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Affinity Photo Customer Beta (

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Status: Beta

Purpose: Features, Improvements, Fixes

Requirements: Purchased Affinity Photo

Mac App Store: Not submitted

Download ZIP (Universal): Download

Auto-update: Unavailable (the switch to universal binary has disrupted auto-update - it will return soon)



We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the fourth build of Affinity Photo 1.9.0 for macOS.

If this is your first time using a customer beta of an Affinity app, it’s worth noting that the beta will install as a separate app - alongside your store version. They will not interfere with each other at all and you can continue to use the store version for critical work without worry.

This beta is significantly different from the 1.8 version available for purchase - we strongly recommend that you do not use this beta for real work as data could be lost and the files you save are not guaranteed to open in previous / future versions of Affinity Photo.

Furthermore, massive behind the scenes work has been done to enable GPU acceleration for the Windows version of Affinity Photo in 1.9. In theory this should have no consequences for macOS / iOS users - but it’s likely that a couple of things will have become broken along the way. We are giving ourselves a longer beta period with 1.9 in order to find and fix those things.

This also means that the full complement of new features is not available yet in this 1.9 beta - more will be added over the coming weeks.

Thanks again for your continued support!


Affinity Photo Team  :ph34r:


Changes Since


- Added a new “Astrophotography Stack” persona which allows you to combine dark frames, light frames, bias frames, flat frames and dark flat frames then stack them. FITS images are also supported. Lots of photographers have been experimenting with astro during lockdown - hopefully these new tools will help users to get better results. I'm sure James Ritson will be providing some tutorial guidance in short order :)

- Added “Pattern Layers” - a fixed size bitmap layer which repeats across the entire document. You can paint on pattern layers and use all filters to manipulate them and see the resulting pattern in real time. They can be transformed non-destructively. After a pattern is added and a tool selected, a faint grey box indicates the "real" area of the pattern which can be edited.

- Added “Export Timelapse” - the ability to export a document which has undo steps as a video. Numerous options exist to control how the video is generated (and more will come later!).

- Added “Live Liquify” layers - as the name suggests, they allow you to have non-destructive liquify layers in your stack which can be edited and masked just like all other live filter layers. At the moment, a hard limit of 512 pixels offset in either X or Y is enforced - we hope to eventually lift this restriction.

- Reworked “Studio Presets” from the earlier 1.9 betas. They now work in a more predictable way and store tool / toolbar configuration. A manager dialog is also now provided.

- Added a new “Combined” result to the benchmark - to test performance contexts where vector and raster content is used together. The benchmark version is still 1900 - so existing vector and raster scores from previous builds are still valid and comparable.

- Added a registration page to the app - this allows users to login and auto-install brushes (so far).

- Added the “Resource Manager” functionality from Publisher for managing image placement.

- Added ability to open package files from Designer and Publisher.

- Photo is now a universal binary, supporting both Intel and Apple silicon processors.

- Path text improvements.

- Assorted small bug fixes.
- Help improvements.
- Localisation improvements.

Cumulative Changes Since 1.8

- Added “Duplicate spare channel” to right click menu.
- Added missing “Convert to Path Text” menu item.
- Small improvements to the benchmark UI.
- Update app icon for Big Sur.
- Fixed numerous bugs with brushes, introduced in the 1.9.0 betas.
- Fixed issues when opening multiple RAW files at once.
- Fixed significant memory leak introduced in 1.9.0 betas.
- Fixed UI issues with Big Sur.
- Fixed assorted other GPU acceleration issues introduced in the 1.9.0 betas.


- Text on a path is now available in Photo.
- More filters now work on masks / adjustments / spare channels (Add Noise, Perlin Noise, etc.).
- Improved Metal rendering performance (over 195).
- Improved experience when editing a spare channel (view artefacts, histogram and navigator).
- Setting a blend mode on a sub-brush will now work properly - paving the way for import of PSD dual-brushes in a future build.
- Attempted to fix startup crash on machines with no compatible Metal GPU.
- Fixed localisation issues affecting non-UK users.
- Fixed issues when attempting to add layers to a spare channel (!).

- Improved “Serif Labs” RAW engine.
- You can now single click a spare channel in the Channels panel to edit it like a layer.
- The Curves adjustment now has numeric field controls for precise positioning.
- Studio presets are now available.
- A benchmarking tool has been added in the help menu. It will only become available when no documents are open.
- Blend modes now work on “alpha only” layers (masks, adjustments, live filters, etc.).
- Added a new “Divide” blend mode.
- Added “Create from centre” for the elliptical marquee tool.
- Allowed snapping to the bounds of the pixel selection.
- Added ability to create brushes from the current pixel selection with one click.


To be notified about all future macOS beta updates, please follow this notification thread 
To be notified when this Photo update comes out of beta and is fully released to all Affinity Photo on macOS customers, please follow this thread

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Just when I was starting to think that the 1.9 series was probably wrapping up... you guys were really holding out!

However, I do note that adding a live filter or adjustment layer as a child of a pattern layer breaks the pattern.  If the pattern cannot be maintained in this configuration, suggest that live filter layers should not automatically become children of selected pattern layers when adding them - they should be added as a new layer above the selected pattern layer instead (or the engine modified to apply the adjustments/filters *after* tiling the pattern rather than before, which would probably be the better option if it is feasible).

