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Mark Oehlschlager

Displacement Filter Results are not Smooth

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I've just tried using the Affinity Photo displacement filter and was surprised/disappointed to find that the displacement results are not smooth. Where a spherical black-to-white gradient should produce a smooth pinching distortion to the target image layer, instead I get dithered distortion that bears no resemblance the expected warping of the image.

Am I missing something about how to use the displacement filter, or does this filter need to be redesigned?

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Hey Mark Oehlschlager,

I personally use the Displace filter for a lot of my own projects and I haven't noticed any issues. There have been some tweaks in the current beta but nothing that has troubled me. 

Could you attach the file(s) you're working with so I can investigate, along with a few screenshots?

1 hour ago, Mark Oehlschlager said:

Am I missing something about how to use the displacement filter

Have you seen the tutorial? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NylLqhPu5jk

Thanks :) 

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I´m happy with the quailty, the "harshness" belongs to this filter! I love it!

But there is a bug in 1.7 (with and without metal!!!).  

Sometimes (mostly if a layer and the displacemap is inside a group)!!! the amount-slider shrinks the whole filter /layer, so its just affecting a part of the layer/canvas, as smaller, as higher the amount! See attachment!

And BTW: Please make the amount-slider macro-recordable! 

Displace bug.afphoto


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380 / Metall: on!

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@Chris B

Chris, I've attached two movies to illustrate what I'm seeing.

In the first movie, I'm using Affinity Photo's displacement filter to access a displacement map layer below. As I push the displacement filter slider to the left or to the right, what I get on the target art layer is a dithered effect – a kind of digital noise. 

In the second movie, I'm recreating the displacement effect in Adobe Photoshop. Notice that the Adobe Photoshop filter uses the radial displacement map to smoothly warp the target art layer. This is the effect I expected from the Affinity Photo filter.

So, questions follow:

• Is the Affinity displacement filter designed to behave differently than the Adobe displacement filter, or is there a flaw in the Affinity filter?

• Am I using the Affinity filter incorrectly?

What I'm expecting from the displacement filter is to be able to warp target art layers to follow the contours of a greyscale tonal map.

 

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The AP Displacement Filter does a horrible job, it seems. The only good thing about it is the user interface (when compared to Adobe).


Affinity Photo/Affinity Designer | macOS 10.14 Mojave | MBP13 2013

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1 hour ago, RNKLN said:

The AP Displacement Filter does a horrible job, it seems. The only good thing about it is the user interface (when compared to Adobe).

I like this effect. But you are right its maybe not a displacment-map, its maybe more a harsch-mapper. Please KEEP this filter as it is, but maybe you ADD another filter for real displacment jobs, or just a button for smooth displacemnet, but please keep the harsch-effect too!

However there is a big bug when using this filter inside a group in 1.7106! 


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380 / Metall: on!

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Right, I see what you mean. This filter works brilliantly for putting a logo or text over the top of a rough surface and it gives it a really gritty/grungy look. If you want to do the same with a logo on a t-shirt, you still get the same gritty look like from the rough surface—which I appreciate isn't what you'd want. So this filter would stay the same for that reason, however as Polygonius suggested, the best solution here would be to expand the Displace feature.

A suggestion is to use a B/W copy of the image along with a slight Gaussian Blur.

I can't think of another way of doing it other than manually. For example, I've just placed a logo over the top of a t-shirt pixel layer and applied a Multiply blend mode and some lighting along with some Liquify adjustments. It took me a minute or so but that's because I'm familiar with the process. 

Displace.jpg.4708988ea928e07116032cf9b1dc6560.jpg

Doing my research on this, it looks like a lot of users have questioned the Displace filter and why it adds all the noise so perhaps it is time we took a proper look at this.

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2 hours ago, Chris B said:

.... perhaps it is time we took a proper look at this.

Do not forget the bug in 1.7 - In a group the displacement-amount(strongness???) will shrink the WHOLE visibility.

