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As a landscape photographer I take a lot of exposure bracketed photographs. For a while I used to blend these exposures using HDR software, until I learned that there's a better way that produces a more natural-looking result and gives the photographer more control: manual exposure blending.

 

Affinity Photo includes an awesome "Blend Ranges" feature that I use to accomplish this task. It takes a little practice, but this tool is more flexible than Photoshop's "Blend If" sliders (because it supports customizable and non-linear luminosity feathering), and more efficient than Luminosity masks (smaller file size).

 

However, the process of actually setting up multiple exposures as layers ready to be blended in Affinity Photo is currently pretty manual and tedious. You have to open one or more of your files, and then drag the others in to create additional layers, or create a new stack and then cancel the stack to unstack the layers. I do this frequently enough that it's irritating that this isn't more efficient.

 

Since switching to Affinity, I really miss the streamlined workflow from Adobe Lightroom, where I can select multiple images and choose "Open As Layers In Photoshop," which takes care of all of the setup for blending multiple exposures, with the added bonus of also not creating multiple intermediate PSD or TIFF files. Now, obviously Adobe has no incentive to support an "Open As Layers in Affinity Photo" option for Lightroom out of the box, but perhaps an enterprising developer could write such a plugin for Lightroom if only Affinity Photo would actually support the ability to open multiple files / data streams from a RAW processor as layers in a new file...

 

In my dream workflow, it would be really neat if Affinity Photo integrated directly with Phase One's Capture One PRO, for a similar workflow to how Lightroom integrates with Photoshop. Perhaps Phase One would be receptive to such a collaboration...

 

I suppose the gist of my feature request is that Affinity Photo is a fantastic program, but sorely lacking in some workflow/efficiency areas that matter quite a lot for people working with lots of images. Adobe, for all their faults, seem to have figured this out, and their ecosystem of products that work together is a great strength of their offering. In the absence of a similarly large suite of complementary apps, Affinity would do well to offer some basic hooks into Affinity Photo that developers can use to create a better round-trip experience when users are working with multiple apps in concert to catalogue and edit their photos.

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Amen to this request. I often shoot multiple images during my lightpainting sessions and I have to open each image (approx. 10~20 each session) and drag (or copy/paste) them into the base image. This workflow is starting to get on my nerves and I miss the 'Open as layers' method from Photoshop.

 

In Photoshop I can select all the images and it opens them as layers. This takes me about 2 minutes (depending on image file size and file count) needing to click only 3 times. In Affinity Photo this process takes me at least 5 minutes with dozens of mouse clicks.

 

So the first version of this feature should include an option in the file menu "Open as layers" in which you can select a couple of images and Affinity Photo opens them as layers into one single file.

 

Later on this could be extended so that we can choose this option in different programmes like Capture One Pro, Lightroom etc. or maybe from Windows Explorer or Apple Finder.

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8 hours ago, Patrick de Bie said:

and I have to open each image (approx. 10~20 each session) and drag (or copy/paste) them into the base image.

 

Hello @Patrick de Bie,

 

first off, welcome to the forums :)

 

Are you aware that there is a menu item 'File > New Stack...'  ?

This gives you the option to open multiple files into a group of layers. There are options like 'Automatically Align Images', too.

 

Once the images are loaded you can ungroup the 'Stack'. Hit SHIFT + CTRL + G and you have all images on layers in one file.

 

Is this what you are looking for?

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.3.475)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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That sure makes the workflow a lot easier, I'll give it a try.

 

I've looked this feature up on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh7Pi8fRazE) and found that it also 'blends' the images. This would take some processing power of the computer, so if there are a lot of images to stack this would take some unneeded time, because I'm just ungrouping the stack again.

 

An option to open the images as seperate layers (and this could be as simple as a checkbox in the stacking window called 'open as layers instead of group') still is the better option.

 

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29 minutes ago, Patrick de Bie said:

 

An option to open the images as seperate layers (and this could be as simple as a checkbox in the stacking window called 'open as layers instead of group') still is the better option.

 

 

I wouldn't worry about the processing power or lost time. The good thing is that it is already there and you can use it right away :)

Cheers,

d.


Affinity Designer 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Photo 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.2.464)   |   Affinity Publisher 1.7.1.404 (beta 1.7.3.475)
Affinity Designer for iPad 1.7.0.7   |   Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77

Windows 10 (1809) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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On 5/10/2018 at 6:03 AM, dominik said:

 

I wouldn't worry about the processing power or lost time. The good thing is that it is already there and you can use it right away :)

Cheers,

d.

Gotta love those power users who recommend accepting the not-quite-right work around instead of encouraging a more appropriate feature be added.  -.-  The "New Stack" is better than nothing, but I agree with Patrick.  A simple checkbox or feature to import the stack without doing anything extra would be better.  And a reasonable request.  Not worrying about lost time in a professional (or personal environment) is not a reasonable request.  There's no way to replenish that little commodity.

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