Affinity Photo and Designer now support HDR monitors, improvements for Surface Pen, Dial

What you need to know

  • Both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are getting bumped up to version 1.7 today.
  • The updates bring a bunch of improvements, including HDR monitor support, performance increases, and additional ways to use the Surface Dial and Surface Pen.
  • The launch also comes with a deep 20 percent discount on both Photo (opens in new tab) and Designer (opens in new tab), bringing them down to $40.

Serif today is launched two major updates to its suite of creative apps across Windows, Mac, and iPad. Bringing both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer up to version 1.7, the updates include a range of big features, including support for HDR monitors and more ways to use the Surface Dial and Surface Pen.

This update marks the launch of GPU hardware excelleration on the Mac version, but it isn't quite ready yet for the Windows version (though it's in the works). Instead, Serif says is has introduced a new memory management system that should result in an up to four-times speed increase across many tasks on Windows. That's in addition to "upgraded" Surface Dial and Pen support, bringing new ways to interact with Affinity Photo and Designer.

HDR is also a big area of focus in this update, and Serif has included support for HDR and EDR monitors. This allows users to author content with HDR in mind, which is particularly important as it becomes more prevalent.

Of course, there are several other big improvements coming to each app. Here's a look at what's new:

Affinity Photo

  • Much improved RAW processing engine offering significantly faster loading of files, a new demosaicing algorithm, more effective noise reduction, hot pixel removal and wide colour space development.
  • Rewritten brush engine adding all-new multi-brushes, a symmetry mode (up to 32-way) and on-the-fly nozzle rotation with shortcut keys.
  • Batch processing is improved, a new assets panel is available for quick drag and drop of commonly used elements, and the layers panel has had a complete overhaul allowing the resizing of thumbnails and colour tagging.

Affinity Designer

  • New isometric controls allowing you to work directly on any isometric plane - or fit existing elements to a plane with a single click.
  • Vector shapes can now possess an unlimited number of strokes and fills, with complete freedom to interleave different attributes and control how they are blended together. Arrowheads have been added to the stroke panel too.
  • Improvements to almost all vector tools, including lasso selection of nodes, the pencil tool adding a sculpt mode, a new point transform tool as well as huge improvements to guides, grids and snapping.

The 1.7 update for both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer is available starting today. There's no charge for current users, who can grab the update immediately. If you're interested in checking out Serif's apps, you can grab them through July 3 at a 20 percent discount, dropping the desktop versions down to $40.

Cheap PC accessories we love

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

3 Comments
  • "excelleration" ?? The Affinity products (Photo/Designer/Publisher-upcoming) - are outstanding, meeting and surpassing Photoshop/Illustrator - without even taking the price into consideration - which is a bargain. Even if you are a die hard Adobe user/fan - these are worth picking up. (Grab them in the MS Store so you can easily install them on any device.) If you are new to higher end graphics design software, the Affinity products are the best place to start, as many of the more advanced concepts in Photoshop are presented in a much easier to understand model, especially when dealing with layers and the concept of 'smart/live' layers.
  • Meeting and surpassing... Use them. Love them, but they are definitely a compromise compared to Adobe.
  • I always tell people don't let the price fool you. Affinity products are extremely powerful for a ridiculously low price in my opinion. When I first saw them I assumed because of the price they were watered down mid level programs boy was I wrong. Both programs are incredible.