And please do not forget to make the amount-slider macro-recordable!

And well, it would be also nice, if the displacment-map and other "open-dialogs" like for brushes-images....  would remember its last used folder and not jump to the place where i opened/placed/saved/exported... GENERALLY a file. I have special-folder for my maps, brush-images, macros, exports.... it would be really nice if EACH element would remember this folder for its own use independently!


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380 / Metall: on!

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1 hour ago, Polygonius said:

And please do not forget to make the amount-slider macro-recordable!

I thought the Strength slider does record? It seems to load the same amount of strength when I run it from the Library.

1 hour ago, Polygonius said:

it would be really nice if EACH element would remember this folder for its own use independently!

Is yours just defaulting to the desktop? We've seen this raised before for other Windows Explorer dialogs. I can see the for and against reasons for this. 

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5 hours ago, Chris B said:

I thought the Strength slider does record? It seems to load the same amount of strength when I run it from the Library.

Yeah, it loads the recorded strenght, but its not avaiable for dynamically adjust (other "backgrounds" often profit from other strength) I want this slider as dynamically, usable on-the-flow-slider, available inside the macro. BTW: It would be absolutely pleasant if i could set a dedicated range of the macro slider. Per static default its 0-1000 and this in 99% very much too large. Mostly i want a specific range from eg. 12-18 or so. So please make the range of each slider a user-choice instead this seldom useful, extrem big, slider-range... which mostly is unusable and i always have to hack to my values, instead comfortable move a slider! 

####

Always there is any  "for and against reasons"... just create an option. I would like to have my "start/last-folder" for each "open-dialog" separately... other user maybe like to "center/collect...their stuff" or like to scroll and click... its THEIR choice! But i prefer to reduce clicking /mousemoves.... so please make an option (latest folder for all/ lastest folder independently)  and let the adult people their own choice ;-) PLEASE!

###

You didnt say anything about the group-bug of the displacementfilter- please do not forget to fix (its new in 1.7and happens with and without METAL  -  in 1.6 its working fine inside a group). 


OSX 10.13.5  / iMac Retina 27" / AMD Radeon R9 M380 / Metall: on!

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@Chris B

I would characterize the current Affinity “displacement” filter as more of a noise filter. Rather than bending, pinching, and bloating, the Affinity filter seems to primarily eat away at the edges of the target art layer.

Perhaps the current Affinity “Displacement” filter should be renamed to more accurately describe the dithered, frayed, eaten-away-edges effect that it produces. Then a new Affinity displacement filter be designed to warp, pinch and bloat the target art layer according to the luminance or greyscale values of the Displacement Map art.

There is an interesting tutorial video on the use of Adobe Photoshop’s displacement filter here: https://youtu.be/OlQj-EyyDhg

In the first nine minutes of that video, the host attempts to explain in layman’s terms how the Adobe filter makes use of the greyscale channel information from the Displacement Map art to bend and warp the target art. You may find this of interest.

I conducted another displacement filter comparison between Adobe and Affinity using a flag superimposed over a rock face. The source files and comparative screenshots are attached below. For each degree of intensity I applied to the Adobe filter, I tried to match the intensity in the Affinity filter (though the two filters seem to use different scales/units).

Generally, I would say that the Adobe filter does a better job of bending and warping the target art layer (the flag) according to the tonal map of the Displacement Map art (derived from the background image of the rock face). You can see from the screenshots that the Affinity filter behaves more like a noise filter.

