Affinity Photo for Beginners | Your Complete Affinity Photo Tutorial!

Affinity photo 2 is out and I'm a huge Fan I still thought there was no better Time to whip up your complete Affinity Photo tutorial think of it as a Beginner's quick start guide if you Don't know me I'm Abby Esparza a Creative compositor with over 10 years Of photo editing experience now don't Worry if you're using the original Affinity photo it's still fantastic and Most of this beginner's guide will apply To both Affinity photo 1 and 2. just Some slight interface changes just like These thousands of resources over on Envato elements where you can get Unlimited downloads of Graphics photos And fonts all with super simple Commercial licensing a plus a no locking Contract means you can cancel anytime go Ahead and subscribe now with the link Down in the description we're covering Everything from live layers and Adjustment layers layer masks how to mix And combine them to create photo Manipulation effects as well as text Effects we're really covering the whole Gambit today so we have so much to do You Anna so little time to do it so we Gotta get started and there's no better Place to start than by setting up our Preferences I always recommend people look inside Any software preferences and generally Find out what your preferences are but

Let's take a look at my top three I find Essential in Affinity photo so edit Preferences And let's start with General here I just Like to turn on import PSD smart objects If possible if you work with both psds And Affinity photo files you might want To too and here are some other Interesting settings you can try out and See if you like though for the most part I do keep this fairly default that's Just me though Second we have performance and here's Where we're going to tell Affinity photo Just how much RAM or memory it's allowed To use now you never want to bring this Up to 100 even if it sounds like a good Idea you always want to keep at least 30 RAM for things like your web browser and Your actual operating system by default Though Affinity photo places this a bit Low in my opinion give it as much as you Can just leave at least four gigs of Memory for your operating system at the Very least and this is not the case for The default undo limit however which is Over a thousand undue states by default Even for me that's too high and you can Free up a lot of space and kind of Performance if you bring this down to 50 Or even 30 which is my preference next I Find 300 seconds to be fine for the auto Recovery feature if you do experience a Lot of crashes you can lessen this for a

Little extra security Now Affinity photo Should default to your graphics card if You you have one and Hardware Acceleration will be checked however if You're experiencing issues with Performance you can uncheck this and see If cpu-based processing works better for You and your system which sometimes is The case NR a third is going to be user Interface because when you're looking at Something for hours it'd be nice if it Didn't burn your eyes we do have a light UI option speaking of though I have yet To see anyone ever choose it in fact I Like to make my dark UI even darker also Upping the contrast of the UI text and Typically I like the mono icon style but I'll keep all of this default as it Might make things easier to follow along But with our preferences covered let's Talk about the actual Studio because There's tons of customization here all The panels in Affinity photo can be Changed rearranged and combined to fit Whatever your specific use cases I keep it simple with a nice long layers Panel which I do recommend a color is Right at the top and a floating brush Panels with the adjustments panel Dropped in there as well because I use Brushes and adjustments a lot now if you Want a panel back you can find them here In window just in case you accidentally Close something and you can reset your

Studio to the default in window Studio Reset and you can even save your own Presets if you have a few different Options that you'll like this is all Personal preference so do play around Because there are even more things that You can customize however if you're just Starting out keeping things close to Their defaults might actually be better I just for now as you're following along With other people who likely have the Default setup as well but we're gonna Move on to personas a Persona is just Affinity's way of creating different Studios to cover different and specific Tasks Uh by default Affinity photo opens to The a photo Persona this Persona holds All of the main photo editing tools and Is where we'll be spending uh most if Not all of our time another very useful Persona however for a photo editing is Going to be the liquify Persona here you Can push pull and warp your image you'll Notice that the UI completely changes And if we apply our edits done with the Liquify tool we are returned right to Our photo Persona because the photo Persona is the default Persona we also Have the develop Tone mapping and Export persona but to Keep things simple we'll be focusing on Just the photo Persona to start So let's move on to layers masks and

