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thomasbricker

Coloring Btmap tiffs in Affinity Designer

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Hello Gang,

 

One of the techniques I use in Illustrator is to make a Photoshop graphic into a bitmap tiff, place it into Illustrator and then assign that artwork a color of my choice.

That apparently is not an option in Affinity software. (No such thing as Bitmap format in Affinity Photo)

What would be an equivalent in the Affinity world?

How would I achieve that same affect?

(The art must have a transparent background, allowing me to colorize the art at I wish within Designer.)

 

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Affinity Photo is a bitmap editor

Supported file formats

Affinity Photo is capable of opening many raster and vector file formats. Photo also imports PDF and Adobe PSD files, and exports a range of raster file formats and the PSD file format.

File type Open Export
Adobe Illustrator (AI) x1  
Adobe Freehand (10 and MX) x2  
Adobe PhotoShop (PSD) x x
Adobe PhotoShop (PSB) x  
DNG x  
EPS x x
GIF x x
JPEG x x
J2K,JP2 x  
JPEG-XR/JXR (WDP/HDP) x  
PDF x1 x
PNG x x4
RAW x3  
SVG x x
TGA x4  
TIFF x x4
WEBP x  
OpenEXR x x
Radiance HDR x x

1 Multi-page files can be imported, with each page being placed on its own artboard.

2 Multi-page Freehand files open with each page concatenated onto a single page. Add file extensions .fh10 or .fh11 in Finder to import. Text import is not supported.

3 For a comprehensive up-to-date list of RAW file support, please see the following links:

4 Supports transparency.

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41 minutes ago, thomasbricker said:

(No such thing as Bitmap format in Affinity Photo)

??? Pixel layers are inherently raster format, so unless by "bitmap" you mean something else, I am not sure what you are asking about.

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Unless I've misunderstood what you're trying to achieve, then this may work for you:

Starting with a Photo document with a transparent background and a black graphic, you can select the black pixels by command/ctrl (Mac/Windows) clicking on the graphic's icon in the layers panel, then copy and paste the graphic from Photo into Designer without creating an intermediate file.

In Designer, switch to pixel persona, command/ctrl click on the graphic's icon in the layers panel to select it, then apply whatever colours you want.

 

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1 hour ago, thomasbricker said:

Hello Gang,

 

One of the techniques I use in Illustrator is to make a Photoshop graphic into a bitmap tiff, place it into Illustrator and then assign that artwork a color of my choice.

That apparently is not an option in Affinity software. (No such thing as Bitmap format in Affinity Photo)

What would be an equivalent in the Affinity world?

How would I achieve that same affect?

(The art must have a transparent background, allowing me to colorize the art at I wish within Designer.)

 

Well since Affinity Photo is first at all a bitmap editing/modification program, you can pretty much still do the same in it. Meaning opening some tiff image, selecting some colored areas of that and then replacing the colors with youre own ones.

However, if you mean instead more to trace/vectorize a tiff image inside Affinity Designer instead, then there is no build in autotrace function in that one. You would have to trace (redraw) bezier curves by hand or use some external tracing app (vectorizer) first and then modify (color) the vectorized results in ADesigner appropriate to your likings.

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1 minute ago, John Rostron said:

I think the OP means a 1-bit black-and-white image. I would like this facility in AP.

John

Perhaps that's what the OP meant, but as long as it's being placed into another document it shouldn't matter whether it's a 1-bit b/w or a standard color image with just 1 color (black) and transparency.

Making it a PNG that's either black or transparent should work fine for the problem as expressed so far.

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

??? Pixel layers are inherently raster format, so unless by "bitmap" you mean something else, I am not sure what you are asking about.

What I mean by bitmap is in Photoshop you can save a grayscale image as a “bitmap” tiff, reducing the image to either black or white pixels. (With a 50% threshold or dithered affect)

It is only in that format that Illustrator “understands” a placed Photoshop file that it can “colorize” to any color you specify.

Graphic designers have been using this method for ages because printers like the simplicity of the file types being used for their stripping purposes.

Also, because the image is a bitmap tiff, Illustrator “ignores” the background color, making it essentially behave like a PNG or transparent Gif.

 

But that was then and this is now.

One of the beautiful things about Affinity Designer is that it understands pixel based and vector based information within the one app.

And you can add a Color Overlay effect to any layer, thus achieving what I was after.

 What I wound up doing, was going to the photo file, and selecting the black pixels, copying them and pasting them to a separate layer, thus separating it fom the background. I then saved that file with no background as a PNG.  I then placed the PNG in Designer and applied Color Overlay effect to the layer.  This allows me to specify any color I want. So that works like a charm.