Below find the following:

  • source art (rock face, and flag)
  • Greyscale displacement map art (B/W version of the background image with 1px Gaussian Blur)
  • a series of side-by-side comparisons of the Adobe and Affinity filters at comparable levels of intensity

01 PSD Displace 10.png

Flag RGB.jpg

02 AFP Displace 15px.png

Stone Surface.png

Stone Surface Grey GBlur1.png

00 Flag Multiply 80 percent.png

03 PSD Displace 20.png

04 AFP Displace 35px.png

05 PSD Displace 25.png

06 AFP Displace 55px.png

07 PSD Displace 50.png

08 AFP Displace 130px.png

09 PSD Displace 75.png

10 AFP Displace 200px.png

11 PSD Displace 100.png

12 AFP Displace 280px.png

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On 1/18/2019 at 7:30 PM, Polygonius said:

Yeah, it loads the recorded strenght, but its not avaiable for dynamically adjust (other "backgrounds" often profit from other strength) I want this slider as dynamically, usable on-the-flow-slider, available inside the macro. BTW: It would be absolutely pleasant if i could set a dedicated range of the macro slider. Per static default its 0-1000 and this in 99% very much too large. Mostly i want a specific range from eg. 12-18 or so. So please make the range of each slider a user-choice instead this seldom useful, extrem big, slider-range... which mostly is unusable and i always have to hack to my values, instead comfortable move a slider! 

Right—I see what you mean. Could you please log this in the Feature Requests section as a generic improvement as it wouldn't just apply for the Displace filter but all filters that use sliders and ranges etc... This is the proper way to ask for improvements/features and will not get lost in what is really a bug forum. 

####

Always there is any  "for and against reasons"... just create an option. I would like to have my "start/last-folder" for each "open-dialog" separately... other user maybe like to "center/collect...their stuff" or like to scroll and click... its THEIR choice! But i prefer to reduce clicking /mousemoves.... so please make an option (latest folder for all/ lastest folder independently)  and let the adult people their own choice ;-) PLEASE!

I think it would be ideal to have the option of doing what the user requires. As I said, this has been mentioned before and is logged but the developers haven't implemented it. 

###

You didnt say anything about the group-bug of the displacementfilter- please do not forget to fix (its new in 1.7and happens with and without METAL  -  in 1.6 its working fine inside a group). 

Sorry—I will look into this. If it was working in 1.6 and not in 1.7, it is a regression and should be given priority.

 

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Hi Mark Oehlschlager,

Thanks for all of that.

I've done some comparisons this morning using Photoshop and Affinity and I've logged this as we could do with some improvements. I've followed the same few tutorials using your files and my own and cannot get similar results. 

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Any further word on this? I'm running into the same issues - the Affinity displacement doesn't match the expected smoothness of the Adobe version, which is a bummer.

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13 hours ago, davemac2015 said:

Any further word on this? I'm running into the same issues - the Affinity displacement doesn't match the expected smoothness of the Adobe version, which is a bummer.

I'm afraid not. There are a few Displacement improvement requests logged with the developers but nothing has moved since this thread was created. 

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On 3/6/2019 at 4:24 AM, Chris B said:

I'm afraid not. There are a few Displacement improvement requests logged with the developers but nothing has moved since this thread was created. 

Drat. Oh, well... I know they have their plates full with everything else. I'll just keep checking back and hoping. :) Thanks!

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All,

 

Photo is using gradient direction / magnitude from the displacement map to offset the image below. It looks like PS might be using something simpler / different.

We have been considering adding alternative methods to this filter for some time, so expect it to get done before 1.7 ships.

We will also improve the Macro playback capabilities for this filter.

 

Thanks,

Andy.

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:00 AM, Mark Oehlschlager said:

I've just tried using the Affinity Photo displacement filter and was surprised/disappointed to find that the displacement results are not smooth. Where a spherical black-to-white gradient should produce a smooth pinching distortion to the target image layer, instead I get dithered distortion that bears no resemblance the expected warping of the image.

Am I missing something about how to use the displacement filter, or does this filter need to be redesigned?

I was trying the displace filter just yesterday, eager to benefit from the ease of use over Photoshop.

I was very disappointed by the fuzzy edges in the AP version. Basically useless to me as a displace filter.


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iMac Retina 5K 27 inch Late 2105, 3.2-i5, 32 GB Memory, AMD Radeon M380 2048 MB

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