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Affinity vs Photoshop - Learning Curve


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I think a lot depends on what you were doing with the Plus software and how much you understood.  If, like me, you started with the "fix everything" buttons and didn't do much more than a bit of cropping, AP is a whole new ball game!  It's not hard though - you just have a lot of options.  If you started as a power user then you already understand what you want to do, so it's just a case of looking it up if it's not already obvious. 

A big difference is the replacement of paper manuals with video tutorials - It suits my "monkey see, monkey do" approach but it's not everyone's idea of a good thing.  

AP user, running Win10

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1 hour ago, IanSG said:

If you started as a power user then you already understand what you want to do, so it's just a case of looking it up if it's not already obvious.

Yeah, but finding it was a REAL challenge sometimes. Hard to search for something when you don't know what to search for.

Still, this forum was (and is) a great help.

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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5 minutes ago, toltec said:

Hard to search for something when you don't know what to search for.

Agreed - my definition of a "power user" would include knowing what it was called (along with all possible synonyms):)

AP user, running Win10

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Not too sure, but this is the first software that I actually used their help menu @toltec I feel,
everything is easy to find once you take a quick glance at the help menu, and of course the already
made video tutorials on Vimeo.

And as you said, if someone is still stuck, they can just ask here :D

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The built-in help is OK but the online versions (accessible from here for both apps) works better for (most) searches. It also has the advantage of being accessible before installing a trial version, which only works for 10 consecutive day from the time it is first opened, so if someone new to Affinity wants to go the trial route before a purchase, it might be a good idea to at least read the 'get started' section before even downloading the trial.

There are also some basic/getting started video tutorials worth checking out before ever downloading the trial or purchasing the app -- 10 days isn't enough time to explore everything, so why waste any of it on things that could be learned without the clock ticking?

But like others have said, the best help resource by far is these forums. The staff are amazingly responsive & there are many users willing to help with just about anything that seems unclear, sometimes even uploading videos they have made specifically in response to another user's questions.

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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4 hours ago, IanSG said:

Agreed - my definition of a "power user" would include knowing what it was called (along with all possible synonyms):)

Unfortunately not, I would consider myself a 'Power User', but Serif does not always call everything the same as what Adobe does, or doesn't call it anything.

What nearly defeated me a year ago was when I wanted to use a path to cut out a pixel object. After 30 years of using PS, I would have called that a 'clipping path'.

After hours of searching and loads of videos I was losing the will to live. In fact I came close to chucking Photo altogether.

A year on, perhaps you could try finding out information on how to use a path to cut out an object. A little challenge for you :)

"(along with all possible synonyms)"

You are also assuming that all users are English. Affinity are worldwide products and although I am constantly amazed by how well many members speak English, they will be at a disadvantage finding "all possible synonyms". 

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm certainly not a power user and don't need to be one for my basic needs. Nobody answered my question as to the learning curve compared to Photoshop though. Probably an earlier version. I'm definitely leaning toward the easier of the two.

What thinkest thou?

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16 minutes ago, slubo said:

Nobody answered my question as to the learning curve compared to Photoshop though. Probably an earlier version. I'm definitely leaning toward the easier of the two.

Depending on what you consider to be "basic needs," Affinity Photo's learning curve for them might be easier to master than Photoshop's, but it depends a lot on what (if any) graphics editing software you have used in the past; your preferences & expectations for how a UI should work; how much you already know about the different file types that can contain graphics elements or about color spaces or metadata or typography; & so on.

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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1 hour ago, slubo said:

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm certainly not a power user and don't need to be one for my basic needs. Nobody answered my question as to the learning curve compared to Photoshop though. Probably an earlier version. I'm definitely leaning toward the easier of the two.

What thinkest thou?

I thinkest it is an impossible question to answer.

Both are very sophisticated programs with masses of features. Far more than you will ever need and the learning 'wall' of each is similar.

So my question is, do you want to pay a small one-off Affinity price, or a large, ongoing, monthly Photoshop price ?

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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12 hours ago, slubo said:

Nobody answered my question as to the learning curve compared to Photoshop though

I would say Photoshop may be a little easier for simple destructive edits, and AP for larger nondestructive projects. Both need understanding of basic image manipulation techniques. I would say there is not much difference in the actual learning curve.

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