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  1. Thank you very much for your videos. You tell us not only what a tool does but why and how it does what it does to achieve the effect we want. You also show how tools designed for different purposes can be combined to achieve other purposes. I finally understand Curve adjustments in a systematic way thanks to your basic curves videos using the strip of samples with brightness varying from 100% black to 100% white in 10% increments. Your illustrations for how masks work finally allows me to use them with more intelligence and less trial and error and floundering. Your explanation of achieving better White Balance using the Info panel has me revisiting some photos I previously adjusted that I'm now dissatisfied with as I see what more I could have done. I feel like I've made a breakthrough in photo editing this week thanks to your videos.
  2. I too use Qimage for all my printing by exporting my Affinity retouched photos to jpg and then opening them in Qimage Ultimate. It was only in April 2017, seven years after the launch of Qimage Ultimate, that the author of QU started selling plugins for Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements that would enable printing via QU from within those programs. I was still using Elements at that time, but I didn't think the plugin functionality was worth $20 for my limited activity. I'd encourage anyone interested in such a plugin for Affinity to post the request in the Qimage forums. Not only would it encourage the QU author to consider the possibility, but it would spread the word further about Affinity, which still seems to be relatively unknown. I wonder if Serif and the QU author would be interested in collaborating to incorporate QU technology into Affinity. It's hard to imagine Serif ever coming close to the printing functions of QU given all their other priorities for just getting AP into a more competitive position for photo editing.
  3. Granddaddy

    Brush Tool

    What is the background like that you are trying to select this person from? Most tutorials I've seen select a person from a background in which the person's clothing and hair contrast sharply with the color and texture of the surrounding background. It all looks so easy. My extractions more typically have me selecting blonde hair against an off-white or yellowish wall or against white vertical blinds in front of a window. I've just finished extracting a group of people wearing black pants against an almost black background and dark brown shoes against a dark brown floor. The Refine Edge tool created a selection that either chopped off part of the clothing or included unwanted parts of the background. Refine Edge was not able to find the edges,, though I can see them clearly enough on the screen if I lean in close. On output I was getting something like the mottled edges in your example. The solution I've been successful with is that I output the refined selection as a mask. Then I use either a black or white paintbrush to paint on the mask where I can follow the outlines I need. When painting on the mask, make sure the mask layer is selected and only the mask layer, not the pixel layer that is being masked. Painting with white on the mask reveals more of the underlying pixel layer (for instance, where refine edge has left a mottled effect on the subject's clothing). Painting with black covers up the part of the underlying pixel image that I do not want in the selection (e.g. the background beyond the edge of the subject's clothing that refine edge was not able to clearly distinguish). I got the idea after viewing "Refining Selections in Affinity Photo" by Affinicasts at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S61L9InG8tg The author outputs the refined selection to a mask for further editing of the mask. Even though his original subject contrasts sharply with the background, Refine Edge was not able to make an adequate selection.
