Ripple filter in Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2022

How to use the ripple filter (RF) in Affinity Photo to distort images in many unique ways. The ripple filter can create all kinds of weird waves across the image in Affinity Photo



1. Where

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) but this should be noted is a destructive effect so you will need to use the undo to remove it, if required. The effect can also be found in the layer menu in the live filter layers (non destructive effect) and this is applied to the current layer or all layers

2. Basic use

Filters and Distort and then RF and then set the origin or focus point for the effect and this can be done by using the cursor by positioning over or outside of the current image and layer. You can also set the intensity for the effect and click Apply.

3. Use in Publisher and Designer

The effect can also be used in Designer and publisher if you have those as well, though you still need the main photo application. Go to the photo persona to use this effect

4. Selections

You can use the RF combined with selections so you can create a quick selection and then apply the effect to that selection only. You can set the focus or origin point within the image as well as outside of the image as well as outside any selection

5. Channels

You can also use the RF with channels so you can go to the channels panel and select the red channel and then apply the effect to that and then you can go to the green channel and apply the filter again but to a different origin point as well as different intensity. You can also apply the RF multiple times to a single layer and also completely ignore the other channels. You can also change the image mode / color so you can apply the effect to cyan and magenta etc if using CMYK etc

6. Multiple layers

You can also use the filter to multiple layers. You can also use it with shapes as well as text. You can use any of the shapes that come with Affinity Photo such as the cloud tool as well as the rectangle and ellipse and many other tools.

7. Use with text

You can use the tool with any text as well so if you create paragraph text or artistic text then you can use it with that as well. The effect does mean the text is turned into a pixel layer so the text will no longer be editable. So if you wish to apply the RF to the text then make certain you have run the spell chec, You can use the RF live option and that does mean the text will still be editable

8. Combine

You can also combine the RF with other filters such as the deform and mirror effect and you can create all kinds of amazing wavy designs using this approach. You can also record the effect steps using the macro feature and this can be found via the view menu and studio and macro (as well as library). The macro steps can then be applied to any other type of layer such as text and more. You can also click the add to library button on the macro panel to save the macro and then use it again and again in future projects.

9. Live filter layers

You can also use the non destructive effect via the layer menu and live filter layers and distort and RF. This can then be modified at any point and applied to any number of layers or all the layers below the effect. This can also use the blending mode as well as the opacity for the effect as well. You can also go to the layers panel and double click the entry and change the origin point / focus point as well as the intensity as well as the blending and opacity. You can also use the linked layer duplicate feature in the layer menu and create multiple linked effects

10. Fade

You can also use the effect with the layer menu fade which means you can modify the strength / intensity (it does not modify the origin point) to create subtle waves as well as more intense ones as well as a ripple with a different blend to the current layer.

11. pattern layer

You can use the pattern layer feature via the layer menu from any selection such as a shape as well as an image and the image can be one modified using the ripple. To get the best effect, I would suggest that you select the mirror feature in the top left. You can then also continue to use the filter with the layer and you can also rasterize the layer and create amazing distortions with that as well

12. Videos

How to add depth to shapes in Affinity