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

NPhoto - - CONTENTS -

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

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