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    Upstate SC, USA
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    Windows 7 Pro User
    Affinity Photo v, and Affinity Photo v beta
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  1. Patrick I do in fact have just such experience, having conducted alpha and beta testing for a now defunct graphics application, out of Taiwan. Some things struck me as being very positive when i began lurking on this forum and observing the interaction the Serif staff has with the users. It is not always this way with other companies. Back then we had to beg for even the chance to do testing. We then put up with being mistreated by the developers and staff and we were generally ignored when we submitted problems or suggestions, outside of the testing cycle. I even had a product manager tell me, in very colorful terms, that the testing teams would never be taken seriously, simply because the members were not Asian. Let it suffice to say that cross cultural bliss and understanding did not exist. We did it for the love of the application and to support the user community. The only reward was a free copy of the upgraded product. Sadly, they are no longer in the market place and a very competent and powerful application died directly from their neglect. I tip my hat to the Serif staff for what I personally know to be almost unprecedented access. We're not all as abusive as the couple of users that I've watched make total fools of themselves. Thanks for the open beta. It shows you recognize the users as an important research resource, one that you probably couldn't afford, otherwise. It's nice to be appreciated.... on both sides of the veil. Steve
  2. Moderators.... Could this part of the thread be moved to its own thread? Much to my chagrin, I've found myself guilty of unintentionally hijacking the current one. Steve
  3. Wikinger... Je vous remercie pour vos aimables paroles. Avec un peu de travail, tout le monde peut apprendre ces arts sombres, il faut juste de la patience des deux parties. Pardonnez la traduction de Google, car mon français lycéen est oublié depuis longtemps. J'espère juste que Google ne m'a pas fait appeler votre soeur un tracteur, ou quelque chose .... LOL Wikinger Thank you for your kind words. With a little work anyone can learn these dark arts, It just takes some patience from both parties. Forgive the Google translation as my high school French is long forgotten. I just hope Google didn't make me call your sister a tractor, or something...LOL
  4. SF... This might help. I'm going to share a typical session "from soup to nuts" so you can see things unfold in my "normal" working order. # 1 - Mom calls and says she wants me to create the world's best cat picture, just for her. # 2 - I dig around and find my cat folder and see what just might be it. It's in RAW format, so It's dark, noisy and in no condition to share, but it's still my best cat image. # 3 - I fire up AP and open it to FILE - OPEN and then navigate my way over to the cat folder and click the worlds best cat image file. # 4 - AP immediately knows it is a RAW file and immediately opens it in the Develop Persona.... (Jees Louise, who thought up that name?) # 5 - I take that cat image and begin to massage it, pet it and generally give it some love. I dose it with some denoise filter, just to make the cat quieter, and a bit of basic stroking to make its fur shine. I even applied some levels, because mom likes black cats more than gray ones. # 6 - The now silent shiny black cat is perfect for Mom, so I can click on the big blue APPLY button to take my cat over to the Photo Persona, where I can do any of several things to the little fellow. This is where we simply forget about that RAW file. That fat cat goes back to the cat folder for some milk and a long nap. We are now working with....... wait for it......... wait for it..... a COPY Cat....(evil grin) # 7 I now do a FILE - SAVE AS to rename the little guy. I'm going to call him Dupli-Cat.afphoto and I make a place for him in my "affinity afphotos" folder. # 8 - Just as I'm about to print Mom's cat, she calls again and tells me Dupli-cat needs a collar wnd that she's decided he has to have a bobbed tail. # 9 - I grumble a bit and apologize to Dupli-Cat before doing a FILE SAVE to chronical his last moments with a tail, inside his .afphoto file. Call it a precaution, just in case he later demands his long black tail be reattached. # 10 - After a liberal application of numerous bandaids to me and Dupli-Cat, he has no tail and we are no longer speaking. I export him into a JPEG file format and send him off to Mom. She prints him out and I quickly get another cat call from her. # 11 - She informs me that I've created a ............ Cat ass-trophe and says she and Dupli-Cat are demanding I fix the little monster. Soooo....it takes a few minutes, but she finally convinces her take on fixing the cat entails only the reattaching of his lost wag staff, and not mine, involving the removal of further cat bits. # 12- I tell her to dumpster the current cat. I reopen Dupli-Cat.afphoto, putting a much happier shiny black cat back on screen. I send Mom her new Dupli-Cat.JPG, complete with cattail. I then open a much deserved ice cold Swamp Rabbit beer and call it a day.. # 1 3 - I receive notification that I've won a really important and highly prestigious award for the cat-egory of "Mom's Best Son" . It ain't World Peace, but what did you expect? The worlds most perfect cat is still just a cat. Me?.....I got a happy Mom. Sorry Mom... I forgot the flea collar. Next Image project, please.... Steve