Adjustments starting with basic layers Affinity photo has several different Kinds of layers here all our layers are What are called pixel layers a pixel Layers are layers you are free to edit And paint on without any restrictions These pixel layers are images however You can create a new empty pixel layer By going right to the bottom of the Layers panel here and choosing the add Pixel layer icon we'll be using empty Pixel layers to paint on coming up soon But let's continue with these Basics as We kind of need them to select multiple Layers you can hold Ctrl command and Select any layer you want to move or you Can select a layer hold shift and select A second layer all layers in between Those two layers will then be selected All layers can be dragged either up or Down the layer stack which will dictate How the layers appear on the canvas And if we ever need to hide a layer Either permanently or temporarily we can Toggle its visibility by clicking the Dot right here on the right We can adjust a layer's transparency Otherwise known as opacity by using this Top slider Or we can actually click and drag left And right on the word opacity a lot of The settings will have this option and You'll see me do it quite a bit And of course we have layer modes found

Here but we'll be covering those in just A few minutes first I want to talk about Nesting because you're going to be doing A lot of it So if we take a layer and drag and drop It over another layer it will now be Nested inside the layer it was dropped Into that layer is now confined to the Boundaries or shape of the layer it's Placed inside an arrow will indicate When a layer has another layer nested Right inside of it but if we click that Arrow it'll open up so we can see any Nested layers and if we click the arrow Again the layer will collapse right back Up and this is just to keep your layers A bit tidier because you can clip as Many layers as you want into any one Layer you can even Nest layers into Already nested layers think of it like Russian nesting dolls but with layers You can still move edit and resize Nested layers but if we move the shape Layers everything will move together In a little bit we'll be using nested Layers to contain live layers to Specific images which is one of their Main use cases Before that let's talk about adjustment Layers and layer masks let's jump to a Full Resolution version of this yellow Image And we're going to start with adjustment Layers remember we can open our

Adjustment panel in window adjustments If it still needs to be added to our Studio So what is an adjustment layer an Adjustment layer is exactly what it Sounds like an image adjustment that is On its own layer let's create a recolor Adjustment layer a recolor layer will Change your image to one single Hue or Color Our settings will open and in this case We just have to slide the sliders to Dial in on a color let's go with a nice Hot pink something we can really see and Then let's close the settings and look At our layers panel the recolor Adjustment is on its own layer so we can Move it around and Nest it and adjust Its settings like any other layer an Adjustment layer will affect any layer That is located below it I do want to point out that when we Created this recolor adjustment layer Our photo layer was active it was Selected so by default an adjustment Layer will be nested into any active Layer if that layer is not already an Adjustment layer if we look at all of Our adjustment layers there are quite a Few different ones to choose from Luckily you can figure out what many of Them do just by reading their names and Otherwise the best way to learn how to Use adjustment layers is to really just

Play with them pick one adjust the Settings and watch the canvas there's no One way to use them or best practice It's really all about experimenting We'll be using them a ton throughout the Course so you will have a good feel for Them by the end of this Just in case you were feeling like uh Just play around and experiment was a Bit of a cop-out But you know what adjustment layers are The perfect segue into layer masks a Layer mask is used to hide a portion of A layer while still giving us the option To bring back what we hid at any time we Can add a layer mask to any type of Layer but the cool thing about Adjustment layers is that they actually Have a layer mask built in so let's use That mask by grabbing the brush tool And setting it to a default hard round Brush I'm making it nice and large we'll Be talking all about brushes a little Later on we just want something nice and Simple We also want the brush foreground color Right here to be set to Black And the background color to be set to White So how to layer masks work when using Layer masks we use black to hide and White to bring back anything that was Hidden it's like erasing but without the Commitment after using the brush tool on

