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Old 09-02-2018, 03:03 PM
llawrence's Avatar
llawrence llawrence is offline
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East of Eden
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,364
 
Affinity Photo review

Crossposted to my blog. I hope some of you have had a different experience:

--

Iím a traditionalist painter (some might say reactionary). I only do digital painting once in a while, and itís usually just to enhance a photographed image. But right now Iím working to create good comps for my book cover illustrations, and Iím keeping digital finishes in mind in case Iím unable to get my gouache technique under control in time (which seems all too likely). So I picked up Affinity Photo, as it looked like it might finally be the Photoshop alternative some of us have been waiting for. The features looked great, and with the special they were running it was less than 40 bucksócertainly a reasonable price for a full-fledged photo editing and digital painting application. Especially when you compare its free-upgrades-for-life deal to Adobeís pay-us-every-month-of-your-life racket.

But when I tried Photo out, I immediately found some serious issues with their brush engine. To begin with, it periodically justÖ stops working. That is, I make a brush stroke (with either the drawing tablet or the mouse) and nothing happens. This goes for the Eraser tool as well. Sometimes you can restart the engine just by zooming in or out or rotating the canvas, but other times you actually have to close and then reopen the document to get it to work again. Needless to say, this is unacceptable.

There are other, weirder things going on with the brush engine. Sometimes the eraser tool will work only if I begin the stroke over existing layer pixels. If I start the stroke over transparency and then move the cursor over the layer pixels, nothing happens. This odd behavior is fixed when I zoom in or out. This is called weird.

On one notable occasion (actually, the very first day I tried out the application), the paintbrush antialiased to white instead of transparency, leaving jagged halos that showed up when I tried to paint a background on the layer underneath. This wasnít because of any brush or layer setting that I could find; it started doing that and then stopped again, all on its own.

I initially thought this stuff might be a problem with my limited CPU or RAMóPhoto is currently hogging about 1.8 gigs of memory on an open file with many layers. But Medibang Paint Pro is using almost that much with the same file open, and I havenít had similar problems with its brushes.

Photo does have some really cool features, especially the live preview of both gradients and layer blending modes (hallelujah!), and Iím sure Affinity Photo is a decent tool for photo editing. But I think the application just isnít ready for digital painting, even with the low price tag. Iíve got the thing now, so I suppose Iíll keep playing with it from time to timeóand with the free upgrades, I can hope these problems will be fixed in future releases. But in the meantime, for projects that matter, Iíll use a free app like MediBang Paint Pro (or even Krita or Fire Alcapa), even with its relative paucity of features and slightly clunky interface (the wretched type dialog!). Photo is much richer, but until they fix that brush engine Iím afraid I wonít be using it much.

Iíve seen some great work done in this applicationómaybe others have had better luck on their machines. Iím genuinely sorry about this review. Iíve been waiting for years for a credible contender to knock Adobe off their horse. But as of now, from the perspective of this artist at least, Affinity Photo isnít it.
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My artwork blog: http://llawrencebispo.wordpress.com
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:32 AM
LavenderFrost's Avatar
LavenderFrost LavenderFrost is offline
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Manitoba, Canada
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 19,303
 
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Re: Affinity Photo review

I have never tried or heard anything about that one.

I've heard good things about Krita but haven't used it.

Autodesk sketchbook is also free now and sounds like a good program.

I use Gimp for image editing, I have also painted with it, works well for me.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:30 PM
floblue floblue is online now
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 567
 
Re: Affinity Photo review

Quote:
Originally Posted by llawrence
Crossposted to my blog. I hope some of you have had a different experience:

--

Iím a traditionalist painter (some might say reactionary). I only do digital painting once in a while, and itís usually just to enhance a photographed image. But right now Iím working to create good comps for my book cover illustrations, and Iím keeping digital finishes in mind in case Iím unable to get my gouache technique under control in time (which seems all too likely). So I picked up Affinity Photo, as it looked like it might finally be the Photoshop alternative some of us have been waiting for. The features looked great, and with the special they were running it was less than 40 bucksócertainly a reasonable price for a full-fledged photo editing and digital painting application. Especially when you compare its free-upgrades-for-life deal to Adobeís pay-us-every-month-of-your-life racket.

