- A number of users of Affinity Photo will be coming to it from Photoshop. So let's take a look at what's better and what's worse than Photoshop. A number of things actually work better in Affinity Photo. For example, here's a standard layer and we can scale it, rotate it, make it any size we want. Unlike Photoshop, when you scale a layer, you don't lose image quality.
If I click on it, I can make it bigger again and you can see it still has all the original quality in there. Better than that, the Transform panel shows the size of it and it shows the angle by which it's been rotated and that means we can pick it up and rotate it back to its original angle with ease and it'll always remember the angle it's been rotated to. Now, you could say Photoshop does the same thing with Smart Objects, but this is not a Smart Object.
We can paint on this layer. Indeed, we can pick up the Smudge tool and we can smear this layer. So unlike Photoshop, this behaves exactly like a regular layer except we can scale it to any size we want without ever losing that quality. And that is a huge bonus. Many of the filters behave in different ways. For one thing, the filters can behave more like adjustment layers.
Let's go to the Layer menu and choose a Live Filter layer. And you can see that these all appear as filters but they can all be edited later. Let's take a look at the Spherical filter. We'll increase the intensity and where in Photoshop you have to make a selection first, in Affinity Photo, you can pick it up and move it over the image, you can change the radius and even when it's very small, you can still see the effect it's having there, and we can increase the intensity to go for a full round.
Let's make that bigger. So, a very, very powerful way of using filters. We can either have it as a separate layer that's attached to our pixel layer. or we can merge it into it. In this case, I'm going to delete it. Some of the filters that have Photoshop equivalents just work better. Let's take a look at the Clouds filter. Here it's called Perlin Noise and, as you can see, it looks just like the Cloud filter in Photoshop except we can change the granularity of it in a way you can't do in Photoshop.
We can zoom it in and out, so we can have it very small, very large, however we want it, and indeed we can change the level of detail in it. Affinity Photo has layer effects built in including this rather interesting Gaussian Blur. How about that blur as a layer effect? We can even say, let's preserve the alpha so it doesn't leak beyond the edges of the original image.
The Shapes tools are very ita-vit-ive. Here's a double-star and we can change the inner radius and the radius of the secondary star here. We can change the number of points. It's currently on five. Let's change that to, maybe, eight. If we want to change the layer mode, all the regular layer modes are there. The difference is we can see what they all do just by rolling over them.
We don't need to apply them first. And this makes the choice that much easier to make. We can copy and paste between documents and when we copy, Affinity Photo will copy a layer together with its layer mask rather than just the pixels on the layer, something that Photoshop doesn't do. You can apply multiple masks to a layer, so you could have several different ways of masking the same layer if you want. And where Photoshop by default limits you to 20 undo steps, in Affinity Photo, you have a massive 8,192 levels of undo.
It is really unprecedented. Of course, there's a lot in Photoshop that isn't in Affinity Photo. There's no Paths panel, for example, which is a surprising omission, and, of course, there's none of the 3D technology that's been built into Photoshop CC. And you're going to find all kinds of other smaller omissions that may be minor, but they may just be the things that you need. All in all, though, I think you'll find that Affinity Photo offers the bulk of what you need to do in Photoshop in a very slick, modern environment.
In some ways, much easier, but there are also differences in the interface that may take a little getting used to. It's certainly worth taking a look at it to find out if it's right for you.
- Using Affinity Photo's raw controls
- Applying lens correction
- Removing chromatic aberration and fringing
- Reducing noise and sharpening photos
- Making and modifying selections in Affinity Photo
- Creating layer masks
- Making global adjustments
- Adjusting shadows and highlights
- Enhancing color
- Converting to black and white
- Applying standard and live filters
- Creating photomontages in Affinity Photo
- Working with image stacks
- Distorting images
- Exporting photos from Affinity Photo