EASY Selections With The Affinity Photo Pen Tool (2023)


Do you have problems using the Pen Tool in Affinity Photo and so avoid it? If you do, this video may the solution to your problems.

In this video I share a simple way to use the Affinity Photo Pen Tool to create Selections and Masks. It also shows you an easy way to refine these Selections and Masks using the Node Tool to make them extremely accurate. Even if you have experienced difficulties in the past when trying to use the Pen Tool, I think you will find this method easy to apply.

► Pen Tool Tutorial: lenscraft.co.uk/photo-editing-tutorials/affinity-photo-pen-tool/

- Essential Affinity Photo 2: bit.ly/EssentialAffinityPhoto2
- Affinity Photo How To: bit.ly/39Cc8kO

► Latest Affinity Photo Trial: tinyurl.com/2g9lhadc

🔔 Have you subscribed? Don't risk missing future videos: www.youtube.com/c/RobinWhalley



- Lenscraft: bit.ly/3IicI7B
- Google: bit.ly/Google-books
- Amazon US: www.amazon.com/Robin-Whalley/e/B00B1VIN5G
- Amazon UK: www.amazon.co.uk/Robin-Whalley/e/B00B1VIN5G

#robinwhalley #lenscraft #lenscraftphotography


In today's video I'll demonstrate how to easily create amazing selections using the pen tool in Affinity photo along the way.

I'll share a few things about using the pen tool that you probably didn't know in the video I'll, be using Affinity photos pen tool to replace the sky in this shot of the gherkin building in London.

Most people face with this task will probably use the selection brush to select the sky, but when I try this and look closely at the results, we see areas of the selection that aren't quite accurate.

What makes this a perfect task for using the pen tool are the Curves in the building, it's a fantastic tool for selecting straight and curved hard edges.

Unfortunately, most people avoid using the pen tool because they find it's difficult to control.

That's why I'm going to share my basic but easy way to use it you'll find the pen tool in the tools palette on the left of the photo Persona interface.

It has an icon showing the nib of a fountain pen.

When you select it, you can see lots of complicated options appear in the toolbar.

We don't need most of these, and the only setting that I'm going to use is the pen mode.

Now I can begin to make my selection of the building using the pen tool.

I'll position, my mouse pointer on the left of the image where the building meets the edge of the frame I can then click once to add the first point of the selection.

Now I can move the mouse pointer to where I want to add the next point for the selection, and this is where lots of people make their first mistake.

They try to add points all along the edge of the building, but the secret to making a good selection with the pen tool is to use as few points as possible.

That's why I'm positioning the next point, where the curve of the building changes, Direction I, can then click to add the next point to the end of the curve.

After that I'll add the next point at the end of the next curve.

Now I want you to notice that the pen tool is drawing a thin straight blue line between the points on Madding.

If you've used the pen tool before or you've watched videos about using it, you may know that you can click and drag when you add a point to create a curve, but we don't want to do that, because it's difficult to learn how to control the curve when you're new, to doing this shortly, I'll show you how to convert these straight lines into curves that match the edge of the building, but first I need to finish.

My selection I'll therefore add my next curve, where the building meets the right side of the image frame.

I can then add further points below the right and left corners of the image before clicking on the starting point.

To close the selection- and in case you didn't know, you can position the pen tool points outside of the image area.

The next stage is to make the curve match the edge of the building which we'll do with the node tool.

You'll find the node tool in the tools palette in the same group as the pen tool.

Again, this tool has lots of options in the toolbar, but we won't use any of these.

Let's magnify the image now to 100 and I'll, show you how to make one of the lines match the edge of the building.

What the no tool allows us to do is select the points or nodes that we've added with the pen tool.

We can then click and drag those nodes to move them into position with a high degree of precision.

Now, let's use the node tool to move the line between the points so that it meets the edge of the building when I move my mouse pointer over the blue line, I can click and drag it to move it into position along the edge I can continue to hold down my mouse button.

Whilst I move this into position, I can then release the mouse button to drop it and fix the curve.

Then, when I have one of the nodes selected, you can see the control lines at either end of the curve.

These are the same control lines that appear.

If you click and drag with the pen tool, when you're drawing the selection, we can now use them to precisely position the curve to match the edge of the building.

Let's position the curved line at the top of the building and I'll show you what I mean as before our position of most pointer over the line and then click and drag to set the curve.

Now you can see the control lines for that section of the curve, most people that I share this with find it's easier to control the curve with the node tool rather than when drawing with the pen tool.

