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In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create the matrix effect in Affinity Photo.
Before you begin, go to the following links to download the images used in this tutorial.
First, go to File > New. Go to Web and select the FHD 1080p document size. Then, click Create.
In the Layers Panel, click the Add Pixel Layer to add a new layer. Go to the Swatches Panel and double click the fill color to bring up the Color Chooser. Enter the following hex code # 003B00.
Grab the Paintbrush Tool from the Tools Panel. Go to the Swatches Panel and enter the following hex code # 0E0409. Next, click on the Add Pixel Layer icon to add a new layer. Then, go to the Brushes Panel. In the Basic brushes, select a Round Light brush. Make sure the Opacity is at 100%. Select the new pixel layer. Take the brush and paint on the edges of the layer. Turn both layers off for now.
Press CTRL + ‘. Or go to the View menu and click Show Grid. Then, go to the View menu and select Grid and Axis Manager. Set the Mode to Basic. Next, set the Spacing to 20 px.
Now, grab the Artistic Text Tool from the Tools Panel. Click on the document. Start typing 1s and 0s in random order. Select the text. Then, go to the Context Toolbar and set the Font Size to 20 pt. Place the text in the top left corner of the document.
Grab the Move Tool. Press CTRL + Shift and drag a copy of the numbers next to the original ones. Make sure there’s no space between the two layers. Then, press CTRL + J multiple times until it reaches the other end of the document. Delete any extra numbers that went over the document.
After that, select all the number layers. Press CTRL + Shift and drag a copy of these numbers beneath the original ones. Then, press CTRL + J multiple times until the document is filled with the numbers.
Select all the numbers. Go to the Swatches Panel and change the color of the numbers to the following hex code # 008500. Then, press CTRL + G to group the layers together and label the group Matrix Code.
Next, go to File > Open and select the image of the man you downloaded. 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 tool and make a selection of the man. Press CTRL + J to place a copy of the man onto a new layer.
Press CTRL and click the thumbnail of the new layer we added. Next, click the Adjustments icon and select the Black and White adjustment. Drag it inside of the man layer. Set the Cyan to 130%, Blue to 80%, and Magenta to 75%. Press CTRL + D to deselect. In the Layers Panel click the man layer. Right-click on it and click Rasterize. Copy the layer and paste it onto the other document.
Click the Lock Aspect Ratio in the Transform Panel. Then, grab the Move Tool and resize the man the way you see it on the screen.
With the man still selected, go to the Filter menu. Go to Distort > Pixelate. Set the Quantization to 20 px.
Press CTRL and click the thumbnail of the man in the Layers Panel. Then, click the Adjustments icon and select Posterize. The Posterize Levels should be set to 4. Drag the adjustment into the man layer. Press CTRL + D to deselect. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply.
With the man layer still selected, click the fx icon in the Layers Panel. Check the Other Glow box and select it. Go to Color. Select the RGB Hex Sliders and enter the following hex code # 1F5D22.
Now, select the Matrix Code layer. Right-click on it and select Rasterize. Click the Mask Layer icon in the Layers Panel. Next, grab the Paintbrush Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Swatches Panel, set the fill color to black and set the secondary color to white. Select the mask layer we added. Then, take the brush and mask out all the code surrounding the man.
In the Layers Panel, turn the two color-filled pixel layers back on. Go to File > Open and drag the image of the matrix code onto the document. Place this layer between the Matrix Code layer and the 2nd-pixel layer we added in the Layers Panel. Grab the Move Tool and resize the image the way you see it on the screen.
With the image layer still selected, click the Live Filters icon and select Field Blur. Make sure it’s inside the image layer. Set the Global Radius 30 px. Lower the Opacity of the matrix image to 50%.
Select the image layer of the code and press CTRL + J to duplicate it. Change the Blend Mode to Lighten and the Opacity to 60%. Open the Field Blur filter inside of this layer. Set the Global Radius to 20 px and the Selected handle level to 70%. Now, grab the Move Tool and resize the image making it slightly smaller and rearrange it some.
Now, press CTRL + J to duplicate the code image again. Change the Blend Mode to Screen and lower the Opacity to 55%. Open the Field Blur filter. Set the Global Radius to 7 px and the Selected handle level to 30%. Grab the Move Tool and resize/rearrange the image the way you see it on the screen.
In the Layers Panel, select the three code image layers along with the two pixel layers we added at the beginning. Press CTRL + G to group the layers. Label the group Background.
Congratulations, this tutorial is complete! You now know how to create the matrix effect in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this article on how to create a movie poster.