Ripple Crunched Effect (Dr Who like intro) for Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2022



How to create a ripple crunched intense effect in Affinity Photo (as well as use in Affinity Designer and Publisher if you have Photo via the persona feature).

1. Layers

The key thing is with all equations filter effects is that you have a start point image or layer to work on other it will just not work. The end result of the whole thing does depend on the source image so if you just have a solid color layer or image etc or text say then the end result may not look that great but if you have an intricate or colorful design, well, the result will be far more impressive.

2. Equation to use to create the effect

The formula to plugin into your equation is

x = sqrt(rx*rx + ry*ry) - sqrt((rx-w*a)*(rx-w*a) + (ry-h*b)*(ry-h*b))/c

y = c*10*sqrt(rx*rx + ry*ry) - sqrt((rx-w*a)*(rx-w*a) + (ry-h*b)*(ry-h*b))/c

mirror or wrap etc

3. Equations filter

But before we get to that, it is only available via the filters menu and is not (as yet) a live filter layer. Go to the distort menu and select the equations.


Set the angular units to radian and use Cartesian


You will now see an x field, enter the

sqrt(rx*rx + ry*ry) - sqrt((rx-w*a)*(rx-w*a) + (ry-h*b)*(ry-h*b))/c code into that field, not the x= bit otherwise it will not work and you will have no ripple crunched effect at all.


Go to the y field and enter c*10*sqrt(rx*rx + ry*ry) - sqrt((rx-w*a)*(rx*a) + (ry*b)*(ry*b))/c


You will notice that you still have no effect, you need to go to the extend mode and select mirror or wrap etc

4. Change parameters settings (a, b, and c)

You can now reduce or increase the value of the a and b and c parameters used by the filter to create the ripple crunched effect. You can also re-position the origin point for the end result by clicking and dragging on the layer. Sadly there is no preset feature associated with the equations filter as yet, really hope they will add that, a workaround for that is to use a macro and repeat via that

5. Relative x and y

So what is the ripple crunched formula made up, well you will see a lot of rx and ry in the formula and that enables you to move the result within the layer, if that was just x and y then you would not be able to move the layer.

6. Sqrt

There are also a number of sqrt functions in there and they help to give that crunched ripple effect. As with all the equations, you can change it and add some additional rx and ry as well as add in some additional sin and cos etc functions etc into your equation. If you make any changes I would recommend that you make a note of them in a file so you can duplicate the formula at a later time.

7. Blending of layers

You can also duplicate the layer and then apply the filter to the duplicated layer and that will distort the layer which can then be duplicated and combined in multiple ways because of the transparency of the layer.

8. Fade / repeat

You can also repeat the ripple crunched effect multiple times via the repeat at the top of the filters menu and the end result can be quite dramatic with multiple ripples applied. You can also fade the ripple crunched effect via the layer menu fade and introduce blending modes and opacity into the effect.

9. Use effect with channels

You can also apply the ripple checked effect to channels so use the channels panel and use the red channel and apply the effect and then change the settings to the green etc.

10. Use with selections

You can also use the ripple crunched effect combined with selections

11. Convert result to a pattern layer

The new pattern layer from selection feature is also super useful with the ripple crunched effect and that can be found via the layers menu. Once you have created your pattern layer, you may wish to select the move tool and then set the mirror option to ON in the top left. You can then use the ripple crunched effect again and again to the pattern layer as well as the rasterized form of the pattern layer.

12. Recorded features

It is a pity that there is no time lapse recording feature in Affinity Photo as it would be superb if this effect could be captured as you change the a and b and c parameters of the filter.