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My first big project, exporting many similar jpegs.

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I was recently asked by my friend to help her start our a small shop. She wants to sell some beauty products. She has a photo of the product, and wants me to add a little colour "nail" next to the bottle.
Since I worked so many years with Photoshop and Corel, I have a certein "way of thinking", and thus I alread have atleast couple of working solutions. But now, since Lockdown is in place, I'm away from my work software, can't access that PC, so I have to relay on my home PC with Affinity Suite (PH, PUB, DES). And I bought it because "I will learn in someday" but than - I never acctually did. So I thought now will be a good time and project to do it.

I began in Photo, since I thought working basically with pixels will be easier there, but when She asked me to make a "finger nail" I instantly switched to Designer. Now I have general thought about what I want to do, but here is my question - since I will be doing this "pro bono" I'm trying to find as many time saving options as possible :P Here are my qestions:

1. Is there a simple way to "color generate" diffrent objects of the same type? Imagine those little bottles of nail polish, eh, better - look down here:


I created this by copying, and directly choosing each color. Is there a way of speeding things up using some kind of generator?
Since we're doing here with colour, I know precision is crucial here, but She says since many different screens shows different things, this is jhust for general seeing purposes and noone will judge me :)

2. Lets say I have to prepair couple hundred of those small pictures (in the end it will be 1 file = 1bottle+1nail color) what would be the best solution to mass save them? In Photoshop I would use knife tool, like in creating webpage to cut each element and than mass save. Here?

She gave me two weeks for that, but maybe you guys could steer me into some direction.




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For your first problem, you might be able to use a 'gradient fill overlay' in some way to re-colour the varnish ‘swatches’. I’ve never tried with your image but it sounds like a viable option. There are probably other ways too.
For your second problem, you can probably use the Export Persona to create a Slice for each pot and do the export in one go.

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Not sure I am understanding what you are trying to do here. Would you not need to try and match specific colours? Is she giving you colour codes to use or how are you determining the colour to select?

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I will be given a color fan deck printed on paper, similar to "Pantone CMYK Bridge" that I use in my work. From there I have two ways, slowly trying to guess the right color by my eye, or second way which I probably will choose is to make a photograph of each page with colors, using xrite colorchecker, and than import pages into affinity, than use eyedropper tool to import colors into some kind of my own swatches. Than the most of the work will be done, I will be left with manually selecting each object and filling in the color. This might be sped up, but I dont know if or how if it's even possible. 

@GarryP Yes, thank you! The export persona I just finished 1h video tutorial and YES - it's exactly what I need. The only gripe is I will probably need to have all my "bottles" on one document to cut it into slices faster. But I don't mind. Maybe, before I get the color fan deck - we will already come up with some other solution, and maybe I will save a photo of lets say orange tones, with bottles of orange'e colored nails, and than next affinity file will be photo of green tones and bottles with green nails etc. But this acctually doesn't matter that much, most important for me is how to speed up nail colouring process taking colors from photo :) I'm now trying to find some tutorials on the topic to maybe figure something out.

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Hi mrqasq!

"in the end it will be 1 file = 1bottle+1nail color"
Something like this I imagine...


Never done something like this but i would create a template like the example.
After that would be basically fill with colour + export.

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I would do it this way: or 2 ways…

I would use AD and dupplicated artboards.

The bottle would be another file, from AP for example, placed in the document. This way, you can double-click on it andmodify it: it will be modified on all the artboard. Usefull to put another bottle, for example.

For each new artboard, AD will automatically add a new slice: easy to export later in bulk.


You can also color the bottle. For this, I would use fille layer at different mode like Colour or Tint.




This file is made with ADesigner and APhoto bêta, they won't open in the regular version.



Exported slices:


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Hmm for possibly >=100 colors, which is always tedious to do manually again and again, I would automate the whole generation process via SVG scripting etc. - So somrthing like ...

  1. One SVG file with the objects (bottle, nail) with a specified ID for the to use color value entry.
  2. A color control file, with all defined colors
  3. A script which iterates over all colors in the color control file and then set's the coresponding color ID in the SVG file accordingly (and on demand also let the SVG convert to JPG/PNG whatever).


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.4 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.4 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Thank you all for your input!

I'm going through this! I took the pallete, it was a pain in the *** to import it into PC.. actually I almost gave up while photographing it. The background for the nails is glossy... Ah yes, I didn't mentioned it, color fan deck wasn't anything similar to pantone-cmyk I was used to - it was just plain and simple nail catalogue! I never saw somenthing like it haha! They were not real nails obviously but yeah... for me it was strange. We've disscussed the possible issue with color being slighly different, but in the end She agreed on everything.

I took 15 photos of properly exposed fingernails and started adding them into AD. Than I realised I completly dont know how to add them into pallette, but youtube helped.