But when I tried Photo out, I immediately found some serious issues with their brush engine. To begin with, it periodically justÖ stops working. That is, I make a brush stroke (with either the drawing tablet or the mouse) and nothing happens. This goes for the Eraser tool as well. Sometimes you can restart the engine just by zooming in or out or rotating the canvas, but other times you actually have to close and then reopen the document to get it to work again. Needless to say, this is unacceptable.

There are other, weirder things going on with the brush engine. Sometimes the eraser tool will work only if I begin the stroke over existing layer pixels. If I start the stroke over transparency and then move the cursor over the layer pixels, nothing happens. This odd behavior is fixed when I zoom in or out. This is called weird.

On one notable occasion (actually, the very first day I tried out the application), the paintbrush antialiased to white instead of transparency, leaving jagged halos that showed up when I tried to paint a background on the layer underneath. This wasnít because of any brush or layer setting that I could find; it started doing that and then stopped again, all on its own.

I initially thought this stuff might be a problem with my limited CPU or RAMóPhoto is currently hogging about 1.8 gigs of memory on an open file with many layers. But Medibang Paint Pro is using almost that much with the same file open, and I havenít had similar problems with its brushes.

Photo does have some really cool features, especially the live preview of both gradients and layer blending modes (hallelujah!), and Iím sure Affinity Photo is a decent tool for photo editing. But I think the application just isnít ready for digital painting, even with the low price tag. Iíve got the thing now, so I suppose Iíll keep playing with it from time to timeóand with the free upgrades, I can hope these problems will be fixed in future releases. But in the meantime, for projects that matter, Iíll use a free app like MediBang Paint Pro (or even Krita or Fire Alcapa), even with its relative paucity of features and slightly clunky interface (the wretched type dialog!). Photo is much richer, but until they fix that brush engine Iím afraid I wonít be using it much.

Iíve seen some great work done in this applicationómaybe others have had better luck on their machines. Iím genuinely sorry about this review. Iíve been waiting for years for a credible contender to knock Adobe off their horse. But as of now, from the perspective of this artist at least, Affinity Photo isnít it.

I use Affinity photo but I use it along with Procreate. Procreate is very friendly and easy to draw with. The brushes are good and you can make and save your own.. I use Affinity for resizing, adding text and some other features. I also have Affinity designer as well as Creative Cloud Suite. I find that Procreate is the easiest to use but I really havenít spent as much time with the other ones yet.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:59 AM
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LavenderFrost LavenderFrost is offline
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Re: Affinity Photo review

Procreate is very good but that is only for iPad.

On pc I paint with Corel Painter, but as I said, I will go to Gimp for resizing and stuff. It seems that some programs that are very good for painting are not so good for basic editing.
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mkmcreations.com
Every painting is a new adventure.
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Old 09-08-2018, 08:09 PM
lareine lareine is offline
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New Zealand
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 7
 
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Re: Affinity Photo review

I've been using Photo for the last few months and have never had any of the issues you described. I wonder if there is an issue with something else on your machine being incompatible - sometimes drivers for different applications clash and create problems like you're having.

My experience of Affinity Photo has been entirely positive, and I think it's a wonderful and affordable alternative to Photoshop for most users. I also use Affinity Designer and feel the same about it as an alternative to Illustrator. Neither of them is identical to the Adobe equivalent in functionality but there isn't much that they can't do, and some things they apparently do better with more intuitive workflows.
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Old 09-21-2018, 07:47 PM
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Elainepsq Elainepsq is offline
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Re: Affinity Photo review

Nice to hear that someone is coming up with an alternative to Adobe CC. I personally subscribe to the entire suite because I need it professionally, but I dread the day that I retire, and have to give up my Adobe CC. I'd be interested to hear how Affinity designer does with commercial printing.
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