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    a real mensch

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  1. Thanks for your kind words, @Waltarus. It's true that the Gaussian Blur can be cranked up really high. I've found this to be problematic (at least, for me…) because as the blur radius increases, the white part of the ellipse (or rounded rectangle) starts to incorporate more and more "grey" from the surrounding image. I've found it more helpful to keep the blur radius fairly small-ish and, instead, lower the opacity of the entire vignette (the Group itself) to obtain that sense of subtlety. Again, a personal choice…
  2. I hope they work out for you, @Waltarus!
  3. 1) I hope that your raw files give you the results you're looking for. If you're developing in Affinity Photo, tell the Develop persona (via the Assistant) NOT to apply a tone curve. (If you're on a Mac, you'll need to use the Serif engine, not the Apple engine.) When you're developing, bring the Exposure down significantly and then raise the shadows as needed. If there are details available in that blown out white area, this is the likely way you'll find them. 2) When you're shooting, overexposing the sky is so easy when you expose for the darker areas around you (the "landscape"). Try exposing more for the sky, and let the ground and surroundings stay a bit under-exposed. This avoids the blown-out, no detail areas of sky that are otherwise so very easy to end up with!
  4. If the original is a Raw file, then there's a glimmer of hope. If you're just dealing with a JPG file, there is probably no way to create detail in a completely blown out area of white. If you do have a raw original, try developing it without applying a tone curve. Or, apply a "linear" profile, which sometimes helps alleviate blown out highlights and whites. (As I am typing, I see that @walt.farrell has given you essentially the same advice.)
  5. I've gone ahead and corrected the attachments. The original post in this thread now has the correct files. Sorry for the confusion!
  6. Overtones Harmonic Color Grading Color grading is an art, and it is one that I confess I have not mastered. Nevertheless, it remains inspirational. I have a collection of LUT’s that I occasionally use, but these are “one trick ponies” – you either like the effect or not, but you can’t change them (other than by adding adjustments after the fact). I took some inspiration from a video about a Photoshop panel called “Infinite Color.” Specifically, there is a portion of this panel that allows the user to color grade photos based on a variety of color harmonies. While the availability of plug-ins and panels is on many a wish list for Affinity Photo, I am submitting these macros which attempt to accomplish something similar. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I am including a set of macros for color grading images. Each macro is based on a specific color harmony, and they include (i) Complimentary; (ii) Split Complementary; (iii) Triadic; (iv) Square; (v) Tetradic; (vi) Analogous; and (vii) Monochromatic. The chart below should explain the color wheel angles used for each of these harmonies. The macros are attached as a Macro Category, and can be imported into the Library panel. (Do not try to import them into the Macro panel; this will fail.) The macros were created in Affinity Photo version 1, so you should be able to import them into either version 1 or version 2 of the application. They can also be imported into either version of the iPad app, although in my testing they are still a bit glitchy on the iPad. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * To use the macros, click on the macro that corresponds to the desired color harmony. You will be presented with a number of choices, which can tailor the result as desired. Change the hue by setting the desired angle (using 0 as red on a standard color wheel). You can change the Saturation, Luminance, and overall Strength of the effect within the same dialog box. Click “Apply” when you’ve reached a result you like. There are two additional macros in the category. “Delete Existing” will look for a group named “Overtones Color Grade” and will delete the group. You should be aware that each of the macros has a “Delete” function among its first steps; if you have tried one color harmony and want to replace it with a different one, you can simply click on the macro for the new harmony and the original color grade will be removed. “Rename Existing” will also look for a group named “Overtones Color Grade” but will rename it to “Color Grading.” This latter choice allows you to stack multiple harmonic color grades, if you desire. Shown below is an example. The photo on the left was treated with an Analogous color grade, using the settings shown. The Original and Color Graded versions are noted. I’ve attached a small PDF file that explains the macros in more detail, and includes images of how they are best used. Keep this as a reference, if you like. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * As with all of the macros I have submitted over the years, please remember that I am one person with one computer (and one iPad). This allows me to test on a limited number of images. There is no way to have foreseen all possible scenarios. I believe (but obviously cannot guarantee) that you will be happy with the results. If you like the macros, please keep them and enjoy them. They are yours to use freely. What I ask in return is simply this: leave a comment below, letting me know if you’re using the macros and (hopefully) that you’re enjoying them. Remember that we users benefit from each other’s knowledge. Never forget to “pay it forward” and contribute to the forum in whatever ways you can. Have a wonderful 2023. Stay healthy, contented, and fulfilled. Round Two… The original Zip file that was attached to this post did not actually contain the macros! Oops. I've deleted that zip file and attached the .afmacros file and the pdf as two separate downloads. Hopefully, everything works as it should. (Thanks, @Twolane for letting me know that things got upside-down and backward!) Overtones Harmonic Color Grading.afmacros How to Use Overtones Harmonic Color Grading.pdf
  7. @j3rry - I’m glad you found the offending combination, and that you got the macro to work. Enjoy the rest of your day!
