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Ultra quick workflow for loading, editing and saving an image in-place?


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I use the suite mostly for game development and in that there's often times where something like a PNG needs to be opened, very quickly edited and then saved in-place over the top. The whole process can often last <10 seconds with Photoshop and basically 99% of image editing tools over the last 30+ years.

With Affinity Photo, this extremely quick process is doubled in duration or more due to having to export the image rather than just being able to click save without ANY thought. 
Because this process is something that can happen 1000's or more times during the production of a game, this extra red-tape becomes annoying VERY quickly to the point that this simple thing can (and does) force us to use other tools.

Has V2.x fixed this issue or is there a workflow change workaround?

PS. Again I would like to stress this extra step DOES make a huge difference to workflow and causes issues even if to someone who's use case does not need to make these small but extremely frequent changes can't perceive it.

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In both V1 and V2, you can Open a PNG file, make edits, and Save again. This works for PNG, JPEG, or TIFF files.

Note that if you have added any layers during your editing, you will have to agree to Flatten the document when prompted during the Save operation.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
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Hi Ziplock if you open a PNG in Affinity make some changes and then navigate to File > Save and choose Save flattened it should do what you are looking for :)

Thanks
C

Please tag me using @ in your reply so I can be sure to respond ASAP.

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I've just checked this with Photo 2.x (which I just upgraded to from 1.x) and it works as you've both said.

I tried it with a TGA and when I hit save the only option is afphoto format?

So I assume some formats do work, others don't?

 

As a side note 99% of what I use is PNGs anyway, so this ain't an issue and essentially makes this now a very minor edge case.

 

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41 minutes ago, ziplock9000 said:

I assume some formats do work, others don't?

As I said, PNG, JPG, TIFF. Basically, raster image files.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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40 minutes ago, ziplock9000 said:

I tried it with a TGA and when I hit save the only option is afphoto format?

So I assume some formats do work, others don't?

Even it is listed among the read/write supported file formats here.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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Just now, walt.farrell said:

As I said, PNG, JPG, TIFF. Basically, raster image files.

TGA is a very common raster format and it doesn't work. It forces me to save as afphoto when I click save, even with no changes.

 

1 minute ago, v_kyr said:

Even it is listed among the read/write supported file formats here.

It doesn't work with the save dialog though.  It forces me to save as afphoto when I click save, even with no changes.

 

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2 minutes ago, ziplock9000 said:

It doesn't work with the save dialog though.  It forces me to save as afphoto when I click save, even with no changes.

I know. - But it could, if it would be taken into account here too, as Affinity can also write/generate that bitmap format.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.8 ◆ Affinity Publisher 1.10.8 ◆ OSX El Capitan
☛ Affinity V2.3 apps ◆ MacOS Sonoma 14.2 ◆ iPad OS 17.2

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I believe I know the workflow you're talking about, @ziplock9000 and have used it in the past myself a little.  In my case, it was in Reallusion's Cartoon Animator (CA) before they dumped Mac users a a year ago.  I could right-click an object and select something like "Edit in External Editor".  That object would be sent straight to Photo (or Designer if I preferred), I could make my edits (probably flattening any newly created effects layers) and simply hit Save - not Export - at which point the edited graphic would go straight back to CA.  No intermediate file required.  (Well, there almost certainly was an intermediate file, but that part of the process was dealt with automatically in the background.)

This workflow depended on

  1. CA being able to designate the external editor in its preferences and then
  2. setting Photo's General > Enable Save over imported PSD files setting to be ticked.

2023-07-13_15-03-15.png.51d1c9058f60ebce765291a7aeae8b7b.png

I don't remember exactly but think this feature was introduced in both Photo and Designer at least three or four years ago.

Does your game development software have a setting for the external graphics editor?  I'm guessing it must since you were previously using it with Photoshop.  If it's hardwired for Photoshop, then that's not Serif's fault.  Still, in the absence of Photoshop, you might be able to rig up a workaround with file aliases or whatever the equivalent feature is called under Windows - shortcuts?

—— Gary ——

Photo/Designer/Publisher: Affinity Store, v2.1.1 release

Mac mini (M1, 2020), 16GB/2TB, macOS Ventura 13.4.1(c) • MacBook Pro (Intel), macOS Ventura • Windows 10 via VMware Fusion • iOS: current release

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4 hours ago, ziplock9000 said:

It doesn't work with the save dialog though.  It forces me to save as afphoto when I click save, even with no changes.

I think this qualifies as a bug & probably should be reported in the bug forum. 

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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  • 3 months later...

I wonder what triggers the availability of the "save flattened" button (besides filetype)?

I've opened png's and jpg's and saved them and got the flatten option.. But lots of time the only save option is .afphoto and 'save flattened' is not given as an option even though they really are jpg or png files.

I can't find a pattern in this.

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35 minutes ago, Xzenor said:

I wonder what triggers the availability of the "save flattened" button (besides filetype)?

I've opened png's and jpg's and saved them and got the flatten option.. But lots of time the only save option is .afphoto and 'save flattened' is not given as an option even though they really are jpg or png files.

I can't find a pattern in this.

Which application and release are you using when you have the problem? Do you have a sample file where it occurs that you can share? If so, having the original JPG/PNG and the .afphoto, and a screenshot of any message when you Save, would be useful.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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In addition to Walt’s reply above, it’s my understanding that you will only get the option to flatten if there are layers in the document other than just the original Background layer. (Happy to be proven wrong though.)

For example, if the modifications you have made result in only the original single background layer being present in the document, you shouldn’t get the option to flatten the result because there’s nothing to flatten – flattening the document means making a single layer out of what exists, and if you only have one layer it can’t be flattened any further.

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1 hour ago, GarryP said:

For example, if the modifications you have made result in only the original single background layer being present in the document, you shouldn’t get the option to flatten the result because there’s nothing to flatten – flattening the document means making a single layer out of what exists, and if you only have one layer it can’t be flattened any further.

But in that case if you Save you'd get a JPG or PNG (if you started with one of those), not a .afphoto.

But note that this will overwrite the original. If you want to preserve the original and get a JPG or PNG you'll need to use Export, as using Save As  will give you a .afphoto file 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.3, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.3.1

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21 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

in that case if you Save you'd get a JPG or PNG (if you started with one of those)

… and, then the saved file will not use the same settings (e.g. JPG compression) as your initial file but more an 'Affinity best quality'.

macOS 10.14.6 | MacBookPro Retina 15" | Eizo 27" | Affinity V1 only

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14 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

But in that case if you Save you'd get a JPG or PNG (if you started with one of those), not a .afphoto.

I thought that overwriting the original was what Xzenor was wanting – I understood the problem to be that they often only got the option to save as AFPHOTO and not as the original file type, and that they were not getting the option to save flattened.

I think we need more details about when this is happening – preferably with a video – to say if it’s wrong or not.

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My apologies.. I wondered why I didn't get any replies yet but I found that for absolutely no good reason the email notifications ended up in my spam.

So anyway, yes I want to just mindlessly overwrite and I don't care about the compression settings as most of it is PNG anyway and if I do need to change stuff then I can always just use export but that's more work.

I don't have an example here at the moment but I'll see if I can find one. One little thing I thought of, the pics are in a folder that's being synchronized with syncthing. I just figure that maybe some pics are in use at the moment that I open them and that's why they can't be overwritten.. So I'll turn that off next time and see if anything's different. although I'd expect some Read-Only message or something if that were the case.

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