The recolor layer we see a white square With our black circle stamped on it and That is our layer mask in our layers Panel and we can edit a layer mask at Any time it's what we call a Non-destructive tool instead of Permanently erasing we are temporarily Masking We can of course use any kind of brush On a layer mask just remember that black Hides and white reveals or brings back So how do we actually create layer masks Because wow layer masks are built into Adjustment layers we can manually add a Mask to any kind of layer just click on The layer you want to add a mask to and Choose mask layer right at the bottom of The layers panel since we have no other Pixel layers underneath this layer we'll See a checkered pattern if we mask using Black which means this area is Transparent we can use control I to Invert a layer mask this will change any Blacks to White and any whites to Black Which can be very handy And now the super fun thing is an Affinity photo layer masks are a type of Layer we can actually reorder so instead Of nesting a bunch of layers into one Masked layer or group we can just drag a Mask right above those layers and Everything below that mask will then be Masked So if you ever want anything contained

And do the exact same shape or design uh Try out layer masks But we're moving right along to our last Layer type live filter layers along with Layer modes let's actually start with Layer modes though So what are layer modes layer modes Change how a layer will interact with All the layers below it let's say we Wanted to bring more red light onto our Subject here we can create a new pixel Layer And paint Blobs of solid red or this Orangey red color around the subject We can then find our layer mode options Right next to the layers opacity Settings and in this case let's change The layer mode to screen which is an Excellent layer mode for painting or Adding in light In fact it did a bit too good of a job Let's bring the opacity of this down a Little bit For a lot So all layer modes do something Different some lighten some darken some Only affect color While others will Affect both lightness and color it's Best to scroll through them and get a Feel for which do what because they all Really have a use and several have the Same use but offer different results So let's take this glow effect I might Choose lighten screen soft light or glow

For any one given glow effect just Depending on the effect I need and what I want it to look like You're also gonna end up stacking and Combining different layer modes which We'll be doing here in a moment And you can of course adjust the layer Mode of any layer including photo vector And type layers We'll be using layer modes to create a Really cool pencil drawing like effect And a wavy hologram text effect But first we gotta cover live filter Layers just really quick live layers are Found right at the bottom of the layers Panel and they work just like adjustment Layers but instead of image adjustments They apply a filter effect All filters will control differently but Many can use the given sliders to adjust Their settings Or you can actually click and drag right On the canvas for more intuitive control Live filters are a non-destructive so we Can change these settings at any time And this is just a layer so we can Adjust its layer mode And we can paint black directly on a Live layer to create a layer mask just Like with our adjustment layers Also quick tip if we duplicate a live Layer using Ctrl J The effect will double up and intensify Which again can be pretty handy

And with just these Basics we can create A full hand-drawn pencil effect no hand Drawing needed First let's duplicate our subject using Ctrl J and we're going to invert the Duplicate using control I Now let's change the layer mode to color Dodge this will look a bit crazy Next we're going to create a gaussian Live filter Making sure it's nested inside of that Inverted duplicated layer and the Setting for this is going to change from Image to image around 2 pixels seems to Be kind of a good starting point but go Ahead and slide things around what we Want is that really thick hand-drawn Pencil effect remember we can adjust These layers at any time so don't Overthink it you can always come back Later and Fiddle with it In fact I think this is looking Perfectly fine so let's duplicate our Original subject once again Bringing it above that inverted subject And we're going to set this layer to a Linear light and bring the opacity down To 25 or so just to bring back some Dimension in the face Above that a Clarity live filter set to 100 and this will bring out some of the Detail on the edges of the image again Giving us that pencily effect Next a black and white adjustment layer

The default settings should do the trick But feel free to play And this is looking a little bright and Washed out so let's create a brightness Contrast adjustment layer And then bring down the brightness but Upping the contrast again don't focus on Specific settings just slide things Around and hit it where you think it Looks good I am not a big proponent of Giving exact numbers exact settings Simply just almost never matter just Slide the sliders or just the dials and Land on what looks best And we're going to finish things off With two paper textures I'll be using These two texture packs And we can place them right over our Layers setting the more pencil like Texture to color burn Uh bringing it down to 25 or so opacity Remember settings don't matter And then a paper like texture to Multiply bringing it down to 50 or so Opacity Layer modes are a great way to layer Texture onto images from grungy textures The paper textures like this or even Lens flares And the cool thing about this effect is That it's almost completely Non-destructive so we can go back and Fiddle with any settings if we need to We're gonna move right along to brushes

