Live filters in Affinity
James Paterson shows how to enhance a dull-looking landscape with the ‘live filter’ feature in Serif’s powerful, low-cost image editor
Enhance a landscape with Affinity’s clever live filter feature
Love them or hate them, photo-editing filters are one way to give photographs a specific look, or simply apply a fun effect. There are two types of filter – those that let you add effects, like turning your photo into a sketch, and those that have more practical uses, such as sharpening and blur.
While Affinity Photo’s list of filters can’t compare with the number on offer in Photoshop, there are thankfully more of the latter than the former. Here we’ll look at a few of the best. Amongst the list of filters on show you’ll find powerful sharpening tools; a range of blur tools for crafting all manner of depth-of-field effects; and a haze-removal tool that manages to out-perform the similar feature in Photoshop.
When it comes to applying filters in Affinity Photo you have two options – you can either add the effect directly to a pixel layer, or you can instead use the clever live filter feature. Rather than altering the pixels on a layer, this instead places the filter effect on a separate layer.
It not only means the filter remains editable, but also affords you all the benefits of working with layers. So you can mask the effect to make it selective, alter the opacity to tone it down, or change the blending mode, if you decide to.
In this way, live filter layers are kind of similar to adjustment layers. Just like adjustment layers, we can build up an effect by using a combination of filter layers, and even switch the order around if we need to.
Just like adjustment layers, we can build up an effect by using a combination of filter layers and even switch the order around