  4. Any software solution that "automatically" removes dust and scratches from images scanned from slides will inevitably degrade the image. If possible, rescan the slides. Take care to remove dust from the slides and from the scanner before scanning . Use a scanner with built-in dust and scratch removal technology such as FARE or ICE. These hardware techniques make a second infrared scan that distinguishes blemishes that are not part of the film image. It removes those blemishes from the saved image. I've scanned more than 2,000 slides in the last few weeks on a Canon flatbed scanner. I took these photos some 50 to 60 years ago. Dust on the scans is simply not a problem. Here's my procedure that I'll be using on the next several thousand slides: 1.) Clean scanner platen 2.) Brush both sides of slide with soft camel hair brush 3.) Blow dust from both sides of slide with Giottos Rocket Air Blaster 4.) Blow dust from scanner platen with Blaster before setting slide in place 5.) Scan slides with Remove Dust and Scratches (FARE) set to Low There may be occasional dust blemishes remaining but these are extremely rare in my experience. I just scanned some slides taken at Niagara Falls (lots of blue sky and white water) and thought there were some dust blemishes, but at full magnification they turned out to be birds over the Falls. Software dust removal might have taken them out. Clean any remaining blemishes with Affinity Photo using Inpainting or cloning. This is tedious if near perfection is required, say for printing images for framing and for gifts. If the image is of special importance, it may be preferable to repeat the above steps and try again for a cleaner image That has been very rare in my experience. My major problem with scanned slides is correcting color. I've found that Kodachrome 25 slides processed more than half a century ago by Kodak labs have retained their color quite well. But taking slides was expensive for me 60 years ago what with the cost of film, flashbulbs, and processing. In those days I took one or two photos of a scene, not the half dozen or more I take today when a photo costs nothing to take. Often I sent the film to labs other than Kodak to save a dollar or two in processing. Big mistake. Slides processed by alternative labs now have faded colors, often tending to be very blue. But that is easily corrected in Affinity with white balance and HSL adjustments. But again, such adjustment is tedious if you want to fix thousands of slides. I'll be looking at batch processing for color correction, or reconsidering what I want to do with all these slides. My descendants may be less interested in them than I am. For now I am having a grand time showing my children and grandchildren the way we were.
  5. Most discussions of this question seem to ignore us amateurs. I'm an old guy restoring 100-year-old photos from my family and friends, rejuvenating slides I took more than 60 years ago, and doing simple touchups and cleanups on current digital photos. I used Photoshop Elements for many years until I "upgraded" to version 14. I was dismayed to learn that Adobe had removed some features I had used for years. Some said they didn't want to upgrade those features to 64-bit. Whatever the reason, I paid more and ended up with less. So I went on a search for alternatives and tried Paintshop Pro and PhotoDirector. Suddenly last December I came across a reference to Affinity Photo, which I had never heard of. After a couple of weeks of use, and after watching many video tutorials, I stopped using the others. Affinity did things the way I thought they should be done. I resolved to learn the Affinity way. We could nitpick about details but I've been through too many software wars over the past 35 years to want to get involved in another one. I'm reminded of the wars at my university over WordPerfect vs MS Word and Windows vs MacOS. After a time user preferences determined who would use what and all the arguments were pointless except for those who wanted to control how everyone else worked regardless of their particular needs, skills, and preferences. I long ago gave up trying to persuade other people to just do it my way. Affinity Photo is a superb choice for amateurs willing to learn how to work with it. The video tutorials are excellent. The learning curve is certainly less than I faced years ago when I first started using Elements and had to buy a half dozen books to learn the basics. Photo editing, retouching, and restoring are enormously complex subjects, as are most skilled crafts. (I wonder how someone who decided to take up woodworking would make out if he simply purchased a Shopsmith and expected to suddenly make grandfather clocks.) I've read it is a poor workman who argues with his tools. I'll be patiently waiting for further developments in Affinity Photo as designed and written by people who have the right ideas about how editing can be done. Meanwhile, Affinity Photo meets all my needs and so replaces all the alternatives. (Of course I'd like a good DAM. I'm approaching 100,000 images on my hard drive. I can find what I want because I took the photos or scanned them and I can still remember the events and when they occurred. But I need something I can pass on to my descendants that would be comparable to the boxes of labeled photos my parents left me.)