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5 hours ago, Andy Somerfield said:

- Reworked “Studio Presets” from the earlier 1.9 betas. They now work in a more predictable way and store tool / toolbar configuration. A manager dialog is also now provided.

Works fantastic - save the palette layout, move them all about, View -> Studio Preset -> saved preset name - they all reset to where they were when the preset was saved.


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Something that's still present, which, now that I'm actually trying to use it is really getting in my way (and which worked fine in Photoshop as far back as 2010's CS5) - once I create a vector shape, and set it to be a vector mask, I don't seem to be able to add any other shapes to that vector mask, so I can't use the Geometry controls (greyed out) to perform boolean additions or subtractors to change the vector mask, while seeing the effects live.

The only way I can figure to get around it, is to pull the vector layer out of mask mode, so it's just a vector layer, then do the changes, because all the boolean geometry functions are working again when it's no longer a mask, then apply it back to the layer, to see what the effects are.

That's something that Photoshop did really well (back in 2010) - a vector mask was excatly the same to work on as a vector layer, the only difference was the effect it had, but the editing / workflow aspect of working on it was identical.

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Hi mattspace,
Unfortunately no, you can't use boolean operations or editable compounds as vector masks without moving them outside their parent, however for Pen based paths you can already do it by enabling Add New Curve To Selected Curve Object in the context toolbar for the Pen Tool (the icon looks like two rings). Would be nice to have a similar function for any kind of shapes/paths.

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Hi, Andy. I was starting to wonder when the 1.9 betas would re-appear. Here are my first (quick) impressions:

1) Studio Presets now work the way I think most of us expect that they should, and they are marvelous! I think it would be great if we could export and import our Presets (into an .afstudio file, if you will) so that they are transferrable to other users, or to additional copies of our own software. Also, a good way to let the presets survive the replacement/addition of a new computer.

2) Live Liquify layers seem nice, but a few issues. (i) If I choose a Pixel layer and enter the Liquify persona, I can deform the mesh as needed. When I exit back to the Photo persona, all seems well. However, if I re-enter the Liquify persona, any additional changes I make seem to deform the mesh but are not reflected on screen. When I exit Liquify back to the Photo persona, these new changes are there. There does not seem to be any live screen updating within the Liquify persona when I enter it a second time. (ii) If I duplicate a Pixel layer and then enter the Liquify persona, i can deform the layer. When I exit to the Photo persona, the layer shows my deformations. However, if I delete the deformed layer (now I only have the original layer present) and re-enter the Liquify persona, the previously deformed mesh still looks to be present. Unless I specifically choose "Reset Mesh," that prior mesh deformation will act on this layer.

3) I like the Pattern layer, and this will probably make a bunch of people really happy.

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14 hours ago, anon2 said:

Sorry to say, but Pattern Layer is a disappointment. We can paint in only one tile and so brush strokes do not cross the tile boundary to enable easy seamless pattern creation.

Pretty good, but not sure if I would use it as I usually do this type of thing using vectors  - would be INCREDIBLE if you could use and output vectors - really need this for designer


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions







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Since Affinity Beta programs are downloadable as .zip files, I cannot run these programs on my Imac 2015, MacOS Catalina 10.15.7
I unpack the zip, copy the app's directory to the Applications directory and after clicking the beta Photo or Publisher icon, pop up for 1s. program start window and turns off.
After which the error report appears.

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On 11/10/2020 at 1:29 AM, Andy Somerfield said:

- Added “Pattern Layers” - a fixed size bitmap layer which repeats across the entire document. You can paint on pattern layers and use all filters to manipulate them and see the resulting pattern in real time. They can be transformed non-destructively. After a pattern is added and a tool selected, a faint grey box indicates the "real" area of the pattern which can be edited.

I don't see a way to work with patterns except the pain brush. I'd actually find it useful if you could paste or capture something existing into a pattern or even clone from something else in the document. How about if you made a selection and when you choose New Pattern Layer it creates the pattern for you from the selection (a la Photoshop)?

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Export Timelapse sounds to me like something just up my alley. Really cool to see that you are adding Pattern Layers as well. Live Liquify sounds really promising, especially since you don't seem to be forced to use embedded documents like Photoshop has to with smart objects to have non-destructive liquify.

Can't wait to see what else you have in store for 1.9! 🥳

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16 hours ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

I don't see a way to work with patterns except the pain brush.

You can work with any tools designer offers. If you create a star it will create a new layer but you can then merge it down to the pattern layer to become the pattern. Unfortunately, when you work on a different layer any layer above the pattern layer you have no idea of the pattern dimensions. The only way to remedy this is to create guides to indicate the patter working area. I hope that this can be improved so that the pattern dimensions can be seen even working on other layers.

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11 minutes ago, dcarvalho84 said:

@Andy Somerfield i can't open this .203 build after today app store app update. It's asking for a registration/product Key

Same here. My bought copy is 1.8.6 from the App Store.

Advertising designer - Austria —  Photo - Publisher - Designer — CS6 d&wP — Mac Pro 5,1 (4,1 2009) 48GB 2x X5690 - RX580 - 970EVO - OS X 10.14.6 - NEC2690wuxi2 - CD20"—  iPad Pro 12.9" gen1 128 GB - Pencil

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