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So I'm trying to crop a photo using Affinity designer and it's pretty much impossible to figure out. In Photoshop I grab the crop tool and crop so simple. With affinity I can't figure it out at all. I tried this tutorial but it's not working and is overly complicated for something that should be a simple task.

 

How can I easily crop a photo with affinity designer?

 

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Hi createsean,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

The Crop Tool in Affinity Designer is an object based crop tool which means it only crops (actually masks) the object/layer you have selected not the whole document as other programs due. This is because most of the times you may want to crop images that belongto a more complex design/layout rather than the whole layout itself or a single photo as in a photo-editing program. With that said there's a relatively simple way to crop an image in Designer: change to the Crop Tool, click over the image you want to crop on canvas and drag the small rectangle handles that will appear around its bounding box to crop it (note this will create a vector rectangular mask in the Layers panel nested to the image layer). Now with the layer still selected go to menu Edit ▸ Copy, then File ▸ New From Clipboard to create a new document with the same size as the cropped image. Note that the image still contains the vector mask nested to it so you can always recover the original image data either dragging the crop handles (with the Crop Tool) or deleting the crop mask entirely. In case you want to get rid of the mask (and the hidden crop data), right-click the layer in the Layers panel and select Rasterise....

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Hi createsean,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

The Crop Tool in Affinity Designer is an object based crop tool which means it only crops (actually masks) the object/layer you have selected not the whole document as other programs due. This is because most of the times you may want to crop images that below to a more complex design/layout rather than the whole layout itself or a single photo as in a photo-editing program. With that said there's a relatively simple way to crop an image in Designer: change to the Crop Tool, click over the image you want to crop on canvas and drag the small rectangle handles that will appear around its bounding box to crop it (note this will create a vector rectangular mask in the Layers panel nested to the image layer). Now with the layer still selected go to menu Edit ▸ Copy, then File ▸ New From Clipboard to create a new document with the same size as the cropped image. Note that the image still contains the vector mask nested to it so you can always recover the original image data either dragging the crop handles (with the Crop Tool) or deleting the crop mask entirely. In case you want to get rid of the mask (and the hidden crop data), right-click the layer in the Layers panel and select Rasterise....

 

That works but is a major PITA and completely unintuitive. In this case Photoshop wins for being simple and intuitive.

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I see... I'm more familiar with photoshop but do need the vector editing fro what I'm doing now. Guess I need both programs and to learn the differences.

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Hi createsean,

Buying Affinity Photo & using it together with Affinity Designer allows you to do things that are otherwise difficult or impossible to do. You can seamlessly switch between them without having to stop & save your work via the File > Edit in Photo/Designer menu item, too.

 

That said, there may be a simpler way to crop a raster image document in AD if your intent is to convert it to a raster format file like PNG, JPEG, or TIFF: just switch to the Export persona use the Slice tool like a crop tool to create a new slice. In the Slices panel you get a new slice (default name is "slice1" but you can change that. Select it, choose the export options you want from the Export Options panel, then click on the 'export single item' next to it (looks like a box with an upward pointing arrow) & that cropped sliced will be saved without any of the other part of the image included.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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If you want a quickly destructive crop of a raster image document draw a rectangle to define the size of the crop, drag the image layer over the rectangle layer in the Layers panel and export it - don't forget to change the Area dropdown on the Export dialog to Selection with (or without) background. No need to go to Export Persona.

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I like the Export Persona method because in it the Slice tool effectively functions like a crop tool, does not hide the rest of the image, helpfully shows the dimensions of the crop (slice), & can be resized or moved easily before committing to the export.

 

Also, unless I am missing something, if no layer is currently selected, when using File > Export the Area dropdown is greyed out, so the export includes a background as large as the original document size. Useful if that is what I want, annoying otherwise.

 

But I like the clipping method too, for instance when I want to include the shape's stroke as a border or 'crop' to a non-rectangular shape & export to a format that supports transparency.

 

I really like that the app provides different ways to destructively crop images for export.  :)


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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You can also resize and position the rectangle easily on the canvas the same way as a slice (no matter if it was already being used as a clipping shape or not).

You have to select the image layer you want to crop otherwise the program don't know what's your selection when you export the image using Selection with (or without) background from the Area dropdown (there may be other images on the document...) - this is by design.

The clipping method also gets rid of the invisible data of the image/crop when you export to JPG, PNG, TIFF as these formats don't support layers.

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You can also resize and position the rectangle easily on the canvas the same way as a slice (no matter if it was already being used as a clipping shape or not).

You have to select the image layer you want to crop otherwise the program don't know what's your selection when you export the image using Selection with (or without) background from the Area dropdown (there may be other images on the document...) - this is by design.

The clipping method also gets rid of the invisible data of the image/crop when you export to JPG, PNG, TIFF as these formats don't support layers.

