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Ian Lawrie

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About Ian Lawrie

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  1. Most Topaz plugins work fine, but Remask 5 (which I use a lot) returns the error message "Transparency locked". It would be great if this could be fixed. Similar requests have been made by others, but this seems not to have found its way into the roadmap yet.
  2. A couple of follow-up points: 1. When I want to edit an image that I have saved on my hard disc, I find it with the File Explorer, right click, and choose "open with". Conveniently, I get the option to open the image with Adobe Photoshop Elements, with Serif PhotoPlus X8, with DxO Viewpoint 2, and some others. These are not quickviewers, and I didn't have to do anything special when I installed these programs, as far as I remember. Inconveniently, I don't get the option to open with Affinity Photo. If that doesn't matter to you, then fine. 2. I am using version 1.5.0.38. Suppose I have a document open, and I want to clone from one area to another. I alt-click at the point I want to use as the source. Now I move the brush to my target area. As I do that, I see two objects moving across my image. Ahead is the circular outline of the brush. Somewhat behind that is a disc containing the preview, but without the outline. When I stop moving, the preview catches up with the outline, so in the end all is well. When I do the same thing in PhotoPlus X8, or any other editor I have tried, what I see moving across my screen is just one object, namely the brush outline with the preview inside it. That seems like the sensible way to arrange matters, so I am suggesting that something in Affinity Photo isn't working quite right at present. 3. Like several other people, I have found that all my Topaz plugins work with Affinity Photo, apart from Remask 5, which gives a "transparency locked" error. From what I see in the following thread, it seems that Affinity Photo users are expected to use only the standalone version of Remask 5, which I would find inconvenient. Locked TransparencyStarted by meachp, Nov 12 2016 09:49 AM
  3. As a long standing user of PhotoPlus, I have found a lot to like in Affinity. For example * Smart, clean appearance of the UI * Flexible implementation of layers and masking * All the tools I am used to are there, along with quite a lot more * In the main, evrything I have tried works smoothly and reliably. My first impression is that this is astonishingly good value for money. On the other hand, I have a few gripes about the software as it currently stands: * It installs without apparent problem on my Windows 10 system, but there seems to be some glitch with file associations, because when I right-click on an image file in the File Explorer, I get an option to open the file with PhotoPlus (and others), but not Affinity Photo. Strangely, though, I have succeeded in setting it as my default program for .jpgs. * I have some problems with brush tools, namely (i) there is some slight lag in the effects appearing in the image (I think this has been noted by others, and it is perhaps better in the latest update); (ii) when I move a brush across an image without holding a mouse button down, the disc showing a preview lags considerably behind the outline of the brush, which is quite disconcerting; (iii) when I move the cursor to the toolbar ro adjust brush properties, it correctly turns to an arrow, but when I return to the image, I don't get the brush back again until I click. * The Perspective tool doesn't have (or, at least, I can't find it) the option I need for changing perspective, namely a mirror motion of handles at the two ends of an edge. I think it is a bit awkward that the available transformations are split between the Perspective and Move tools; it would be more convenient to havd access to all of them at the same time. * Undo and Redo buttons would be handy, though I appreciate that there are both a menu item and a keyboard shortcut. * For merging layers, the Flatten option appears in the Document menu, and Merge Selected appears in the Layer menu, but neither appears in the right-click context menu in the layers pane, although Merge Down and Merge Visible do. It would be handy to have all these options in the right-click menu. * Most importantly, for me, it isn't possible to invoke the Topaz Remask plugin. From a couple of other posts, it looks as if there are no plans to fix this, and as I noted in a reply, this is a serious disadvantage for me. One other observation: I tried to compensate for uneven lighting in an image by using a Brightness/Contrast layer with a gradient fill in the mask. It proved possible to adjust both the Brightness/Contrast sliders and the gradient fill at the same time. I found this extremely useful - but I'm not sure that this was intended by the programmers, because the fill eventually becomes rasterized. It would be nice to have the parameters of the gradient fill remain permanently adjustable.
  4. Yes, you can use Remask 5 as a stand alone program, but that is not always a convenient way to proceed. Remask works perfectly well with Photo Plus and (I think) with various Adobe products. If there is a permanent barrier to invoking it from Affinity, that will be a fairly serious drawback for me.
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