The Nik Collection is a series of photography filters, each one specialized in a certain task: analog effects, HDR, sharpening and so on. Let’s see how we can easily install and use them in Affinity Photo.
To begin installing and using these filters in our photos, you’ll need the installer. You can get it from nikcollection.dxo.com. Download and decompress it.
Go to the /Applications/ folder in your Mac and create a folder named Affinity. While the standalone apps will install to /Applications/Nik Collection by default, we’ll use this folder to install the plugins compatible with Affinity Photo.
Open the Nik Collection disk image and start installing it. The screen for compatible hosts is where we need to find our folder. Click the plus sign and select the Affinity folder we previously created. Once you accept, it will show like this:
There’s nothing special to do for the path screen, so just click Install
Finish the installation. If you go to the Affinity folder you’ll now see it created a Google folder where it added the Nik Collection plugins, Analog Efex, Color Efex, Dfine, HDR Efex, Selective, Sharpener, Silver Efex and Viveza:
Now launch Affinity Photo and press ⌘-q to open the preferences. Click on Photoshop Plugins:
Click the Add button in the Plugin Search Folders area and select the folder with the Nik Collection plugins. You can also select the top level folder and it will search everything below but for the purposes of this tutorial I’ll just select the folder with the plugins:
Accept and close the preferences dialog. Affinity Photo will prompt you to restart:
Once it’s reloaded, the plugins will show in the left panel for Detected Plugins:
Some of the plugins detected by Affinity Photo say that it Requires Global Support. We’ll authorize them in the Plugin Support Folders area. Click the Add button and just click Authorize in the Finder dialog:
Close the Affinity Photo plugin preferences and you’ll be prompted to restart again. Once it reloads, all plugins are properly enabled to work. You just need to tick the Allow “Unknown plugins to be used” to activate them all.
Close the dialog and the plugins will be available under the Filters menu:
Preserving your image from Nik Collection changes
One drawback of Nik Collection is that it applies the changes to the image destructively. If you want to preserve your image for later use, just press ⌘-j to duplicate it:
Now you can select this layer and run the filters on it and preserve your original photo.