Let's do the final curve on the building on the right as before, I'll move my mouse pointer over the line, so that I can click and drag it into position.

Then, when I click on one of the points using the node tool, it displays the control arms for the curve when you're using the control arms, you can click and drag up to increase the angle of the curve and drag down to make it shallower.

The length of the control arm also changes where the bend in the curve appears when it's longer it moves it away from the origin.

But when you shorten the line, you move it nearer to the origin when a testing a curve.

With these lines, it's best to use the arms at both end of the section to make it as accurate as possible.

Most of the time, though, if you're using the no tool to drag the curve into position, you probably won't need to use the control arms I'll just undo that change, though before I go any further by pressing command and Z on my keyboard, if you're using a Windows PC, that's control and Zed, sometimes when refining a selection, you may find that you haven't added enough points to match an edge.

You can fix this by adding individual new points using the node tool, but an easier solution is often to click the smooth curve icon in the action section of the toolbar.

When you click this Affinity will try to smooth out the curve that you've created and will add additional points.

You can then move these into position with your mouse for an exact match know that we have our points in place.

Let's go back to the pen tool to create the selection, or in this example, a mask.

All I need to do is Click The Mask button in the toolbar.

This converts the curves that I've drawn into a mask which hides the sky but leaves the building untouched.

It also attaches this mask to the background layer.

Now let me show you something else: if I go back to the node tool, I can still click and drag the nodes into position which dynamically changes.

The mask, I'll just undo that change now, because I want to replace the sky for this I'll open my asset Studio panel, because I have dozens of Replacements guys I can use in the atmosphere, add-on pack by James ritzen.

You can get this in the Affinity photo online store and I'll stress I'm not connected with this in any way and just happen to think that it's an excellent set of assets you can use for this image.

I want to add a rainbow sky.

I can then drag that into position and drop it onto the image, then to make it appear behind the building.

I can drag it below the background layer.

Now earlier in the video I tried to select the scale using the selection brush, but it failed.

The reason may have been that I wasn't using the tool correctly in this video I, explain a hidden feature of the selection brush, which makes it easier to use it's a great video to watch next thanks for watching today, and if you haven't done so already, please remember to subscribe.

I'll see you soon for another video.


How do you make a selection after pen tool? ›

When you've drawn your path and you're ready to turn it into a selection, simply press Ctrl+Enter (Win) / Command+Return (Mac) to have Photoshop convert the path into a selection.

Is there a quick selection tool in affinity designer? ›

The Selection Brush Tool allows you to select a region of your image by painting. The Selection Brush Tool functions in a similar way to the other brushes in Affinity Photo. By simply dragging on your image, you can add or remove regions from a selection.

What is the shortcut key for pen tool selection? ›

The keyboard shortcut for the pen tool is “P”.

What is shortcut of pen tool select one? ›

You can select the Pen Tool by hitting the P key.

How do I make a quick selection tool? ›

Start dragging over an area you want to select. The tool automatically expands the selection to include similar colors and tones and stops when it finds edges that are different from the area you are selecting. After you begin the selection, the Quick Selection tool automatically changes to the Add to selection option.

How do you make multiple selections with Pen tool? ›

Shift -click (or click -drag) with the Direct Selection tool to select multiple anchor points. Clicking on a selected anchor point with the Direct Selection tool will select that point and deselect others. Shift -click on a selected anchor point to remove it from the selection.

Is there a magic wand tool in Affinity Photo? ›

You will find the Flood Select Tool in the Tool Palette of the Photo Persona, and it has an icon that looks like a magic wand. (If you're unsure about the different Personas in Affinity Photo I have personas tutorial that will help.)

Which selection tool allows for freehand selections? ›

Lasso Tools

By clicking down and dragging, the lasso tool allows you by freehand to draw the selection line. Many programs offer different types of lasso tools that can be used to make selections.

Which quick selection tool is used to make free hand selection in an image? ›

The Lasso tool allows you to draw a freehand selection border around the objects you want to select in your image. Select the Lasso tool (L) .

What is the free hand selection tool? ›

The Free Selection (or the lasso) tool lets you freely draw selections by hand. You can select objects of any shape or size by simply tracing them by hand.

Where is the selection tool in Affinity Photo? ›

After clicking the icon for the Freehand Selection Tool, it's controls appear in the toolbar along the top of the screen.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated: 30/06/2023

Views: 5325

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.