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Difference between Designer and Photo? Whats 4 me?

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Hi, i  was a bit confused...


what is the primary differences between designer and photo version...i was on the brick to buy designer version but stopped after studie the features...i think its more the painter/tablet/pen and pencil stuff but the features are maybe good enought for fotoediting, or not? I have inkscape too and use it frequently


i work regulary with photos too, photomontage and photo design/art optimizing and so on...


is the designer for me good enought or should i wait for photo?


Thank for estimation



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Hi S0N0X,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

Affinity Designer is geared toward design (graphics), illustration (both vector and raster based), UI/webdesign, while Affinity Photo is mostly for photo development/editing and painting. A small subset of tools are common to both programs like the Text tool, Pen and vector shapes tools, selections because they may be needed in both but the software's goals are quite different. Overall, if you need a point of reference you can compare Affinity Designer to Illustrator or Inkscape, while Affinity Photo will be comparable to Photoshop or GIMP.

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Thanks MEB


I think iam good enought with inkscape, so i not need the designer, but some paintings can i vectorize in inkscape too, not with the affdesigner complexitiy. What about vectorize images with a tool?

So i don´t need to change, rly. I will wait for finished AffPhoto, the beta is not so ready, but primary looks good, and the outcome will be awesome, i think...the better Photoshop :D. The Public likes the Designer, much compliments and so on...

Photoshop is good but i will never buy it or use crackware...affinity is the chain between, not to expensive with similar possiblilities. i like.


- Will affphoto accept thirdparty fx? which kind?

- will we have livetime upgrades or payable upgrade on every full version like 2-3-4?

- how similar is affphoto to photoshop? -> big question i know...


thank for open my eyes, good work ;)

have nice day



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Hi S0N0X

An automated tracing tool was already requested and discussed in several threads. Check Vector art conversion and Image Trace - Raster to Vector conversion for more info.


Affinity Photo supports Photoshop Plug-ins (filter plugins, not automation plug-ins).


I think there will be payable upgrades for major versions but i'm not the most suitable person to reply to pricing questions yet since i'm not aware of all details at this point. 


Regarding your last question it depends a lot on what you intend to do. Photoshop covers a wide range of uses, some of them go well beyond its original purpose, like 3D integration, or video editing. I don't believe we will be covering those but it's still too soon to draw any conclusions. I'm also not aware of all the details to be able to reply to this. For image development/editing/painting they are comparable but don't work necessarily the same way. Still, the tools should feel familiar to experienced users.

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i think its better to compare pixelmator with photoshop...this looks more similar then affphoto but ur right similar parts are everywhere found, also in other software. Nice i will check the links, and have a eye on affphoto.

I understand now the specials of booth versions...okay...thats all.


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  • 2 years later...

I also have a question about this. I was looking at digital illustrations, which I thought were meant to be done in AI or Affinity Designer; however many people use Photoshop / Affinity Photo. Why do so many people who do digital work choose to use Photo over Designer (Photoshop over Illustrator)?

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Hi sumneuron,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

That depends on the type of illustration/work you want to do. Adobe Illustrator and Affinity Designer are vector based programs (Designer also has raster tools). Vector illustrations (objects) are defined mathematically and so can be scaled up or down without losing quality. Due to this fact pure vector illustrations (using just vectors) tend to be very clean which may be exactly what you want. However for certain types of works you may want to explore a more organic feel as if they were painted/draw with traditional tools, emulating the texture of papers, traditional drawing tools etc. For these cases pure vectors due to its nature are not very well suited to accomplish these tasks. Raster based tools like Photoshop or Affinity Photo are more adequate because they provide raster based brushes (which are defined by pixels, not vectors - search Google for Vector vs Raster for more details) and allow you to paint on canvas as if you were using real brushes. Additionally they offer filters, masks and other editing tools/feature to help you better control/fine tune colours, luminosity etc etc.


Note that Affinity Designer also provides raster based tools (it's an hybrid vector/raster design tool so you can mix both) but it's raster editing tools are just a subset of what's available in Photo. So in the end it depends a little on what type of illustrations you want to create.


Here's two examples of typical vector based illustrations:

1966 Batmobile (AD)

Baby Portrait - Photorealistic AD Vector


And other two for raster based illutrations:
Retro style poster illustration [AP]



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Affinity Designer also has vector brushes that are able to use raster textures/images and you can scale them as well but it doesn't mean they are pure vectors. I don't have Concepts (will check it out) but they may be doing the same thing.

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Hi, sumneuron,


I looked at Concepts, but only the free download portion. That is an OK bit map paint program that also allows one to add a few simple vector shapes.  Looking at the features that are offered as upgrades, my guess is that maxed out,  either A Photo or Designer have about 300% more features.


To get back to your original post,


"I also have a question about this. I was looking at digital illustrations, which I thought were meant to be done in AI or Affinity Designer; however many people use Photoshop / Affinity Photo. Why do so many people who do digital work choose to use Photo over Designer (Photoshop over Illustrator)?"


I think I could write about 5000 words about this, but I'll try to cut it short. Most people are at this point completely familiar w. photos. Any program that lets one use and emphasize  digital picture(s) will be used a lot. Far fewer people need the sort of precision that architectural renderings, or well laid out text pages, etc require.  So, most start using an image processor, and try bump up the captured image, and maybe add some strokes to it, and composite it with others.  Fewer people want/need to create an elegant form, and maybe boost it w. some "spontaneous" gestures.


In terms of illustration, both kinds are at this point equally capable, but have stylistic differences. Depends on what sort of commission one may have, and/or ones own characteristic preference.


An historical perspective. In the late 1990s, Illustrator had become so much the standard for publishing that everything looked the same. Clean outlines. Smooth gradients. There were efforts to make Illustrator output look more hand drawn. Photo composites proved to be a more widely used way of making an ad look interesting.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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  • 3 years later...

I am looking for a software that has both digital painting and illustration tools as well as photo editing in it, fortunately, I found Affinity and tried the free trails, I saw that Affinity Designer has every tool I want for Graphic Designing and Web Designing (which I want mostly) but when it comes to Affinity Photo I saw every designing tool that I used in Affinity Designer except the Place Image Tool with addition to the all advanced photo editing and digital painting stuff, and even my Advanced Affinity Designer Project files opened in the Affinity Photo. Please can you suggest better software for me, as I am only going to buy only one software for now.

Edited by Nischal
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