  5. SF I can buy stereo equipment that can play sounds that I will simply never hear, in both the upper and lower octave ranges. I also own a camera that can capture far more detailed visual information than my old eyes will ever see. Hold this thought in you head for a bit. When you push the shutter button, ALL of the usable information your camera captures is recorded onto your memory card in RAW format, . When you transfer that information from your SD card, onto your computer, nothing is lost. When you open your RAW file in AP, it will automatically open in the Develop Persona part of the application. (This is just what Serif chose to call their RAW processor and nothing more.) Again, nothing has been lost. The Develop Persona (RAW processor) is the ONLY place that AP can read, display and allow you to edit the information contained in your RAW file. The RAW file never actually changes because you can't save it, Saving it would make changes by overwriting the original RAW file. Basically all the RAW file does is deliver a COPY to the first section of your AP editing software. You can make some limited adjustments to this image COPY while it's displayed within the confines of the Develop Persona. In some cases, your first edits in the Develop persona will be all that is needed. From there there it still has to go to a second editing application called the Photo Persona. This is where it takes on another format (.afphoto ) for any and all further fine tuning and manipulation. If you were using Adobe products, this would akin to opening the RAW file in Lightroom, making some initial adjustments and then transferring it over to Photoshop for fine tuning. Develop and Photo personas offer two distinctly different levels of image editing. Together, they give Affinity Photo a very powerful suite of capabilities. My explanations, so far, have assumed that you will be going on to learn a bit more about this digital black magic, However, you could simply make a few changes to your image in the Develop persona (think Lightroom) and then transfer it over to the Photo Persona (think PhotoShop) for immediate printing or for export to other file formats . Not only can't you save a RAW file, you cant even print it from inside Develop Persona. Once it's within the Photo Persona, you can also save the file as an .afphoto file, just for grins and giggles or maybe just in case you might need to make more future changes on top of those you've already made. This is a good thing since you also might see a project come up that needs this very image to make it work. Having it saved in .afphoto format is how AP stores the edits you've made and allows it to reload all of them, ready to go to work once again. It's just an AP archive that can be created for your convenience. OK... your RAW file still hasn't been changed anywhere along the way. It is sitting safely somewhere on your computer, completely unmolested. You now have a COPY of all of that information, active on screen, and sitting in the Photo Persona. (Again... this is simply what Serif chose to call their second tier image editor.) The only changes to this COPY, so far are the visual improvements you've made to it before it was handed from Develop Area to the Photo Area. In the old fashioned dark room, you would have just turned on the red light, taken the film out of the little metal can and run it through the developing solutions to get the negative strips. Next, you would remove the negatives from the little clothes line and you lay them right next to the photo enlarger. From here you could simply shine the light through the negative an make a normal, possibly boring, photo positive for your local newspaper. (in AP this is where you can save the file in any of several formats or print it and choose to go on with life) You haven't lost any significant information in this short and sweet scenario, at least until you export the image into its final form. Now... here is where real world collides with the theoretical one. I intentionally used the word "significant". Depending on how you made your edits in your initial meeting with the information COPY, you could conceivably lose some information, depending on how much you lightened or darkened, blurred or sharpened the image....etc. It's that sneaky old "every action has an equal opposite reaction" thing.... or perhaps the "there is no free lunch" saga. Remember the stereo that makes sounds that I can't hear? Unless you've been ham handed with your initial adjustments, you're never going to see/notice what little is potentially missing. No amount of intense pixel peeking is going to let you nor me see it. You can make all sorts of changes to the image while it's in the Photo Persona area, should you choose to, You can quite easily beat the image up in any number of ways that could potentially degrade the information. You can also make positive visual enhancements or manipulations, Either way, the original information is changed according to your directions.The information from that original RAW file will evolve under your steady hand and steely eye. If you displayed this modified image beside the unedited RAW original image, the RAW image would now. in most cases, appear barren lifelessly bleak and dreary. As i said before..... RAW is only food for intense thought if you just have nothing else in your life....(grin) The real fun is in the Photo Persona, with all of its marvelous tools. This can be thought of as where that old photographer guy would be blocking out light (masking) and blurring or focusing things to his taste. before taking the photo paper to the developing fluids... and that funky clothes line thing. Bottom line is that you are way over thinking all of this, by a large measure. Sometime things just "are" and only require exercising a modicum of faith. Steve
  6. Jimmy I arranged them to suit the available space while experimenting. Truth being told the 3 up is just to prove it could be done. They were then manually resized to fit between the existing tool bars. Otherwise the darned things were stacked all over the place Two panes with several images sub docked in one of them is far more usable. Steve
  7. Diane, I'm on a PC. If you're getting free floating image panels, I'd venture a guess that the Separated mode is probably the same animal, when spoken in MAC Steve
  8. The Float panel trick is also possible in the current version. It just doesn't have the new float/dock menu selections. You have to un-clip the image file from the file display bar and then arrange the panels to suit your taste. The screen shot below shows my current version of AP with a 3 - Up arrangement. the 3 panels are holding a total of 5 images, plus the others that are still docked to the file display bar. The copy and paste capabilities among all of the different images, alone, are pretty darned cool. Non Beta Float
  9. Nickfranken Not sure exactly how the Ipad is set up, but on the desk top version, you can go into View > Customize Tools. You will be given an option to add columns. Choosing 2 or more columns gives you a second fore /back ground color switching station on the lower left of the screen. It will be located below the tool panel, when you close the customize tools panel. I'd also vote for adding both to the right click menu. Until then it's CTRL - Z= undo and CTRL - Y = redo. Whoa!!!.. hold on.... You Ipad guys have an undo button?