I know you can resize or reposition the rectangle but (again, unless I am missing something) you have to do this "blind" if it is being used as a clipping shape -- you can't see the rest of the image. When it is more convenient to see the entire image, I prefer the Export Persona method.

 

I understand why you have to select the image layer but my point is if you forget to do that, you have to cancel the File > Export step, go back & select the layer & repeat the export process. Annoying, particularly since some operations deselect any layer & it is easy to overlook that.

 

All I am saying is there is more than one way to destructively crop an export in AD, each with its advantages & disadvantages. Knowing what they are, how they work, & which one requires the fewest steps to accomplish from whatever state the document is in at the time allows users to make the best choice for the task at hand, whatever it is.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Thanks for all the options everyone. I still feel like cropping is more difficult than it should be. I will however buy a copy of Affinity photo as soon as business picks up. Currently in a slump with no disposable cash.

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Thanks for all the options everyone. I still feel like cropping is more difficult than it should be. I will however buy a copy of Affinity photo as soon as business picks up. Currently in a slump with no disposable cash.

 

At least the price is most reasonable when you are ready to make the purchase! The value is there for the price! :)


♥  WIN 10 AD & AP  ♥  Lenovo Legion Y520 15.6" Laptop

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Thanks for all the options everyone. I still feel like cropping is more difficult than it should be.

 

Cropping a photo is very easy in AD. AD is though a compositing app where you handle multitude of assets (vector and pixel based) -- that is why photo cropping happens only to photo element. If you want just to edit a photo you should use a photo editor for it.

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On 6/8/2017 at 9:29 AM, createsean said:

Thanks for all the options everyone. I still feel like cropping is more difficult than it should be. I will however buy a copy of Affinity photo as soon as business picks up. Currently in a slump with no disposable cash.

Hi "createsean", was happy to see that someone else was in the same boat as me. Well not that you were adrift but that I wasn't the only one. I'm having a difficult time trudging through the tutorials for both programs, but I'm trying to hold on. I have been a photoshop/inDesign user for many years and have been happy using them until greed popped up on the horizon. So disappointed to lose my access to years of design files. It still seems like being held at gunpoint but the industry overall seems to have given in not that they had much choice I guess. I'm semi-retired but need to maintain a design clientele for putting food on the table and all the other necessities. Funny how the Millenials get great bargains on Adobe products but the designers who helped put Adobe on the map have been kicked to the curb. Anyway I'm very thankful for the products that Serif has come up with and intend to champion their cause. If I could just get to a better understanding of how lt works. Will keep at it.

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I agree there should be a dedicated "crop to selection" feature even though Designer is not intended to be a dedicated photo editing program. I'd love to have Designer be my one tool for daily "drawing/painting" tasks. Obviously, if I need really sophisticated photo editing, I'd use a dedicated tool, but cropping is a *super* basic feature in my opinion.

At the very least, if I select part of an image with the rectangular marquee tool, it should copy what's selected, not the whole image/layer. I've never used a drawing/paint application in my life that doesn't copy the current selection to the clipboard. It's making me wonder if I'm doing something wrong or missing a trick. Anyway, if copying the selection were possible, we could achieve cropping with Ctrl+C then Ctrl+Alt+Shft+N.

EDIT: I think I get it. The layer needs to be rasterized, then what is selected with marquee will be copied properly to the clipboard.

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Designer's crop tool is very simple and forward. In Illustrator things are much more complicated.

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The crop tool for designer is not intuitive, because most people expect it to crop the canvas and it doesn’t. Why do we even need a crop tool for vector shapes when masks are much more flexible and easier to use anyway? 

What I’d like to see is Designer get rid of the vector crop tool all together, replace it with an eraser tool, and just make every canvas an art board. Cropping an artboard is easy in Designer and you don’t need a tool for it. 

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5 hours ago, Sebastian C. said:

The crop tool for designer is not intuitive, because most people expect it to crop the canvas and it doesn’t.

That is wrong expectation. 

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6 hours ago, Sebastian C. said:

Why do we even need a crop tool for vector shapes when masks are much more flexible and easier to use anyway? 

The Vector Crop Tool is really just a quick way to create an adjustable rectangular crop mask for a vector object. It isn't a necessary tool, just one that you don't need to use unless you find it convenient for that.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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12 hours ago, Fixx said:

That is wrong expectation. 

Obviously, at least in Designer.

11 hours ago, R C-R said:

The Vector Crop Tool is really just a quick way to create an adjustable rectangular crop mask for a vector object. It isn't a necessary tool, just one that you don't need to use unless you find it convenient for that.

I understand what it does. And it doesn't really bother me that it exists. I even forget sometimes it's in the toolbar. I'm just making an observation and offering solutions on how to make Designer more efficient. I'm very happy with how well Designer works as is.

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