Affine filter in Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

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Tutorial on the Affine Filter in Affinity Photo, a powerful tool for transforming images such as scale, rotate, shift etc

 

1. Where ??

The tool can be found in the distort sub menu of distort (which is in the filter menu of Affinity Photo). It is close to the bottom but it should not be over looked. It is a powerful tool that can be combined with other tools in the application as well as combined with macros and channels as well as layers and used with shapes and type and much more.

 

2. Transformations

The powerful effect 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. Goto to the filters menu and the Distort category and the effect and set the rotation, scale X setting, scale Y setting, offset X, offset Y, extend mode (wrap, mirror etc) and click apply

 

3. Settings

The key thing about the tool is that is for transformations such as scaling and offset and rotation along with extend mode. 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 filters in Affinity Photo 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).

 

 

OK, once you have that with the effect then you can take any image and scale the current artwork in the horizontal or vertical via scale and shift or offset and rotate the art. The filter has sort of been superseded by the equations filter but that requires a little bit of maths skills, affine requires none as you just need to rotate and move sliders etc. The range of the scale is a bit of a limitation as it has a minimum of 10%.

 

4. Layers

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 too. 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 be used perhaps to create multiple repeat copies (set the scale x and scale y to 20% say) and then you can then use the blending modes for the layer via the layer panel so a difference blending mode or lighten blending mode can be added to the layer (or perhaps opacity) and you can then combine the effect along with the original image.

 

5. Shapes and text

You don't have to use the original image and the effect, 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 Affinity Photo 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 and the effect to create truly amazing wonderful text designs in seconds.

 

6. Repeats

You can use the effect with other tools in the application but you can also use it multiple times with different settings, just go back to the filters menu and distort and re-apply and set the angle and scale and offset to different values than the first application.

 

So 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 added to any image by combining the filters

7. Macros

Macros, a recent addition, 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. Macros are excellent as a simple combination of deform and affine can be used to create 100s of unique seamless patterns in seconds which can be re-applied with any image.

 

8. Live filter layers

Sadly, there is no live filter layer for the effect though the best way around this is just to use the source layer and then add a duplicate and then use the blending modes and opacity found in the layers panel and you can then combine effects in countless ways by using the powerful features of the layers panel and the great thing about that is that you can group items and remove items and add and paste inside and multiple other options, many of these features are unique to the program

9. Channels

You can use the powerful scaling and transformation effect with color channels, just display the channel panel and click the red channel etc and apply the scaling and transformation effect there for that and use different settings for each channel. You can use that to create some interesting colorful effects.

 

You can find the channel panel in the view menu and studio commands

10. Patterns

You can use the transform command with the pattern layer (you can now quickly create a pattern layer from a selection via the layer menu) and you can add the transformations before the that or after you have created the layer.