Affinity Photo Macros


John Bongiovanni
 

Based on a post here, I bought Affinity Photo and am exploring using it as a possible Photoshop alternative. I have been using Dan's PPW for quite a while, and I'm quite grateful for the PPW  Tools.

I wanted to go through the steps I run typically and see whether I could build macros to do them, at least at a rudimentary level. So I started with Bigger Hammer with no parameters (using the default values of channel, blur, opacity, etc). After more work than I would have thought, I was able to build a macro which did a reasonable job on one of my photos, not quite as good as the PPW version with apparently identical parameters. But when I used the macro on another photo, it failed in an extraordinary way. The layers that were built came from the original photo, and not the one I was working on, even though the original was not open.

The question to those of you who use Affinity is whether I'm running into a fundamental problem with macros there, or whether I just need to dig in deeper and figure out better how it works. 

John Bongiovanni


ROBIN MARK D'ROZARIO
 

Off hand I can only suggest the reason is that you haven't created a Merged / Stamped layer as the first step of the macro.
Affinity is a beautiful program and is probably 99% Photoshop, unfortunately the remaining 1% is where 99% of the PPW resides.
Writing macros is Affinity is great if you like High Blood Pressure. The implementation of channels and apply image in Affinity means extra steps and alternative thinking to get what you want. The macro editor is also strangely hamstrung, for example , one can normally rename a spare channel in Affinity except when you create said channel while writing a macro!!
Since you mention the Bigger Hammer I have uploaded an Affinity version to the files section, the folder is called Affinity Photo Bigger Hammer. It was made 7-8 months ago and I haven't used Affinity much since then so it hasn't been tested extensively. To import it use the following pathway View > Studio > Macro. 
After running it please turn the Original Colour and Darken layers down to 50% opacity, I forgot to do this.
You are then presented with five options of the Hammer - R, G, B, RGB and RGB desaturated. Each option has a nested Smart/Live Filter layer for Gaussian blur to adjust the radius. Choose the one you like and delete the others to reduce file size. You could also experiment with running two blur channels at the same time.

Best regards,
Robin Mark D'Rozario


Dan Margulis
 

On Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 12:19 AM, John Bongiovanni wrote:
The question to those of you who use Affinity is whether I'm running into a fundamental problem with macros there, or whether I just need to dig in deeper and figure out better how it works. 
Apparently the former. I've been checking tutorials out on YouTube. Here's one guy who has done a lot of videos about Affinity Photo and is a big supporter. Two days ago, however, he posted one about the things he doesn't like about the program
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DODyiJk_u7A

and he basically says that the macro (actions) function is broken and not really usable just yet. That's what I had heard also, which is a big obstacle for me.

Dan


Kent Sutorius
 

Robin,
Thanks for sharing this. I was trying to create my own macro in Affinity Photo (unsuccessfully). I'll try it out.

Kent Sutorius


On 3/15/2021 5:44 AM, ROBIN MARK D'ROZARIO wrote:
Off hand I can only suggest the reason is that you haven't created a Merged / Stamped layer as the first step of the macro.
Affinity is a beautiful program and is probably 99% Photoshop, unfortunately the remaining 1% is where 99% of the PPW resides.
Writing macros is Affinity is great if you like High Blood Pressure. The implementation of channels and apply image in Affinity means extra steps and alternative thinking to get what you want. The macro editor is also strangely hamstrung, for example , one can normally rename a spare channel in Affinity except when you create said channel while writing a macro!!
Since you mention the Bigger Hammer I have uploaded an Affinity version to the files section, the folder is called Affinity Photo Bigger Hammer. It was made 7-8 months ago and I haven't used Affinity much since then so it hasn't been tested extensively. To import it use the following pathway View > Studio > Macro. 
After running it please turn the Original Colour and Darken layers down to 50% opacity, I forgot to do this.
You are then presented with five options of the Hammer - R, G, B, RGB and RGB desaturated. Each option has a nested Smart/Live Filter layer for Gaussian blur to adjust the radius. Choose the one you like and delete the others to reduce file size. You could also experiment with running two blur channels at the same time.

Best regards,
Robin Mark D'Rozario



John Bongiovanni
 

Thanks, Robin, for sharing the macro.

My blood pressure elevated a bit just figuring out how to import it.  You have to have an image open to do it (!). Your macro  works nicely, but 103 steps in the macro  for something conceptually simple is daunting.
I'll go through your steps and see whether it makes sense to develop some others that mimic the PPW flow.  You were correct that I did not created a Merged/Stamped layer as the first step
(who would have thought it necessary for an image with one layer?). I had already grappled with how to do Apply Image. Different model, but not so difficult. And lots of limitations, including some
really frustrating ones about getting the layer order  you want (apparently, you can't move the layers around in a macro, so you  have to be careful about the order you create them.

There are some interesting ways of approaching things in Affinity and I do see a lot of nice features in it. I especially like the way LAB adjustments are integrated (you don't go to LAB to do them). But I found some typical moves in color correction (outside of the PPW panel itself) difficult to do. Maybe it's just too new to me at this point.

If I go further with this and actually get some decent macros developed, I'll certainly post them here.

John Bongiovanni