Tuesday, 4 February 2020


I am super late to the app scrapping party! I don’t know what made me wait so long to try it... not sure if it was the idea of trying to learn something new. I mean, I’ve used Photoshop Elements and then Photoshop for years creating my layouts digitally so what made me so afraid to try app scrapping? Maybe it was the thought of scrapping on my teeny tiny phone but whatever the reason, I’m glad I gave it a try at this point.

Actual Photoshop is available for the iPad now in an introductory phase but I’m told that it’s more for photo editing instead of actual app scrapping. For example, it doesn’t allow the use of all of our fun styles and honestly what’s the point of scrapping if you can’t use styles and all that! So I decided to embrace Affinity Photo. I took a class at Scrapaneers on the program a few years back but didn’t really explore all the possibilities. I attended an App Scrapping Across the USA event late last year but before that I tried to learn the program myself. I'm really glad that I went because it forced me out of my Adobe comfort zone. I picked up a lot of tips that day from the ladies that were already using it.

Here are shots of the Photo and Selections home screens that will be helpful for reference and terminology.

I thought I would share a few of the quick tips that I’ve discovered on how to accomplish a skill in Affinity Photo that I can do in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. My first tip is about "cutting out" a small area or selection. Have a look at this tag. In Photoshop, I would’ve tried to mimic threading the ribbons through the tag's hole but I wasn’t sure how to accomplish that task. The easiest way to mimic threading the ribbons through the tag's hole is to delete this tiny section of the tag where the ribbon threads through and come across. But how do I do it if there’s no cut tool? I looked at all the different tool icons and nothing seems to be right. I can get a rectangle shape using the rectangular marquee tool but there’s no OBVIOUS way to select or delete.

I'm in the Photo Persona and the tag is an image layer. I won't be able to work with it on a pixel basis until I rasterize the layer.

Using the Commands button at the top, pull down to Rasterize.

Now it's a pixel layer. I switch over to the Selections Persona and grab something that looks familiar, the rectangular marquee tool. I draw a box where I want to cut out part of the tag and I see the marching ants.

You'll see there are other choices than a square marquee shape.

Then I switch back to the Photo Persona and grab the Eraser Tool. Note the context selection menu at the bottom. You get one when each tool on the left is selected and the options in each one change.

I brush the eraser across the box and the part I wanted gone is disappearing.

To get rid of the marching ants, I switch back to the Selections Persona and deselect.

To add a drop shadow to the tag, I select the Layer Fx Studio. Drop shadows equate to Outer Shadow in Affinity Photo. You'll notice all the individual settings you can choose, much like the Adobe programs we're used to. I'll do a tutorial on drop shadows in Affinity Photo later this year.

Instead of the rectangular marquee tool, I could have chosen the Freehand Selection Tool. Note that there are other nested options like magnetic and polygonal. The steps that follow would be the same.

Another selection option is the Smart Selection Brush Tool. It definitely is smart! I just tap my finger over one of the hearts and it's selected. If I choose Add in the context menu at the bottom I can select several hearts and then erase them with the Eraser Tool.

This process is a couple more steps than accomplishing the task in Photoshop by drawing the rectangle and just hitting the delete key but all in all it’s fairly simple. But maybe there's an easier way...

Just like before, I'm in the Selections Persona and select the part of the ribbon to delete with the Polygonal Selection Tool. (note that I am on a pixel layer)

If I wanted to I could invert the selection here and remove the other part of the layer.

So I'm back in the Photo Persona and I LONG PRESS my finger on the screen. A pop-up menu reveals the long awaited Delete button. Voila, I can click it and the selected part of the ribbon is gone.

As with other photo-editing programs, many of the tutorials you can find on the internet are actually about photo-editing vs how to use the program for what WE want to do, digital scrapbook. There are plenty of tutorials on the developer Serif's website, YouTube tutorials and a number of Facebook groups on the subject of Affinity. I've watched a bunch of them, some more scrappy helpful than others but your digi friends are always happy to answer questions and share their new found skills. In one of my trips down the Affinity tutorial rabbit hole I found the magic delete button.

I hope this was helpful if you're new to app scrapping like I am. It's likely I'll have future tutorials on digital scrapbooking in Affinity Photo as I'm scrapping a lot with it these days. If you have any questions or perhaps another/better way to accomplish this skill, I'd love it if you shared with all of us in the comments.

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