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Welcome to the forum Sparkleybright :D

 

You could either use Layer > New Fill Layer or you can go to Layer > New Layer and then Edit > Fill.

 

Thank you sooooooo much for your help.  I just deleted Photoshop from my computer (had an older version PSCS4).  I can now do everything in Affinity Photo.

Great app.  Great price.  Great response for questions.  A winning product.  I'm sure once it goes Windows version it won't be long until Photoshop is obsolete.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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21 minutes ago, KCP said:

This is not a viable alternative to Solid Color because the one in PS is an adjustment layer which is non-destructive and infinitely changeable.

Fill layers are non-destructive and editable.

https://affinity.help/photo2/en-US.lproj/pages/Layers/layerFill.html

Windows 10 22H2, 32GB RAM | Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 (MSI/EXE)

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I appreciate your input, although New Fill is nothing like Solid Color, which is an infinitely editable adjustment layer. PS also does a fill layer. They are very different. The closet thing I've found in AP is Recolor, which is somewhat similar although it doesn't offer solid color. 

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Can you give an example of what PS Solid Colour can do that a Fill Layer cannot do?

Just stating "infinitely editable adjustment layer" may not let the Devs fully understand what functionality you want to bring to Affinity that is not there already.

(Screenshots or a video may help to get your point across)

To save time I am currently using an automated AI to reply to some posts on this forum. If any of "my" posts are wrong or appear to be total b*ll*cks they are the ones generated by the AI. If correct they were probably mine. I apologise for any mistakes made by my AI - I'm sure it will improve with time.

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@KCP It’s been a while since I’ve worked in Photoshop… I can’t remember how Solid Color layers work.

Fill Layers in Affinity Photo are pretty versatile — the color can be changed at any time and opacity, blend mode, gradient, and masks can be applied to them.

But if Fill Layers don’t do what you need, their capabilities may be moot.

Windows 10 22H2, 32GB RAM | Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 (MSI/EXE)

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46 minutes ago, KCP said:

825878934_APNewFillLayer.thumb.png.0026053c1bab1ef7376bae6fb120f1ef.png1641607317_PSSolidColor.thumb.JPG.56cbe37b6f01418064510ad29ccdaeb8.JPGHi Brian and Carl,

Your comments prompted me to dig deeper into the UI and I discovered how to manipulate Fill Layers. Unlike Solid Color, which is an adjustment layer that sits in the layer panel where you can easily click on it to edit, the controls for the New Fill Layer live on the tool bar. I didn't see them at first because I'm not used to working that way. They essentially work the same way. Is there a way to undock and float that tool window, like with Solid Color which does it by default?

Okay, too much time staring at the screen. I just noticed, after I posted these screenshots, that there is a duplicate tool panel on the right, which is undockable. I'll chalk it off as part of the learning curve. The more I dig, the more I'm finding that AP does almost everything that PS does at a professional level, although it really needs Smart Object capability. Thanks again.

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2 minutes ago, KCP said:

although it really needs Smart Object capability.

You can use the Place function to Embed or Link a .afphoto or .afdesign document, which is basically the Affinity equivalent of a PS Smart Object, I think. Or you can convert pixel layers into Image layers, which also offer some similar functionality.

Or, if you have a PSD file, with Smart Objects in it, you can operate on many of them (but not all) if you've configured Affinity Photo appropriately:

image.png.42e7fd6580eba489837fda5bad80035f.png

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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20 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

You can use the Place function to Embed or Link a .afphoto or .afdesign document, which is basically the Affinity equivalent of a PS Smart Object, I think. Or you can convert pixel layers into Image layers, which also offer some similar functionality.

Or, if you have a PSD file, with Smart Objects in it, you can operate on many of them (but not all) if you've configured Affinity Photo appropriately:

image.png.42e7fd6580eba489837fda5bad80035f.png

Thanks, Walt. I'm aware of the importing Smart Objects into AP function, which I have checked, although I'm more interested in creating smart objects in my AP workflow. It seems, as of Version 2, that Serif is trying to bring the suite up to professional workflow standards, which, imo, requires the essential tools that pros depend on for flexibility and time restraints. 

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Like Walt mentioned, placing an .afphoto or .afdesign file is equivalent to Smart Objects in Photoshop.

If the placed file is linked, when the file is edited, all instances in the parent document are updated. I use linked files more often than Symbols (in files that I’m not sharing with others and collaborating on) — I find linked files a bit easier to work with… just a personal preference, depending on the situation.

Here’s the Affinity help page for Embedding vs linking if you’re not familiar: https://affinity.help/designer2/en-US.lproj/pages/SymbolsAssets/symbols.html.

Windows 10 22H2, 32GB RAM | Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 (MSI/EXE)

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31 minutes ago, Brian_J said:

Like Walt mentioned, placing an .afphoto or .afdesign file is equivalent to Smart Objects in Photoshop.

If the placed file is linked, when the file is edited, all instances in the parent document are updated. I use linked files more often than Symbols (in files that I’m not sharing with others and collaborating on) — I find linked files a bit easier to work with… just a personal preference, depending on the situation.