Because we've barely talked about them And Affinity photo has great brushes in Fact specifically it has a really nice Set of default brushes but a lot of Pre-made photoshop brushes are actually Also compatible with affinity photo so Let's actually look at how to install Some custom brushes The brushes that are going to work best Are stamp brushes or brushes that don't Have Dynamic settings so instead of Painting a line you stamp a single shape I'm gonna go with these nice watercolor Stamps an installing a brush is as easy As downloading Going into our brush panel clicking the Hamburger menu right here and choosing Import brushes Locate the downloaded and extracted Brushes And they will be placed in their own Named group Now all of our basic brush settings are Right here in the top bar but to easily Control the size of your brush you can Actually use the left and right bracket Keys and this trick is going to work for Any kind of brush tool so when you see Me magically increasing or decreasing a Brush size I'm using the left and right Bracket keys And to edit the more advanced settings Of a brush we just have to double click A brush

And here we have even more general Settings along with our Dynamic settings We also have this duplicate button which We can use to save multiple versions of Any one brush So if you have a specific brush you find Yourself making all the time go ahead And just duplicate it Save yourself some time however you do Not need to use these brushes or even Custom made brushes you can create your Very own Brush by going to the brushes Menu and choosing either new intensity Brush or New Image brush An intensity brush is a solid color Brush the color is controlled by your Foreground color and it's your standard Brush type An image brush on the other hand is a Brush with color super cool and even Cooler is if we select multiple images At once Like all these pngs here they actually Import as one brush because Affinity Photo can sample multiple images for Just one brush tip We can even change the order of these Pngs of the brush in the brush settings And of course we have all of our Standard brush settings as well and you Can do all of this with intensity Brushes too I just think the colored Brushes are super cool And of course you can import a single

PNG as its own brush if you need to if You want to I just thought these Selecting multiple pngs to make one Giant super brush was super awesome when I figured out that was a thing And just with these brush it Basics we Can turn our pencil drawing here into a Watercolor painting effect all we have To do is create a new pixel layer and Set that to multiply Then we can grab a nice saturated color And stamp and paint in some color using Either our new brushes of course or even The default watercolor brushes that Affinity has which are very nice Also feel free to try out different Layer modes and layer different colors Over top of one another I'll keep it Simple with just a few multiply layers And bold primary colors but there are Tons of options here Next let's talk about how to combine Images to create a photo composite Which always starts with removing the Backgrounds from a subject or object and Luckily Affinity photo has some really Nice selection tools that make this Pretty paintless So we have the subject that we need to Extract Which is going to start with a selection Let's grab the selection brush tool and Drag it around the subject It's going to start creating a selection

Auto snapping to any hard edges it Detects now I prefer to select the Subject's background but you can do the Opposite and select the subject instead It just comes down to personal Preference Now it does a pretty good job but Sometimes it will select way too much uh So we can just control Z to undo that Selection And if it's having a really hard time You can zoom in nice and close Shrink the select brush down using our Bracket keys And follow the edge of the subject a bit More closely and that'll help it kind of Guess what you're trying to do And if you find yourself wanting to Remove just a part of a selection you Can hold alt now instead of adding to Our selection we'll start removing from It Let go of alt and then we'll start Adding again Now I actually chose this image due to How similar the colors of the background And body are here even with them being So close in color the selection brush Does a really nice job of selecting the Subject the harsher and more distinct The Edge the better the selection tool Is gonna work And with our selection done let's add a Layer mask

