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Everything posted by Haitch

  1. +1 each to Andy & Lorox. Exactly. I am still persevering .. occasionally .. but the workflow / usability / directness is the big hurdle. Affinity Photo will stand or fall by whether or not it can be an alternative to Photoshop. Enjoyment, Lorox's word, really is important. When you feel you're constantly fighting the app, you lose that. As Lorox says, Photoshop has evolved. Often simple things, like adding a Vibrancy tool, which simply wasn't there in earlier versions, have made a huge practical difference. Sure, you could achieve the same results with HSL and maybe a tweak of Curves, but for some things it just made it quicker and easier. That philosophy needs to cascade through a swathe of Affinity tools .. even the Curves adjustment is clumsy compared to Photoshop, and there could hardly be a more basic tool.
  2. Thanks, MEB .. but for those of us who work in a more painterly way with masks, you're making our point for us. Our main point isn't that it's impossible to achieve the same result, just that it's a complex and indirect method compared to PS. Secondarily, I still don't see how your approach allows selective work on the mask. How, for instance, with your method, would you edit a mask using levels or curves, then use the history tool to paint those changes selectively into the mask .. something I do all the time in PS. Obviously I don't use colour-related tools on the mask, but I use just about everything else on mask layers, and almost always not applying the edits to the whole mask. I appreciate that there's always a balance between left-brain and right-brain processes .. the point is that Affinity imposes a very programmatic, left-brain approach, which feels heavy-handed for some of us, and which is also slower than the approach that PS allows. Why would I go with a program that makes the editing process slower and less intuitive? Affinity is great for people who like to work the way that Affinity imposes, but for those of us whose basic approach to image editing does not comply, it's a struggle. I can't believe that this is a technical issue. PS had this aspect of masking well worked out from very early days. I don't understand why Affinity wouldn't offer raster masks as an option when they're central to how many photographers work. When Affinity has a change of heart on this, I'll come back to it with rejoicing, until then, I'm out.
  3. @Lorox .. Thank you! Have been hoping for months to hear from Affinity that they've implemented raster masking. Can't for the life in me see why they couldn't create an option to use either alpha or raster masking .. surely not technically difficult. I'm afraid this has killed Affinity for me. Don't even have it on current PC. But would love to be able to switch from PS.
  4. Many thanks for this answer. There's a lot to digest and try out. Yes, some people call it Luminosity Masking .. I've never found that a helpful term when I've been showing people how I edit .. 'using the image to mask itself' goes more directly to the underlying idea. I think I understand what the macros are doing, but I'm really looking for something which allows me to keep to a structured process, but work with the masks in a more intuitive, 'painterly' kind of way .. which is not just about choosing the diameter, opacity and softness of a brush tool, of course .. more about feeling your way with curves and levels. Finding my balance point between left brain and right brain, maybe. I will hang in there for a while in hopes of finding it. All the best.
  5. Thanks. The issue is not to understand what adjustment layers or their masks do. The issue is with adjustment of the mask. I've yet to see anything by way of tutorial, or to find by trial and error in the program, a way to apply levels and curves to the mask itself. Most of what's available, as with the videos you refer to here, simply involves painting into the mask. The only operation I've found applies to the mask overall is the Invert command, which one of these videos shows. So, suppose I use the background image to create a mask .. that immediately and automatically gives me a mask that corresponds accurately with the image, including with the subtle transitions from highlight to shadow that you find in a face or figure (I mostly shoot people). I invert the mask, and now I have a mask that protects my highlights from the effects of the adjustment layer, and which transitions in its action as subtly or abruptly as does the background image as it moves from highlights to shadows. But now I want to control, for example, how my mask works in the midtones. I want to look at the mask, and then use levels or curves to adjust the midtones of the mask. I can't see how to do that in Affinity. Ideally I would like an adjustment layer that applies only to the mask. Failing a live adjustment layer for the mask, I would like at least to be able to apply curves and levels in a one-off operation to the mask, and with the option to use the history brush to paint in those adjustments to particular areas of the mask. And then perhaps later in my work on the image, I might go back and re-edit the tonality of the mask, again with a one-off application of curves or levels. I appreciate that it would be possible to duplicate the background, use whatever adjustments I want, and then apply that as a mask, but then the mask remains fixed. That just doesn't work. I want to be able to create the mask, and then adjust it or refine it as I continue with my editing process .. perhaps altering the way the mask for one adjustment layer works as I look at how other adjustment layers affect the overall result, balancing the effect of one masked adjustment layer, say HSL, with a different masked adjustment layer, say a Curves layer set to Colour Blend. This use of the original image as a mask for an adjustment layer has been a central part of my editing process for years. As far as I'm aware, it's part of many photographers' editing process. I just can't seem to find out how to do it in Affinity. I'm using the example of curves and levels above, but of course, I might just as easily want to apply filters to the mask. The point is to use the image to mask itself, and be able then to edit the mask freely.
