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Major Issue. Move/Transform Increases Layer Size. Affinity Photo Mac

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I have a substantial issue I am hoping to resolve.

I do a lot of architectural retouching, and I often copy-paste small elements all over an image, often from one side to another. I always have to distort/perspective/warp these objects to make them match up.

Every time I move or distort an object on a layer, the layer increases in size by the amount of change. So if I copy/paste a region of pixels, then move it across the image to the other side, Affinity thinks the now transparent pixels somehow still have content, and increases the layer size accordingly. If I Command-Click the layer, the selection edges include the now empty pixels.  Also if I try to use a distort filter, the handles encompass the entire expanded layer. This makes it nearly impossible to do accurate distortion.

I have tried and tried to isolate just the actual pixel content, up to and including selecting the non-transparent pixels and creating a new document. Affinity refuses to accept that the transparent pixels are empty, and includes them in the entire operation. So if I move a 100x100 pixel selection across the image by 4000 pixels, I now have a 4000 pixel layer, that Affinity refuses to trim or crop.

Even after I carefully select everything in the mask layer except the white, hit delete, and Command-click the layer again, it still shows the selection bounds including every other location where I moved the content.










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@Callum  Thanks for your reply.  I want to be clear it is not about a single file. It is about the behavior of Affinity in ANY file.  I presume this anomaly should be reproducible by anyone, and if not, then there is a significant problem with AP in a particular OS/hardware system setup.

This is easy to verify.

  1. Open any file.
  2. Select a small range of pixels on one corner.
  3. Copy + Paste those pixels to a new layer.
  4. You will see that the bounding box encompasses just the copied pixels. This is the correct way it should appear, but this is the ONLY time that I can manipulate just that area of the layer. Because...
  5. Move the content on that layer across to the opposite corner of your image.
  6. Now do anything else, change tools, attempt to transform those pixels using a distort filter, whatever. The action is irrelevant, only that  the change in tool/action somehow expands the entire layer to now include both the original location of the content AND the new location.
  7. You will see that the bounding box for any new operation no longer encompasses just the moved pixels, but also the original location of those pixels. This makes it almost impossible to perform localized transformations.
  8. There is now absolutely nothing I can find to restrict operations to only the actual original layer content. All operations will include the entire empty area, not only where the pixels were originally, and the new location, but everything in between.

In attempting to figure out why, and try to determine a workaround, I did lots of selecting, masking cutting, pasting, and deleting on several different files, even creating new files and trying to cut/crop/trim the content to eliminate transparent pixels (Affinity completely refuses to accept that the pixels are now empty, and ALWAYS treats them as having some sort of content).

In my sample above, I moved the pixels twice, and when I created a mask based on layer transparency, and then load that mask as a selection, you can clearly see that it shows both prior locations of the moved content as having some sort of pixel value, even though they are or should be, absolutely empty.

In fact, if I try to load that layer and select the non-transparent area only (the ant-trail is ONLY around the little original shape), and create a new file from clipboard, I end up with a huge canvas with my original tiny little bit of actual content in the corner.

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Okay so I think I discovered the cause.

The issue is with Affinity creating antialiased selections.

I am accustomed to making selections with the pen tool for absolute precision. If the pen has a stroke of any kind, the selection will have a very slight edge that fades to transparency.  Every time I move those pixels, the edge transparency leaves behind a ghost. That ghost interferes with every other operation I may want to do to that layer. The only way to remove the ghost is to manually select the "empty" area and delete it. This is a major issue when there is a complex selection. By definition it is leaving behind image data every time it is moved and that image data has to be deleted permanently to continue working.

If I subsequently distort that content, and use Command-Click to select the layer contents, and them move those contents, it antialiases the selection and leaves behind ghosts.

Antialiasing selections by default is a major problem. I have specific NO transparent areas. Every line is sharp, but AP is defining transparency at selection edges anyway. 

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