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  1. Thanks @Dan C for your reply. Here are some screen captures showing the problem. Follow my original post from December 15, 2022, to reproduce it using the file Flower.jpg as it came out of my iPhone 13. I hope the forum software doesn't mess with Flower.jpg. Just in case, I'm also uploading Flower.zip. Flower.jpg - original, unretouched file from my iPhone 13 taken in portrait mode. Flower.zip - ZIP file produced by Windows 10 containing Flower.jpg. Collage.afphoto - APhoto2 (2.0.3) file created by dragging and dropping Flower.jpg into a new afphoto file as described in my original post. 1-LinkedImagePlaced.jpg - Screen capture of APhoto2 window after placing Flower.jpg into the blank document. Resource Manger shows the image is linked (not embedded). 2-LinkedImageModifiedExternalEditor.jpg - Screen capture of APhoto2 window after using Faststone Image Viewer to modify brightness and contrast in Flower.jpg and saving it with those changes. Note that APhoto2 recognizes the external linked file has been modified. There was also a warning pop-up appearing in APhoto2 when that change was made to Flower.jpg by Faststone. So far everything is working as it should. 3-LinkedImageUpdated.jpg - Screen capture of APhoto2 window after clicking Update button in Resource Manager. Notice that the image has been rotated 90 degrees in APhoto2. On December 16, 2022, I provided an exhaustive description and analysis of what is happening and what I think APhoto2 is doing wrong when it updates an image modified by an external editor. As mentioned above, APhoto1 behaves differently. Simply dragging Flower.jpg into a new APhoto1 document results in the image being presented in landscape format. It appears that APhoto1 ignores the orientation tag. APhoto2 does regard the orientation tag during the initial placement of the image. However, it appears that APhoto2 ignores the Orientation tag in the EXIF information after the jpg file is modified by an external program and updated in Resource Manager. Also as noted above, my other image viewers display the file correctly both before and after modification. Collage.afphoto Flower.zip
  2. Perhaps this InAffinity tutorial will help? It adjusts four corners of a rectangle independently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYlaLs7IBZE
  3. Sorry. My mistake. I accidentally had Caps Lock on. Problem is fixed in 2.0.3
  4. $99.99 was the total charge on my card. Serif did not collect sales tax. I continue to use Word, Excel, and Access in Office 2000 without any problem 22 years after it was published. It is interesting that only MS Publisher is broken. I can also read files from the current version of Office using an add-on that MS issued some years ago. Their file formats were apparently well thought out from the beginning, unlike Affinity in which the format changes with every decimal release. One reason I don't mess with Affinity beta versions is that they warn the files may be unusable when the final version is released. It doesn't seem right that the file format should change every couple of months. Serif does seem uninformed about their users. Why else put out a new release that can't be installed at all by a significant percentage of their users? And they did not even anticipate that would happen so the support staff were caught flat-footed. It's not nice to surprise your support staff. Management's job is to keep them informed of potential problems and prepare them to respond. Perhaps the Affinity2 debacle will shock them into rethinking how they treat us and how they treat each other.
  5. I bought the Affinity 2 Universal License (or Licence as they spell the noun in the UK) for the introductory price of only US$99.99. That's less than a dinner out with my wife. Why did I do it? Why not just continue with Affinity Version 1 that I've been using for 5 years with much grumbling and some praise? 1.) What's my alternative? What has more powerful features at a fixed price with a few years of free bug fixes and maybe some free new features? 2.) I've been a software junkie for 40 years. Affinity1 is more than adequate for my simple needs, but the action is now with Affinity2. Let's continue the game. 3.) I couldn't pass up a bargain. Perhaps I'll even find a use for ADesign and APhoto on iPad. Doesn't seem likely, but opportunity favors the prepared. 4.) MS Publisher 2000 font selection was broken by Windows update some months ago, pushing me to finally learn APub to write and illustrate my family Christmas letter. 5.) I've grown fond of the interesting people contributing to these forums, as well as the people making APhoto tutorials. I've even purchased tutorials, despite my strong aversion to spending money. 6.) I have some confidence that Serif will overcome it's quality control and design deficiencies and management failures. The company will be spurred to do better by the debacle of the Affinity2 release. (Never issue a major new release just before major holidays when your staff is focused on taking time off. Long story from experience, best told elsewhere.) 7.) Affinity introduced me to the concept of non-destructive editing in 2017. Immediately I recognized this as the "right" way to do editing. It was a concept I had not previously encountered during my previous fifteen years of using other software and reading dozens of books and watching countless tutorials. I shall be forever grateful. So, Fritz_H, that's what I think about Affinity2, though I share all your disappointments with the APhoto upgrade. I've made it usable for my purposes in my environment given my computing and hobby idiosyncrasies. Admittedly, I myself don't know a single amateur photographer to whom I would recommend the software in its present state, but that has not stopped me from continuing with it.
