Affinity Photo Affine filter Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

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

** Youtube video tutorial on the affine filter in Affinity Photo and how to create stunning transformational effects with any image or layer **

affine filter

1. Where is the Affine filter in Affinity Photo

The Affine filter for Affinity Photo can be found in the distort sub menu of distort (which is in the filter menu of Affinity Photo).

affine filter and command

2. Basic use of the Affine for transformations

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

affine filter and panel

3. Affine Filter Settings

The key thing about the affine filter in Affinity Photo 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).


affine filter and extend mode in affinity photo

OK, once you have that with the Affine filter 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 The filter has sort of been superseded by the equations filter but that requires a little bit of maths skills, affine requires none as you just need to rotate and move sliders etc.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%.

affine filter transforms scale

4. Affine Filter and 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 affine filter. If you use the affine filter 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 affine filter 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 Affine filter effect along with the original image.

affine filter transforms scale layer

5. Affine filter and shape / text

You don't have to use the original image and the affine filter, 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 Affine filter.

affine  shapes

6. Affine Filter and repeat applies in Affinity Photo

You can use the Affine filter with other filters but you can also use the Affine 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.

affine filter repeats

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

** Youtube video tutorial on the affine filter in Affinity Photo and distortions and re-applies of the filter to create all kinds of designs **

7. Macros

Macros, a recent addition to Affinity Photo, 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.

affine filter macros

8. Live filter layer and Affine

Sadly, there is no live filter layer for the affine filter 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 with the affine filter.

9. Affine filter and Channels

You can use the affine filter in color channels, just display the channel panel and click the red channel etc and apply the affine filter there for that and use different settings for each channel. You can use that to create some interesting colorful effects.

affine filter channels

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

** Youtube video tutorial on affine filter with channels, selections, macros etc **

10. Affine filter and pattern layer

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.

affine filter pattern layers