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Noise disappearing/being reduced when exporting or rasterizing (Designer)?


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While I've heard that there's a known issue that noise is non-representative at zoom levels other than 100%, that doesn't seem to be the issue here; in fact, the amount of noise seems fairly consistent between zoom levels, if anything. However, the issue I'm having is that, if I add noise to any shape, and attempt to export it to .png or rasterize it, the result always seems to have far less noise, about 1/10th, and consisting entirely of far smaller specks. Testing this out with rasterization shows that the change that occurs is visible regardless of zoom levels, to boot.

This is an issue, given that I like to work with noise-heavy shapes, and I can't dial up the noise any further to compensate for this change. Is there a setting somewhere that's responsible for this?

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Have you tried duplicating the noise filters layer so you have multiples of noise?

iMac 27" Late 2019 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Late 2013 both running Catalina 10.15.7 - Affinity Designer, Photo & Publisher, Adobe, Inkscape, Blender, C4D, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

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Noise filter layers are not a thing in Designer as in Photo, at least as far as I know, unless you mean "add a layer that's a duplicate of the one I want to give noise to and use the Multiply blend mode to make it effectively transparent except for noise"; either way, that'd be doable, but a pain to do for every layer I want to work with (and doesn't seem to play nicely with some effects), which is why I'm asking whether there's any way to track down the actual source of the noise reduction and turn it off.

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Hmm, I'm new to designer.

I don't know how you added noise, e.g. by changing noise in color panel? This effect is much more subtle than "add noise" in Photo.

Never the less, I simply created an "add noise" live filter layer in  Photo, copied it & pasted it to Designer. This gave me a strong "add noise" effect, and affects all layers beneath.

add noise live filter.png

add noise live filter.afdesign

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Thank you for the effort. The filter you provided is unfortunately unsuitable for my needs, but it is kind of curious that despite that filter being usable in Designer, I can't actually find a way to make it in Designer. As for how I was making the noise, I am indeed using the color panel, as that allows me to have a gradient that goes from a relatively "clean" color to a dirtier, more grimy-looking tone.

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25 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

Thank you for the effort. The filter you provided is unfortunately unsuitable for my needs, but it is kind of curious that despite that filter being usable in Designer, I can't actually find a way to make it in Designer. As for how I was making the noise, I am indeed using the color panel, as that allows me to have a gradient that goes from a relatively "clean" color to a dirtier, more grimy-looking tone.

Why is this "unsuitable"? This is a honest question, not a critique.

  • To much effort? I would agree.
  • Not providing the required functionality? See below

Once you have one "add noise" live filter, you can copy it as often as needed, adjust the strength and put it in front of every shape where you need it. You can add a gradient on the filter used to mask the strength. You can reduce opacity. Of course, this is more effort, but at least you have all the options to get as much noise as needed.

If you mostly need a linear gradient, you could add one to the noise layer, set the mask to 1/3 pure white, 1/3 white to black gradient, 1/3 pure black. Then just transform the layer (rotate, stretch, position) to select the portion which you need.

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1 hour ago, NullAllocationError said:

The filter you provided is unfortunately unsuitable for my needs, but it is kind of curious that despite that filter being usable in Designer, I can't actually find a way to make it in Designer.

Why is it unsuitable for your needs? You have it now, and don't need to "make it". Just use the one you have from that forum attachment.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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The issue is that it's a full-screen filter that I'd have to edit it down if I wanted to apply different amounts of noise on different shapes, thus there is even less reason to copy that one filter all over the place from a separate document into whatever document I'm working instead of the simpler and more versatile solution of just copying whatever shape I want to add noise to, adjusting the colors to be suitable for use as a Multiply layer and copying it until it reaches the desired amount of noise. It solves my problem about the same amount as that second solution, which is to say it still takes an absurd amount of work just to correct a weird issue that occurs for no clear reason when exporting or rasterizing.

 

The question of "how to make that filter layer" is mostly just curiosity, it's the question of "why is a separate program needed to access this functionality that this program already supports".

