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Affinity Photo Review

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So here's a video of mine where I'm drawing in Affinity photo:


So, I've actually been drawing out my thumbnails in Affinity Photo for a little while. And although I do plan on leaving a review on Affinity photo on my channel, it will be on discussing it as a means to create composite images rather than it's drawing and painting capabilities because that's where it's strongest capabilities are. As a photo retoucher. But as a drawing/painting tool, I find it lacking, and so I'll leave my review here.

I am a firm believer that when comparing a product, you can usually compare it to a free and open source program and not only does this get the developers of the commercial software to realize what we already get FOR FREE but also to see where the market already is (for free) and the developers of the commercial product can actually look at the free alternative's source code and make efforts to not just improve but know EXACTLY HOW to improve. This gives me reason to discuss Krita.

Affinity Photo (as a drawing painting tool) VS Krita.

First off, I don't mind that features be spread across multiple software. What I don't like is having to export my Krita File as a PNG. If I could just drag and drop the Krita file directly into Affinity, that would resolve most issues.

In Affinity, I find it impossible to draw in perspective. I'm sure people can work it out, like they've worked it out in Photoshop and it's complete lack of tools regarding perspective. But I find the Assistant Tool in Krita far superior to any software in the market, with both free and Open Source and paid Commercial software. The assistant tool does more than perspective work, it allows you to draw with parallel rulers, have splines, and a long list of other things. And why is this the case? Originally some upstart in programming created the initial building blocks of the Assistant tool, who was attending high school at the time? THIS TOOL ALONE makes it possible to draw a panoramic image. A full 180° image. I teach how to do that on my channel... I haven't found ANY other software that can do this.

The fill tool in Affinity is terrible. There's barely any options for it in the tool options. Where as the tool options in Krita make it so that you have not just a laundry list of options, but you can have it fill with awareness to content on other layers, but it also can fill "limited to current layer". Affinity appears to be limited to only "limited to current layer". 

The brushes in Affinity are nice, Krita's are better. There's multiple brush engines in Krita. And tons of options for them. This is the first thing most people notice about krita. The brushes themselves take the form of different tools as well, making less of a need to clutter the Tool's Panel. 

In Affinity, there's the smudge tool, and three brush tools. I'm sure there's a reason for that, but I'm constantly having to press the "B" key over and over again. Where as the exact same tools exist in my favorited brushes in Krita's brush engines and I only need to press "B" once. 

If I have to press "B" more than once, that means there's a number of ctrl+z's. So it's easier to select it with the mouse in Affinity. It's needless redundancy. It's constantly tripping me up. And there's no need for that.

Next, Krita has brush stabilization options in its tool options. Not only that, but it has the "Dynamic Brush Tool" for slow calculated stylus movement. Yeah... there's a weird stylus on a string thing in Affinity. I saw it somewhere, but the dynamic brush tool is awesome.

Making a selection and in affinity and pressing ctrl+B will bring up the options to expand or contract the selection. This is cool. Why doesn't pressing "enter" not execute the task and get rid of the dialogue box? I have to press the "ok" button, or whatever it is with my cursor every time?

So that's my comparison and negative feedback towards Affinity. But what does it do right?

It draws decent lines. It tracks my stylus activity well. You can draw good images. It's not ram heavy, and my potato computer appreciates that.

But it feels like some core elements are missing in the drawing/painting arena are missing.  

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Have you had a look at Designer? Photo is not really a drawing/painting tool.

Win 10 x64 System with Intuos Pen & Touch
 - Sys : Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz (8 CPUs), 16GB RAM
 - GPU 1: Intel HD Graphics 630, GPU 2: NVIDIA GTX1050, 4GB


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I did actually, and I couldn't get any brush sensitivity to work. It all seemed like after-the-fact adjustments. Like I'd draw a line, it'd look like crap, then I'd have to play with it to simulate pressure. I've played with the settings to see if the simulated pressure could be automatic while drawing lines... it just didn't work out. 

It's also bothersome that if I want to color the image, it needs to be a closed shape. So I need to make a dedicated color layer that fills the silhouette of what I'm drawing.

Eventually I'll get into the Affinity products more. But it's always a gradual process. :D

That said I don't hate the drawing experience in APhoto. But I think a free alternative is better. 

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