Now as we all know, when it comes to computer graphics, there are always about 5 ways to do any given thing. 

 What I’m wondering is,  in the “Affinity World” there is probably some super cool way of doing this that I am not aware of.

What is the most efficient way of achieving this end result?

That is why I asked question. 

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52 minutes ago, thomasbricker said:

What I wound up doing, was going to the photo file, and selecting the black pixels, copying them and pasting them to a separate layer, thus separating it fom the background. I then saved that file with no background as a PNG.  I then placed the PNG in Designer and applied Color Overlay effect to the layer.  This allows me to specify any color I want. So that works like a charm.

Now as we all know, when it comes to computer graphics, there are always about 5 ways to do any given thing

Or sometimes six! ;)

If you add a layer on top of a B&W or greyscale layer, fill it with your choice of colour and set the layer’s blend mode to ‘Screen’, the black pixels will be coloured with the chosen colour, the white pixels will remain white and the greys (if any) will be tints of the chosen colour.

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1 hour ago, thomasbricker said:

What I mean by bitmap is in Photoshop you can save a grayscale image as a “bitmap” tiff, reducing the image to either black or white pixels. (With a 50% threshold or dithered affect)

It is only in that format that Illustrator “understands” a placed Photoshop file that it can “colorize” to any color you specify.

Graphic designers have been using this method for ages because printers like the simplicity of the file types being used for their stripping purposes.

Also, because the image is a bitmap tiff, Illustrator “ignores” the background color, making it essentially behave like a PNG or transparent Gif.

 

But that was then and this is now.

One of the beautiful things about Affinity Designer is that it understands pixel based and vector based information within the one app.

And you can add a Color Overlay effect to any layer, thus achieving what I was after.

 What I wound up doing, was going to the photo file, and selecting the black pixels, copying them and pasting them to a separate layer, thus separating it fom the background. I then saved that file with no background as a PNG.  I then placed the PNG in Designer and applied Color Overlay effect to the layer.  This allows me to specify any color I want. So that works like a charm.

Now as we all know, when it comes to computer graphics, there are always about 5 ways to do any given thing. 

 What I’m wondering is,  in the “Affinity World” there is probably some super cool way of doing this that I am not aware of.

What is the most efficient way of achieving this end result?

That is why I asked question. 

Maybe seven ;)

Out of curiosity, does it need to end up with a transparent background? You don’t need the images to be transparent to change the black in Designer.

I would

1. Apply a Threshold adjustment to create black and white only.

2. Apply a Gradient map adjustment to change the black to any colour you want.

 

If you really want a transparent background, when you apply the Threshold adjustment, merge the adjustment (click Merge on the top of the adjustment panel), go Select > Select Tonal Range, > Select highlights and delete them (white pixels) then apply the Gradient map adjustment.

 

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5 hours ago, John Rostron said:

I think the OP means a 1-bit black-and-white image. I would like this facility in AP.

Even as far back as 1993, "bitmap" was already in common use to mean any of more than half a dozen different raster image formats, which is why I wondered what the OP meant, but now I wonder what specifically it is about that particular variant that would make you want the Affinity apps to support it.

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5 hours ago, R C-R said:

Even as far back as 1993, "bitmap" was already in common use to mean any of more than half a dozen different raster image formats, which is why I wondered what the OP meant, but now I wonder what specifically it is about that particular variant that would make you want the Affinity apps to support it.

I don’t really want Affinity to support it. It’s just how I used to do it. If there is a better way of doing something, I do it.

Thats why i have switched to Affinity. (Ive only had it since last week...)

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6 hours ago, R C-R said:

Even as far back as 1993, "bitmap" was already in common use to mean any of more than half a dozen different raster image formats, which is why I wondered what the OP meant, but now I wonder what specifically it is about that particular variant that would make you want the Affinity apps to support it.

Monochrome, or 1-bit images, are extremely common in publication work. Basically any type of B/W line art illustration. But that encompasses things from b/w illustrations in simple books to encyclopedias, newspaper work, illustrations (from charts that lend themselves to it, scientific formulas and more), etc., etc., etc. All that I deal with are 1200 dpi and higher scans.

Depending upon the work, they are also colorized to fit publication colors (often a spot color in this circumstance). They are an extremely small byte size in comparison to gray or color images.

In the illustration below, that bird head column to column in width, 8600 px wide @ 1200 dpi and is 850k. A 300 dpi of the same px size is 11.8 megabytes. Now imagine a book of these. More realistically, there would be many smaller illustrations. Single column broadsheet (about 2"), an image will be less than 20k and a corresponding RGB or gray image will be at about 150k. 