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6 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

The question of "how to make that filter layer" is mostly just curiosity, it's the question of "why is a separate program needed to access this functionality that this program already supports".

It is a kind of hidden functionality. The "holy 3" Photo, Designer, Publisher share in general the same code base. In principle (simplified view), all 3 have the same functionality, but expose only those via UI what are officially part of the single app. So my trick is kind undocumented and at your own risk.

This method is used widely in the industry since ages: the product you buy has all possible functions from factory, but some can only be activated by additional purchases (e.g Tesla autopilot, Audi adaptive lights, Apple M1 8th GPU core, ...). In affinity's case, you need to buy all 3 apps. Or copy a (Photo) live view layer from a (Designer) file who has it.

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18 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

The issue is that it's a full-screen filter that I'd have to edit it down if I wanted to apply different amounts of noise on different shapes

If you want to use advanced design tools, make yourself familiar with their advanced functions. Like nesting and clipping layers.

add noise live filter AND clip it.afdesign

 

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26 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

The issue is that it's a full-screen filter that I'd have to edit it down if I wanted to apply different amounts of noise on different shapes

No, you just have to nest it into the shape you want it to affect, just as you would in Photo.

For example, here's a screenshot from Designer using the filter from that attachment, applied with different settings to two of the three shapes. The third shape doesn't have it applied at all:

image.png.da5976ad8feed3c75f1fa36db2d8557f.png

You can also make the Live Filter into an Asset, so you can apply it by dragging it from the Assets panel, and then adjusting its position in the Layers panel. (But you'll need to have your Assets panel set to "Show as List".

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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49 minutes ago, loukash said:

Not at all.
That's simply part of the actual "killer feature" of the Affinity suite, as advertised by Serif's marketing departement:

affinity.serif.com/publisher/studiolink

these are quite different aspects.

Studio Link is explained (documented) as a function of Publisher: it can switch to Designer or Photo Persona (if installed!).

In this case, Publisher is not relevant at all.

Instead, Designer can read and adjust a function only available natively in Photo (even if Photo is not installed on that PC), without switching personas. I did not find this aspect officially documented, and it is not covered by the statement from the Publisher help file (see below)

https://affinity.help/publisher/English.lproj/pages/Introduction/about_publisher.html

About Affinity Publisher

The product possesses an impressive selection of pro-level concepts and features aimed at pushing the boundaries of your DTP experience.

Key concepts

  • Revolutionary StudioLink workflow to seamlessly access extra Vector and Photo disciplines*

*Requires Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo to be installed, respectively.

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58 minutes ago, loukash said:

If you want to use advanced design tools, make yourself familiar with their advanced functions. Like nesting and clipping layers.

add noise live filter AND clip it.afdesign

 

Okay, that's fair enough, but it still doesn't allow for noise that varies along gradients, nor does it explain why the noise from the color panel doesn't just remain at the same level if rasterized or exported, which is kind of the thing I want to track down the reason for, because having to use a workaround because the conveniently located, actually-making-sense-for-workflow method isn't behaving sensibly seems rather silly.

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Just now, NullAllocationError said:

noise that varies along gradients

Add an alpha mask to the noise filter. You can nest layers and masks and other layers and other masks on multiple levels.

That said, there is a bug (or a UI flaw, depending on how you look at it) that nested layers of nested layers will seemingly "disappear" from view in the Layers panel. There are ways to work around that.

4 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

nor does it explain why the noise from the color panel doesn't just remain at the same level if rasterized or exported, which is kind of the thing I want to track down the reason for

Frankly, I don't know, I don't use this feature. That's why I didn't even try to "explain" just for the sole sake of posting "something". ;)

6 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

having to use a workaround

It's a different workflow.
I'd beg to differ.

Whatever. Use the tool available, that gives you the desired result in the end.
All we can offer you are examples how to get there.