  8. @j3rry - I downloaded your zip file and opened the .afphoto file it contained. I first deleted the leftover "Vignette" layer that I think you missed; that left me with just the background image. I clicked once on the macro, adjusted a couple of parameters, and got the expected result. I've included a screen recording below. I don't know what went wrong for you. Vignette Screen Recording.mp4
  9. Good morning, @j3rry - based on your screenshot, I confess I don't know what went wrong. Could you post the background image for me to try on my computer? Also, I noticed in your screenshot that there are several layers in a group just above the Background, but below the Vignette group – were those turned "off" when you ran the macro, or were they turned off afterward? If you post the Background image only, I'll try to run the macro here and see what happens then get back to you.
  10. I’m really glad to hear that these are working for you, @Dionz.
  11. I can offer you this. I have a Mac, running Big Sur, and I own a copy of Filter Forge 8. Version 8 runs just fine in Affinity Photo 2. I can send it 8 bit or 16 bit files, and there does not seem to be any size restriction. I cannot speak for the later versions of Filter Forge, and cannot comment on how well it runs on a Windows system. If you are running a Windows system, you might want to look at G'Mic. It's a free plug-in with many, many different effects available. It doesn't offer the flexibility that Filter Forge does (programming your own filters, for instance) but for a casual user it might be a good solution. And you can't beat the price. As I said, I work on a Mac and there is no G'Mic compatibility with Mac systems. This is a shame, since it's got a wonderful reputation (which I've gleaned mostly from reading the comments of others on this forum). You might want to try it before you shell out cold, hard cash for Filter Forge (especially if you're only an occasional user).
  12. Hi, @Roy Henstock. I noticed your question was unanswered after several weeks and I thought I might chime in. Your question is broad and open-ended and, of course, the obvious answer is "the one that works for you." I think the only answer that anyone can suggest is to tell you what they do, and perhaps why they do it. It boils down to "workflow." I think you have to answer a couple of questions first. (1) When all is said and done, what versions of the photo do you intend to keep (long term)? Will you keep raw files, Affinity files (.afphoto extension), JPG or TIFF files, etc.? (2) Affinity Photo does not include a Digital Asset Manager (DAM) but you might want to use a third party solution to keep track of your photos. (3) Do you have an SSD (either as an internal or external drive) and do you have a higher capacity hard drive? All of these answers might impact the solution you come up with. Also, you are not so much "moving" images to Affinity Photo; rather you are readomg them from wherever you have copied them and doing your edits in RAM. Saving/exporting can be directed to any desired location. For me (and this is a personal choice, not necessarily one that will suit everyone) I copy my raw files from my camera disk to my computer's internal SSD drive. I put them into a folder named "RAW files" (or something similar) and open them one-by-one into Affinity Photo for editing. Once they are edited, I save the .afphoto files into another folder called "AFFINITY files" and I export a .jpg version of the file to a third folder called "JPG files". All three of these folders are enclosed in a parent folder named for the date, the event, or some other category. Once all the editing is done, I've got 3 folders; each contains a raw, .afphoto, or jpg version of each edited file. I eventually copy that parent folder onto a high capacity hard drive, where they are stored long-term. I use a separate piece of software (Photo Supreme) as my Digital Asset Manager, and I import them from the storage hard drive (and keyword, geotag, etc) from there. Will that work for you? It might. Only you can decide. Really, any place you want to store those images will work, since you can open them into Affinity Photo from just about anywhere. (As a caveat, I can't speak to whether storing them on a cloud-based drive, or on a network server, is a good solution. These are things I have never tried, and simply don't know.)
  13. Good morning, @RogerFx. I noticed that your question has gone unanswered for quite a long time, and thought I'd chime in. This might be an ideal time to use a Compound Mask. You can mask the case (but leave the handles) by creating two separate mask layers. In my example (below) I have a dark room (with a red Recolor adjustment to make it easier to see) and a second layer that contains your case. First, use the Luminosity Range Mask on the Case layer, just as you've done in your screenshot. This will get rid of the black background, and will also let the background show through that central portion (where the white bars are). Add a second mask to the Case – a regular mask – and paint Black over the handles. Now, you can select the Case layer and add a Compound Mask. Drag both the Luminosity Range mask and the Regular hand-drawn mask onto the Compound Mask, leaving the compounding method to "Add." That should get you the result you're after, and both the masks remain editable. EDIT - The second mask should not be a white mask painted with black. Instead it is a black mask, painted with white over the handles. When you compound this with the Luminosity Range mask, the white areas “Add” and allow the handles to be shown.
  14. Good morning, @DesignSurge. I noticed that your question has gone unanswered for quite a while, and thought I'd chime in. As far as I know, there's no way to specifically designate any given swatch palette to be the default one. However… you can still make this happen. It's simple, and takes two steps. First, in the Swatches panel, choose the "hamburger" menu (top right) and then Sort > Alphabetic. This assures that your menu is arranged in alphabetic order. Second, select whatever swatch palette you want as your default and, also from the hamburger menu, choose Rename Palette… You'll need to rename the swatch palette to something that will place it at the top of an alphabetic list. The easiest way to do this (in my opinion) is to place as asterisk (*) in front of the existing name. Your swatches should now be ordered alphabetically, and the palette you renamed should be at the top of the list (and therefore the "default").
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