  6. I'm sorry for my first post that got away. I was looking for a way to not double-space between lines and suddenly my incomplete message was posted. I don't see how to delete it. I do not observe this AP launch time delay with the internet connected. I have launched Affinity Photo under several conditions. Here's what I tried this morning. 1. Computer cold start, internet connected, launch AP: 12 secs 2. Close AP, internet connected, launch AP again: 7 secs 3. Reboot computer, internet disconnected, launch AP: 7 secs 4. Close AP, connect internet, launch AP: 7 secs 5. Reboot, internet connected, launch AP: 7 secs Only the initial launch of AP for the day took a longer time. All other relaunches with or without internet connected took 7 seconds. On every launch the splash screen displays the message Loading Fonts... for a few seconds. I have the Welcome screen turned off. I'm running Windows 10 Pro X64 on a Dell XPS 8930 with 16 GB of RAM with AP installed on a SSD
  7. I do not observe this effective. I have launched Affinity Photo under several conditions: Here's a sequence I tried this morning 1. Cold start, internet connected, launch AP: 12 secs2. Close AP, launch again: 7 secs 3.
  8. The official Affinity tutorials are also available on YouTube. I can recommend ClipGrab for downloading from YouTube. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux and downloads videos from YouTube, Vimeo, FaceTime and others. The video tutorials have been extremely useful. I've downloaded all the official Affinity tutorials plus many from Affinity Revolution and some others on YouTube. After copying the tutorials to my iPad, I lay back in my recliner and immerse myself in the videos, watching some of them several times and more. Eventually meaning and finally skill emerges.
  9. I have never understood why an image file should be cropped to some particular dimension for printing later. Any image I make might later be printed at a variety of dimensions with a variety of crops on a variety of paper sizes for a variety of purposes. And I'm just an amateur with simple needs. A better work model is for the print program to crop the image and fit it to the desired size and position at print time. I have been using Qimage to do just that for many years. Unless Affinity Photo duplicates that functionality I will never be printing from Affinity Photo. Perhaps Affinity could develop a partnership with the Qimage developer to put that kind of power into Affinity Photo. Just last month, another company announced Qimage One as a kind of clone of Qimage that works on the Mac. Obviously the Qimage developer is willing to work with others. I switched from Photoshop Elements to Affinity Photo just a couple of months ago because AP has a superior model for editing and retouching images. I use Qimage because it has a superior model for printing images. I'd love to see AP and QI-U combined. AT $69.99, Qimage Ultimate might seem pricey compared to AP, but it does far more than prepare images for printing. http://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/ http://www.binartem.com/qimageone/ Disclaimer: I have no connection with either of these companies. I'm just an old granddaddy who loves making printed images for my descendants and friends.
  10. I had the same problem yesterday and I remember having it previously but I've only been using Affinity for two weeks and thought I must be doing something wrong. Now I'm sure it is a problem with Affinity. Yesterday I dragged a jpg photo into Affinity Photo with no other photos loaded. I clicked on Layer/New Adjustment Layer/Levels Adjustment. The Levels Adjustment layer appeared in the Layers panel but the Levels dialog box did not appear. I tried and retried various things like double clicking the icon in the Layers panel, using the Ctrl+L shortcut, and closing and reopening the jpg, but the Levels dialog would not appear. Finally I closed Affinity and relaunched it and then I was able to continue editing. I've now had enough experience with Affinity using multiple Levels Adjustment layers on projects with multiple layers to know the problem is with the software and not with my understanding of how to use it. Perhaps some sequence of actions leaves Affinity in a state in which it forgets how to open the dialog? I don't have the kinds of detailed notes that would help me analyze this further. Of course, this morning I cannot reproduce the problem. But since I've seen it before I'm sure it will return. I'm using Affinity Photo under Windows 10 Pro x64 v. 1703
  11. As a new user of Affinity Photo under Windows, I've downloaded some 250 tutorials using ClipGrab during the past couple of weeks. ClipGrab will download videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook, and perhaps others. It's free software available for both Windows and Mac. Just launch ClipGrab, find your video on your web browser, copy the URL to the clipboard, ClipGrab immediately captures the information from the clipboard, and presents you with download options. You'll find it at clipgrab.org. All the official Affinity tutorials are on YouTube as well as Vimeo, and there are many others on YouTube as well. I've copied most of them to my iPad so I can lounge in my recliner and become immersed in the tutorials. After a time, meaning emerges.