Which will autofill to our selection and We're going to hit Ctrl D to deselect Getting rid of that selection line we no Longer need it And because I select the background not The subject I'm going to invert the Layer mask using Ctrl I but if you Select the subject instead of the Background you can skip this step of Course Now even though that selection looked Pretty good our edges do not they look Really Jagged which is no good So now it's time to right click the Layer mask and choose refine mask our Subject will instantly be smooth and the Hair strands will also be masked in just Automatically But we can further refine the Edge by Clicking and dragging on any edges that Need some work which is going to likely Be the hair here Now if we want to be even more precise And let's say hide parts of the Background that weren't grabbed we can Choose the background option here This helps Affinity photo know that You're telling it that this is a Background and we do not want it And so if we want to tell Affinity photo That something is part of the subject we Choose foreground instead Now we do have some other settings here If you're extracting a simple object

With larger flat edges a nothing too Sharp or pointy then adding a small Amount of smoothing might actually be a Very good idea However with subjects and complicated Objects with lots of nooks and crannies And pointy edges I'd never set it higher Than one pixel or else a lot of your Background is going to start peeking Through in those nooks and crannies You're also going to end up losing a lot Of your hair strands Once we're happy though we can click ok And we can always do some last second Hand refining using just a default hard Run brush for those areas that Affinity Photo just couldn't figure out the more Complicated the subject the more you Might have to hand refine but there are Times when it absolutely does a bang-up Job Now we extracted our subject but you Might be wondering what about Shadows She's literally just floating right now There's actually a super neat trick we Can do for images like this on a Studio Background using only layer modes and Adjustment layers and a quick mask So first let's duplicate the subject Delete this layer mask And turn the image black and white using An adjustment layer Next we want to set the duplicate layer To multiply

And now we want to add a brightness Contrast adjustment layer nested inside Of that duplicate Bringing up the contrast and bringing Down the brightness we want the Background to be pretty close to white But our shadows to still be visible Finally we can add a new layer mask to That duplicate and mask away everything But our shadows now if these Shadows are A bit too dark and harsh we can always Lower this duplicate's opacity or adjust The brightness contrast adjustment Making it either brighter or even more Contrasted if we can And now we have a much more realistic Shadow compared to if we may be hand Painted it in or certainly if we left it Out that would be no good But this is a very basic photo composite We took two images and combined them now It's time to bring everything we've Learned so far and turn this image into A proper photo manipulation First we need to do some slight color Correcting let's create a brightness Contrast layer inside of our subject Up in her contrast and lowering her Brightness very slightly we just want Her to match the environment a bit Better And let's spice up the environment by Changing it to be a more alien-like We're going to create an hsl adjustment

Right over our background but under our Subject in this case we only want to Target the greens so let's click the Green Dot icon And we're going to shift the greens to Be a bit bluish A bluish purple We can also use the points on the Hue Circle here to further dial in on what Colors are actually being affected And we're actually going to repeat that Step to our subject as well So nesting a new hsl adjustment right Above the brightness contrast layer And we're going to be turning her teal Greens into a more pastel purple Looking good and we can finish off all The kind of color and Hue changes with a Curves adjustment layer which is Actually one of my favorite adjustments So curves work by placing points on a Line and pulling either up or down Pulling up britons while pulling down Darkens the left lower side of the curve Represents the darks while the right Higher curve represents the lights of The image if we want to darken the Shadows we can place a point on the left Side and pull down And to brighten the highlights we place A DOT And pull up on that opposite side this Is also called an S curve because it Creates kind of an S looking shape

