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Also I really want to be able to feather masks (as I am able to in Photoshop's mask properties).  Right now I can apply a Gaussian live filter to the mask but it just doesn't create the same effect I'm after.  Please take a look at this video - I want to be able to do this exactly.  What ends up happening is that I end up vignetting the whole image.

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6 minutes ago, abarkalo said:

I want to be able to do this exactly

Hi abarkalo,

This is quite straightforward in Affinity Photo, no additional masks are needed :)

•    Add a curves adjustment layer, adjust curve upwards to lighten the image Call this Lighten

•    Add another curves adjustment layer, adjust curve downwards, to darken, call this darken

•    Cmd/Ctrl + I to Invert both layers

•    Using a slim white brush paint the lines where you want them on the Lighten curves layer, do the same for the Darken curves layer

•    Add a Gaussian Blur Filter Layer, drag this layer over the thumbnail of one of the curves layers, release when you see the small blue vertical line, now adjust the amount of blur. Repeat for the next curves layer

•    If you want to adjust your lines paint new ones directly on the relevant curves layer, if you want to remove lines just use a black brush to paint out what you do not want.

Hope this helps :)

Dodge & Burn with lines.png

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thank for this. I tried it a few on some images. The issue is that in the video the curves really blow out the highlights and shadows to the extreme. I think that's part of the trick. Then the built-in feather properties of the mask blurs out in pixels, not %.

In Photo I am not able to push the curves to the extreme.  If I do then I can't blur to a desired range - only to 100%.  If I type in 200% then it starts to look more like the video but then I get a strong vignette effect around the entire image, not just where I painted.  If I lower the Gaussian blur to say 88% then go back to the curves I really can't get that realistic effect that I am looking for.  I think what's going wrong here is that I'm blurring the overall effect :  Blur * (curves + mask) not curves * blur (mask). I'm only guessing.  Hope I can fine tune this. I really like this sculpting. Or I suppose it might be same thing to paint with a very soft white brush on a dodge/burn layer (overlay of 50% gray).

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23 minutes ago, abarkalo said:

I think what's going wrong here is that I'm blurring the overall effect :  Blur * (curves + mask) not curves * blur (mask). I'm only guessing. 

I didn’t see any type of vignetting, I pushed the highlights a lot further to start with but they were too much for the image I used. I did not use an additional mask, my results were pretty close to the effect in the video. If I used the same image as the video I think that the results would have matched exactly

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45 minutes ago, Murfee said:

I didn’t see any type of vignetting, I pushed the highlights a lot further to start with but they were too much for the image I used. I did not use an additional mask, my results were pretty close to the effect in the video. If I used the same image as the video I think that the results would have matched exactly

I used a harsh photo as a test - and please see attached.  There is a lot of vignetting in the Photo example.  I didn't use lightening here - just the darks as a test. What am I doing wrong? Thanks for you help. 

example from APhoto.jpg

example from photoshop.jpg

test_in_APhoto.afphoto

test_in_photoshop.psd

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22 minutes ago, abarkalo said:

There is a lot of vignetting in the Photo example.  I didn't use lightening here - just the darks as a test. What am I doing wrong?

Hi abarkalo, I can see the vignetting in your file, I only have access to Photo on the iPad at the moment, and I can not find a way of inverting the curves layer :42_confused: I think that the light & dark curves are supposed to be used together. Have you tried adding the light curve to your file? 

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6 minutes ago, Murfee said:

Hi abarkalo, I can see the vignetting in your file, I only have access to Photo on the iPad at the moment, and I can not find a way of inverting the curves layer :42_confused: I think that the light & dark curves are supposed to be used together. Have you tried adding the light curve to your file? 

yes added that but only want to focus on why the gaussian blur is vignetting all sides of the photo.  It doesn't do that in Photoshop - strict comparison of only one adjustment. When I use the light adjustment layer in Photo what happens is that there is a reverse vignette on all sides, so yes the two cancel each other out but this is not a good effect overall.  It seems to me that Affinity Photo masks need a direct feathering on their own.  I would think that Gaussian blur is the same as feathering but perhaps the way it's tuned in Photo is for the fading to be done closer to the outer edge, so thus the vignetting is really a stretched out blur, whereas in Photoshop is it more evenly distributed.  Wish I could control that.  Maybe a Feathering Live Layer that fine tunes the radius and offset of the blur.

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10 minutes ago, abarkalo said:

yes added that but only want to focus on why the gaussian blur is vignetting all sides of the photo.  It doesn't do that in Photoshop - strict comparison of only one adjustment. When I use the light adjustment layer in Photo what happens is that there is a reverse vignette on all sides, so yes the two cancel each other out but this is not a good effect overall.  It seems to me that Affinity Photo masks need a direct feathering on their own.  I would think that Gaussian blur is the same as feathering but perhaps the way it's tuned in Photo is for the fading to be done closer to the outer edge, so thus the vignetting is really a stretched out blur, whereas in Photoshop is it more evenly distributed.  Wish I could control that.  Maybe a Feathering Live Layer that fine tunes the radius and offset of the blur.

I do see the effect in your file, I did not see it in the file I did for a demo which is strange. I will have another look tomorrow on the Mac. Feathering would be a good addition to masks. 