  10. Interestingly, I just discovered that you can drag single or even multiple floating image panels atop another floating panel. For lack of a better description, they will "Sub Dock" but can still be dragged back out to stand alone, via the mouse. It doesn't seem to create any noticeable problems and it could even become a rather useful function. I already think I'm VERY much liking it.
  11. SF... You're definitely experiencing the fire hose effect that I mentioned. Too much information coming too fast into the confined space between your ears. It naturally creates a bit of an overload. I'll see if we can't break things into smaller bites. "RAW" is really something you only want to think about in moments of truly extreme boredom. When you open your RAW image, it automatically pops up in the Develop Persona, where you make your initial important adjustments. Don't worry about trying to save a RAW file, mostly because the Develop Persona won't let you do it....(grin). There isn't a save function anywhere in there. It's one sure way to prevent overwriting your one and only original image file. When you have completed the initial "developing ", there is this nice big blue button, in the upper left corner of the tool bar, that you'll want to click, This will bounce the photo on over to the Photo Persona. The Cancel button is pretty self explanatory. The image is now where all the good tools are. This is when I do my first "Save As", in order to add the image to my "AF-Photos" folder. This establishes your file's .afphoto filename. Now, all you need to do is click the SAVE option, every now and again. This also lets you avoid starting over from scratch, if things happen to go pear shaped on you. Your file image has now been mystically transmorgafied, through the dark arts of digital alchemy, into a magic .afphoto file.... (remember Yosemite.afphoto?). No... you haven't lost your hard earned 2 stops. They are still in there. In fact, you're just about to begin adding even more neat stuff to the image, making it do any number of cool tricks. If you insist on sweating the idea, think of the afphoto format as being a large manila envelop; the kind with those fun little bendy tabs for sealing it. This is where you put all the various bits and bobs you've added, before placing it into a drawer in you filing cabinet. When you reopen the drawer, your stuff is still right there waiting on you to come and paly.No one but we AP fans need ever know you have them on your computer.. We have AFphoto files and Photoshop has its PSD files. Boxers vs Briefs. AP will quite happily to chew on just about any sort of image file you might feed it. In fact, you really don't need to worry too much about it at all, if you make regular saves, as you're working along. You've just made that last edit and your final save in the ,afphoto format is safely tucked away in its folder. You've made the magic happen and it's time to share the results. OK... NOW, you get to think about format and you actually have to make some formatting choices. Whatcha wanna do now, coach? You have lots of options. You can Export it into any of several file formats, supporting a wide range of requirements. You can choose: JPEG..... for on line use like sharing it on the forum,on a web page or in a photo gallery like IMgur.com. PSD or EPS.... if you have any Adobe playmates. TIFF...... if you're trying to meet CMYK press requirements. PDF....... if you're sending it to your cubicle mate at work. Plus a few more Did I mention you can also print it? Heck... you can even take a phone photo of it, from on screen, if you can't wait to share it with your BFF. Go ahead and laugh, but it's happened to me a couple of times. (I do love my "out of the box" grand daughter) It's all pretty confusing right now, but it quickly gets better as you go along. Steve
  12. I'm really liking the beta Float feature. It's actually pretty handy to have the same image open side by side. Below is a screen shot of a 3 Up orientation.
