer is above all the layers and the RF is applied to all the layers. Select some text and then apply the live layer effect and the RF is added to just the type so if you have ABCDE etc then that is modified. The type is still live so you can always go back to the characters and change them to something like CAT. You can combine the RF with other effects such as mirror etc in macros so record all the steps of the application of mirror and deform and RF etc and then just add that to your library of macros for future use. You can also use the RF with a selection so go to the rectangular marquee tool and then select an area and then go to the RF and use the effect for just that selection. You can then select a different area and then apply the RF perhaps with a different setting and origin. Video tutorial on the ripple subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

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shearThe shear filter for Affinity Photo can be found in the distort sub category of the filter menu of the application. It comes with a few options such as horizontal and vertical shear. You can also apply it once or multiple times. Filters and Distort and Shear filter menu command. Drag the curve for vertical displacement. Drag the curve for horizontal and then Apply

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spherical filter The spherical filter can be found in the distort category of the filter menu and is a destructive filter to warp images as well as other resources. Filters menu and Distort followed by Spherical. Set intensity and Set radius and Set origin point. Apply

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How twirlto use the twirl filter in Affinity Photo, how to distort and more. Filters menu and then Distort and Twirl filter (TF). Set angle for the twirl filter and Set radius and Set center for the twirl by clicking document. Apply. The TF can be used via the distort category (in the filter menu command). The TF can be used to create amazing distorted effects in the application and can be combined with layers and images as well as brushes and patterns and fonts. You can change settings via the effect panel and also apply the TF via the cursor on the document or layer or text etc. By default, nothing appears to happen so you first have to set the angle and radius and then apply the TF on the document using the cursor (slightly odd default setting). It can only be applied once per filter application though you can re-apply the TF multiple times to create all kinds of distorted image. You can use a low radius and angle setting to perhaps slightly shift an image or you can use a large radius and angle setting to create a truly large distortion in an image. Control the position of the origin of the TF by the cursor. You can then just re-apply the filter and use a different location for the origin or just use the same origin position and repeat apply the TF to that location to create a more intense image. You can use the TF also on layers, such as a duplicate of an image layer or the background layer. Layer menu and duplicate and then go to the Filter menu and TF and Set the angle and radius for the TF for that layer. If you create multiple copies of the layer, you can add multiple TF effects. The advantage of using a layer is that the layer can be re-sized, rotated, it can be blended using blending modes, you can use masks with the layer as well. You can also apply multiple effects to the layers and also the layer can also be deleted. The layer does not need to be same size as the original layer. You can also quickly create a layer using a selection of the image and copy and paste and then apply the TF to that layer. Select the Elliptical marquee tool and Create a selection and then copy that selection and paste and then apply the TF to that layer and duplicate the layer to generate something similar to the effect on the right of the multiple curled gradients (or whatever you select). You can also use the TF with channels panel. View menu followed by Studio and Channels panel. Select red channel and apply TF. Select green channel and apply but with a different setting. Repeat with blue etc. You can also use the TF as a live filter layer via the layer menu and the advantage here is that the angle / radius / position are live and can be modified at any point and you also have inbuilt blend mode with the effect as well as opacity (as well as the blending mode for the layer itself). Layer menu and New live filter layer and TF. Apply settings such as angle and position and radius as well as set the blend mode and opacity. The result will be a new layer also with transparency which can then be blended with other layers and other effects as well as swirled again using the filter. You can also distort text with the live effect layer, so the text can be swirled in 1000s of ways (it is a much better approach than using the destructive filter effect approach). Create some text using the frame text tool and select the text in the layer panel and then go to the layer menu and select a new live filter layer and TF. Apply the settings for the angle and radius. The effect is then only applied to that text object. You can, of course, apply the layer to the whole image or just use the destructive filter effect via the filter menu. You can also add the TF to the toolbar for quick access (it is the filter and destructive effect Video tutorial on the twirl subject by graphicxtras.com (youtube)

 

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unsharpThe unsharp mask filter in Affinity Photo can be found in the sharpen category in the filters menu. Filters menu followed by Sharpen menu and then Unsharp Mask filter and Set radius as well as Set factor and Set threshold. Apply. The tool create super sharp and intense images in seconds as well as subtle changes to any image in Affinity Photo. It is a destructive filter effect

 

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zoom blur filterThe zoom blur filter can be found in Affinity Photo's blur category (filter menu). Great for all kinds of super fast effects. Filters menu and Blur and Zoom blur. Set focus or origin point and Set radius and click Apply. You don't have to apply the zoom blur filter only once (of course, you can just apply it only one). It can be applied in the center of the image (that is the default) and it can also be applied in any other position in the image. It can also be applied outside of the image. You can apply the ZB with different settings with different center positions. For example - Filters menu and blur category and then ZB. Set focus of origin or center point by using the cursor - off the image totally and then set the radius to a low value. Apply the effect. Go back to the filters menu and blur and the ZB and then choose a different origin or focus point again off the image but now to the right and set the radius higher than previous. Using different combinations of the zoom blur and different centers etc you can create some truly weird and wonderful blurring effects with any image. You can also use the ZB with channels so go to the view menu and studio and display the channels and then use the red channel for one ZB effect and then use the green channel for another and then the blue channel for another to create an extreme color blurring effect. The zoom is a destructive effect, the only way back from it is the history panel or restoring the original image. A quick solution is to duplicate the original image and then apply the zoom blur. Another advantage of this is that you can then use layer masks as well as layer effects and blending modes and opacity etc to blend with the original image. For example - goto the layer menu and use the duplicate and then filters and blur and the ZB and set the focus center and radius and then go to the layers panel and change the blending mode and opacity as required. You can then see more or less of the original image but with a subtle blurriness with the image. As it is a layer, you can also delete the layer as well as disable it. Weirdly there is no ZB as a live filter layer so using layers is probably the easiest way around this. If you are using the ZB on a layer, the layer can be masked to remove some of the zoom blur. Paint on the mask using black or gray etc. Any number of combinations of layer masks and layers and blending modes and ZB can be applied. Video tutorial on zoom blur (youtube)

 

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perlinHow to use the perlin noise in Affinity Photo ? The filter can be found via the filters menu and noise and perlin. You can set the octaves to 2px or greater (very diffuse) and zoom (the greater the zoom, the more blurry the effect, the smaller the value and the more noise can be seen). Persistence depends on the octaves, if octaves is low then the persistence of the perlin will hardly change. The higher the setting of the octaves, the more the persistence will have an effect. Set the octaves high and the persistence high and the result is a low contrast smudgy noise. The perlin noise works well with the blending modes (which for some reason is available in this panel but in hardly any of the other effects) and you can run through all the blends such as darken etc which give a wonderful texture to many images. Contrast negate gives a marble look to an image. Negation gives a surreal high intensity noise to an image and is quite impressive with changes to the zoom and persistence. The perlin adds quite a range of noise from very tiny noise artifcats / speckles to blurry noise. As with any of the features of the application, you can combine the perlin noise with itself and re-apply the noise perhaps using a different blending mode such as difference with a different set of zoom and octaves. You can also combine the perlin with zooms, deform, mirror etc for some truly amazing distorted noise effects (which can all be saved into a macro and re-created in seconds). There is no live filter layer but you can also use the perlin noise in multiple layers and then use blends and live layers with those to get around that and also then combine with blends and opacity. You can also add layers of solid color or gradients to the artwork to re-color the noise. The result can be tweaked and re-colored in countless ways using the develop persona or by using new adjustment layers such as gradient maps etc.

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More about Affinity Photo Effects on Serif

 

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