  6. I would like to be able to edit / revise a mask after creating it, using curves or levels .. ideally as an adjustment layer specifically for the mask, but I'd settle for simple adustment of the mask, as in Photoshop. I routinely use the image itself as a mask, for example to protect highlights, and it's essential to be able to adjust the tonality of the mask while editing.
  7. is it possible, after creating a mask, to adjust it using curves or levels? Ideally I'd like to be able to create an adjustment layer specifically for the mask, to keep it revisable, but I'd settle for a one off application of curves or levels to the mask (as in older versions of Photoshop)
  8. Affinity's market pitch aside ... Thanks for the step through .. I'm able to do that. I have two basic problems .. first, how to create an action that can carry out that process of mask creation for me, given that it seems to depend on dragging the duplicate background layer into the mask .. and second, how do you adjust the mask using normal editing tools, like curves and levels? your method seems to rely on editing the duplicate background layer before using it to create the mask .. I routinely want to be able to adjust the mask after creating it. I can invert it, paint into it .. but can't see how to adjust it. If you can help with either of those, that would be appreciated
  9. Thank you. I'll have a go at that. But it seems a very roundabout way of achieving something that is so quick and simple in PS.
  10. I regularly want to copy the background image into the mask, and edit it there .. in Photoshop it's copy and paste, as the OP says .. then you can look at the mask and edit it with any normal editing tool .. curves, levels, paintbrush .. I actually can't follow your explanation above in response to the OP.. At all. Can you describe in simple, straighforward steps, how to do what I am trying to do? Yes, I have watched the tutorials, and if you can direct me to one that shows how to do this, I will happily put the time in on studying it.
  11. Yep, this is my problem with Affinity in a nutshell. Basic tools that are there, but just so clumsy to use. Curves, a foundational tool .. you can get there eventually, but what is immediate and direct in PS .. like sampling a value in the image with the dropper .. takes an extra step in AP .. and you can't simply place a node and then use the mouse middle wheel to roll the values up and down precisely .. everything feels gratuitously indirect. Working with masks is even worse. I have spent months trying to learn how to use basic tools that have been familiar in PS for years, across different versions, and am on the point of giving up. Cropping, admittedly never Photoshop's greatest strength, I now do in XnView .. much finer control, much easier to use, and it's basically a freeware image viewer. Image rotations likewise, far simpler and more direct than AP. Even something as basic as checking the effect of an adjustment layer while adjusting it is clumsy. It does pano stitches and focus stacks and a few other things brilliantly, but the interface for the central editing controls is just awful. Sorry this is a whine. I had such high hopes.
  12. Thanks, Walt .. my other workaround is to copy the document with the desired masterpage and copy the content of the pages across .. which is what I'm doing as it's mainly the guides / margins that I'm trying to copy. Creating them accurately to given dimensions from scratch feels like such a pain when copying the master should be a couple of clicks.
  13. Apologies if I'm missing something obvious, but I can't seem to find a way to copy a Master page from one document to another. Maybe I'm looking for something more quick and dirty than would happen in an idealised workflow.
  14. I work with church and other non-profit organisations where the bulk of the work is done by volunteers, often with only basic computer skills, and the only app they have access to for any kind of layout work is Microsoft Publisher. There is no 'deserve' here, it's just how it is.
  15. Is there somewhere you can set rules for justification? I'm trying to produce fully justified text and the results are unusable. Can't even stop it stretching a short final line across the whole column width. I know full justification is challenging across narrow columns, but what I'm seeing is ludicrous.
  16. I'd say that this is close to being a deal-breaker. Can't quite believe that Affinity can't open office publisher files. Many people providing material to Affinity users for updating / more professional design work will be submitting in this format.
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