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Hi everyone,

I was asked if in Affinity i can get a comparable effect like the Pattern overlay in the Photoshop Layereffects. 

We use Embedded PDF files in Architectural Plans, and often a good way of improoving the Look is just to make a pattrn overlay in the Layereffects of Photohop, when replace the embedded pfd file.. 


is there any idea to do something comparable in Affinity Photo ? 

pattern effects example Photoshop.jpg

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Thank You Psenda,

i like the tutorial which fits nice in my next step of teaching some architects to use affinity designer , where i am not yet as comfortable as in Photo.

But ma Question was for Affinity Poto..  

in Photoshop i could very fast and automated fill a layer with a layereffect using repettitive patterns, which is missing in the affinity PHoto  layer effects untill now.

So i am searching for a workaround..  i have to used embedded pdf or eps files in this case, to stay flexible in architectural workflow.  But the aim is, to be able to replace my embedded file and to still have the same repettitive pattern even on the a new importet pdf or eps... 


so maybe any idea for this ?

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Can you provide an example pdf / eps that people can experiment with?


In general I'd imagine that you would…

  • Add a new Fill Layer
  • Set the fill type to Bitmap
  • Choose a seamless repeating pattern
  • Ensure that this is above your architectural plan, and set an appropriate Blend Mode, or use some masking to restrict the fill to the right areas of your drawing.

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All right Aammppa,

thats alleady an improvement.  Now, i could produce a repettiting pattern on a filllayer, put it on top with multiply, and copied the embeded flor plan and used it as a clipping mask..

now, when i change the underlieing embeded flor plan , meaning when i use the funcitons of the embedded file to replace it, the copied embedded file i use for the clipping mask, won´t change .  so i have to reproduce this step..

dont know if i could improve this some how..

what is crucial is, that theese are many steps to reproduce by hand.. and architects depend heavily on embedded plans, because in the contest process, theese flor plans change many times, so embedded and hopefully in the future , embedded and linked plans can boost your workflowspeed enormously..

i´ll put in the test file i used.. 


greetings Tom

solid aus autoca mit pdf-x-change-2012-geplottet_mit muster.afphoto

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@Tom Schülke Here is a thought…


Can you export your Solid version of the plan with a white background rather than a transparent background?

(If not: you can add the white layer in Photo, and put it in a Layer Group with the Solid plan)

  • Put the Solid plan (or Layer Group) on top of your fill layer
  • Give it the blend mode Hard Light (The fill layer itself has Blend Mode of Normal)

This will give the effect of the pattern fill in the coloured areas, but not the white background, without the use of a mask. Thus if you change the embedded file, there is no mask to update!


Ampa Hard Light Demo.afphoto

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Thanks Aammppa,

Well nice idea..  i didnt knew all features of the fill layer untill now..   still learning even after 3 month of deeper looking inside of this software..

In this special case it works well,   i think there will be other situations it will fail..  for example a much more complex site plan with differing patterns for the green areas, the plazas and the buildings for example..

so there will be cases this solution never the less will work..    at last i still would like affinity to transfer this topic to the featuer wishes area..    the problem is it just has to be a fast , and also very easy solution, because not all of my Architectural Kollegues will ever learn this program as much in depth as i have to do it to teach it to them..

never the less, thanks..

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There are many approaches to solving every problem, and it always comes down to the specifics.


For the case that you give above…

  • First Rasterize the imported Solid plan (otherwise the next step will not work!)
  • Use the Magic Wand (with the Contiguous box unchecked) to select one colour (say blue)
  • Click the New Mask button in the Layers Panel
  • Drag this Mask onto a Fill Layer containing the texture that you require for the blue areas.
  • Repeat as many times as needed for each individual colour

Win10 Home x64   |   AMD Ryzen 7 2700X @ 3.7GHz   |   16 GB RAM   |   1TB SSD   |   nVidia GTX 1660   |   Huion 1060 Plus

How I make GIFs >>> ScreenToGIF (Windows only, Open Source, Portable, ~600kB)

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Halo Aammppaa,

of course you are right..  in most cases theres a way to fullfill your task,   and of course just to rasterise my embedded objects, make selections and so on will bring you to a layout and graphic, that can reproduce all the graphically aimed visual aspects of your work.. 

But, and thats a very big But,  Affinity wants to compete to Photoshop.  Just let us forget for a moment that for this smal amout of money its a great software, and thats still develloping.

I f they realy want to make ground , they have to give comparable solutions or better solutions. 

And i am sure i can speak for the whole architectural World and its workflows. Allready in Germany you have about 130 000 Architects. Theres nearly no architectural Company involved in Competitions, that doesnt use Photoshop at the moment, and all of them hate the new Rent-policy of Adobe..  ore have illegal copies of it.

Affinity could fill this gap easiliy, if only they woul embed only a hand full of workflow improvements.


to understand this you have to know that architects in competition have to deal with dozends of changes coming from their drawings that come of course straigt of architectural CAD Programms.  This said, you have to know, that the real workflow boost together with photoshop come from embedded and linked pdf or eps files that you print from your cad file into a folder, and than use to build up your Photoshop document to improve it. and each time in the competition process, your building or florplan, your landscape or your siteplan changes, and it does again and again and again, the only  thing you have to do in photoshop, is to refresh your linked and embedded printings from the cad file.

of course than have to do other changes, but the overall structure of your Plan now embedded in Photoshp doesent have to be rebuild again and again and again..  this is the reason i am here.. 

jus to make affinity listen to us architects too.


so what are the most missing features at the moment in workflow of architectural companys (for photograper for example affinity allready is great)

1. linked embedded objects

2 in affinity linked and embedded pdf or eps files stay vektor graphics..  for architects this is bad, becaus we never would change lines and shapes inside of affinity. its by faaaaar easier to do this in the specialised CAD Programms like revit.   Sooo..............  give us the opportunity like in Photoshp to also embed our "linked" pdf or eps or even dwg files also as rasterised  embedded objects.. because we wont change the lines inside of affinity photo and secound, because affinity cant as photoshop  use the wand ore color select mode, to get selectoins from the colors...(of embedded vektor objects)   the only way in affinity photo to do this is to rasterise the embedded CAD plan and than you loose the embedded replace option..   which destroys the whole workflow.

3. as told before, you cant select colors from embedded pdf or eps (later maybe also embedded dwg) files..   so make colorselections from vektor graphics work as with pixelselections.

4. Architectural plans and even more architectural renderings exist out of dozens and hundrets of layers or masks...   in photohsop you can strg+left mouse button click an icon in the layermanager,  and select pixels from the layer as in affinity. but furthermore you can Strg+shift+lmb click it to select layermasks additiv..     this is cruicial in workflows when it comes to speed in big documents... i want it too in affinity photo, and hope this easy to implement feature that would improve workflow with masks a lot !!!  will come to the next major build.. 

5. as in the beginning of this thrad, give us also a way to use repettitive patterns as a layer effect. while this is not nearly as important as the stuff above..


Affinity will never get big ground in the architectural world without at last the points 1 to 4, just because the advantage of a minor price for the programm will get eaten easily by your moneyloost, because of much slower workflows compared to photoshop..


Please affinity, dont get me wrong.. i am here, because affinity photo allready is a great programm.  But especially in my world of architectural use of such programms, it still lacks of some important features to be compettitive to Photoshop.    And i am here, because i hope you listen to this very big part of possible futur customers of your Programm..


greetings tom

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