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In today’s tutorial, we will learn how to create a polaroid in Affinity Photo. But first, here is a quick history lesson about polaroid. What we call a polaroid is known as instant film. Instant film is created from an instant film camera. In order for the picture to be created, a type of chemical chain reaction occurs. This chain reaction uses a reagent that consists of opacifiers (light blockers), alkali (acid neutralizers), white pigments, and some other elements. In 1948, American scientist Edwin Land (co-founder of Polaroid Corporation) introduced the first commercial instant camera. Today, most people refer to instant film as polaroid because the company Polaroid sold and made this type of film popular.
This is similar to the way people refer to cotton swabs as Q-tips or petroleum jelly as Vaseline. In addition, you can still find some photography companies that sell instant cameras and instant film. For example, Fujifilm (a popular Japanese company), has a line of instant cameras and film. Now, without delay, let’s begin the polaroid in Affinity Photo tutorial.
First, go to File > New. Select Web. Next, click FHD 1080p (which is 1920 px x 1080 px). Then, click Create.
Let’s create a background for our polaroid. Go to the Stock Panel. From the Stock Panel, you can get free stock photos from third party sites such as Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay. Change the Unsplash to Pexels. Then, in the search box type Wood Background. Find a background image that you want to use. If you want to use the same image I’m using, here’s the image. If the Stock Disclaimer appears, check I understand. When you find the image you want, click and drag it onto the document (give it a few seconds to load onto the document).
Note: If you don’t have the Stock Panel displayed, go to the top and click the View menu. Then, scroll down to Studio. Make sure that Stock has a check by it. Click on it if it doesn’t have a check by it.
Now, go to the Layers Panel. With the wood background selected, click the Lock Icon to lock the background image.
Next, go to the Tools Panel and select the Rectangle Tool. Make the size of the rectangle 389 px by 474 px. Then, set the fill color to white (make sure it has no stroke color).
Grab the Rectangle Tool again from the Tools Panel. Draw a rectangle that’s 355 px by 355 px on top of the white rectangle. Set the fill color of the rectangle to black in the Color Panel (or from the Swatches Panel).
In the Layers Panel, select the white rectangle. Next, click the fx icon and select Outer Shadow. Set the Opacity to 90%, Radius to 30 px, Offset to 10 px, Intensity to 5%, and the Angle to 140 degrees. Also, make sure the Blend Mode is set to Multiply.
Now, we have to find an image that we want to use to create a polaroid in Affinity Photo. Go to the Stock Panel. Search for Smiling and select a picture, or you can use another photo of your choosing. If you want to use the exact picture I used, here is the image I used.
When you find the picture you want, click and drag it onto the document the same way we did the background image.
Note: If Affinity Photo freezes once you drag the picture onto the document, wait a couple of seconds. The images are large file sizes and it takes the software some time to read and process the image.
With the image still selected, go to the Transform Panel and select the Lock Aspect Ratio.
Now, zoom out. You can do this by pressing CTRL and rolling the ball of your mouse down. Or, press the Z key on the Keyboard, Then, go to the Context Toolbar and increase/decrease the slider.
Select your image in the Layers Panel. Make sure the Lock Aspect Ratio is still on. Then, resize your image by dragging any of the four corners of the image inward.
After that, go to the Layers Panel. Select the image and drag it inside of the black rectangle. This will now make the rectangle act as a clipping mask.
Now, move the image so that it’s visible n the document and inside of the rectangle. Then, resize the image to fit your desired design.
Congratulations! You now know how to create a polaroid in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this tutorial on how to create a sliced head manipulation in Affinity Photo.
Now this is optional, but if you want, you can create a collage of polaroid images.
First, go to the Layers Panel and select both rectangles (select the first one, then hold Shift to select the second one). Once you select them, press CTRL + G to group them together (or right-click on them and select Group).
With the group selected, press CTRL + J to duplicate the group (or right-click on the group and select Duplicate). Move the duplicate from the original.
Now, select the image that’s inside of the duplicated group (do this from the Layers Panel). Then, press Delete on your keyboard to delete the image.
Next, find an image you want to use. Let’s search for something like Family from the Stock Panel. Here’s the image I used.
Then, follow the steps that we did earlier to resize the image.
After that, go to the Layers Panel. Select the image and drag it into the black rectangle of the duplicated group. Next, move the image inside of the rectangle so that it’s visible. Then, resize the image if necessary.
Follow these steps until you have your desired number of images.