How to use bilateral Blur filter in Affinity Photo tutorial

The bilateral blur in Affinity Photo is a blurring plugin that can be found in the blur category

Bilateral blur filter in Affinity Photo

How to use bilateral Blur filter in Affinity Photo tutorial
  1. Filter menu in Affinity Photo

  2. Blur

  3. Bilateral blur

  4. Set radius

  5. Set tolerance

  6. Click apply for the Bilateral blur (BB)


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The BB can be used with images and layers and type. The BB comes with two settings radius and tolerance. The BB is great for edge preserving of an image as well as noise reducing.


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dialogThe BB 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


The tool 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.


duplicate layerAnother 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


layer panel in APYou can also do much the same with the BB 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.


text designIf 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


channelsThe BB can 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


Keywords : How to use Bilateral blur filter in Affinity Photo tutorial


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