Symmetry : Mirror Filter and Pattern Layers in Affinity Photo Tutorial

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By Andrew Buckle, Updated : 2022




How to create truly elaborate and exquisite designs in Affinity Photo, combine mirror filter with the super powerful pattern layers selection feature in Affinity. You can do much of below in any number of combinations and orders

1. Layers

Open an image and then go to the layer menu and duplicate the layer so you have a new layer to work with or perhaps create a new layer via a shape design. You should have two or more layers in your layers panel (found via the view menu and studio command). Scale / reduce in size the duplicated layer

2. Layer effects

You can now add additional effects to the layer such as layer effects via the FX at the bottom of the layers panel. You can add bevels and shadows etc. When you come to rasterize the layer, always remember to deselect the preserve check box otherwise the bevel etc will remain.

3. Mirror filter effect

Either apply the mirror filter first or use a selection from the current layer, up to you. You can now apply the mirror filter (found in the distort menu of the filter menu) to this layer and change the origin and number of mirrors etc and click apply.

4. Pattern layer from selection

You can then select a part of the current mirrored design by using either the entire image or using say the freehand or rectangular selection tool and then go to the layer menu and new pattern layer from selection command. You will see a pattern design created though the default pattern is often not as elegant as the seamless tile option. Select the move tool and then go to the mirror option in the top left corner. Click that and the pattern will then be seamless, this is not the default action for some reason.

5. Re-size pattern layer etc

You will now see your pattern layer and you will see this also in the layers panel. You will also see the bounds of the pattern layer and you can re-size that and move it and rotate etc. You can also go to the filter menu and distort and mirror and apply the mirror effect to that and change the origin as well as the number of mirrors and the input and output, click apply. You can then modify the origin point and size of the pattern layer again and repeat the mirror filter and so on.

6. Rasterize

If you wish you can rasterize the whole pattern layer by going to the layer menu and rasterize and now you will just have a pixel layer matching the original pattern layer. You can then, if you wish, repeat the process

7. Multiple layers and combine

You can also create multiple layers which can have the same mirror / pattern etc applied and you can then combine all the layers in a final design or perhaps using the blending mode and opacity features of the layers panel.