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In today’s tutorial, we will create a gold effect in Affinity Photo. The inspiration for this tutorial came from a YouTube video Chris Spooner (Spoon Graphics) did. In his video, he turned the subject from an image into gold. I liked the video so much, that I decided to see if a gold effect could be created in Affinity Photo. And, it turns out that you can create a gold effect! Let me show you how.
Before you begin the tutorial, download the image of the chocolate cake.
First, go to File > Open and select the downloaded image.
Second, go to the Layers Panel and click the Lock icon to unlock the image.
Third, go to the Tools Panel and select the Selection Brush Tool. Take the brush and select all the cake. Make sure that in the Context Toolbar you have Add selected. Also, make sure that you have Snap to Edges checked.
In the Context Toolbar, hit Refine. Next, set the Output to New Layer. Then, hit Apply.
In the Layers Panel, select the new pixel layer and uncheck it. Then, check the original image back on.
After that, press CTRL + J to make a duplicate of the original image.
Now, go to the Layers Panel and select the duplicated layer. Click on the Mask Layer icon to add a mask to this layer.
Select the duplicated layer and press CTRL + J to make another duplicate of it. You can rename these layers if you want to.
With the new layer selected, go to the Layers Panel and click the Adjustments icon. Then, select the Black and White adjustment. Make sure you drag the adjustment inside of the duplicated layer.
Next, make a duplicate of the layer you just added the Black and White adjustment to. Press CTRL + J to do this or right click on the layer and select duplicate.
Now, select this new duplicated layer. In the Layers Panel, go to the Blend Mode and select Difference.
With the duplicated layer still selected, go to the Layers Panel and click the Adjustments icon. Then, select Invert. Make sure that you drag the Invert adjustment inside of the duplicated layer.
In the Layers Panel, select the two duplicated cake layers that have the Black and White adjustment in them (select the first layer, then hold CTRL to select the second layer).
After that, right-click on your selection and click Merge Visible. A new layer will be created that merged the properties of the two layers you selected.
With, the merged layer selected, press CTRL + J to duplicate it (or right click on it and select Duplicate).
Select the duplicated merged layer. Go to the Blend Mode and select Difference.
Now, go to the Adjustments icon and select Invert. Make sure you drag the Invert adjustment inside of the duplicated merged layer.
Next, select both merged layers. Then, right-click on them and select Merge Visible. A new merged layer will be created. As you can see, this is starting to create a metallic effect.
With the new merged layer selected, click the Adjustments icon. Next, select the Gradient Map adjustment. Make sure you drag the gradient map adjustment inside of the merged layer.
Now, go to the Gradient Map adjustment. Select the red color stop and go to Color. Next, make sure you’re on the RGB Hex Sliders. Then, type the following color code #A0522D.
Select the green color stop. Go to Color and give it the following color code #FFB300.
After that, select the blue color stop. Go to Color and give it the following color code #FFD700.
Once you do that, select the golden pixel layer from the Layers Panel. Next, right click on it and select Merge Visible. You will see that a new pixel layer was created that combined the settings from the gradient map with the pixel it was grouped with.
In the Layers Panel, select the new golden pixel layer. Then, go to the Tools Panel and select the Selection Brush Tool.
Now, take the Selection Brush. Make sure you’re in the Add Mode and that Snap to Edges is checked. Then, select the brush. If you select an area you don’t want to select, change to the Subtract Mode to undo your selection.
After you finish making your selection, hit Refine in the Context Toolbar. Set the Output to New Layer.
Go to the Layers Panel and click on the Add Pixel Layer icon. Then, place the new pixel layer below the gold cake pixel layer.
Finally, select the new pixel layer. Next, go to the Edit menu and select Fill with Secondary Color. The pixel layer should be filled with black.
Congratulations! You have created a gold effect in Affinity Photo! For more Affinity Photo tutorials, try this article on how to create a sliced head manipulation in Affinity Photo.