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[APh] Burn and Dodge tools' Protect hue option not working?

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It seems to me that the Protect hue option in the Burn and Dodge tools is not working. The result is identical no matter if it's on or off. For comparison, in Photoshop if I turn on this option there's a very clear difference in the result. So is it something with my settings in Affinity Photo or is it a bug? I use the latest official version of Photo.


Thanks in advance!

Affinity Photo 2.0.4 for Windows  OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 ver. 22H2  CPU: AMD Ryzen 7950X 16-core  RAM: 64 GB DDR5-6400  GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X 24GB / driver 526.98  NVMe SSD Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB  Monitors: 2x Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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The results are not identical but since they affect only the hue component of color the difference may be hard to see. Using the Info panel in target sample mode shows the difference clearly:


In the image, the upper darkened part was made with one pass of the Burn Brush Tool with Protect Hue disabled; the lower one with exactly the same brush settings except with Protect Hue enabled. Comparing the H values in the Info panel with their corresponding numbered targets on the image shows that the hue component does not change if Protect Hue enabled, & does if it is not.

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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That's interesting but I don't really look at raw numbers when I work. To my eyes there is no perceivable difference. Photoshop, in comparison, you could definitely see a difference with the Protect option on and off.


And another issue. In Photo if I repeat the same spot several times with the Burn Brush and "Protect hue" option off, that spot becomes grey and lacking contrast. Doing the same in Photoshop makes the spot more contrasty and eventually black which is the effect that I need. Try it out and you'll see. So what really is the point of "Protect hue" if the end result would be pretty much the same visually (again, not talking about raw numbers)? And just to mention, I'm working on a brand new calibrated Eizo Color Edge monitor so the display is really accurate at showing colors and shades.

Affinity Photo 2.0.4 for Windows  OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 ver. 22H2  CPU: AMD Ryzen 7950X 16-core  RAM: 64 GB DDR5-6400  GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X 24GB / driver 526.98  NVMe SSD Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB  Monitors: 2x Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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Changing background colours and tonal ranges seems to have a huge effect on the effects of the dodge and burn brushes.


For what it's worth:


First image, on a single colour pixel layer, is the dodge brush, from top to bottom: 

Tonal range: Shadows, Protect Hue on, then Protect Hue off

Tonal range: Midtones, Protect Hue on, then Protect Hue off

Tonal range: Highlights: Protect Hue on, then Protect Hue off.


Comes out like this




There are clear differences between the protection settings.



Now the same sequence with the burn brush:




Again, pretty clear differences except perhaps in the highlights tonal range.


Same sequence, dodge brush, different base colour:




And with the burn brush:




In the two images with the maroon backgrounds, the differences between the protection on/off pairs are practically non-existent - perceptually and by the numbers.


But the differences in the next two are quite dramatic (dodge down the left, burn down the right), in the highlights and shadows if not in the midtones:






So it depends on all sorts of things: the underlying colours that are being dodged or burned, the tonal range that the tool is working on, probably more.


It's all in the algorithms... 


But maybe try different tonal ranges as well as protect on/off.




Affinity Photo 2.0.3,  Affinity Designer 2.0.3, Affinity Publisher 2.0.3, Mac OSX 13, 2018 MacBook Pro 15" Intel.

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  • 5 years later...

I tend to do a lot of brushing on of filters to selected tonal ranges, and a LOT of burning only on selected ranges, and I've never understood why this function never seemed to work in Affinity Photo, so I've more or less gone back to other apps for it. It has always seemed that no matter what the settings, the unchosen ranges should not, or just barely, be affected. Burning with the brush tool with tonal range set to shadows should result in only shadows being darkened. That's how it works everywhere else :) It's a great way to add bits of contrast very selectively and neatly. But I've never been able to get close to doing it in Affinity.  In 1 (and I've been asking around before upgrading and responses have been that that particular thing hasn't changed, so it seems also in 2) that brushing burn or dodge into a chosen range lets way too much of the other tonalities be affected, enough that the function isn't usable. Hue protect on or off. It certainly doesn't respect the edges of the tone.  

Attached is a quick example of burn at 65px, opacity 100%. Highlights, mids, then shadows, hue protect on. Is there any difference between them? Sure. But no matter how I adjust the parameters of the tonal range or brush, this is the kind of separation I get, and it's not nearly enough.

Is there any way to change whatever default results in this behavior to make brushing/burning to a selective tonal range work as expected?  I went to Affinity Photo from Aperture and PS, and even an older version of PS Elements to tide me over until I updated the OS beyond it, and none of them responded to burning like this. All of them would burn into shadows and literally only shadows would be darkened.



brush test 2-.jpg

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

No matter how I have it set, protect hue or not, when brushing burn on an image I still get the same result as in the dog image. Doesn't really matter how it works on blocks of solid colors. Using that image as an example, you cannot do any work on the darks of the eyes or eyelids because, setting it on shadows, it just burns everything.  If you wanted to just slightly darken a patch of white fur with the brush, setting it to highlights, if you went into the dark fur it would burn that the same.  It does not respect any shadow/mid/highlight settings when brushing onto an image, at least not in any way that enables you to use the brush as expected, and as it works in nearly all other image apps. If it's not broken I would have thought I'd have gotten some response pointing out which settings to change to make it usable.


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  • 3 months later...

I would love to be shown that I'm just suffering from a settings issue, but I'm still unable to use brushes due to what was described earlier.  Can anyone point out how to set the brushes so that they do not function like in the example? No matter how I set them, they don't adhere to shadows/mids/highlights, which makes getting proper results burning and dodging futile. Hesitant to upgrade to current version if this is still the case.


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