From time to time, any photographer needs to remove objects from a composition. When you take photos outside, unexpected objects can come into the frame in the last second. Or you simply change your mind and decide to remove an object because it distracts the viewer from your focal point. Regardless of your reasons, it shouldn’t be a complicated task. Check out the following instructions to remove objects in Affinity Photo without affecting image quality.
Step-by-Step: How to Remove Objects in Affinity Photo
While Adobe Photoshop and other photo editors may provide multiple ways to remove objects, Affinity Photo focuses on one efficient tool: the Inpainting Brush Tool. Here is how to use the Inpainting Brush Tool step by step.
Step 1: Open the Image in Affinity Photo
Go to File->Open and choose the image you want to edit. For example, choose a photograph of a stunning sunset ruined by the unexpected passing of a bird.
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Step 2: Zoom In to See the Unwanted Object Very Clear
Affinity Photo provides several ways to zoom in. You can use the Zoom Tool from the Tools panel or press the key Z. Or you can use the Zoom slider from the Navigator panel. Also, you can keep the Ctrl key pressed and scroll to zoom in.
Step 3: Select the Inpainting Brush Tool to Remove Objects
Select the Inpainting Brush Tool from the Tools panel or press the J key until you get there. Affinity Photo has five tools in the same category as the Inpainting Brush Tool. Depending on which one you last use, it will take between one and five pressings of the J key to get to the Inpainting Brush Tool.
Note: If you’ve changed Affinity Photo’s default shortcut keys, use the shortcut you’ve attributed to this tool.
Step 4: Set Up the Inpainting Brush Tool Parameters
Affinity Photo allows you to remove objects from the current layer only or from all the layers below it too. You can also set up the size, opacity, flow, and hardness of the brush. Because you want to completely remove an object, set opacity, flow, and hardness to 100%. Then choose a brush size suitable for the size of the object. You want to brush over it as precisely as possible.
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Step 5: Remove Objects by Brushing Over Them
Brush over the object you want to remove. Affinity Photo processes the command when you release the left button of the mouse. You can go one click per time or brush over the entire object and then release the mouse.
Go well over the edges of the object and the spaces in between. Affinity Photo knows how to identify an area and takes care of the edges for you. However, make sure you don’t brush over elements you want to remain in the frame. For example, if you set up the size of the brush too high, you can remove not only the bird but the clouds around it too.
Step 6: Final Adjustments
If you still can see where the object was, you can use the Inpainting Brush Tool again and brush over the same area. Alternatively, you can use the Healing Brush Tool and paint over the affected area using a source area from nearby. The Healing Brush Tool works very well with smooth, uniform areas.
As best practice, place object removal and geometric transformation at the beginning of your editing workflow. Color and luminosity adjustments may cover small imperfections left behind by more invasive actions.
Bonus: How to Remove Objects with Regular Shapes in Affinity Photo
If you want to remove objects that are easily selectable such as objects with regular shapes, there is a shorter way to do it. Select the object using the regular selection tools. You can find them in the Tools panel or by pressing the M key.
You can also select the object with the Freehand Selection Tool, but you have to be very careful with the edges. For items with complex edges and inner spaces, the Inpainting Brush Tool is a better choice.
Then go to Edit->Inpaint or use the Alt+Backspace shortcut.
The selected object will magically disappear.
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If you know how to remove objects in Affinity Photo, you don’t worry so much about framing power wires, fences, or street signs. However, do your best to create the composition you want while taking the photo, and don’t rely entirely on post-processing. The beauty of photography is in its challenges. Experiment with different shooting angles and perspectives, learn to use your camera in less than perfect lighting conditions, and focus on delivering relevant stories rather than perfect images.
Did you use Affinity Photo or other editors to remove objects from your photos? What type of object were they, and why didn’t you want them in the picture? Let us know your editing reasons and techniques.