Affinity Users - Assemble!

  • Hey gang,

    I posted a bit about this in my introduction thread, but:

    Anyone else out there making the switch from the Adobe suite to Affinity?

    I've been doing graphic design for ten years now - print mail and magazine layout, mostly. After trying out the Affinity suite of products in Beta, I realized that, for me, they could do everything I used Adobe softwares to do, for a fraction of the cost

    I had been wanting to take up digital painting for a while, and I used that as an excuse to learn Affinity Photo (AP) in a bit more detail. There are slight differences from Photoshop - but the learning curve really isn't very steep. I find I can follow most "how to paint in Photoshop" tutorials fairly easy in AP so long as I know slight tweaks in terminology and shortcuts.

    And now Affinity Publisher (Publisher or APub), Affinity's InDesign equivalent, has been named App of the Year by Apple! Its iOS version of AP already earned that accolade a couple years back, and Adobe's new Photoshop for iPad doesnt come close. There's a sea change a' comin', I tells ya’.

    A couple of people mentioned in that intro thread that they were going to check it out. Anyone else?

    Maybe we can use this thread as a source of support, help, collected knowledge on the Apps? Pooling our intellectual resources, and all that.

  • Moderator

    I’ve been using AP for little things this last couple of days, just trying to learn in small steps. I like that a lot of the keyboard shortcuts are exactly the same as PS. But I have to get used to the fact that there is just a tiny bit of difference in everything. Not bad, just different, so I’ll still have to watch the tutorials to figure out the tweaks, which I have to find time for. So that’s a bummer. I do love that price tag tho. 😃😂

  • Pro SVS OG

    @CosmoglotJay I’ve been using Affinity Designer on the iPad for a while. It’s a powerful software, no doubt, but I find the workflow very clunky compared to working on a computer. I’m used to dozens of shortcuts on the keyboard and work with one hand on the keyboard and one on the stylus. Not having that slows down the work immensely - in my case it takes at least double the time compared to Adobe Illustrator. I’m sure the computer version is very powerful, though.

  • I have Affinity Designer, and when I feel I need to, plan on purchasing the rest of the suite. Adobe is way too expensive for where I'm at - and probably never will be necessary at all.

  • @smceccarelli I agree with you there. I find working with vectors--Designer's focus--to just be much simpler with a mouse or trackpad than with a stylus or fingers. I'm most likely to use Designer on the iPad to get some simple ideas down or to tweak a project when I can't be near my laptop. Logo design goes a lot quicker for me on the PC.

    That said, I find working in Photo on the iPad to be much easier, and will move back and forth between the iPad and the laptop (where I have a regular old drawing tablet, no Cintiq or any such direct-input monitor). I don't even have an Apple Pencil yet (hoping to fix that come December 25th or so). I was just watching Will Terry's class on painting on the iPad in Procreate, and noticed that a lot of the hand gestures are the same for that program as for AP iPad.

  • @Basil-Godevenos That's just the plain truth, man. Particularly where illustration is concerned, I haven't found anything Photoshop does that AP can't. Drawing, painting, layer types, outputs, etc. (AP even reads Photoshop files.)

    Wow, I'm starting to sound like I'm sponsored by Affinity or something. Promise I'm not! (Unless ... does saving a whole bunch of money count as being sponsored?) 😉

  • When it comes to vector stuff, I'm finding I like Affinity Designer a lot better than Illustrator.

    Affinity Photo is a bit of a different story. If you were doing UI design or photo manipulation primarily, I'd say Affinity is better than Photoshop. But if you're doing a lot of custom design and digital painting, I don't think it can hold a candle to photoshop. That might change in the next few years when it catches up on brush dynamics.

    I've switched over to using both Publisher and Designer for vectors and page layouts though. I'm not seeing anything illustrator offers that I can't do just as or more easily than Illustrator or InDesign.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @CosmoglotJay Yes, ProCreate is a fabulous app and I don’t think I’d feel the need to change to a different one from painting on the iPad.
    Wishing you to get an Apple Pencil for Xmas then!

  • @jdubz that has me wondering - have you used Procreate? (I haven't.) I'm curious how you find it compares with Photoshop re: brush dynamics, and how that measures up against Photo's?

  • Pro SVS OG

    @CosmoglotJay Cannot comment for AP, but compared to PS the brush dynamics of ProCreate is better. The newest version is a pretty solid piece of software, with which you can do practically everything you can do in Photoshop (in terms of painting, not photo-editing). Some functionalities are still missing, but overall is a great tool for painting.

  • FWIW, I use Procreate almost exclusively. I'm a novice, so I'm not exploring the tool much in terms of pushing any particular style or anything, but I do enjoy working it in.

  • @CosmoglotJay I use Procreate a lot and the only brush that I haven't had much luck replicating is the watercolor brushes that Photoshop is capable of doing. I was hoping that the new 5.0 version could do it, but I'm finding that it's falling short a bit.

    I'm going to attempt to export the watercolor brush I use and see if importing it into Procreate will retain its capabilities but I'm not holding by breath.

    It's a really tough comparison because they do certain things better or worse than the other. For example, inking in Photoshop is terrible once you get used to it in Procreate. It's not even close. I love using both in different ways at this point. But, I could say if you're primary job was producing finished art, you could exclusively Procreate no problem.

  • I just got the Affinity Photo and Designer. I used Photoshop and illustrator in the WAYYYY back machine in the early 2000's(is that a thing) so understand basics minus upgrades. etc. Do you all have suggestions for videos or courses to watch or take to get up to speed on the new tools on the iPad?



  • Sure.

    Affinity has a few official YouTube channels:

    There’s also Affinity Revolution:

    And if you search you can find a bunch of other channels and videos too. Also the official Affinity forums are pretty helpful.

  • SVS OG

    @CosmoglotJay I just want to chime in that though I primarily use Clip Studio Paint for my illustration, I have switch from Adobe suite to Affinity (desktop versions) over the last few months for the graphic design stuff (like making a page of layout options for a client to look at.)

    There was a little bit of a transition to relearn how to do a few things, but Affinity has been awesome! They even have features I appreciate that Photoshop doesn't have. And for a one-time payment of about $50 for each program, it was totally worth it. The Adobe CC suite was almost $700/yr for me, and I paid $150 for 3 Affinity programs last year (that do everything I used Adobe for), so that's $0 this year for software, woo!

    There are a ton of Affinity tutorials and support out there, it's worth a look if you need a cheaper design solution!

  • Just a note to say that if anyone has been thinking of trying affinity, now is a good time. They're offering 3 months free trial and 50% off if you decide to buy:

Log in to reply