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Brittney

Flattening my document changes its appearance

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I have been dealing with a weird issue in Affinity Photo for Windows. I notice it happens a lot when I try use a few adjustments and/or live filters and then flatten my document or make a new layer from a merged copy (Layer > merge visible).

What I see inside of Photo looks far different once I've made a merged version than it did as layers. This happens when I export the image, with or without merging the layers, as well. This is very frustrating as I want my image to appear as I have it, before merging or exporting.

I zoomed pretty far in to see if the pixels looked the same when turning the merged layer off and on, but there is a noticeable difference between the two versions. I also tried zooming way out, and that makes it even more obvious. 

I have not yet found a solution or workaround for this. Any help is very appreciated.

Attached files: 2 images, one showing what happens when I merge, and one showing what the image is supposed to look like. I've also attached my project file encase it is needed.

Weird Issue - Appearance changed.png

Weird Issue - what it's supposed to look like.png

weird_issue.afphoto

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Looks like the layer blend modes (burn and dodge colors) are not taken correctly over into account here when you flatten the doc or do merge the visible layers. Meaning from your used "Color (if on)" and "Edges" layers. You can see this if you (re)apply those blend mode settings on your "merge visable" layer. - Looks like a merging layers and their settings bug to me, which BTW is also still available in the current APhoto 1.7.xxx betas.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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Hi Brittney,

An issue similar to this has been reported to the developers before but isn't actually a bug. Instead it is an unfortunate  side effect of the way the Adjustments and Live Filters operate on documents that are being viewed at less than 100%

Your document contains lots of high contrasting pixels between the red and the white. This means what when you zoom out of the document to less than 100% what you see in the application has to get rescaled. As you are using Adjustments and Live Filters then these calculations are being done on the smaller rescaled document and this can cause the differences in appearance that you are seeing at different zoom levels.

The only way to get an accurate representation of your document is to view it at 100%, or to occasionally merge the layers like you've done to get a more accurate representation of what your export will look like.

Similar behaviour is exhibited in other applications. For example in Photoshop, the image is hardly visible when zoomed out!

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Thanks for your responses.

v_kyr, I agree with you here, this could be it:

On 11/28/2018 at 1:25 PM, v_kyr said:

Looks like a merging layers and their settings bug to me, which BTW is also still available in the current APhoto 1.7.xxx betas.

 

JFisher, I'm not quite sure I understand. 

On 11/29/2018 at 8:19 AM, JFisher said:

Instead it is an unfortunate  side effect of the way the Adjustments and Live Filters operate on documents that are being viewed at less than 100%

Your document contains lots of high contrasting pixels between the red and the white. This means what when you zoom out of the document to less than 100% what you see in the application has to get rescaled. As you are using Adjustments and Live Filters then these calculations are being done on the smaller rescaled document and this can cause the differences in appearance that you are seeing at different zoom levels.

Similar behaviour is exhibited in other applications. For example in Photoshop, the image is hardly visible when zoomed out!

I get this problem regardless of how far in or out I zoom, even at 100%. I don't have this issue with anything other than merging multiple filter or adjustment layers. (It seems to happen most often when using a combination of the two.) In my personal experience, I have never seen this specific problem anywhere else but Affinity Photo. 

 

Do either of you happen to know of anyway around it that could produce the results I'm wanting when taking the image out of the program?

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11 minutes ago, Brittney said:

Do either of you happen to know of anyway around it that could produce the results I'm wanting when taking the image out of the program?

Not sure what you mean with "when taking the image out of the program" here, if you mean saving?

However if you don't merge the visable layers or just hide the merged visable layer and save/export into JPG/PNG etc. it might look the way you want here, give it a try.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.8.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.8.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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2 hours ago, Brittney said:

I get this problem regardless of how far in or out I zoom, even at 100%. I don't have this issue with anything other than merging multiple filter or adjustment layers. (It seems to happen most often when using a combination of the two.) In my personal experience, I have never seen this specific problem anywhere else but Affinity Photo. 

I think that what @JFisher means is that unless you create your effects at 100% zoom, or merge the layers, you can't be sure what things will look like. So, for example, you should not zoom in and then apply some filters or adjustments because you will not get a true view of what the effects will look like. You should instead apply them at 100% zoom.

If you must zoom in to see fine detail, then you would need an iterative process: zoom in, make some adjustments, zoom out to see if they're good, zoom in again to fine tune, zoom out to verify, etc.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.850 Beta.

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On 12/1/2018 at 6:53 AM, v_kyr said:

Not sure what you mean with "when taking the image out of the program" here, if you mean saving?

However if you don't merge the visable layers or just hide the merged visable layer and save/export into JPG/PNG etc. it might look the way you want here, give it a try.

Yes. I mean exporting it. Sorry for the confusing. I did try that. It doesn't work. The exported image has the undesired results, every time I've tried it.

On 12/1/2018 at 8:57 AM, walt.farrell said:

I think that what @JFisher means is that unless you create your effects at 100% zoom, or merge the layers, you can't be sure what things will look like. So, for example, you should not zoom in and then apply some filters or adjustments because you will not get a true view of what the effects will look like. You should instead apply them at 100% zoom.

If you must zoom in to see fine detail, then you would need an iterative process: zoom in, make some adjustments, zoom out to see if they're good, zoom in again to fine tune, zoom out to verify, etc.

