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Understanding mesh warp and perspective live raster filters in Affinity Designer

Use non-destructive mesh warp and perspective filters for distorting placed images and documents.

With the term filters being a photo-editing concept you may be wondering why these two filters are now available in Affinity Designer. Andy answers this key question and describes how and why they’re used.


Originating from Affinity Photo, these filters are designed to complement the Vector Warp feature, new to Affinity Designer 2. The latter is designed for out-and-out vector warping of text and shapes while the former (the filters) are perfect for distorting raster content such as placed images or embedded documents. Think of the two warping approaches as being complementary–one for vector, one for raster.

The Live Mesh Warp filter is used to distort specific areas of a placed image without affecting other regions.

Page curl effect created with a Live Mesh Warp filter.

The Live Perspective filter lets you apply a perspective effect to a placed image to make it appear more naturally in a design that already displays a sense of perspective.

Movie billboard image placed 'in-perspective' using a Live Perspective filter.

For placed embedded documents, you can use either filter to present warped document contents in the same way. If artboards are present in the document, you’ll be able to swap to another artboard design post-warp with ease, as well as edit the document in-session.

Embedded UI design document placed 'in-perspective' on an iPad mockup using a Live Perspective filter.

Why you’d use them

Here are a few examples of their use:

Mesh Warp filter

  • Mock-up designs—-brand logos on mugs, glasses, and other merchandise
  • Mixed vector/raster designs–placed third-party logo graphics

Perspective filter

  • Mock-up designs–billboards, mobile phones, tablets (iPad)
  • Architectural design–for enhancing CAD building designs with photos

What are the Live filters’ key features?

  • Non-destructive–they are called “Live” because you can fine-tune or remove the warp at any time. The placed image or document is never affected.
  • Warping power–They possess all the warping power of the same raster filters in Affinity Photo.
  • Editing control–Nodes, like those of the Pen Tool, can be moved or added for more complex mesh warping.
  • Warp documents as well as images–as mentioned, placed Affinity Designer documents can be warped, but this extends to documents from other Affinity apps, PDFs and Adobe Photoshop (PSD).

What about vector objects only–can they be warped?

As a rule, stick to Vector Warp for vector objects only. For mixed raster and vector warping, or pure raster warp only, use the Mesh Warp/Perspective filters instead.

Can I raster warp both vector and raster content?

The filters work on a mixture of vector objects and raster images, rasterising any included vector objects at export time.

Where can I find them in Affinity Designer?

  • For Designer desktop, both filters can be found in Designer’s Pixel Persona under Layer>New Live Filter Layer.

  • For Designer iPad, go to Pixel Persona, then on the Layers panel, select from the Add menu.

If you’re interested in finding out more and how to use them, try out the Help’s Mesh Warp or Perspective filter topics. Have fun!

Documentation manager

Andy manages our software documentation here at Serif and is our chief technical writer. In-between falling off his bike cycling into work, he keeps himself busy ensuring all our apps have up to date and accurate help content, and is editor-in-chief of our stunning Affinity Workbooks.

Credits & Footnotes

‘Miami’ illustration created by Giordano Poloni

‘Concrete’ magazine cover designed by Matt Searston

‘Flight’ poster created in-house using Shutterstock imagery