Twirl filter in Affinity Photo tutorial

How to use the twirl filter in Affinity Photo, how to distort and more


  1. Filters menu in Affinity Photo

  2. Distort

  3. Twirl filter (TF)

  4. Set angle for the twirl filter in Affinity Photo

  5. Set radius

  6. Set center for the twirl by clicking document

  7. Apply


Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


The TF can be used via the distort category (in the filter menu command in Affinity Photo).


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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


layersYou 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)


channelsYou can also use the TF with channels panel


View menu fllowed 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

live filterYou 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.


textYou 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


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