Here is my gripes :

When using "color picker" tool WHY THERE IS NO AUTO-ADD TO PALLETE with WAIT FOR NAME option is beyond me! Instead you have to do something like this :

Load a photo of nails and choose for Colour picker tool

  • Click on the area you are interested in
  • Choosen colour goes into little circle next on the colour control window
  • Click on the icon "Add to pallete"
  • Right click on the just added colour and right click it for "rename" option
  • Put new name and press ENTER
  • REPEAT - > in my case 130 times.

While I imagine there should be an option "adding to pallete" tick box. While ticked - tool would work like this :

  • Click on the area you are interested in
  • Colour is added to new pallete, first time input pallete name and choose type of pallete
  • After puting name of the pallete, input colour name


Looking only last night this would easily save me 1h :D And that time is only moving mouse and clicking on those smaaaal icons :D

Now the biggest concern for me is :

Automating the process so I don't have to use export persona. What I did is :

I created a group of a bottle (bottles don't need to be coloured as one of You mentioned) + nail. I named the group with the colour name (this is another looooong process)
I than go to export persona, but slices are not created like:

but instead like this


And all names are wrong.

The only place where number is connected with the design is with file name. She wants pictures for webshop which is for example 007.png = has a bottle and 007 coloured nail, but with no text.
So to have a slice called XXX how do I do that ? I name a group inside AD to XXX, and slice created is automatically named XXX, but now when I duplicate the XXX group - yes I did that 130 times, than
I put the colours with the list into the nails, and in the end I realised I have 130 copies of XXX named group with different colours........ than I died 2 times, saved file and went to sleep.

Now you can imagine, I will have to once more do it from the begining and now also name each group the proper colour number in the first place. Is there a shortcut to "RENAME LAYER or GROUP"? If not,
I will have to do more than 130 pointless cursor moves and double clicks :D OMG! Thats crazy project, but fun still, and the best thing is I'm learning something new.


Please don't laugh on me :)
I would really apriciate your priceless input, esspecailly those who have creative ideas about automating stuff! The SVG "macro" seems promising, but I don't have any knowledge about macros in Affinity. I only use some macros in CorelDRAW, but never did one myself (I mean VBA macros) as some "actions" are well within my area of knowledge, yes.


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9 hours ago, mrqasq said:

The SVG "macro" seems promising, but I don't have any knowledge about macros in Affinity

That wouldn't be any macro at all, since Designer doesn't have any support for macros or any own scripting capabilities. - What was meant instead is, to automate the various/changable color drawing of the vector parts (bottle, nail) with some external scripting capabilities. In order here to be able to work with some external scripting language (python, lua, bash etc.), your vector drawings must be defined in some textual description vector format (SVG or EPS), so the drawing code can be modified by a script. Afterwards you would open/import the generated SVGs.

All in all similar in a workflow to this here, but instead more specific to your individual color changing problem ...


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.4 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.4 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Since I'm more basic than @v_kyr , I created a web page able to generate the svg.

Input of: name<tabulation>colour_value


Result to copy and paste in a text file and save as SVG:



SVG opened in AD, just need to select the layers, and add slices in the Export persona.




Now, you would need to do this using your main file (varnish bottle + nail), and modify the HTML page in which the javascript adding the SVG code lines is hardcoded.




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3 minutes ago, Wosven said:

... I created a web page able to generate the svg.

That's even better, especially since such things the OP has to do are usually meant to be placed on some nail specific website, or into some nail stuff webshop, as a sort of visual configurator.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.4 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.4 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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10 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

That's even better,

It would be nice if it was able to export each file, but javascript can't do that.

So I made a page able to stack layers with ID, that can be opened and exported from AD.

Too bad that once opened, the image is embedded multiple times. Trying in APub don't help: impossible to replace all of them by one file like we can do with other app. Perhaps a needed feature to ask for.

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10 minutes ago, Wosven said:

It would be nice if it was able to export each file, but javascript can't do that.

Other than that (JS), you can pass text data over to the server side then and execute the file writing code using some server side language.

And yes, there is generally much room for improvements in AD, as offering own scripting capabilities and the like.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.4 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.4 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Hello again.

I'm moving forward. For now the only thing left is - I have to make 16 'gliterry, sparkly' type of polish.... I instantly lost hope for making it vector based, and instead made my way into encapsulating (is this the word?) the bitmap into the shape (with simple click-drag into next layer) it looked promising, by She says it's not properly lit. Now I fight with the unknown. I want to preserve "sparklyness" or "glittery" of the nail layer, but finished version has flaws :


1. Color reproduction is bad, and I mean it, it's way off. In reality it looks silvery bright !
2. My camera gets caught into the refelctions thus making some part of the nail darker!
3. If I move away to get less camera into the photo - I lose quality of the details..

Please kill me :)

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