  6. I am amused by this comment because I have posted that Affinity is concerned only with desktop publishing on the Mac platform and therefore ignores APhoto.
  7. Also a problem with Windows. It is increasingly difficult to tell which of several windows open on two monitors has the focus as more applications decide to prevent the title bar from changing color when it is active. Also, the 1 pixel window border was once resizable so it could be seen and grabbed and colored in contrasting colors. The latter is still possible, but when you are working with a couple of larger high-resolution monitors it is becoming increasingly dysfunctional because it is too thin to see. I imagine these clever design innovations are taught in so-called design classes. Dysfunctional, non-ergonomic interfaces have drifted into software from print publications that are frequently unreadable. Whatever happened to black text on a white background. It served civilization well for thousands of years. As my mother used to say: "Oh well. What can you do. You just have to put up with it I guess."
  8. I have extracted people from complex backgrounds including men wearing black trousers and black shoes against a black dance floor and a very dark wall behind them. I then put the extracted subject on a studio-style background. I've always been pleased with my results for family photo use, printing as large as 13" x 19" prints. In every case, I have found it necessary to do quite a bit of touch up work around the subject being extracted. I paint on the mask to either hide part of the background or to reveal more of the subject that automated tools miss. Often there is leakage manifesting as streaks or fuzzies crossing the edge of the subject from one side to the other that has to be cleaned up. Sometimes there can be a halo around parts of the subject, especially around hair. Visibility of the halo depends on the background color, which is why it is useful to use various colored backgrounds to reveal such problems when cleaning up edges. Sometimes the color of the final background I make is somewhat dictated by the problems I find with the extraction. Most if not all tutorials I've seen show how to extract a sharply focused subject photographed against a high-contrast color background. These are quite trivial once you learn how to use the tools. The samples are unlike any photo I've ever had to work with. What tutorials never seem to show is how to refine a subject extracted from pictures filled with complicating features such as chairs, tables, furniture, carpet, tiled floors, doorways, windows, lamps, bushes, trees, and people. In other words, they don't show how to extract a person from a typical, low-quality snapshot such as you are working with. I have come to expect to do quite a bit of handwork on both sides of the edges of the subject after using the initial selection tools and refinement tool provided by APhoto. It just takes practice and patience. It's the one thing I use my graphics tablet for as the mouse can be exhausting for such fine, repetitive work.
  9. I think the iPhone is tagging the photo correctly and that Faststone Image Viewer is handling the Exif information and displaying the photo correctly. The problem I reported occurs because APhoto2 fails to read updated Exif tags when the external linked resource is edited and saved. APhoto2 continues to use the Exif data that was in the linked resource before it was edited, i.e., the Exif data in the image as it was when first placed in the document. This is an APhoto2 bug. It can be worked around easily. For instance, open the external portrait-oriented file for editing in APhoto2, export it without editing (which will reset the orientation tag and dimensions as I described above, then place that exported file as a linked resource in the collage you are building. Any future edits to that exported image file will not affect the orientation tag. APhoto should then update the placed image correctly because the orientation tag will not have been changed between the original placement of the image and subsequent editing of that image. I hope I've written that correctly and clearly. It can be more confusing to describe the process while being very easy to do the process. I guess we could debate whether Faststone should alter the Exif tags when saving the portrait image; but, since APhoto2 does the exact same thing, I have to assume that is some sort of standard industry procedure for handling portrait images from digital cameras. I haven't checked to see what XnView MP does with portrait images from digital cameras. As for standard industry procedures, one has to wonder whether there really are standards. Decades ago I heard someone say that he would write a standard user interface if you could show him a standard user. Many standards seem to exist for the purpose of being violated by big companies for their own purposes.
