Jump to content
You must now use your email address to sign in [click for more info] ×

Paste images into RGB channels (Channel packing)

Recommended Posts

I'm a 3d artist for games and I often need to create ORM textures. ORM stands for (ambient)occlusion, roughness, metallic. The ambient occlusion map goes into the red channel, the roughness map into the green channel and the metallic map into the blue channel. I never managed to do this in Affinity Photo, working with RGBA channels in photo looks very complicated. In photoshop it's so easy, I just have to copy the texture map and paste it directly onto the channel.

Is there a way to achieve this? It would be great if Photo had such an easy workflow for managing channels, in PS it's as easy as copy/pasting anything into them.

Edited by NatCLK
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know there is also a discussion in a video from James Ritson, the AP tutorial guru, about channel packing for 3D applications, but I cannot remember exactly what video addresses it (it could be a general video about Channels, for example).  Here is a link to the AP tutorials list:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

It's a bit sad that I can edit a channel with the tools, select all in a channel, but neither copy nor paste it to the active edit channel in the same image or another open one.

Let me point out that AP is now very close being able do this, just please enable the paste. Please! (of course a warning might occur if the copy has more bits than the expected 8bit)

P.S.: I tried the workaround with Spare Channels, it's just too annoying and wasting A LOT of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Lisbon said:

What is channel packing?
Just copying and pasting channels between documents, is that it?

Channel packing is needed to create an ORM texture. Or to store 3 different masks in one texture.

Target: get one file, with 3 or 4 grayscale textures inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Lisbon said:

But for 4 grayscale textures you need 4 channels, right? Like CMYK.

Right, not CMYK, but RGBA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, telemax said:

Right, not CMYK, but RGBA.

Thank you telemax.


If I understood correctly, I think "channel packing" can be done quickly in Affinity Photo.

First download the macro at the end.

Document_A will be the ORM texture.
Document_B is a grayscale texture.

1) Create document_A and add a pixel layer filled with any colour.
If document_A already exists go to step 2.
2) Run the macro on document_A
3) Copy Document_B
4) Paste on document_A over R, G or B

When finished flaten the document.

In this example, I pasted Document B on the group corresponding to the green channel.


Split RGB.afmacros

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Channel Packing as you describe is a different workflow, it will not work efficiently with EXISTING 4 channel / 32bit textures.

But, it is an interesting workflow for texture artists creating NEW textures. Thanks for pointing that out.

Sorry about the confusion and clearing it up so detailed. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.