GPU compute acceleration, HDR monitor support and a new memory management system ensure the Affinity suite continues to be at the cutting edge of modern creative software.
Serif Managing Director Ashley Hewson says: “It’s really important that we are leading the way in exploiting the latest technologies available to us and our customers. GPU compute acceleration is something we have worked tirelessly on for the last couple of years as it is certainly the future in achieving phenomenal speeds, even when working on massive, deep-colour projects. We’re pleased to say that for Affinity customers on Mac the future is now here.”
Serif is working on hardware acceleration for its Windows version too, although that will be delivered in a future update. But that hasn’t stopped them achieving big performance increases—today’s updates introduce a rewritten memory management system resulting in 3x or 4x speed improvements across many tasks on Windows machines.
Dial and Pen support for Microsoft Surface devices has also been significantly upgraded, giving users new ways to interact with the apps.
Users of Affinity on iPad aren’t left out either. There are further performance optimisations and a refreshed, compact UI which both gives more real estate for working, but also to allow for the ultimate experience on the new 7.9-inch screen iPad mini.
“The new iPad mini is an incredible device, especially now it supports Apple Pencil,” says Ashley Hewson. “It’s pretty cool that you can work on high-end photo compositions or full design projects with thousands of objects on such a small device”
As well as these device specific improvements, there are plenty of new features and improvements which have been added - all of them available on the Mac, Windows and iPad versions from today.
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.
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.
“This update isn’t only about the big new features and performance gains—we’ve also made literally thousands of little tweaks and improvements to both apps based on all the feedback we get from our customers every day. It’s a lot of these little enhancements which add up to mean both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are more productive than ever before.”
The new 1.7 versions of both Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer are available now with a 20% discount ($39.99 desktop, $15.99 iPad) with no subscription. Existing users can download the updated versions free.
Serif launched in 1987 and built up a reputation for quality and reliability based on an award-winning range of software for PC – low-cost alternatives to high-end publishing and graphics packages.
However, in addition to being locked into Windows, years of development meant the software was becoming bloated, hard to maintain and unable to exploit the capabilities of the latest hardware.
Instead, the focus of development switched to a next-generation suite of lean, super-fast apps for creative professionals using Mac, Windows and iPad. The change meant throwing away all the old code and starting from scratch and it took almost five years until Affinity Designer, the first Affinity app, was released in 2014.
Affinity Photo followed in 2015 and the launch of Affinity Publisher in 2019 means Serif now boasts a full creative suite of applications covering photo editing, graphic design and desktop publishing. Affinity apps have won some of the biggest awards in the industry, gained plaudits from reviewers, and been adopted by over a million customers worldwide.
Serif employs around 70 people at its HQ in Nottingham, UK.