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Affinity Photo Customer Beta (1.9.0.215 - RC2)


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Status: Release Candidate

Purpose: Features, Improvements, Fixes

Requirements: Purchased Affinity Photo

Mac App Store: Not submitted

Download ZIP (Universal): Download

Auto-update: Available

 

Hello,

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the tenth 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 1.9.0.212

 

- Added support for Canon EOS R6.
- Export preview tweaks.
- Export timelapse tweaks.
- Astrophotography stacking tweaks.
- Links page tweaks.

- Fixed numerous longstanding TIFF import issues.
- Fixed freehand selection tool cursor issues.
- Fixed large DNG file loading crashes.
- Assorted other bug fixes.

- Help improvements.
- Localisation improvements.

 

Cumulative Changes Since 1.8

 

- Adjustments no longer auto apply when expending a section of the adjustments panel.
- LUT adjustments can be exported directly from the adjustments panel, and batch imported from files.
- Having a large number of LUT presets will no longer make application startup slow.
- Gradient map adjustments now support global colours.
- Fixed luminosity blend mode in 32bit RGB with HW acceleration.
- Numerous export preview improvements.
- Added a “bad pixel” tool to the astrophotography stacking persona.
- The links panel is now prettier, supports drag and drop more correctly and allows navigation between linked objects.

 

- 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.

 

- 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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This may have been asked already (although I did search for it), but it there any reason the Resource Manager is under the View menu while in Publisher (1.8.6) it's under the Document menu?

Affinity Photo - Affinity Designer - Affinity Publisher | Always latest Mac AppStore versions | macOS 11 Big Sur on 8GB MBP13 2013 | macOS 10.15 Catalina on 16GB MBP13 2017

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I suspect it's because Designer does not have a Document menu so there would be no way to synchronise them all to be the same - unless they changed Publisher, which would "break" a lot of existing tutorials, the book and some videos

Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be worried about.

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30 minutes ago, carl123 said:

I suspect it's because Designer does not have a Document menu so there would be no way to synchronise them all to be the same - unless they changed Publisher, which would "break" a lot of existing tutorials, the book and some videos

It's also under View in Photo, which does have a Document menu.

I've always found the placement of items as a mixture between Document, and File, and View a bit confusing. And having the same function in two different places depending on the application doesn't help.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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2 minutes ago, Andy Somerfield said:

🙊

I had to enlarge that just to see which of the wise monkeys you were emulating

I expect there will be a healthy debate amongst the Devs about this - will await the outcome.

Due to the fact that Boris Johnson is now our Prime Minister, punctuation, spelling and grammar will never be worried about ever again.  We now have far bigger problems to be worried about.

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9 minutes ago, Andy Somerfield said:

I'm going to go rogue and say Publisher has put it in the wrong place 🙊

(or, more likely, we have all put it in the wrong place and it should be under Window - as should all the other "managers", as per macOS convention)

I had always thought they were arranged (in all the applications) based on whether the "manager" was for the application or for a specific open document, but with Designer having the limitation that it lacks the Document menu.

But that doesn't work out, because

  • under View we have the Snapping, Guides, and Grid manager, which are all document based.
  • and Photo has the Assistant manager which is application based. And now the Resource Manager with is document based.

Personally, I don't care what the MacOS conventions are, and probably wouldn't even if I were a Mac user. Document-based things should be under Document, and application-based things should be elsewhere. That could be View, or Window. But some consistency would be nice.

And I still do not understand why Document Setup and Spread Setup are under File in Publisher, rather than under Document.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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2 hours ago, RNKLN said:

This may have been asked already (although I did search for it), but it there any reason the Resource Manager is under the View menu while in Publisher (1.8.6) it's under the Document menu?

It is a weird choice. The view menu is for configuring guides, colour proofing, zoom etc. Configuring the presentation of content.

It goes pretty well in Designer. The Resource Manager would fit better in a document menu in Designer as well. As well as Document setup and perhaps even print.

But clash of the titans. Logic and old conventions in multiple OS'es. The file menu was always a mess. File = document ... yes but... arch.

End the end consistency between the three programs would indeed be nice.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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1 hour ago, carl123 said:

I expect there will be a healthy debate amongst the Devs about this - will await the outcome.

I certainly hope not. This is user experience designer territory. Affinity is not an open source project in the nineties. And I hope it is not organized like one. Although looking at Photo doesn't leave much space for hope.

And guess what. User experience designers do not debate choice of algorithms either.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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  • Moderators

Please can users of this beta look at the My Account feature (top right of the main toolbar) even if you have already done so recently in another beta, as we are still making last minute changes

We have added the ability to link your Affinity app to your Affinity account through a new app registration process. This will have the advantages of you being able to stream any content you have purchased (or received for free from the Affinity store) directly to all your apps without having to manually install them. This is of particular use to customers who have more than one of our apps, or run our apps on different devices and operating systems as all your content will automatically be available across all of them.

If you register the beta app you will initially receive a free brush kit (the luminance brush kit) for testing purposes. This might be a kit you already have, but if you don’t you will get it for free. Over the next few weeks this will be expanded to include all of the store content you may already own.

 

There have been lots of behind the scene improvements and more of the purchasable and (historical) free claimable content is being added. PLEASE report anything you find using "My Account" IN THAT THREAD

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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2 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Personally, I don't care what the MacOS conventions are, and probably wouldn't even if I were a Mac user.

I am a Mac user & I do care about this. In general, I expect that anything that opens as a separate non-modal window in a Mac app should appear as an item in the Window menu when it is open, if for no other reason than to make it easier to see & control in one place which of those windows are minimized (via the yellow 'traffic light' buttons).

