Affinity Photo Diffuse Filter Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2021

The Affinity Photo diffuse filter is found via noise category and is a powerful noise effect that can totally dissolve an image or just add a subtle noise to the edge of an image and much more.

** Youtube video tutorial on noise effect of the diffuse filter in Affinity Photo **

diffuse filter

1. Where in the diffuse filter tutorial

The diffuse filter for Affinity Photo can be found in the noise category of the filters menu. The diffuse filter can be used multiple times or once and can be combined in millions of ways with the other filters.

diffuse filter menu command

2. Use the diffuse filter with text, images etc

The diffuse filter can be used with images and type as well as with brush strokes and fonts designs.

diffuse filter text

You can also use the diffuse filter with shapes, vector shapes that are created by the shape tools or perhaps shapes created with the pen tool and manipulated by the node tool.

diffuse filter shapes

3. Diffuse filter and repeat applies

You can repeat apply the diffuse noise filter either with the same setting or by changing the diffuse settings (there is only one) you can get a very different effect added. You can run through all the different blending modes such as darken or lighten or divide or difference as well as changing the opacity of the applied effect.

diffuse filter repeat affinity photo

4. Diffuse filter and combine filters

You can also combine the diffuse filter effect with others and if you wish you can record the various steps via the macro panel and replay it on other images. You can combine it effectively with many different filters such as Gaussian blur filter as well as box blur filter and deform filter and many others. You can then blend the effects using the fade command. You can also record the steps via the macro panel and play them back over and over to create all kinds of unique designs from any image, you can use the diffuse with subtle settings and apply 30 times with different blends to create very unique diffusing effects.

diffuse filter combine

5. Fade command and diffuse filter

You can also use the diffuse filter with the powerful fade command found in the layer menu, the fade allows you to blend the result with different blending modes such as difference, lighter color, overlay and more. You can also modify the opacity of the effect / original image

fade the last command with blending modes in affinity photo

5. Use the filter effect with layers

You can use the diffuse filter in Affinity Photo with layers, especially powerful if you reduce the size of the newly duplicated layer and then apply the effect. You can then take the result of that and distort it in 1000s of ways with the powerful mirror and deform filters.

using multiple layers and blending modes with the diffuse filter

6. Use the diffuse filter with color channels

You can use channels with the diffuse filter, just go to the channels panel found in the view menu and studio. You can then select the red channel and apply the diffuse to that with one set of settings and then go to the blue channel etc with a different set as well as combine with other filters such as deform or blur.

diffuse and channels - use red and green etc

7. Use with selections

Selections are also super useful with the diffuse filter as you can apply the diffuse effect to a selected area created via the select menu or via the selection tools such as freehand or rectangle marquee. You can then move the selection and then apply a different diffuse filter effect on that.

selections to limit the diffuse filter noise

8. Diffuse with the Affinity Photo pattern layer

The diffuse filter can also be used in combo with the powerful pattern layer from selection, so you can create some truly awesome diffuse patterns as well as again combine with other filters in the distort menu etc. If you scale down the image and then apply the diffuse filter then a high setting will totally blast the image, it is probably a good idea to reduce the value of the intensity setting.

diffuse and pattern layers

9. Diffuse filter options

After selecting the diffuse filter, the panel appears with only one option, intensity. Set the value to a low value for a very subtle diffuse effect, set it to the maximum the image is basically just noise.

diffuse and high setting in affinity photo

10. Live filter layers and noise

You can also use the diffuse filter via the layer menu and the live filter layers, it is in the same category of noise.

diffuse filter and noise and live filter layers in affinity photo

The live filter layer is live and can be edited quickly to change the intensity as well as the blending mode of the layer by double clicking the entry in the layers panel. The diffuse effect is also applied to the entire image or layers below or it is applied to one layer only. You can also combine it with color options via the adjustment layers

diffuse and live filter layer panel

11. Re-color diffuse filter

You can use the layer menu and new adjustments layers such as HSL or vibrance etc to re-color the underlying diffuse noise effect so instead of just having a basic colorful noise, you can change it to different colors. You can also add a solid or gradient etc layer above and re-color the diffuse effect by using different blending modes with the color layer.