Have you ever taken a photo of something you really wanted to keep, but there was an unwanted object in the background? Do you wish to remove the object without having to retake the photo, or crop it? Do you want to get rid of skin flaws, scars, or acne from your selfies or your professional portraits?
Don’t worry, Affinity Photo has a number of tools that will allow you to achieve all of the above! There are a variety of ways to remove backgrounds, erase unwanted objects, hide blemishes, make selections, etcetera. In this article, we will go through Affinity Photo’s Retouching Tools and how to use them. Buckle up and let’s get started!
Before we start however, it’s important to note all these healing tools are destructive. This means that they will permanently change the image when you use them. So, always work on a copy of your photo and be sure to save the original in case you need it later. Another alternative would be to add a new pixel layer and apply the tools as necessary with this layer selected.
Removing an unwanted object
The Inpainting Brush Tool is the perfect tool for removing unwanted objects from photos. Fortunately, it’s very easy to use and doesn’t require any advanced skills or knowledge about Affinity Photo.
The Inpainting Brush is a digital painting tool that allows you to paint over areas in your photo with the selected colour or texture. The brush strokes will be visible in your photo, so it’s important to be careful when using this tool.
In order to remove an unwanted object from your photo, firstly you have to make sure that the image is selected. The selected layer should be a ‘Pixel’ layer for the Inpainting Brush Tool to work.
If this is not the case, right-click on the layer from the Layers Panel and click on ‘Rasterize…’ to transform the ‘image’ layer into a ‘pixel’ layer. Next, you have to select the Inpainting Brush Tool (Shortcut: J) from the toolbar located to the left side of your screen. This tool is one of five Healing Tools that are available in Affinity Photo.
When you select the Inpainting Brush Tool, you will see multiple options in the contextual toolbar that will allow you to customize the tool to suit your needs. Ideally, the size of the brush should be similar to the size of the object you want to remove.
In order to remove the object, simply paint over it with the brush. If you make a mistake while using this tool, don’t worry! Affinity Photo allows you to undo your last few steps by pressing Ctrl+Z on Windows and Cmd+Z on Mac.
The following example demonstrates how to use the Inpainting Brush Tool to remove an unwanted object from a photo. The before and after images show how this tool was used to erase the unwanted twig. If some parts of the object you want to remove remain visible, keep painting over them until they are removed.
Hiding skin flaws
There are various tools in Affinity Photo that can be used to hide skin flaws, scars, and acne. The Blemish Removal Tool is a great option for this, and it’s very easy to use. The Blemish Removal Tool is another Healing Tool which can be found in the Toolbar.
The Blemish Removal Tool allows you to select and remove skin blemishes quickly and easily. In order to use this tool, first make sure that the image is selected and that the layer is a ‘pixel’ layer. Then, select the Blemish Removal Tool from the toolbar and adjust the size of the brush to suit your needs from the Contextual Toolbar.
The following example demonstrates how to use the Blemish Removal Tool to hide skin flaws in a photo.
What is the Healing Brush Tool used for?
The Healing Brush Tool is another one of Affinity Photo’s five healing tools which can be used can be used for a variety of tasks such as cloning, such as to remove imperfections and repair certain areas of your image.
This is done by selecting an area of the photo that you would like to clone, and then ‘painting’ over the imperfection with the Healing Brush Tool to blend it with the background.
Affinity Photo also gives you control over how much or how little of the original image is used for cloning by adjusting the Opacity. Other options that will allow you to customize the tool are available in the contextual toolbar.
This tool is best used for repairing small areas in your photo, and it’s not recommended for removing large objects or backgrounds. Such objects include spots, wrinkles, pimples, and other defects which may not related to the skin such as mismatching tones, textures and colours.
The Healing Brush Tool may also be useful after using the Blemish Removal Tool to get rid of any remaining blemishes which could not be completely removed. Furthermore, this tool is useful when an inpainted object is not completely removed or when you need to repair a photo which had some parts retouched.
The Healing Brush Tool would select an area of your photo which is closer in tone and colour to that of where you want it replaced. Then it automatically uses pixels from around the object you are trying to remove, and blends them in with your image. This means that it is important for there to be similar textures or tones near where you want to repair your photo.
The following set of images thoroughly explain how to use the Healing Brush Tool.
What is the Patch Tool?
The Patch Tool is a Retouching Tool which is similar to the Healing Brush Tool in Affinity Photo. It can be used for removing objects or backgrounds from photos, but it’s best when removing larger areas of an image such as backgrounds and large scale defects. In order to use this tool effectively, you should select either ‘Source’ mode or ‘Destination’ mode.
Source mode will allow you to select the area of the photo that you want to use as a patch, and then Affinity Photo will automatically clone it over the selected area. Destination mode will let you drag an image or selection onto the document, which will then be used as the source for cloning.
When using this tool, it’s important to keep in mind that the lighter areas of your image are more easily blended into Affinity Photo’s background, while dark or black tones tend to be less visible. It may also help you remove objects if there is a range of different textures and colours surrounding it.
The Patch Tool is available in the toolbar, and can be accessed by selecting it from the fly-out menu. It gives you more choice over the area you want to clone, and is especially useful for removing large areas of an image.
The following images are a step-by-step guide on how to use and perfect the Patch Tool.
Removing Red Eyes
The Red Eye Removal Tool is a quick and easy way to remove red eye from your photos. The tool is used by first selecting the area around the eyes which you want to fix. Affinity Photo will then automatically detect any red areas and correct them.
This tool is especially useful for removing red eye from the eyes of your subjects, and it’s most effective when used on animal or human eyes. As with other tools in Affinity Photo, this tool will not work well if there are complex tones and textures in the area you are trying to fix. The Red Eye Removal Tool is available in the toolbar with the other Healing Tools.
Take a look at these images to understand how the Red Eye Removal Tool works.
Clone Brush Tool
The Clone Brush Tool is a Retouching Tool which can be used to copy and paste pixels from one part of an image to another. This tool is especially useful for removing or replacing objects in photos, and it’s available in the toolbar.
The Clone Tool is different from the Healing Brush Tool as it does not blend the copied pixels with the background. It simply copies and pastes them onto the new area, and they will need to be fixed manually. It is best used when you want to add, multiply or remove objects within an image.
The Clone Brush Tool can also be used to add texture and patterns to Affinity Photo’s background. This tool is especially useful when creating composites, as it can be used to add textures such as grass or skin onto another image. The Clone Brush Tool should always be used with a soft brush, in order for the pixels copied from one area of your photo to blend seamlessly into the background.
This tool is also useful to fix or tidy parts of the image which were retouched by cloning in some of the missing details This will help to improve the overall photo and make it look more professional and neat.
As you can see in the image below, we removed the bike using the Clone Tool.
Affinity Photo is a great tool for photographers and designers who want to create professional-looking images without the need of expensive software. The program includes tools functions for removing unwanted objects, hiding imperfections and other retouching exercises.
The Inpainting Brush, the Blemish Removal Tool, the Healing Brush Tool, the Patch Tool, the Red Eye Removal Tool and the Clone Brush Tool are some of Affinity Photo’s best retouching Tools which can be used to remove objects from photos. We hope that you found this blog post useful and that you’ll continue to follow us for more photo-editing tips just like this one!