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Serif Re-Engineers Affinity Photo for ‘Massive Performance Improvements’

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Serif has released its latest 1.10 update to its image editor suite, Affinity Photo, alongside Affinity Designer and Publisher, which claims to bring “superpowered performance” with a completely re-engineered architecture.

The new major update is available today, with a free upgrade to all existing Affinity app users across all operating systems. The company says that the new update brings “a remarkably smoother, faster workflow and pretty outstanding speed increases” across all three apps.

“We’re proud that the Affinity apps already offer class-leading speeds in many tasks, and for our latest update we wanted to take a step back and really see what further levels of performance we could achieve,” says Ashley Hewson, Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif about the 1.10 update.

Overall, the majority of the improvements for Affinity Photo — which was listed as one of PetaPixel’s best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives — are identical across macOS and Windows versions and bring improved GPU rendering for a more efficient workflow when handling a large volume of layers and files.

Serif Labs RAW engine, PDF import and export, and Lens Correction for Canon, Tamron, and Sigma lenses have also been improved with the addition of CR3 file support for Canon EOS 850D (known as the T8i in the United States).

For astrophotography in particular, the latest update allows users to edit stacked image names for better organization and to stack images for different filters simultaneously using file groups, opens FITS files directly in Photo Persona, and provides support for Fujifilm X-Trans sensor images. For portrait and fashion photographers, the new “Median Blur” mode for the Frequency Separation filter brings new capabilities for editing skin texture.

The Affinity Photo update also brings improved performance with Panorama stitching, de-fringing, and increased maximum radius, multiple placed Info page samplers, adjustments layers when hardware acceleration is disabled, heavily layered documents — for faster rendering during panning and text reflow — and more. Performance has also been improved with placed images, embedded documents, and low-memory situations.

IME text editing for Japanese and Simplified Chinese languages has been improved alongside support for most emoji. In addition to tool and feature upgrades, Serif has also added various stability improvements and assorted other fixes.

Although this update heavily focuses on optimizing the workflow and is Serif’s biggest performance update ever — not just for Affinity Photo but also for Affinity Designer and Publisher users — the company does not state exactly how much of a performance boost photographers can expect compared to the previous version. In an earlier beta sneak peek, Serif demonstrated the performance working with 600,000 object layers in Affinity Designer, with a similar performance boost expected in Affinity Photo.

Full Affinity Photo update patch notes are available in macOS and Windows forum posts. Existing Affinity app users can install updates for free, with a guide available here.

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