Add noise filter in Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2022

How to use the powerful add noise filter in Affinity Photo, how to use more than once, use the add noise on layers, combine with macros, how to use the add noise filter with Affinity Photo channels, how to combine with other filters such as the diffuse filter etc


1. Where ?

The feature can be found in the noise category in the filters menu.

2. options

The tool only has two options, intensity and type. The intensity setting can be set to 100% though weirdly the intensity can be set to more than 100% but the result looks different. How ? You can use the interactive dragging across the screen and it does increase the value and the result is a lot more grain than the basic 100% setting which is really odd. You can also set it to Gaussian or normal, they are subtly different. You can also have monochromatic (gray) as well if you wish.

3. Apply once or multiple times

You can use it multiple times or once as well as combine them with other filters. Applying the multiple times means you can generate a greater grain effect than a single apply. The application can also be recorded and stored as a macro and then added to the library. You can also vary the settings from apply to apply to create a variety of grains.

4. with a layer

It, like all the others in the application, need something to work with so you need a layer and the layer can be anything such as a gradient or photo or pattern design or more. It can be used to add subtle grain to an image but it can also be used to add extreme speckled grain to an image. You can also use the effect on a duplicate layer and then use blending modes to combine the effect with the underlying image as well as use opacity. Many different kinds of grain effects can be achieved simply by using two or more layers with the same image and also using blending modes to combine them. You can perhaps vary the settings between the layers as well to create an even more interesting combination of the effect

5. fade

You can do much the same with the layer menu and fade command where you can use the blending modes and opacity to change the effect. If you apply another effect in between, you will lose the facility to modify and fade the original effect.

6. Channels

The effect can also be applied in different color channels and you can do that by displaying the channels panel (find it in the view menu and studio and channels). Select the red channel and then apply the effect with a particular set of settings. You can then repeat with the green channel but apply it with a different intensity setting etc. You don't have to apply it to all the channels and you can also use the effect multiple times.

7. Using selections

Selections can also be used with the effect and you can create all kinds of selections such as freehand ones as well as tonal etc and once you have your selection, apply the command to the current selection. The selection can also be changed and modified and the effect can be applied again.

8. Combine

You can also use it in combo with other filters such as deform filter where you can distort the effect in all kinds of ways. The deform can be repeated and repeated to stretch the grain in many different ways and you can then combine multiple layers of these deformed layers. You can also use with blurring effects such as lens blur filter to create really weird effects as well as using it with distortion effects such as lens distortion filter as well as others.

9. Macros

It can also be used with the macro feature which can be found in the view menu and studio and macro and combining with effects such as depth of field blur filter and others. All kinds of combinations of filters can be used such as repeat applies of the grain and then followed by a Gaussian blur filter and then a deform filter and then auto level. Once you have added everything into a macro, you can save this to the library as well as playback the macro multiple times to create all kinds of unique effects.

10. pattern layers

You can also use it with pattern layers. You can create a pattern layer from any selection via the layer menu and the source can be the noisy effect and you can also add the effect to the layer itself. Select a region of the effect and then go to the layer menu and new pattern layer from selection and then go to the move tool and set the mirror option on in the top left and then you can rotate and scale your layer. Multiple add layers can be added and the layers can be scaled and rotated and the resulting layer can be blended in countless ways

11. Live Layers

It is also available in the live filter layers command in the layer menu. You can add more than one layer and the different combination of layers will result in all kinds of unique designs. You can vary the settings of the effect and use blending modes and opacity between these live layers. You can also live edit the effect as it is a non destructive effect. If you want to edit the result at any point, go to the layers panel (view menu and studio) and then double click the entry and you can then change the intensity as well as uniform or Gaussian. You can also then change the blending mode as well as opacity.


Panel and intensity and uniform / Gaussian as well as monochromatic

100% extreme where the image virtually vanishes

You can repeat the grain effect via the top entry in the menu

You can create all kinds of combinations of layers as well as the pixel effect

You can fade it so the image is more clearly visible

You can use the effect in channels such as red, green and blue

You can use it with selections to limit the range

Deform can be used to warp the effect in all kinds of way

Pattern layers are perfect with this grain

Live layers are super useful