It doesn't take a mathematician to decide that the file-size savings have an impact on a publication larger than a brochure (and hey, I've used these in brochures, too).

capture-002072.png.c092e4ad8d1cb98381bb8ed938f526e0.png

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3 hours ago, MikeW said:

In the illustration below, that bird head column to column in width, 8600 px wide @ 1200 dpi and is 850k. A 300 dpi of the same px size is 11.8 megabytes. Now imagine a book of these. More realistically, there would be many smaller illustrations. Single column broadsheet (about 2"), an image will be less than 20k and a corresponding RGB or gray image will be at about 150k. 

Could you explain a bit (no pun intended) more about how that bird head ends up at 11.8 MB? 

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5 hours ago, R C-R said:

Could you explain a bit (no pun intended) more about how that bird head ends up at 11.8 MB? 

It is about 1-bit v. 3X8-bit. Obviously latter is far bigger file size.

In real world I don't think there is much difference in quality wether you use RGB or coloured 1-bit files as end product will be similarly halftoned. But if the image is black (or C or M or Y or pantone) 1-bit graphic can be as sharp as any vector graphic as there is no need to halftone it – ideally one 1-bit pixel in illustration is mapped to one device pixel in output.

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10 minutes ago, Fixx said:

It is about 1-bit v. 3X8-bit. Obviously latter is far bigger file size.

That much I understand. I just don't quite get how the 850 kb file size ends up about 14 times larger when the 20KB ones grow only about 7.5 times larger. (I am assuming 1 bit to 8 bit greyscale conversions.)

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It was usefull when we did a lot of duotone in QXpress and in inDesign for yearly publications. The next year, we only had to select 2 differents colors, change fonts, some images and do some corrections in the text, and voilà!

Today, it can be use in some publications where colors change monthly: we change main colors — easy trick — and work on texts and images.
 

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8 hours ago, R C-R said:

Could you explain a bit (no pun intended) more about how that bird head ends up at 11.8 MB? 

Nope. Not that I wouldn't want to other than the common concept floating around concerning bit depth and exponential increases in size. But the fact remains I have no real idea why.

Here's a screen shot of three images that are of that same eagle (or bird head). They identical  in pixel size (8600 x 5504), all using 1200 dpi in the headers. You should be able to tell in the title bar what they are, but from left to right, 1-bit, LZW-packed RGB and uncompressed RGB.

capture-002074.thumb.png.893856744bbe3f1f2df733e85dd1c8e6.png

Don't worry too much about the last one, the uncompressed. I think Windows is lying by getting confused by the 1200 dpi thing. Maybe, perhaps. But I don't know for certain.

With smaller images, the gain of using a 1200 dpi monochrome may not be as dramatic. But no matter how it is sliced and diced, the savings are real and like mentioned, it is no different to a vector version and, other than an EPS version that AD/APhoto and likely APub cannot deal with, the vector version is also far larger.

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I found you can use Gimp (freeware) to make 1 bit Tiffs.  Open your image, then from the Menu select Image>Mode>Indexed, from the menu box click the Use Black and White (1-bit) pallet.  Save as a Tiff and in InDesign you can colorize it.

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Hey guys I have discovered how to color images of either 1bit OR greyscale - YES!!!! you can create and export a 1 bit image from PHOTO!!!

Take a color image say, and convert that to greyscale using Document/Convert format/ICC Profile then select Greyscale 8.

Then apply a threshold if you're going for a 1 bit look.

Go back up to Document/Convert Format/ICC profile and select the black and White ICC profile.

Either save the image as aphoto or export to grey8 Tiff image.

Bring that image into Designer

Select the image in the layers palette and select the layer effects button 

Select color overlay - make sure you set the blend mode to screen in either case, you can select from all the different color selectors including the swatches palettes.

It works I tell ya I'm very sure it works! Screen Printers/T-Shirt guys you could specify pantone colors for seps and have that work for screen.

Let me know what you think!????

Cheers

PhotosepTest.afdesign

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4 hours ago, DegasBrush said:

It works I tell ya I'm very sure it works! Screen Printers/T-Shirt guys you could specify pantone colors for seps and have that work for screen.

Threshold effect itself is nice but I do not seem to be able to use it e.g. for screen printing via Color overlay, which just converts any Pantone color to CMYK. But I can do this by just giving the image a Pantone fill color. However a grayscale bitmap can only be used for overprinting. A true 1-bit bitmap can also be used to knock out. Unfortunately Affinity apps seem to convert 1-bit images to RGB (which in turn can of course be used as a grayscale image).

There is definitely use for monochrome bitmaps in graphic design and it is a pity there is no support for this. 

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