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@abarkalo I suppose a workaround to the edge feathering would be to select the Gaussian blur mask and paint black around the vignetted edge area

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5 minutes ago, RobW42 said:

@abarkalo I suppose a workaround to the edge feathering would be to select the Gaussian blur mask and paint black around the vignetted edge area

I was going to suggest the same, normally the edge feathering is dealt with by preserve alpha but for this effect that will not work. The effect will also be more noticeable on some images and not on others. The demo I tried earlier had no painting towards the edge of the image so the edge blur was contained within the mask. 

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Hi @abarkalo

I have got the answer, may not be ideal but works without any vignetting. Instead of nesting a live Gaussian Blur Layer, use the Filter>Gaussian Blur method on your curves layer, you can reapply this as many times as you need, you can also duplicate your curves layer to intensify the effect and apply the destructive Gaussian blur again, changing blend mode to multiply will strengthen the effect for the darks. You can basically fine tune as much as you need.

test_in_APhoto_Blur_Filter.afphoto

test_in_APhoto Blur Filter.png

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I'm not sure I can explain this very well (or even that I have understood what is causing this very well) but I think the vignetting occurs because the adjustment layer's alpha mask is in effect too small so the live blur affects the edges as well as the painted area.

I tried several ways to get around this but what might be the simplest is to select the adjustment layer in the layers panel, then in the Channels panel right-click on it, fill it & invert it, effectively removing the paint strokes completely. Next, with the adjustment layer still selected, in the Transform panel, set the anchor to the center, make sure the aspect ratio lock is on, & increase the layer size to around twice (or more). I did that by multiplying the W value by 2 (by entering "2*3456 px" in the width field) but any method would do.

After that, I could paint on the adjustment layer without the live blur visibly affecting the edges & I think everything remained non-destructive.

In the attached test_in_APhoto 2.afphoto file, I included the history so you can see what I did. The effect was too strong (& I'm not very good at this sort of thing anyway) so as a last step I reduced the opacity of the adjustment layer for a more subtle effect.

BTW, in practice I would probably never use this method in Photo. Instead, I would forego the blur & just paint with a soft edged brush, probably at 50% or less opacity so I could build up the effect gradually.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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2 hours ago, Murfee said:

I tried downloading your file twice, but both times I got a 15.2 MB file that Affinity Photo won't open, saying the file type is unsupported. I have tried with both the 1.7.1 retail & the Mac 1.7.2 beta with no luck. :(


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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4 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I tried downloading your file twice, but both times I got a 15.2 MB file that Affinity Photo won't open, saying the file type is unsupported. I have tried with both the 1.7.1 retail & the Mac 1.7.2 beta with no luck. :(

How strange, I suffer from painfully slow internet so maybe that was the problem, the original is 36.2 MB, I have zipped it to see if that helps.

Thank You very much for the transform Panel to resize the adjustment layer...I wouldn't have thought of that, my brain knows it works on pixel layers but I wouldn't have thought to apply the same logic to adjustment layers, I thought they just filled to the pixel layer :)

Your method works brilliantly, users could create a macro to add the curves layer, invert, nest the blur filter & transform ... I created one but unless you know a way it will only work on the original pixel dimensions. I would be happy to share it if the original size limitation can be over ridden.

I also do all my D&B with a low opacity brush but users may find prefer the blurred lines effect.

test_in_APhoto.zip

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6 minutes ago, Murfee said:

Thank You very much for the transform Panel to resize the adjustment layer...

About that, one of the odd things I discovered while trying to figure out how to avoid the vignetting problem is when an adjustment layer is created & then selected with the Move Tool, everything in the Transform panel is greyed out & shows zeros for all fields. There is also no visible bounding box on the canvas, which makes it impossible to resize it, either via the panel or on the canvas.

Weirdly, inverting the adjustment layer via the Layer > Invert menu item displays the bounding box & nothing is then greyed out in the Transform panel, so it can be resized either way ... but inverting it again reverts to the same no box, all greyed out & zeroed Transform panel problem -- in fact, I could not even select the adjustment layer with the Move Tool on the canvas & had to do that in the Layers panel!

Basically, unless it is inverted it acts like a locked layer, even when it is not! O.o

I could be missing something but I think this is a bug.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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45 minutes ago, Murfee said:

How strange, I suffer from painfully slow internet so maybe that was the problem, the original is 36.2 MB, I have zipped it to see if that helps.

Hmmm. I get a 13 MB or so zipped file from the download, & on my Mac the Archive utility that usually unzips zip archives just produces a same sized file named "test_in_Aphoto.zip.zip" -- IOW, just a another zipped file.


Affinity Photo 1.7.1, Affinity Designer 1.7.1, Affinity Publisher 1.7.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.1.143 & Affinity Designer 1.7.1.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.3.1

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Just now, R C-R said:

Hmmm. I get a 13 MB or so zipped file from the download, & on my Mac the Archive utility that usually unzips zip archives just produces a same sized file named "test_in_Aphoto.zip.zip" -- IOW, just a another zipped file.

Well I don't know what has happened here. The only thing I can think of is our painfully slow upload speeds here. Uploading any screen recordings is just not an option.

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