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Orange and Teal with Affinity Photo and Curves Tutorial

Intro

The following tutorial shows you how to create the popular orange and teal look using curves in Affinity Photo.

While following the tutorial, you can click on the images to view a larger version in a new window or tab.

There are a couple of basic methods to achieve the orange and teal look. One is to alter the colours based on luminance. We take the shadows, and make them more teal. Then we take the highlights, and make them more orange.

The other method is to shift colours. We shift the colours surrounding teal towards teal, and shift the colours surrounding orange towards orange.

Both methods are perfectly valid, depending on your scene. The first method makes all of the lighter objects on your scene orange, and all of the darker objects on your scene teal.

The second method makes all of the objects which are near to orange more orange, and the all of the objects which are near to teal more teal.

This tutorial demonstrates the first method. Click here for a tutorial for the second method.

You can also learn this technique by watching our YouTube video below, or directly on YouTube.

If you do watch on YouTube, please consider giving the video a Like, and Subscribing for more tutorials!

Resources

Click Here to download the resources for the project, which includes the finished Affinity Photo project.

Tutorial

Open an image in Affinity Photo, then select the adjustments icon.

Select Curves from the menu.

The Curves dialog will appear. Click the Channels dropdown menu (the largest dropdown menu on the Curves dialog).

Select the Red channel.

Click the center of the diagonal red line to place an anchor point. You will see shortly that colours below the anchor point will become more teal, and colours above the anchor point will become more orange.

Place a second anchor point by clicking on the line half way between the first anchor point and the bottom of the line.

Drag this anchor point down and right a bit. As you drag it, you will see the teal and orange effect beginning to take place.

Place a third anchor point by clicking on the red line half way between the first anchor point and the top of the line.

Drag this anchor point up and left a tiny bit. As you drag it, you will see the oranges come into the picture.

Select the Channels dropdown menu again.

Select Blue.

Place an anchor point on the center of the blue diagonal line.

Place a second anchor point on the diagonal blue line, half way between the first anchor point and the bottom of the line.

Drag the anchor point up and left a bit.

Place a third anchor point on the blue line, half way between the first anchor point and the top of the blue line.

Drag the anchor point down and right a tiny bit.

Click the Channels dropdown menu again.

Select Green. This green channel is important! It will be used to control the orange and teal look.

Place an anchor point in the center.

Place a second anchor point half way between the first anchor point and the bottom of the green line.

This second anchor point serves as our teal control. If we drag the point down and right, the shadows become more blue.

If we drag the point up and left, the shadows become more teal.

Drag the anchor point to wherever you think the photo looks the most effective.

Place a third anchor point on the green line, half way between the first anchor point, and the top of the green line.

This third anchor point serves as our yellow and red control. If we drag it up and left, the highlights become more yellow.

If we drag it down and right, the highlights become more red.

Drag the anchor point to wherever you think the photo looks the most effective. We think it looks best in the middle for this photo.

You might want to use this effect later, so Select Add Preset.

In the name box, type "Orange and Teal", then click OK.

You might feel that the effect is a little overdone. If you'd like to reduce the effect, you can use the opacity slider. Select the tiny triangle next to where it says Opacity on the Curves dialog.

Adjust the opacity on the slider to the amount you feel is the most effective.

Click the little X to close the Curves dialog.

That's the orange and teal effect finished! Isn't it nice?

Let's take a quick look at how to use the preset we've created. First, delete the Curves adjustment layer by clicking on it, and pressing delete on the keyboard.

The photo will return to normal. Select the adjustments tab.

Select Curves.

The Curves dialog will re-appear. Click on the Orange and Teal preset. Your previous adjustments will return. You can now use this preset on future projects.

The Orange and Teal effect can look really nice when used with a black and white image. Take a look:

Congratulations, you've completed the Orange and Teal tutorial, and now have a preset in Affinity Photo for use in your projects.

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