  10. I can search and find images on both Pixabay and Pexels as stated by SrPx. I'm running APhoto 2.0.0 on Windows 10 Home. Which brings me to the comment by SrPx: No, you do not have to be logged in to your Affinity account to run Affinity programs or to use the Stock photos feature. The only time you need to log in is to activate the Affinity 2 apps the first time you launch them. With the Universal license, activating one of the apps takes care of activating the others. I wish I could help Zambody with his problem, but I have no suggestions to offer there. I did not find any other reports of this in a quick Internet search. You can always access free images from Pexels or Pixabay by going to their websites. I don't really understand the rationale for including this feature within Affinity products. There were some threads about Stock problems in 2019-2021 and people seemed at a loss to explain it. See https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/91092-stock-panel-connection-failed/ and https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/88295-stocks-tab-unsplash-not-working/
  11. These issues are now resolved for me as there are workarounds. Thanks to @SrPx for his interest and work and encouragement.
  12. There are many tutorials on making difficult selections, especially around furry edged animals or human hair. It would help if we knew what you considered "seeing all the tutorials" before we point you to others. Have you watched tutorials by several other authors besides the official Affinity tutorials?
  13. Thanks again to SrPx for all his work, knowledge, and insights. He is correct that the "problem" originates with the external editor and he suggested Exiftool to examine Exif tags in the files. My conclusion is that this is still a bug in updating linked documents in Affinity Photo 2 (and a different bug in Affinity Photo 1). However, the workarounds are obvious and easy. Once again I have learned that things are far more complicated than I ever imagined. I've been editing digital photos for 20 years. Never have I had to be concerned about the Exif orientation tag and the different ways it might be treated by different viewers and editors. Then again, never before did I try to make a collage using linked image files. Below is a summary of what is going on and how you can reproduce the effect. You can decide whether or not this is a bug, whether auto-rotation is a good thing, and whether auto-rotation should be hidden so well from the user. We start with FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG, a photo of a yellow flower on a squash plant in my garden. iPhone digital photo: FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG taken in portrait orientation, copied without modification to my desktop computer from iPhone13 Photos app We examine the Exif tags in this original file using Exiftool. =================== FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG Examining EXIF information in the original file as saved by the camera: Exiftool display includes: Orientation: Rotate 90 CW Image Width: 4032 Image Height: 3024 We view the image in two different way, first in Windows File Explorer and then in Faststone Image Viewer., --------------------- Windows File Explorer gives dimensions 3024x4032 Icon displays in portrait orientation File properties Details shows: width 3024 height 4032 From viewing the icon in File Explorer, you would think this is a portrait image. Beware. Note that the width and height reported by Windows File Explorer differ from what Exif tool reports for the file. We are led to consider the Orientation tag. The Exif Orientation tag is not a property that appears in the Windows File Explorer Properties Details tab. An explanation of Windows File Explorer auto-rotate and the orientation tag can be found at https://www.ivertech.com/Articles/Image-Rotation-Issue-With-Windows-10.aspx Microsoft changed the behavior of File Explorer with Windows 8. We can add a column for Orientation to the File Explorer Details window by right clicking the column labels row and checking the box for Orientation. When we do that for FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG it shows: Orientation: Rotate 270 degrees In normal mathematics this implies CCW rotation. Note that 270 degrees CCW is the same as 90 degrees CW We see that Windows File Explorer auto-rotates the image to produce the icon view. It also adjusts the height and width to conform to that orientation, even though this differs from the Exif information internal to the jpg file. The naive user such as myself expects the photo taken in portrait orientation to actually be in portrait orientation. In fact it is not. Simply posting the file to a web page or sending it to a friend might cause it to be viewed as lying on its side in landscape orientation depending on the app used to view the image. Which brings us to looking at the image in Faststone Image Viewer. ---------------------- Faststone Image viewer (FS) Orientation of the image will depend on the Auto-rotate setting in Faststone. The setting is just one of several checkboxes on the Settings page. It's existence is easily overlooked, especially if files are displaying as you expect them to display. FS setting: checked "Auto-rotate by EXIF orientation tag" File attributes are reported by FS as:: width: 