In regards to the zoom thing, I feel a little confused. I've tried multiple times with differing zoom percentages to apply the effect, every time to no avail. None of the other adjustments or filters seem to have this trouble. Every thing else exports as I expect it to look. It seems to only occur with the live blur filter. Maybe I'm just missing something.

The thing is I want none of the changes to be permanent until I have finished my process, then I want to merge them all into a final image, either by merging the visible layers to a new one or just exporting. That is, with my desired effect intact. The iterative process you mentioned sounds like, unless I'm mistaken, I would need to merge the adjustments as I go?

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3 minutes ago, Brittney said:

The iterative process you mentioned sounds like, unless I'm mistaken, I would need to merge the adjustments as I go?

No. You would make an adjustmen while zoomed out. If you need to zoom in you can do so, and then zoom out to modify the effect. But thinking further, since the zoomed-in version isn't going to give an accurate appearance, there shouldn't be any need for the iterative approach. Just stay zoomed to 100% and apply the adjustment until it looks right at 100% zoom. Then you're done.


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 2004 (19041.388),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop:  8GB memory, Intel Core i7-3625QM @ 2.30GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
Affinity Photo 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.852 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.8.5.703 and 1.9.0.850 Beta.

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Hi Brittney,
Welcome to Affinity Forums :)
Merging the layers will do nothing here - the merged layer will look exactly the same as the composite of all effects when viewed at 100% zoom. You can check this for yourself: open the file you attached above, set the zoom to 100% then show/hide the merged layer - you will see that both the effects and the merged layer look the same (note that there may an half second between showing and hiding the merged layer where the image may look a little different but that's because Affinity is still redrawing the layers on screen). 

To work with accurate previews of filters and adjustments always make sure you are seeing your work at 100% zoom (some filters/adjustments are more sensitive to this than others and may display more drastic changes depending on the filter/adjustment type).

The reason for this is because filters/adjustments are dynamically applied to low-resolution versions of your work when the zoom is inferior to 100% - we do this for performance reasons,  to speed up the workflow/rendering within the application - and so what you see on screen is NOT what the filter would look if it was applied to the real size work. That only happens when the zoom level is set to 100% or above. Since some filters also display specific rendering issues when not displayed at 1:1 px (which includes zoom levels above 100%) I recommend to always check everything at 100% zoom.

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On 12/4/2018 at 5:19 PM, MEB said:

To work with accurate previews of filters and adjustments always make sure you are seeing your work at 100% zoom (some filters/adjustments are more sensitive to this than others and may display more drastic changes depending on the filter/adjustment type).

 I recommend to always check everything at 100% zoom.

Hi MEB,
Thank you! :) 
I
 appreciate your response. I understand what you are saying here. Thank you for the clear explanation. Now I am left with a few questions. If you would be willing to answer them, I'd be very grateful:
1) In reference to the quoted part of your comment, does this mean that I have to be at 1:1 zoom when adding the filter to the layer/image, when merging the filter with the layer/image, or when merging the entire image as a whole? This is the only part of what you said that I'm still a little unsure about.
2) Is there a way to make the image appear exactly the same when looking at it at different zoom percentages? (Maybe this is the same question as the one below?)
3) I prefer to work so I can see my entire image most of the time because I can't really tell what's going on with the rest of the image when zoomed too 100%, especially since I tend to work with larger files. Zooming in I reserve for working with fine details. To see my work accurately this way, would I have to keep making merged copies of my layers at 100% zoom and then zoom out to view it?  Would this even work?
4) I assume there is no option to change how the filters are applied (so that there is no need to zoom to 100% to view it accurately) through the preferences panel, is that right? It's something built into the program with no option to turn it on or off?

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Hi Brittney,
You're welcome. Regarding your questions:

1. No, you don't have to set the zoom to 100% when you are applying ("creating") the filter, you only have to set the zoom to 100% when you want to check accurately how it will look after merging layers or how it will look on the exported image for example.

2. No. Only 100% zoom gives you an accurate preview of how the filter will affect the image if flattened/merged with other layers or exported.

3. If you create a merged copy you will get more accurate preview of the filter because its effect is now baked to the image and was calculated using the original image dimensions. Note that you don't have to merge the filter and the image layer with the zoom set at 100%, you can merge them at whatever zoom level you want: when merged, the filter effect is always calculated/baked using the original image (not the low-res versions - called mipmaps - that we use to display/render the image at zoom levels below 100% more quickly).

4. No there's no way to turn this off. 

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13 hours ago, MEB said:

3. If you create a merged copy you will get more accurate preview of the filter because its effect is now baked to the image and was calculated using the original image dimensions. Note that you don't have to merge the filter and the image layer with the zoom set at 100%, you can merge them at whatever zoom level you want: when merged, the filter effect is always calculated/baked using the original image (not the low-res versions - called mipmaps - that we use to display/render the image at zoom levels below 100% more quickly).

Okay, that's what I needed to know. Thank you. I will have to revise my workflow to allow for this way of applying filters. Now that I understand them, I can do that.

I'm so glad you mentioned mipmaps. That cleared up what you were trying to say. I now understand what the filter is doing, as I at least understand mipmaps. 

I feel this issue is resolved now. :D 

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