How can such design as below be created with Affinity Designer/Photo or it's a 3D design? I also can't understand how the layering works in here. Are those rectangles of different colour and luminescence and they together are looking like that? Or there is a light source behind the rectangles?

enter image description here

  • 2
    Hi. I don't see why you couldn't use something like Affinity Photo. Most raster image editors I think would be capable of this. Perhaps semi transparent filled shapes simply stacked as layers, and a layer on top with blending mode set to colour burn, so that it colours the layers underneath. You may have to experiment a bit though.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 15:35

3 Answers 3


I didn't find I needed a tool I couldn't find in Affinity... no need for an illustrator-style blend tool - this was my result.

Final Result

First I created a simple rectangular path, gave this a gradient (added noise to the colours at both endstops)

Colour Gradient Tool

Second, I then gave it a transparency gradient (with the transparency gradient tool).

Gradient Transparecny Tool

Then I opened the Appearance palette, duplicated that fill, switched the blend mode of the first fill layer to Screen, the second one to Hard Light.

Appearance Palette

Then I duplicated, moved slightly and scaled vertically, then I used (Cntrl-J) to repeat this to get my overall composition.

Finally I selected each poly in turn and assigned an object-level transparency to complete the effect.

Almost Final Result Export

Then I added an HSL adjustment layer at the to of the layer stack (Note 1: I could have targeted individual shapes by dragging the adjustment layer onto them, but this was simpler for now) and set a mask for the layer, which I then added a white to black linear gradient into... to give a gradiated desaturation and subtle colour shift towards the blue-green.

HSL w gradient

And so my last final version looks like this:

enter image description here

Which I think pretty well covers the original question's example.

Note 1:

I in fact tried the HSL adjustment per shape layer just to see how much the added control aided a better final result - it did, and allowed me to produce a more discrete-per-sheet desaturating effect, but it was a bit unwieldy and the final results not enough different to make it worth it!


At least nobody will say "get Blender or some other 3D program which can make photorealistic renderings, draw some equally sized parallel glass rectangles and insert to them colored internal gloss, set up a short focal length rendering camera for strong perspective."

That's because the image presents something which is impossible in 3D space - at least as a stack of equally sized rectangles. The red glasses are nearest the camera for the internal gloss visibility, but for the geometric perspective they should be the farthest items.

As a 2D drawing it's possible (as you have shown). Affinity Photo and Designer should both be flexible enough for this. Place one distorted transparent rectangle per a layer (with edge internal glow effect and painted light), but let the geometrically most distant glass be the top layer. The bottom layer contains the geometrically nearest glass.

In the next image there's a 3 layer example of the layering idea. The geometrically most distant item with strong white-red fill is not at all obscured by the geometrically closer items because the layering order is inverse. No attempt to replicate exactly your colors.

enter image description here

Then there's some grain or noise effect, but I skip it.

  • Not that anybody would suggest Blender anyways, because this would be the wrong site for that. Commented Feb 23 at 0:10

This design requires shape blending. As far as I know that's not possible in your software. But you could blend the shape manually.

You would take two shapes like this and the interpolate some steps in-between. enter image description here

Then set the opacity of all individual shapes to about 40%. enter image description here

Add some inner shadow and texture and you got something quite similar.

enter image description here

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