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I recently watched a YouTube video on how to apply a paint splatter effect to a photo in AP. I blindly followed the instructions - which were very clear - and have repeated it several times since, each time experimenting a little to really get a feel for it. I'm fairly confident I now understand WHY I'm doing certain things, but one step refuses to make sense. If anyone can shed some light I'd be very grateful. These are instructions:

  1. Use the rectangle tool to draw completely around the image, then drag the resulting layer underneath the background layer
  2. Select the background layer, then click the pixel layer button so a new pixel layer is added to the top of the pile
  3. Select the brush tool with a strong Grunge texture, paint over the image so most of it is covered with a fairly heavy stipple (in black)
  4. Drag the background layer 'into' the pixel layer so it becomes integrated with it. At this point suddenly the image becomes visible again, but textured
  5. Add a black and white layer to the top of the stack and adjust the colour sliders to create the best effect
  6. Duplicate the white rectangle layer and drag the copy to the top of the stack
  7. Apply a gradient to the rectangle and change the colours to something appealing
  8. Finally, change the blend mode of the gradient layer to Overlay which reveals the final image

All of the above are mainly making sense now, except 4. It's as if the pixel layer becomes a mask, with the black brush strokes revealing the underlying image, but the unpainted areas revealing the white 'canvas' of the very bottom white rectangle. Even if that explanation is correct, I don't know why it works. Can anyone explain how the relationship between the original background and the painted pixel layer changes by dragging the one into the other? I've attached an example in the hope this makes sense. 

RJD02501_paint_splatter.jpg

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Step 4 is like masking, you are nesting the background layer and making it a child of the painted texture, you could make the pixel layer nest the background into it and then paint onto the pixel layer and see the image appear. Any colour would do, transparent pixels will not show the image but anything more than transparent will reveal the image.

You can create layers of opacity to create painterly effects, so setting the brush to 40% opacity will allow you to layer the brush strokes to give softer or denser textures.
Screen-Shot-2020-01-21-at-21-48-05.png


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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That's what seemed to be happening, but nowhere (yet) have I read that the 'parent' layer in that relationship with another layer starts behaving like a mask. Interesting though. I shall definitely follow more of these technique videos as they are a very good way of learning.

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7 minutes ago, mrpleasant said:

That's what seemed to be happening, but nowhere (yet) have I read that the 'parent' layer in that relationship with another layer starts behaving like a mask. Interesting though. I shall definitely follow more of these technique videos as they are a very good way of learning.

Yes, practice and experiment, that's all part of the fun, try using a coloured brush on a second pixel layer and changing the layer blend mode, add an adjustment layer and see how it affects the image.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - Feedback - FAQ - most asked questions

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5 hours ago, mrpleasant said:

That's what seemed to be happening, but nowhere (yet) have I read that the 'parent' layer in that relationship with another layer starts behaving like a mask. Interesting though. I shall definitely follow more of these technique videos as they are a very good way of learning.

The video tutorial Affinity Photo - Masking vs clipping layers may help you understand this better.


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