Here’s the Affinity help page for Embedding vs linking if you’re not familiar: https://affinity.help/designer2/en-US.lproj/pages/SymbolsAssets/symbols.html.

I'm still not sure what you are referring to, although the directions to enable Symbols is not on my Window menu. I can't find it anywhere.

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16 minutes ago, KCP said:

I'm still not sure what you are referring to, although the directions to enable Symbols is not on my Window menu. I can't find it anywhere.

They're a Designer function.

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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If they're a Designer function, then they are a moot point with respect to being an alternative to Smart Objects in Affinity Photo. See attached images to demonstrate my point. The PS Smart Object is easily editable by clicking on the layer. It's a very simple albeit essential tool for productivity. 

Affinity-Photo-2-5_22_2023-1_11_49-PM.jpg

bulldog-gadbb28200_1920.jpg-@-66.jpg

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28 minutes ago, Brian_J said:

@KCP Placing linked file — a feature available in all Affinity apps — is what is equivalent to Smart Objects.

Can you demonstrate it here, because you've lost me? When I Google "placing linked file in Affinity Photo" I get a mountain of links that have nothing to do with smart objects or anything related to them.

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Hello @KCP. I confess up front that I am not a Photoshop user, so I am not fully conversant in everything that Smart Objects can do. However, that having been said, just what function of Smart Objects are you trying to achieve? Many of the functions of Photoshop Smart Objects are present in Affinity Photo, usually without resorting to linked files and such. What specifically are you trying to do?

Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2 (latest retail versions) - desktop & iPad
Culling - FastRawViewer; Raw Developer - Capture One Pro; Asset Management - Photo Supreme
Mac Studio with M2 Max (2023}; 64 GB RAM; macOS 13 (Ventura); Mac Studio Display - iPad Air 4th Gen; iPadOS 17

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34 minutes ago, smadell said:

What specifically are you trying to do?

I think their last screenshots showed a layer named Background (the upper of the two layers), and when they clicked on it they got a multi-layer object with Layer 1 having some smart filters and a gaussian blur. So that seems like either an Embedded (probably) or perhaps a Linked file, from an Affinity viewpoint.

Edit: But as you mention, for many purposes that's not needed. It may have just been a simple illustration, and we should have more information about the requirements :)

-- 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 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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I saw the same 2 screenshots @walt.farrell - one is from Affinity Photo and the other from Photoshop. The Photoshop screenshot looks like it was a duplicate of just the dog's face, made into a Smart Object, to which a "smart" Gaussian Blur filter was applied. The Affinity Photo screenshot seems to be a background (on the bottom) and a duplicate of the dog's face (on top), to which a destructive Gaussian blur has been applied. My question about what @KCP was trying to achieve was based on those screenshots. Obviously the same "Smart Object" functionality can be easily attained using a Live Gaussian blur, constrained to the dog's face by virtue of its built-in mask.

And, although it may be a moot point, @KCP could just as easily made the original background layer in Photoshop into a Smart Object and applied smart filters (the Gaussian Blur) directly, without the need to duplicate any part of the pixel layer.

Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2 (latest retail versions) - desktop & iPad
Culling - FastRawViewer; Raw Developer - Capture One Pro; Asset Management - Photo Supreme
Mac Studio with M2 Max (2023}; 64 GB RAM; macOS 13 (Ventura); Mac Studio Display - iPad Air 4th Gen; iPadOS 17

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To follow up, I know that it is de rigeur in Photoshop to duplicate the background layer as the very first thing one does. I assume that this has to do with the notion that Photoshop's roots are mostly as a destructive editor. That automaticity about duplicating the background layer persists to this day, even though Smart Objects and Smart Filters seem to make this unnecessary. But… I am not a Photoshop user, so maybe I'm missing the bigger picture!

Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Publisher 2, Affinity Designer 2 (latest retail versions) - desktop & iPad
Culling - FastRawViewer; Raw Developer - Capture One Pro; Asset Management - Photo Supreme
Mac Studio with M2 Max (2023}; 64 GB RAM; macOS 13 (Ventura); Mac Studio Display - iPad Air 4th Gen; iPadOS 17

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1 hour ago, KCP said:

Can you demonstrate it here, because you've lost me? When I Google "placing linked file in Affinity Photo" I get a mountain of links that have nothing to do with smart objects or anything related to them.

I see why you're confused — I provided a link to the Symbols help article in my previous comment... I meant to provide the link to the Embed vs Link help article. Sorry about that.

Here's the Affinity Embed vs Link help article: https://affinity.help/photo2/en-US.lproj/pages/Media/embeddingVsLinking.html

To work with linked files, you first need to place an .afphoto or .afdesign file into an Affinity Photo file. There are several ways to place content... one way is to drag the file from your operating system's Explorer window onto the canvas of an open file in Affinity Photo.

After placing the file, you can make the placed file linked by doing the following:

  1. From the Window menu, select Resource Manager.
  2. From the manager, select the file to be linked and click Make Linked.

The Embed vs Link help article provides additional information, including how to set the default placement policy when creating a new file, and how to change the default placement policy in an existing file.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Windows 10 22H2, 32GB RAM | Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 2 (MSI/EXE)

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