Step by Step / an introduction to affinity Photo
1 Choose a Persona
One of the biggest differences with Affinity Photo is the Persona system. Accessed by buttons in the top left corner, these are divided into Photo, Liquify, Develop, Tone Mapping and Export. Each brings different tools to the fore. So, if you open a Raw photo into Affinity it’ll appear in the Develop Persona.
2 Raw tools
The Develop Persona is Affinity Photo’s Raw editor (although we can edit other file formats here too). We can begin by enhancing tones and make selective tonal tweaks with Overlays. Once done, we can click the Develop button to commit the changes and send our image into the Photo Persona for further editing.
3 Frequency separation
This is an excellent retoucher that separates detail and tone – great for skin. You’ll find a dedicated command under Filter>frequency Separation. A handy splitscreen view lets you compare high and low-frequency settings. Once done, we can clone and heal each frequency layer for high-end retouching results.
4 Intelligent selections
It’s easy to change backgrounds with Affinity’s selection tools. Use the Selection Brush to paint over the backdrop and go to Select>invert Selection. Click Refine and use the settings to improve the selection. Next, click the Add Mask icon in the Layers panel, then copy in a new image and drag the layer below the portrait.
5 Blending layers
With Affinity’s layer blend modes we can quickly and easily blend two or more photographs into one. Here, after copying in this image of leaves, we can go to the Layers panel and change the blend mode to Screen, then add a mask and paint with black to hide the effect in undesirable areas, in this instance, the face.
6 Tonal tricks
We can finish off by adding a tonal effect or two. First hit Cmd/ctrl+shift+alt+e to merge a layer, then head to the Tone-mapping Persona by clicking the top left icon. Normally this is for working up HDRS, but we can also use the tools here to tone normal photos. We’ve used the ‘Cool’ preset. Once done, click Apply.