3024 height: 4032 This displays as portrait as expected. Note however that the width and height tags are reversed when compared to the Exif tags read by Exiftool. FS setting: unchecked "Auto-rotate by EXIF orientation tag" width: 4032 height: 3024 This displays as landscape What happens to the Exif tags, if anything, when we now save the file using Faststone? ============= FLOWER-FS.JPG Open FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG in Faststone with auto-rotate checked. Without making any edits, Save As FLOWER-FS.JPG to distinguish it from the original file. Exiftool now reports Orientation: Horizontal (normal) Exif Image width: 3024 Exif Image Height: 4032 Note that Faststone has deleted the Image width and Image Height tags we saw in FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG. It creates two new tags: Exif Image Width and Exif Image Height. Faststone also changes the value of the Orientation tag. The images display in portrait mode as expected both in Faststone and in File Explorer. What happens when we view the files in Affinity Photo 2? =========================== AFFINITY PHOTO 2 - THIS IS THE BUG When dragged and dropped as linked resources into an existing APhoto2 document, both jpg images display in portrait mode. Now edit FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG with Faststone and save over the original. As expected, the Exif information in FLOWER-ORIGINAL.JPG is changed to Orientation: Horizontal (normal) Image width: 3024 Image Height: 4032 We would expect this to display in portrait orientation in the APhoto2 document. However, in APhoto2 the linked copy of the now modified FLOWER-OIRIGNAL.JPG is rotated by 90 degrees CW. The linked image in APhoto2 now displays as lying on its side in landscape orientation. It appears that when updating the linked image, APhoto2 updates the width and height from the modified jpg file but fails to respect the new Orientation tag. It acts on the orientation tag from the previous version of the file befpre the update. That tag called for rotation by 90 degrees CW. The newly saved jpg file does not call for rotation. This to my mind is a bug. A couple of more details are worth noting. =========================== FLOWER-APHOTO2.JPG Open FLOWER-OIRGINAL.JPG in APhoto2 and, without making any edits, export it as a jpg to FLOWER-APHOTO2.JPG. The Exif tags are altered by APhoto2 in the same way that Faststone altered the tags, namely, Orientation: Horizontal (normal) Exif Image Width: 3024 Exif Image Height: 4032 ==================================== AFFINITY PHOTO 1 BEHAVES DIFFERENTLY Note that Affinity Photo 1 disregards the orientation tag when dragging and dropping a jpg file onto an existing document. The file that is displayed in portrait orientation in Windows File Explorer and in Faststone (with auto-rotate checked) and in APhoto2 (when dropped on an existing document) is displayed in APhoto1 in landscape orientation when dragged and dropped into an existing document in APhoto1. However, APhoto1 does regard the orientation tag of the original photo when it is dragged and dropped into APhoto1 for editing, as does APhoto2.
  14. I should have guessed. I turned off Hardware Acceleration and Affinity Photo 2 is successfully updating linked images in my collage without crashing. I'll work on it more tomorrow. However, APhoto2 continues to rotate portrait external images by 90 degrees clockwise when I update the external image. It accepts portrait images without rotating them initially, it is only when they are updated externally that they get rotated in the collage. Thanks again SrPx for you work on this. I was about to quit for the day when e-mail arrived from the forums alerting me to your posts. I got inspired to look at the problem further. I guess I'm relieved that it is "only" hardware acceleration that is the problem. Disappointing, but it seems to be a common problem with all the Affinity apps. (My system is relatively new and all drivers are up-to-date so far as I can tell from Dell's utilities.) At least I can continue working without waiting for a fix from Serif. And thanks for your recommendations concerning jpg compression. I do understand there is quality loss every time a jpg is saved. It's just that I have never noticed the deterioration so far, at least not for my purposes. Perhaps I should look more closely. You also raised questions about problems arising from jpg files obtained from the Internet. The jpg files I'm using are straight out of my Panasonic FZ1000 camera or older Canon and Minolta cameras I've owned since 2002. A few are images scanned several years ago from old family photo prints or from 35mm slides. They have not been processed by anyone but me. They are family photos ranging from some taken digitally in the past few months back to scanned images of photo prints taken 80 years ago. All files are on my desktop system's internal hard drive. All the jpg files in the collage have been saved only once from .afphoto files. Any changes will be the result of tweaking the .afphoto files a bit more and overwriting the existing jpg with a new jpg. Then again, I don't know how images are stored in the .afphoto file. I guess I've assumed that would not be lossy when saved. Thanks again for inspiring me tonight to keep working on this.
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