How to Import Textures into Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is one of the most popular photo manipulation and graphic design applications. It can help you add depth to your photos, create eye-catching graphics, or perfect your company’s logo. But, if you’re looking to add textured overlays to your design, you may be wondering, “how do I import textures into Affinity Designer?”

To import textures into Affinity Designer, you will first have to download a texture off the internet or create your own and save it to your computer. Then, you can use the “File” menu and “Place” option to open the texture directly on your screen.

Below, we’ll discuss more information on importing textures into Affinity Designer. Keep reading to learn more!

» MORE: Can You Use Illustrator Brushes in Affinity Designer?

How to Import Textures into Affinity Designer

Before you can import a texture into Affinity Designer, you will need to create or download one. Once you have your texture ready, follow these steps to import it and add texture to your image:

  1. Go to the main menu bar at the top of your screen and click “File,” then “Place.” This will open an import window.
  2. Select the texture you want to use and import it to Affinity Designer.
  3. After the window closes, your cursor will change to an arrow. Move the cursor to the top-left corner of the image, then click and drag to stretch the texture and move it where you want it to appear. 

The texture will appear as a new layer. After completing the above steps, you can adjust the layer’s blend mode to appear over the image as you’d like.

How to Import Textured Brushes into Affinity Designer

Instead of using a full overlay, many people prefer to use textured brushes to give only part of the design a textured look. While importing new brushes into Affinity Designer does require a few more steps than importing a textured overlay, the process is still relatively simple. Follow the steps below to do so:

  1. Find the Brush Panel on your screen.
  2. At the top right corner of the Brush Panel, you’ll see a dropdown menu. Click on this, then choose “Import Brushes.”
  3. Select the .afbrushes files you’d like to import.

This method will work for any Affinity brushes you’ve downloaded off the internet. However, if you’d like to create and use your own textured brushes in your designs, you will have to follow a different process.

How to Create and Use Textured Brushes in Affinity Designer

You can use nearly any image as a brush. This gives you a wider range of options as far as textures go, as well as a way to use unique textures you cannot find online. To create and use a textured brush in Affinity Designer:

  • Create and export your design
  • Import the file as a textured image brush
  • Adjust the brush’s properties

Below, we will discuss each of these three steps in more detail.

Create and Export Your Design

Open Affinity Designer and draw the texture you’ll use as a brush. Then, use Affinity’s Export Persona feature to export it through the following steps:

  1. Open Export Persona by clicking the icon at the top of the screen. This icon looks similar to a typical “Share” button.
  2. Within the Export Persona menu, open the “Layers” tab and select the layer you want to use as a brush.
  3. At the bottom of the export menu, select “Create Slice.” A blue box should appear around the object.
  4. Now, click the “Slices” tab next to the Layers tab and expand the menu. Export the file in .PNG format and choose 1x as the size.

Once you’ve completed all the steps above, you can click on the white icon to the right of your newly-created slice. Choose an export location and name your brush. 

Import the File as a Textured Image Brush

After the file finishes exporting, you can import it as a textured image brush. Go back to the Designer screen and find the Brush Panel. Click the dropdown menu on the right corner, and select “New textured image brush.” After importing your .PNG file, the design will be available as a brush.

Adjust the Brush’s Properties

Before you begin painting textures on your design, you will probably want to adjust your new brush’s aesthetic properties. To do so, double-click on the brush in the menu to open the Brush Editor. Here, you can change the brush’s:

  • Body
  • Size
  • Width
  • Opacity

The one thing you cannot do with textured image brushes is directly change their color. You can, however, create an adjustment layer. Open the Layer menu, then choose “New Adjustment” and “Recolor.” This will allow you to change the color of the brush strokes on-screen.

Final Thoughts

Importing textured overlays into Affinity Designer is a very simple process. All you need to do is place the overlay on top of your design, then adjust the Blend Mode and opacity as you see fit. While creating and importing textured brushes is not as straightforward, it is still relatively easy and will allow you to take your designs to professional levels.