First of all I'd like to say that I think what you are doing is great for the industry! You're really shaking things up and becoming actual competition for Adobe. I became interested in your products during the recent Affinity Live 2019 event. One thing that I've noticed as a strength of yours is that you value your customers opinions and are always trying to innovate and improve your products (I'm blown by Studio Link for example--Adobe should be worried). As a long time Adobe user (specifically Photoshop) I ran into a few roadblocks that have made my transition frustrating or difficult.
I wanted to note that so far I've only downloaded and experimented with the trial version of Affinity Photo because I didn't want to spend the money if I couldn't use the program in the way I needed to. I'm a professional Retoucher and Digital Artist, though I'll be focusing on Digital Art for this... Again I do have limited experience with AP so I apologize if I've overlooked something.
1. I saw on your website that one of the perks of Affinity Photo is that it supports the ABR brush format. From what I've experienced through testing is that this is only vaguely true. I imported one of my unreleased brush sets (I'm going to be selling Photoshop brushes soon and would LOVE to also support AP) and almost none of the brushes worked at all. Literally almost none of the properties transferred over. As far as I can tell you don't have a dual brush feature either so some brushes can just never work. Are there any plans to better support the ABR format? A ton more Digital Artists would more easily migrate if this was the case. I think it's perfectly fine if AP offers additional brush features over PS, but I think it's incredibly important to have 1:1 brush performance from existing Photoshop brushes because it would make people like me excited to use your program. Heck, I'd be excited to make advanced brushes on your platform that make use of the sub brush features (that stuff looks amazing). I can't stress enough how much this will stand in the way of a lot of people adopting AP for digital drawing. Photoshop is one of the main industry standards for digital drawing tools and if PS's brushes aren't fully supported it makes it hard for people to reasonably consider sticking with AP.
2. I also vastly prefer Photoshop's newer brush organization system to yours for a few reasons. The brush name can be visible along with stroke preview, brush size, and tool type. It's really important to me that the names be visible. I wasn't able to find a way to make them visible in AP. Additionally the way the folder structures works in Photoshop is better because you can have better organization. For example, you can have a parent folder with whatever name, and different named and sorted subfolders within the parent. You can even have addition subfolders in the children folders. From what I can tell with AP you can only make the parent category and no sub folders. This doesn't work well for me as I sell brushes in organized sets and this kind of ruins a lot of that organization. When I imported one of my organized sets it consolidated hundreds of brushes into a single chaotic folder which isn't usable.
3. Clip studio paint has a toggle-able keyboard shortcut to make any brush an eraser. Photoshop also has a feature that can be used similar to this although it's more obscure-- you have to set the brush blend mode to "clear" and then it becomes an eraser. The downside is that you can't make it a toggle-able shortcut which makes it cumbersome to use (you have to change from your current blend mode to clear to erase and back to your previous blend mode-- which is annoying). I was hoping there was a way/or that you would implement a toggle to have any brush act as an eraser. Obviously it'd be best if this was something you could assign a keyboard shortcut to.
4. I'm struggling with your zooming system and oddly enough panning. This is probably just something I've over-looked. But when one of your challenges is to make people reconsider their allegiance to Adobe things like this make it difficult. It's cool that you can zoom in to 1,000,000%, but why do you need to on a pixel only layer? Wouldn't that only be necessary if there were vectors present? I think that if there's only rasters on a given layer or on the screen it should only zoom in as far as the individual pixels turn into big blocks like photoshop. Another issue I'm having is that I'm so use to Photoshops amazing zoom in/and out feature with holding spacebar+alt and just dragging my stylus left or right. It's swift, responsive, and intuitive. However it didn't work this way in your program and I couldn't figure this out. Additionally once I was zoomed in a bit I tried panning the screen by holding spacebar and dragging and wasn't able to pan at all. Why?
5. Another important brush feature is blend modes for the texture itself and more controls over the texture. Photoshop has implemented this the right way. I mean look at the features here as an example, you can control the contrast/brightness of the base texture, texture each tip on/off, the blend mode of the texture, the depth %, min depth %, depth jitter %, and obviously the control of the brush. By comparison AP handles brush base textures in a far less featured way which is really disappointing and is without question another reason that Photoshop's ABR format doesn't transfer well. Again Dual Brush would be amazing too and with a similar set of features including blend mode. It is these features that make photoshop brushes arguably the most dynamic of any program. I'd love to see these features in AP!!
6. Are there plans to make a stand alone fully featured Digital Drawing program? This is a problem Adobe has long made with Photoshop too (they are finally doing something about it i.e Project Gemini aka Adobe Fresco). It has spent most of it's program life catering more towards the retouching/Photoshopping side of things and less to the digital painter. Heck in like 25+ years of Photoshop they only added the ability to sort and categorize brushes a few years ago... and the mixes brush a few years before that. They are also very slow to respond to feature requests and don't communicate much or at all with their user base/community.
7. Smaller question but is there a hotkey or way to set one to show/hide the current layer (basically to toggle current layer visibility)? I use this all the time when I'm retouching in PS to see the changes I'm making before and after.