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

anything that opens as a separate non-modal window in a Mac app should appear as an item in the Window menu

HIG spells out that auxiliary windows which display information related to the open document or selection are considered panels (https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/macos/windows-and-views/panels/) and that open panels should NOT be listed at the bottom of the Window menu (https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/macos/menus/menu-bar-menus/).

 

5 hours ago, Andy Somerfield said:

we have all put it in the wrong place and it should be under Window - as should all the other "managers", as per macOS convention

I need to partially correct myself on this one: the HIG indicates that you should "consider" including such items in the Window menu, but then indicates specifically that it is not necessary to include the Font or Color panels as those can be accessed from the Format menu (missing from the Affinity products)...  so this seems to suggest that the panels should be listed in the Window menu if they don't appear anywhere else?

However, it DOES spell out that the View menu should NOT contain items for displaying panels and indicates that the Window menu should be used for this instead!  The View menu is meant to control the way things are displayed within a window and should never be used to control whether or not other windows (panels or otherwise) are displayed or to navigate among them.

My interpretation is that if a panel fits better in a different menu it is fine for it go there, but otherwise they should be in the Window menu.  

 

Thus all of the following being in the View menu in the current Photo beta are wrong and directly violate the HIG:

image.png.47291f58acaed1ecb340029ffdf8ef65.png

 

A few of those options, such as the Resource Manager, could reasonably be moved to the Document menu if desired, but otherwise the Window menu is appropriate (the View menu is NOT).

 

However, having these options in the Text menu (for example) should be fine:

image.png.f60c2934a7e7c8575b9cd1caa1fab3d9.png

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43 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Thus all of the following being in the View menu in the current Photo beta are wrong and directly violate the HIG:

Then for example in what menu should the New View & Views items be placed? Also, the various Studio panels do not belong to any document, open or otherwise, so they do not seem to me to be the same kind of panels the HIG refers to ("A panel is an auxiliary window containing controls, options, or information related to the active document or selection.")

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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3 hours ago, R C-R said:

Then for example in what menu should the New View & Views items be placed?

I think I would place those in the Window menu.  While in "normal" mode they open tabs, the tabs in Photo are in effect a consolidation of what would be separate windows in separated mode, which indeed these do create when in that mode.

 

3 hours ago, R C-R said:

Also, the various Studio panels do not belong to any document, open or otherwise

The panels themselves do not, but their content does.  One of the examples given in the HIG is that of an "inspector panel" - such a panel changes its content based on the active selection but is not in and of itself tied to any particular document.  The one they picture resembles the Metadata studio panel in Photo, for example.

An example of something that does not fall into that category is the new Account window.  Serif has chosen to place that in the application menu, which is appropriate according to the HIG, which indicates that menu should be used for options that are not related to any specific document "or window" - though the command itself opens a window I still think that is appropriate in this case (the "About" option is supposed to be there too, and that is explicitly indicated in the HIG as the correct place for it).  However, the HIG also indicates that the About item should have a separator after it and should not be grouped with other items - Serif has placed the "My Account" and "Check for Updates" options before the separator after "About" (which also incorrectly has dots after it and is missing the application name - "About..." should be "About Affinity Photo", "Hide" should be "Hide Affinity Photo" and "Quit" should be "Quit Affinity Photo").

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Ok, so here is my take on a menu reorganization for Affinity Photo.  I did change my mind about some of those options going into the Window menu...

It might not be quite perfect, I may not have gotten the keyboard shortcuts correct, and I am not showing some of the menus/submenus that I am not changing.

This is based on the 1.9 betas and is not intended to add or remove items (though some are renamed and many are in different menus).  I removed the "..." from a number of items that should not have them (the "..." should only be present when a command requires more information to proceed - "New Astrophotography Stack" for example does not, nor does "About Affinity Photo" whose entire purpose is to display information - no additional information is requested by that command...)

There are many ways to do this, so take this as one suggestion, not the only one.  Also, I did this as an exercise and possibly to open up discussion - it is not necessarily a feature request in its own right.

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One thing I noticed looking at the window menu:

if you combine two document windows into one (as tabs) you have no way to switch between them (either via menu or by defining a new shortcut) other than with the mouse

...in contrast to the macOS Finder windows/tabs:

1260721209_Bildschirmfoto2021-01-25um14_15_52.png.32e4b4613971dbd4d83c5aab46d59446.png1804868438_Bildschirmfoto2021-01-25um14_16_15.png.6f22acec4bad385ad978ed450a513bb7.png

  • Main machine: iMac (21,5-inch, Late 2013), 16GB RAM, 1TB nvme + 2TB ssd, running on 10.14.6 Mojave;
  • Display setup: 27" Thunderbolt Display (primary) + 21,5" iMac-Display for studio panels (secondary);
  • Keyboard layout: german apple extended keyboard (aluminium);

 

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6 minutes ago, woefi said:

One thing I noticed looking at the window menu:

if you combine two document windows into one (as tabs) you have no way to switch between them (either via menu or by defining a new shortcut) other than with the mouse

...in contrast to the macOS Finder windows/tabs:

1260721209_Bildschirmfoto2021-01-25um14_15_52.png.32e4b4613971dbd4d83c5aab46d59446.png1804868438_Bildschirmfoto2021-01-25um14_16_15.png.6f22acec4bad385ad978ed450a513bb7.png

I have noticed a similar problem on a Windows computer. No way to switch between open document windows with the standard keyboard shortcut control + tab.

It is an ancient Windows shortcut - and I imagine OS X has a similar ancient shortcut.

  • "The user interface is supposed to work for me - I am not supposed to work for the user interface."
  • Computer-, operating system- and software agnostic; I am a result oriented professional. Look for a fanboy somewhere else.
  • “When a wise man points at the moon the imbecile examines the finger.” ― Confucius
  • Not an Affinity user og forum user anymore. The software continued to disappoint and not deliver.
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