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3 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Instead, Designer can read and adjust a function only available natively in Photo (even if Photo is not installed on that PC), without switching personas. I did not find aspect this officially documented, and it is not covered by the statement from the Publisher help file (see below)

That's part of the concept. From the aforelinked StudioLink page:

Quote

 

Complete integration

Nearly ten years ago we had a vision—to create an all-new suite of professional creative applications that worked seamlessly together. They would be multi-platform and share exactly the same file format

 

Emphasis mine. This is the key message you want to take from that markting blurb in the context of this thread.
Means e.g.: If you want an "afdesign" document you've originally created in Designer to open in Photo by default and edit only from there, all you need to do is to change the file suffix to *.afphoto. Or vice versa. That's all.

Tools not being made available in all three apps at the same time, or even not releasing all three apps at the same time is a business decision. A smart one, as far as I'm concerned. Do you want live filters in Designer? Buy APh and use it as your ADe "plugin"! For currently twenty something bucks, that's a pretty cheap plugin if you ask me!

A brilliant business model, seriously!

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8 hours ago, NullAllocationError said:

While I've heard that there's a known issue that noise is non-representative at zoom levels other than 100%, that doesn't seem to be the issue here; in fact, the amount of noise seems fairly consistent between zoom levels, if anything. However, the issue I'm having is that, if I add noise to any shape, and attempt to export it to .png or rasterize it, the result always seems to have far less noise, about 1/10th, and consisting entirely of far smaller specks. Testing this out with rasterization shows that the change that occurs is visible regardless of zoom levels, to boot.

I'm not seeing anything like that (1/10th)

Can you upload a document with a shape and noise applied? (view it at 100%)

And also, upload the exported PNG file you get

R.I.P

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20 minutes ago, carl123 said:

I'm not seeing anything like that (1/10th)

I'm not sure I can quantify what I'm seeing, but I am seeing a difference.

Here's a screenshot, with the .afdesign document on the left, and the PNG on the right, both at 100% zoom. Files attached, too.

image.png.93c556ec2d6735ba40df7c9ddf7be866.png

noise.zip

 

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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13 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

a screenshot, with the .afdesign document on the left, and the PNG on the right, both at 100% zoom.

7 minutes ago, NullAllocationError said:

comparing the pre-rasterization version and the rasterized version

That definitely doesn't look to me as being "by design"…
More like yet another bug report candidate.

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It is the same game as many times:

Affinity is not delivering "what you see is what you get" in certain circumstances. This means that after rasterize/merge visible / resample (during export) the visible result differs. You can simply check this by 1. merge visible. 2 set blend mode to difference. May add a levels adjustment to amplify. Assuming all is 100% opaque (alpha=255), the result should be 100% black. In many cases like those listed below, it isn't:

Just take the ellipse from the example files provided by @walt.farrell:

 

image.thumb.png.6115a0fe6b49432106c1f9d5e6938e8a.png

  • Gradients will be unnecessarily forced "dithered" by rasterize or merge visible, even in 16/32 bit color modes
  • Filters like add noise, clarity, unsharp mask
  • All functions which, by zooming >100%, are calculated on sub-pixel level, leading to some rounding / anti-aliasing issues.
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12 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

It is the same game as many times:

Affinity is not delivering "what you see is what you get" in certain circumstances. This means that after rasterize/merge visible / resample (during export) the visible result differs.

I'm not sure that it is exactly that.

Working with Carl's sample:

  1. The rasterized layer is visually identical to the vector layer.
  2. Merging the raster layer down into another empty pixel layer leaves it visually identical.
  3. And doing a merge visible leaves everything visually identical.
  4. After that, changing the "merge visible" layer's blend mode to Difference leaves a pure black set of rectangles.

It is something specific to the export process, I think.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.6.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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When zoom in excessively, you can see that "noise" is rendered on a monitor pixel level. After rasterizing, it is rendered on a document pixel level.

 

image.thumb.png.1c47f136a83dc3415a06d9f9a2b7a9dd.png

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