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In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a ghost effect in Affinity Photo. This is an interesting effect to use to add a horror element to images. There are quite a few ways to create this effect. For this technique, we’ll use a few blur filters, the twirl filter, and the curves adjustment.
Before you start, go to the following link to download the image used in the tutorial.
First, go to File > Open and select the image of the woman.
Second, press CTRL + J to duplicate the image. Turn the original layer off and label it Original.
Grab the Selection Brush Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Context Toolbar. Set the Mode to Add and check the Snap to Edges box. Take the brush and make a selection of the woman. Make sure the duplicated layer is selected first.
After selecting the woman, press CTRL + J. This will place a copy of the selection onto a new layer. Press CTRL + D to deselect.
In the Layers Panel, turn the layer of the woman off.
Select the layer we duplicated earlier. Grab the Inpainting Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Context Toolbar, set the Opacity and Flow to 100%. Set the Hardness to 50%. Take the brush and go over the woman to remove her.
In the Layers Panel, turn the woman layer back on. Then, go to the Transform Panel and turn on the Lock Aspect Ratio. Take the Move Tool and resize the woman to make her slightly larger. After that, turn this layer back off.
Select the duplicated background layer. Press CTRL + J to make a copy of it. Label it Background 2.
With the Background 2 layer selected, click the Adjustments icon in the Layers Panel. Select the Curves adjustment. In the Master Channel, select the left point and slide it to the right so that it touches the beginning of the graph. Then, go to the Red Channel. Add a point in the middle and drag it slightly down. Drag this adjustment inside of the Background 2 layer.
In the Layers Panel, click the Mask Layer icon. Drag this mask layer inside of the Background 2 layer.
Grab the Paintbrush Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Swatches Panel, make sure the fill color is black. Then, select the mask layer in the Layers Panel. Take the brush and paint over some of the ground. Then, paint over the side areas to reveal some of the original color.
After that, turn the woman layer back on. Press CTRL + J to make two copies of the woman. Then, select all three layers and press CTRL + G to group the layers together. Name the group Ghost. Open the group and label the layers 1, 2, and 3 starting from the bottom. Turn the 2 and the 3 layers off.
Select the 1 layer. Go to the Filters menu. Then, select Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 35 px.
Next, go to the Filters menu. Select Distort > Twirl. Set the Angle to -48 degrees and the Radius to 1024 px.
After that, select the 2 layer and turn it on. Go to the Filters menu. Then, select Blur > Radial Blur. Set the Angle to 20 degrees.
In the Layers Panel, click the Add Pixel Layer icon to add a new layer. Drag this layer into the Ghost group.
Turn the 3 layers on in the Layers Panel. Select the new layer we added. Grab the Selection Brush Tool from the Tools Panel. Zoom in on the woman’s face. Press CTRL and the + key to zoom in Press CTRL and the – key to zoom out. Take the brush and make a selection of both of the woman’s irises (the colored part of the eye).
Next, go to the Swatches Panel. Set the fill color to white. Then, go to the Edit menu and click Fill with Primary Color.
Now, select the 3 layer. Go to the Filters menu. Then, go to Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 8 px.
After that, click the Adjustments icon in the Layers Panel. Select the Curves adjustment. Make sure this adjustment is at the top of everything. Go to the Red Channel. Place a point in the middle of the curve and drag it slightly down. Then, place a point further up the curve and drag it up.
Congratulations, you’ve completed the tutorial! You now know how to create a ghost effect in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this article on how to create a hologram effect.