Serif’s Affinity Designer is a dynamic graphic design platform that has reimagined the way that users can design and create any type of visual communication. One of its most intriguing features is the use of Personas to bundle certain functions and tools together and perform certain types of tasks from a specially curated mode. In particular, the Pixel Persona is attracting a lot of positive attention.
Pixel Persona in Affinity Designer offers tools and functions that are specially curated toward working with raster-based, or pixelated, images. Having this feature built into Affinity Designer allows for a seamless transition between raster editing and vector editing within the same application.
While Affinity Designer might be better known for its highly affordable one-time payment model (as opposed to purchasing a subscription to use certain software), it is garnering a significant fanbase for its innovative functions. Chief among these is the Pixel Persona suite of raster tools. Keep reading to learn why users of all skill levels are so fond of this feature and why it has the potential to be a game changer.
What Is Pixel Persona in Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer from software developer Serif is the David to Adobe’s Illustrator, the Goliath of graphic design platforms. For decades, the latter has reigned supreme over the creative software space but the former has been steadily closing the gap thanks to innovative features that reimagine how graphic design programs can be used by people of all skill levels.
One of the most intriguing of these is the use of Personas in Affinity Designer. Basically, each Persona bundles specific tools to perform certain types of tasks. Of the three Personas built into Affinity Designer, it is the Pixel Persona that is turning the most heads and garnering the most positive feedback.
Pixel Persona is an exclusive bundle of tools that enable users to perform a wide variety of tasks exclusively within the realm of raster, or pixel-based, graphics. This unique capability built into the vector-based mainframe of Affinity Designer gives users the best of both design worlds.
To put it simply, with a simple point and click with the mouse, Affinity Designer can be transformed from a vector-based program to a raster-based editing platform. Pixel Persona is like having another graphic design program within a program, eliminating the need to switch over to a separate app just to work on raster-based elements or layers.
A Quick Primer on Raster vs Vector Images
To fully appreciate the value of Affinity Designer’s built-in Pixel Persona, it is helpful to understand the differences between raster-based images and vector-based images, the two standard formats in the graphic design universe.
- Vector images are created through the use of mathematical equations and geometric shapes (e.g., lines, curves, and fixed points) and can therefore be infinitely scaled without any loss of resolution. For this reason, vector files are said to be resolution-independent but they lack the fine detail and nuances of raster files.
- Raster images are composed of pixels, tiny colored blocks that, depending on their number in a particular file, can create incredibly rich and detailed images, like a photograph or an intricate drawing. While raster images typically correspond to higher-quality visual content, they have limitations as to scale and will appear pixelated if enlarged beyond their original resolution.
Having both capabilities within the same platform and being able to switch effortlessly between the two is a graphic designer’s dream. And Affinity Designer makes it possible with its Pixel Persona.
The Benefits of Using Pixel Persona in Affinity Designer
Generally speaking, the main benefit of using Pixel Persona in Affinity Designer is being able to seamlessly switch between vector-based editing functions and raster-based touch-up features with the click of a mouse button. From a workflow standpoint, this ability amounts to game-changing efficiency.
Switching Affinity Designer into Pixel Persona means that a bevy of raster-based editing tools is instantly placed at the user’s digital fingertips and the fineness of detail, vibrancy of colors, and nuances of shading that are not possible with vector graphics, are now made possible. Here is a sampling of the raster editing tools that can be found in Pixel Persona:
- Pixel tool for intricate brush and detail work
- Effortless darkening and lightening through the use of the Pixel Persona’s built-in burn brush and dodge brush tools
- Various paint brushes with a wide range of brush sizes for painting various visual effects onto an image
- Multiple selection tools including freehand selection (click and drag) and brush selection (painting over the desired area)
- Coloring areas of an image is an effortless task with the Pixel Persona’s flood fill tool
- Create unique visual effects using digitally rendered smudges with charcoal, graphite, or chalk
- The blurring tool can be used to soften bold or dark edges
- To create greater clarity within an image, the sharpening brush can be used to boost the contrast between neighboring pixels
- No raster editing tool set would be complete without an eraser and the Pixel Persona’s eraser tool can undo mistakes and remove unwanted portions of an image no matter how large, small, or intricate
With such powerful raster editing tools at the user’s disposal, Affinity Designer with its Pixel Persona is truly a one-stop shop for any graphic design project.
How To Use Personas in Affinity Designer
There are three distinct Personas integrated into Affinity Designer: Designer Persona, Pixel Persona, and Export Persona. Switching between these different modes is as simple as clicking the icon corresponding to the desired Persona on the main toolbar or making a selection from the Personas list on the File menu.
Affinity Designer is by default a vector-based platform with a robust raster-based toolset contained in its Pixel Persona. In normal operating mode (vector graphics editing), Affinity Designer is in Designer Persona.
The Export Persona is used exclusively for selecting images (or portions of them) for exporting in a variety of available formats.
Every now and then in the world of computer software, a newly released program provides consumers with a compelling alternative that challenges the old guard. Such is the case with Affinity Designer, which is giving longtime favorites like Adobe Illustrator a good run for their money with innovative features like Pixel Persona, that give Affinity Designer dual-format editing capabilities.