  13. SF Let's see if we can clear the fog a little. I'm not anti RAW on any level. I simply have no particular need for it. I know a few old school tricks for torturing JPEG images. RAW format has its place, although it's become a subject of some pretty intense snobbery, over recent years. For the record, I also use PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, WMF, TGA, PSD, EPS, SCN and 3DS files when needed. That being said.....Let's try to lift the veil a bit....LOL RAW files are the digital equal of the old fashioned film / negatives. All of the information the camera / sensor captured was stored on film / negative and the same is true with a digital RAW file. Today we don't have to convert the film content to a positive image, so that part of the process went to the scarp heap of history. We now have digital positives, right out of the camera. RAW files are the modern film. RAW post processing is designed to let you make some very effective but basic corrections to a photo, such as noise reduction, exposure, tone etc. This is accomplished in Affinity Photo within the "Develop Persona" which is where a RAW file first opens. When its "Developed," you click the apply button and the image opens in the Photo Persona. Like the days of dark rooms, once the negative had been "developed" there were many archaic processes that skilled photographers practiced. They "masked off" some areas so they were protected from light while they blurred the focused and in general manipulated the image in any number of ways, Photo Persona is where you can achieve all sorts of black magic. Most users never do much more than scratch the surface of what is possible in this remarkable place. In effect it is just like the darkroom where those old guys did their magic.... but without the red light. Now that you've gotten the final image to look as you want it, those previously mentioned save options come into play. You don't have to "Save" or "Save As" if you decide that you don't want any of those pesky reusable project files hanging about. However, I've never met any photographer who just tossed out those valuable developed negatives. Who knows... that Bride might just decide she wants a 11 x14 to go with her bridal package. This is why you save as and then save over and over again, as you work with those .afphoto files. Everyone knows what a finished paper photo looks like. That was the only way they had to store a usable image so that everyone could hold and see it. Today, we "Export" images from AP into any of several image formats so that various browsers/viewers can display them. We also have the option to print them, as well. The absolute irony of all this is that after hammering on the image with the initial RAW editing tin he Develop Persona and fine tuning it inside the Photo Persona, getting everything possible from the image, we then convert it to a pixel crushing format like JPEG. Luckily, I like JPEG and I know how to work with them....LOL TL:DR.... RAW = Film fresh from the camera Developer Persona = Dark Room where negatives are developed and basic but very important adjustments are applied. Photo Persona = Think of it as the enlarger, where a photographer applied all the various tricks the negative in order to achieve visual effects Save/save as = Stores the developed negatives for future use Print /Export = gives you the finished photo No one looks at undeveloped Film (RAW) since it's not in an attractive user friendly format Steve
  14. SF I've used other software that had their own "archive" files. I usually made it a habit to create a folder just for those files. With AF Photo, I created a folder called "afphoto-files" as the destination for my "save as ( .afphoto ) formatted files. It makes for a clean and easy to access single location for them to accumulate. As for opening files In AP, you have several options...... File- New = a blank page File - New From Clipboard = anything you have used a "copy" command (CTRL- C or CMD - C) is pasted into its own new screen. File - Open = an image somewhere on your computer File - Open Recent = Files you've recently had open in AP File - Open folder in explorer = you are taken directly to the folder where the active image on screen is stored. You can also copy and paste layers between the various images open on screen. Not everyone has a need for RAW editing. I'm not doing any publication projects and I'm just too old to care about trying to impress my peers, so I shoot and post process using JPEG. Besides...with a close to a half million images already stored, I really don't want to store those HUGE RAW files on or off the cloud. As strange as it might sound, I'm re-experiencing a bit of what you are dealing with, in that I'm having to learn where all the goodies are hiding too. It's just another learning curve to conquer. Don't let it get to you. Steve
  15. SF A "save as" is used to prevent overwriting an original file. It allows you to save using a different file name. For instance... if your original image is "Yosemite" You might want to use "Save As" to rename the edited image to something like "Yosemite-edit-A". It seems that "save as" will default to a .afphoto file extension. Saving the new file name at the beginning of your session is an ok work flow technique, but not required. If you want the save the new file as a JPEG etc, use the export option. The .afphoto is Affinity Photo's proprietary file format, used to "archive" a working project complete with all layers, history and etc. Very hand if you have a project that might need future changes. As for the frustration level you're feeling right now... This puppy has a whole lot of tools and you, as the new guy, are going to feel like you are either drinking from a fire hose, or that you're wandering around a desert where everything is hidden from you. Take it in small bites and take frequent breaks to absorb whatever item you've just learned. It will not take long before those scattered bits of knowledge begins to coalesce into a more coherent image. Keep at it and somewhere ahead you will feel the mental click as things finally click inside your head. Never forget that we all began where you are. Ask questions... lots of question.....no matter how silly you might think they are. There are always others who need/want the same information, but fear being ridiculed for asking. Even with nearly 30 years of graphics work under my belt, I still ask questions... and sometimes lots of them Steve