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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: Pending



We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the eighth 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.


Thanks again for your continued support!


Affinity Photo Team  :ph34r:


Changes Since


- Added support for PDF passthrough.
- Fixed issue with high pass live filter compositing.
- Fixed assorted compositor alpha issues.
- Fixed assorted compositor crashes.
- Improved astrophotography background removal filter.
- Help improvements.


Cumulative Changes Since 1.8


- Added export preview panel (for raster types) - updates live whenever you change an export parameter.
- Added JPEG-XR 101010 import support (useful for screen captures from Xbox, etc.)
- Added per-layer antialiasing controls in the advanced blending menu (it’s also hierarchical, which is nice).
- Added new splash screen.
- Added a new filter to remove background light from astrophotography images (Filters -> Astrophotography -> Remove Background).

- Assorted improvements to astrophotography stacking (performance, robustness, quality).
- Live liquify improvements.
- The layer link editor is now a studio panel - further cleanup work is still planned on this panel.
- Reduced binary size.
- Content download service improvements.


- Linked Layers.

You can now select a layer and do Layer -> Duplicate Linked. Linked layers are denoted by a small link icon in the layers tab - clicking that icon will bring up a link editing panel (the UI here will change in subsequent beta builds - this is just so we can test the linking itself for now). You can “unlink” particular aspects of a layer using the buttons - for example, if you wanted a mask to share the same pixel content as another mask, but not the opacity settings, you can do that using this test UI.

For the brave, this panel also allows “relinking” - even between different layer types(!). Dragging a layer from the layer tab and dropping it onto one of the small target icons in the panel will link together that particular aspect of the two layers (again, the UI is all going to change). For example, you could make a mask layer which shares opacity settings with an adjustment layer somewhere else in the document, whilst also sharing blend mode with a circle shape layer somewhere else. 

It’s worth noting that this feature is quite raw at the moment - please feel free to experiment with it, but *do not* use it for any real work. There is a high chance any documents you make will stop working in a future beta.

- Default to black-to-white gradients in the gradient tool (more gradient tool improvements are coming for 1.9, at last).
- Content download service improvements.
- Assorted astrophotography stacking improvements.
- Allow placement policy for images to be changed using the menu.
- Added missing text baseline options to the menu.
- Added support for 12bit grayscale TIFF files.
- Added ability to create pattern layers from selections.

- Timelapse fixes and improvements, including ability to choose codec.
- Timelapse export performance improvements.

- Fixed incorrect attribute bits when writing 32bit TGA files.
- Fixed bugs when duplicating pattern layers.
- Fixed broken insertion target buttons on the toolbar.
- Fixed incorrect pattern sizes when committing the dialog without tabbing away from the height field.
- Fixed broken AANN sampling mode in pattern layers.
- Fixed filter effects on pattern layers.
- Fixed brush panel crashes.
- Fixed live filters initialising to RGB in (for example) CMYK documents.
- Fixed crazy behaviour when entering Liquify persona.
- Fixed issue whereby you would get more / different options depending where you right click on spare channels (!).
- Assorted other small bug fixes.

- Localisation improvements.
- Help improvements.


- Pattern improvements - brushes now wrap around the edges of the pattern.
- Timelapse improvements - progress bar, abortable, crossfade.
- Improved colours for Canon EOS R5 camera RAW.
- Filter effects now work properly with global colours.

- Fixed white balance issues.

- 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.

- 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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Playing with layers linking and this is a great feature with great potential!

One question though - when i copy layers with lets say linked mask and paste that layers in another document - link is not preserved if "source" of link was not in copied layers.
Is it possible to rebind linking with layers in TARGET document by name?

Lets say
- mask AAA is linked to pixel data of mask BBB in one document
- In another document i also have mask BBB (with different content)
- I copy AAA layer (only) from first document and paste to second - and all linking is lost
- Is it possible to automatically relink AAA to BBB in target document on paste?
Relink to layer with the same name as was source layer in first document

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I found a bug I think. In the beta my lines are lagging when I am zoomed in 150% in a particular drawing that contains a live perspective text. I cannot compare to the regular version because I cannot open this file in the regular version.

I was able to isolate the issue and attached the file. There are only 2 layers. A perspective text en a pixel layer. You can try, the same happens with a trackpad. But a pen is quicker of course. If you draw a quick line (in the pixel layer) in the upper area from point 1 to 2, all is fine. When you draw a line in the lower area the line lags. But only when zoomed in at 150%!. When I delete the text layer, the issue disappears.

MPB 2018

OSX Mojave

Lagging Line.afphoto

Screenshot 2021-01-18 at 12.05.31.png


Screenshot 2021-01-18 at 12.10.47.png

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