Can You Use Affinity Photo for Animation?

Individuals interested in animation are constantly looking for the best software to help them create their projects. Whether it’s for a personal or professional use, the right software can make all the difference. Affinity Photo has quickly become a popular choice for photographers, digital artists, and graphic designers, but is this budget-friendly software with its array of tools and features suitable for animation?

Affinity Photo is not equipped for animation. Instead, animators should opt for Affinity Designer paired with Adobe Effects. Knowing the differences between these programs can help ensure you use each to its fullest potential.

In this article, we will discuss what Affinity Photo is best used for versus Affinity Design and then provide a quick tutorial on how you can create stunning animations using Affinity Design tools and features.

Affinity Photo Vs. Affinity Designer

Unfortunately, if you had your eyes set on Affinity Photo for animation purposes, you’ll be disappointed to hear that it isn’t the best fit for these types of tasks. Its predecessor, Affinity Design, is actually the capable option of all the Affinity software.

Before we delve into how you can use Affinity Designer for all your animation needs, we think it’s important to highlight the differences between these two Affinity software, so you know exactly when to use each.

The predominant differences between Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are that Affinity Photo is as an alternative to comparable software like Photoshop, GIMP, and Pixelmator, and used primarily for image editing. Comparably, Affinity Designer is an alternative comparable to software like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, or Corel, and used primarily for digital art, animation, and graphic design.

If you’re looking for a more extensive breakdown of what sets these two apart and when to use one versus the other, we recommend looking at the chart listed below.

Affinity PhotoAffinity Design
– RAW and PSD editing

– Retouching and correction tools for skin

– Photo background alterations

– Raster graphics

– Photo compositions and photo merges (layers, masks, effects)

– Photo stitching
– Creating art from scratch

– Digital painting

– Panoramas HDR images

– Preparing small items for print (ex. business cards)

– Vector graphics such as logos, icons, branding items

There are several tasks you could complete efficiently in both software, especially since Affinity Photo allows vector and raster graphics, but it knowing each software’s individual strengths ensures you create stunning works in the most efficient and visually impactful way possible.

How to Animate in Affinity Designer

When it comes to animating with an Affinity software, the option that most people use is Affinity Designer, not Affinity Photo. That being said, the reality of using Affinity Designer is that it is not actually equipped with the tools to animate your graphics.

To create an animated piece using Affinity Designer, you’ll first create the subject you intend to animate in Affinity Designer using its extensive array of tools and features. Once the subject is complete, you’ll then save and export it to Adobe After Effects.

Adobe After Effects is a widely used program for creating animations of all kinds. With its many features and tools, it’s the perfect complement to Affinity Designer when it comes to animation. By exporting your file to Adobe After Effects, you’ll be able to add all the movement and effects that you want to bring your animation to life.

You can even pair Affinity Designer and Adobe After Effects with other programs, like Adobe Animate or Moho Pro for additional animation features, as well as Ableton SFX and Ableton Music if you want to add sound effects to your subjects and music to your overall animation.

Why Affinity Designer Over Affinity Photo for Animation?

You might be wondering why people use Affinity Designer over Affinity Photo for animation when, in reality, neither are equipped with animation tools.

If you have to export your work to a separate software entirely for animation, why not use Affinity Photo anyways?

The simplest answer is that people rarely create works in Affinity Photo that are meant for animation. As we mentioned previously, this software is typically used for photo editing and compositions using raster graphics. Affinity Designer, on the other hand, is much better equipped to help you create a subject for future animation using its numerous tools and vector graphics.

Using vector graphics over raster is crucial with animation because you will want to be able to manipulate the illustrations as much as possible without losing quality.

While you can make a subject using vector graphics in Affinity Photo, your tools and features are much more limited than Affinity Designer.

Can You Use Adobe After Effects Without Affinity Designer?

If you’re new to animation and digital art, in general, you might be wondering if you can skip the middleman entirely and create an entire animation from scratch in Adobe After Effects.

The short answer to this is, no. While you don’t have to use Affinity Designer exclusively, you will need to use a comparable software to create your animation subject. We recommend using one of the alternatives listed previously in our comparison, but realistically, you can use any software that allows you to save using a file format that is supported by After Effects. You can find those file types here.

Adobe After Effects is dedicated to animating uploaded/imported works. Therefore, you won’t be able to create and animate your work withing the same software.

As convenient as it would be to have one software that does it all, animating art is a two-step process that requires you to create your subject in one software and animate it in another.

Final Thoughts

Affinity Photo might not be the best option to pair with After Effects for animation, but if you want to stay within the Affinity family, then Affinity Designer is your best option. If these are not your preferred programs, you can create a stunning animation by pairing most graphics editing software with a digital visual effects and  motion graphics editor as long as you use the proper supported files.