We can then bring some purple into the Shadows by going into the red and blue Channels found here And pulling up the Shadows This is going to bring a light wash of Purple light into all the Darks of the Image Because red and blue makes purple A global adjustments like this can Really help pull images together when Combining multiple images from different Stacked photos And let's add a final Clarity live layer Over top of everything bringing that up To around a hundred percent maybe 90 I Like 100 I think Again we're going for almost a 3D or Hologram-like effect kind of a Y2K Vibe Which will match our upcoming text Effect In fact I think it's time to move on to The type tool starting with installing Custom fonts because everyone loves a Custom font installing fonts in Affinity Photo is as easy as downloading the font I'll be using this font for our upcoming Hologram font effect and you're going to Want to install that font onto your Computer I'm on windows so I just have To drag the font file onto my desktop And right click install for all users But this is going to depend on your OS Of course but once it is installed your Font will appear right in Infinity photo

No need to restart Now let's Place some text with the type Tool active click and drag on the canvas This is going to decide the initial size Of the text which is this big a here but We can always adjust this later so don't Worry about it let's just type in the Word wave in all caps We have all of our basic attack settings In the upper toolbar here including font Face Style Color And alignment Keep in mind that you don't have to Highlight the text to edit its color or Style which can help in the design Process sometimes I see people do that In an Infinity photo you do not need to And we can find the rest of our text Settings in window text character Today we're just going to increase the Tracking just to give them some space And the vertical scale as we want the Letters to be quite long But you're also going to find the Outline options here which are really Nice as well as the kerning settings and The typography settings The bulk majority of your Tech settings Are going to be found in this panel But this is looking good we do want to Make sure this text is set to a deep Violet color

I almost forgot to mention And we're all set up for our text effect With one downside our hologram text Effect will not be non-destructive which Means we'll be rasterizing our text Layer here a rasterized layer is a pixel Layer it's turning a non-pixel layer Into a pixel layer this means we won't Be able to adjust the text or its Settings once we rasterize the layer So in situations like this I like to Create a backup duplicate of my layer in This case the text layer using Ctrl J Just in case I need it and spoiler alert We're going to need it so definitely do This And then we can just hide the original For now so when we do need it again we Don't have to recreate it we just have To duplicate it Let's get to this text effect first by Changing the text layers layer mode to Color Dodge Now we're going to grab the smudge tool Found here And we're going to make sure the Strength is set to at least 50 percent You can go higher uh but I wouldn't go Lower we want it to be very very strong Now let's go into our brushes and grab a Soft round brush making sure to go into The settings and change the spacing to Zero if it's not already set to zero Because we're going to use this brush to

Smudge the text into interesting wavy Shapes focus on the edges the tops and The bottoms we want to make sure the Middle of the text stays pretty readable This looks fine let's duplicate this Layer and repeat that step again but Bringing the way the effect down even Lower onto the canvas Next let's duplicate our original text Layer the one we did not rasterize And we'll change the layer mode to color Dodge and the text color to Blue Again let's repeat the wave effect using The smudge tool bringing the blue into The wavy parts of the text We don't want to overthink these Smudging steps we just want interesting Shapes and colors Once that's looking good we want to mask The blue text so it's only on the bottom Of the text we're basically creating a Purple the blue gradient effect Now let's duplicate that blue smudged Layer bringing it below the original and Setting the layer mode to multiply This is going to help the text become Actually readable It will likely be too solid though so Let's lower the opacity to around 80 Percent or so And finally let's create a halftone live Layer right above our text layers Setting the screen to line The cell size to 9. and the contrast to

80. We can then set that live layer to soft Light and mask away any unwanted lines And that's going to finish off our Hologram motif So when it comes to Affinity photo it's Really all about slowly learning how to Mix and match kind of basic tools to Create what you want to make we covered What I considered to be the core tools And functions of affinity photo however Even that can change from person to Person it just depends what you're doing For photo editing and manipulation of The different layers layer settings and Brushes are where your kind of core Tools are going to be a master those and Then Branch out from there but that's Going to do it for today and if that Wasn't enough and you're looking to Learn even more why not check out some Of the other awesome videos that Environ Touch plus has to offer and if if you Liked this video consider giving us a Like and even subscribing if you haven't Already and don't forget to click the Little bell icon to be notified of all New videos including tips tricks and of Course tutorials happy designing see you Next time guys

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