5 things you should know about Affinity Photo 1.9

Our 1.9 update brings a host of new features to Affinity Photo. Here we take you through some of our favourites and explain how to get the most from them.

Affinity Photo 1.9 is here, and as usual, it is free to existing users on the platform(s) a licence has been purchased for.

If you’re an Affinity Photo user who needs some help updating to 1.9, we recommend you check out this handy guide—How to install Affinity updates.

Let’s take a look at what’s new in this latest release.

1. Linked layers

In 1.9, you now have the ability to duplicate linked layers, then unlink particular attributes, which is really beneficial for composite work. If you want to take it further, you can also link specific attributes of completely different layers, then manage everything on the intuitive Links panel.

James shows us some use cases for linked layers in this video.

2. Astrophotography stacking

One for the stargazers out there—in Photo 1.9 you are now able to stack deep sky astrophotography imagery, including FITs documents in addition to RAW files. This makes Affinity Photo one of the very few cross-platform apps that can perform the entire astrophotography post-production workflow, from stacking to powerful editing and retouching—all in 32-bit precision.

For stacking, you can auto-detect hot/cold pixels and manually highlight column defects to produce a cleaner stacked result. There’s also a dedicated background removal filter—fantastic for removing difficult background gradients (light pollution, airglow, moon illumination, sensor defects) after tone stretching.

Check out the tutorial below, plus five other in-depth Astrophotography videos on our website.

3. Hardware acceleration on Windows

Hardware acceleration uses your computer’s GPU devices to dramatically increase rendering performance for raster-based operations, such as compositing pixel layers, adjustment layers, live filters and raster tools. Mac users have enjoyed the benefits of Metal Compute hardware acceleration since version 1.7 and now Windows users can enjoy this same benefit and experience some massive performance gains, especially with more esoteric workflows like complex layer compositing in 16-bit or 32-bit pixel formats.

Here James explains how to enable and disable this feature on both platforms and how it can be beneficial.

4. Pattern layers

Create endlessly-repeating patterns just by simply painting into the bounds of this new layer format, then rotate, shear, scale, clip and mask it for some fantastic design ideas. What’s more, you can also create pattern layers from existing raster layers, giving you another approach to bitmap pattern fills for architecture and other design workflows.

In this video, James shows us how to add seamless raster textures and patterns to diagrams and illustrations using this new feature.

5. Studio presets

In Photo 1.9 you can create, save and recall different interface layouts with ease. You’ll find this incredibly useful if you have multiple users that prefer different layouts, or if you have specific workflow setups that you wish to toggle between—you might have dedicated layouts for colour grading, retouching, brushwork, vector design and compositing, just to name a few disciplines.

James runs through how to customise your workspace, save studio presets and quickly switch between them in this video.

And there’s more…

There are so many cool features packed into Affinity Photo 1.9, we found it hard to pick just five. Here are some other exciting new additions we really want to tell you about.

Live Liquify

A much-requested feature—in Photo 1.9 you have the ability to perform Liquify operations non-destructively using a live filter layer, rather than committing your changes to a pixel layer.

LUT improvements

You can now batch-import LUTs (lookup tables) to the Adjustment panel and quickly audition them on your document.

External file linking

Placed images and documents can now be linked externally. You will also find a dedicated Resource Manager dialog to manage these external files.

In this video, James explains how to enable linked resources, allowing you to place images and documents into your work that can be updated externally.

Custom brushes from layer selections

Image and intensity brushes can quickly and easily be created from pixel and mask layers—a fantastic way of speeding up brush creation workflows.

This feature opens up a variety of creative possibilities, some of which you can see in this video.

Divide blend mode

In an image editing workflow, this new blend mode helps you to correct difficult colour casts and opens up further tonal options when used with live filter layers.

James runs through some corrective and creative uses for the Divide blend mode in this tutorial.


Check out our 1.9 Affinity creative sessions

For even more information about this latest release, check out the 1.9 Affinity creative sessions led by our in-house product experts. They run through all the major updates to each app, and you can stream them at any time on our official YouTube channel.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel


Watch more tutorials

We have a fantastic range of video tutorials designed to help you get the most out of Affinity Photo 1.9 on our website.

Watch our tutorials


Find out more about our 1.9 updates:


Affinity Photo is currently 50% off

In response to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have once again cut the price of our apps by 50%—including the newly released 1.9 versions, so if you don’t have Affinity Photo yet, now is a great time to purchase a copy.

BUY NOW

The 90-day free trial of the Mac and Windows versions of the whole Affinity suite is also back for a limited time. For more details and to download the free trial, go to the Affinity website.

Existing users can download v1.9 free from their Affinity account.