What Is X-Process In Canva? [3 Easy Steps 2024]

X-Process in Canva is derived from a photo editing practice and a term known as Cross-Process. Historically, cross-processing is a photographic technique where film is deliberately processed in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film.

The result? Unique color shifts and increased contrast can give your photos a dreamy, surreal quality. All Canva has done is digitalized the way we can apply the cross-process effect to our images.

Ready to discover what is X-Process in your Canva and how it works? Let’s get started!

what is x-process in canva

What Is Traditional Cross-Processing?

Cross-processing, often termed Xpro, is rooted in the analog film photography era. It refers to developing film in a chemical solution meant for a different film type.

This could mean developing slide film in chemicals intended for color negative film, or vice versa.

This method birthed images with distinct colors, enhanced contrast, and a particular color cast. Photographers were captivated by cross-processing because of its:

  • Unique Color Variations: Depending on the film-chemical combination, photos could range from highly saturated colors to more muted, dreamy tones.
  • Amplified Contrast: This technique accentuated the differences between light and shadow in photos.
  • Grainy Texture: Cross-processed photos often exhibited a noticeable grain.

What Is X-Process In Canva?

Where it used to be applied to physical film, Canva brings this analog technique into the digital age, simulating the effects of cross-processing without the need for actual chemicals.

“The X-Process helps strengthen separated colors and boost the hues in the picture.”


You can use this feature both in the Canva free and Canva Pro versions. So how does X-Processing in Canva translate the traditional method of photo editing to your digital images?

1. Digital Simulation of an Analog Technique

As the world shifted to digital photography, the nostalgia and allure of vintage effects like cross-processing remained.

Canva, with its user-friendly platform, introduced tools to recreate the cross-processed look for the digital age and graphic design.

2. Canva Approach to Cross-Processing

Canva X-Process effect is crafted to mimic the unique color shifts and contrasts of the traditional method. Here’s how:

  • Color Tweaks: Canva adjusts the red, green, and blue channels to emulate the color shifts seen in traditional cross-processing.
  • Contrast Enhancement: The tool automatically heightens contrast, replicating the vibrant differences between light and dark regions.
  • Grain Addition (Optional): While the primary Canva X-Processing effect doesn’t add grain, Canva has separate tools that allow you to introduce a grainy texture, capturing the essence of analog photos.

3. Benefits of Using X-Process In X-Process

Using Canva to achieve the cross-processed effect provides several advantages:

  • Consistency: Unlike the surprises of the traditional method, Canva ensures you get the desired effect every time.
  • Ease of Use: A few clicks are all it takes to transform your photo, making it accessible even to those unfamiliar with the traditional technique.
  • Versatility: You can combine cross-processing with other effects in Canva, offering endless creative possibilities.

How To Use X-Process In Canva?

Step 1: Edit Image

Upload your photo to Canva. Click on the uploaded photo and select Edit Image in the editor toolbar.

select edit image button in editor toolbar for red vintage car at the beach in Canva

Step 2: Adjust Section

In the left-side panel, go to the Adjust section and select See All.

select see all in adjust edit image section in canva — what is x-process in canva

Step 3: X-Process Slider

Go to X-Process and adjust the toggle left or right from value “0”.

toggle slider to increase x-process in canva

Effects Of Using X-Process In Canva On Images

X-Process, the digital version of the traditional cross-processing in film photography, is all about playing with colors, contrast, and tones to give photos a distinct, vintage-inspired look.

Canva, being the versatile design tool that it is, incorporates this effect to offer users a quick way to achieve that beloved nostalgic aesthetic. Here are some effects you’ll see:

1. Color Alteration

The most noticeable change when applying the X-Process effect in Canva is the color transformation:

  • Shift in Tones: Depending on your original image, you might observe blues becoming more cyan, yellows shifting to green, and reds turning more magenta.
  • Enhanced Vibrancy: The overall vibrancy of the photo may increase, making colors pop more prominently than in the original.

2. Enhanced Contrast

The X-Process effect doesn’t just stop at colors. Here’s what it does to the contrast:

  • Highlight and Shadow Play: The brighter parts of your image may appear even brighter, and the shadows might deepen. This intensified contrast can make your photo more dynamic and visually striking.
  • Depth Creation: The enhanced contrast also aids in creating depth, making certain elements of the photo stand out.

3. Retro Vibe

The magic of the X-Process lies in its ability to transport an image back in time:

  • Vintage Flair: This effect provides photos with a retro feel, reminiscent of photos from yesteryears.
  • Nostalgic Essence: For many, the altered colors and contrast evoke a sense of nostalgia, adding an emotional dimension to the visuals.

4. Amplified Mood and Atmosphere

The X-Process doesn’t just alter the appearance of a photo; it can shift its entire mood:

  • Dramatic Landscapes: A serene landscape can become more moody and intense with the X-Process effect.
  • Portraits with Personality: The effect can introduce a new layer of emotion to portraits, enhancing the subject’s expression and the overall ambiance.

5. Versatility in Application

One of the beauties of the X-Process effect in Canva is its versatility:

  • Layering with Other Effects: You’re not limited to just one effect. Canva allows you to combine X-Process with other filters or adjustments to create a truly unique look.
  • Adjustment Options: Though the X-Process is a preset effect, you can still play around with other settings like brightness, saturation, or vignette to further customize the final result.

6. Standout Visual Content

In a digital world filled with visuals, the X-Process can be your secret weapon:

  • Distinctive Look: Using this effect can make your visuals stand out, be it on social media, blog posts, or digital marketing campaigns.
  • Branding Opportunities: Consistently using a specific effect like the X-Process can be a part of your brand’s visual identity, making your content instantly recognizable.

X-Process In Canva: Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Improve The Quality Of A Photo In Canva?

Improving the quality of a photo in Canva is a breeze, thanks to its user-friendly interface and a plethora of editing tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide to enhancing your images:

  • Upload Your Image: Start by uploading the photo you want to improve onto your Canva workspace.
  • Adjust Brightness and Contrast: Navigate to the ‘Adjust’ tab on the toolbar. Here, you can tweak the brightness and contrast sliders to bring out the details and balance the light in your photo.
  • Sharpen the Image: Under the same ‘Adjust’ tab, you’ll find the ‘Sharpen’ slider. Gently slide it to the right to enhance the clarity and reduce any blurriness.
  • Play with Filters: Canva offers a variety of filters that can instantly enhance your photo’s look. Experiment with them and find one that suits the mood of your image.
  • Crop Strategically: Sometimes, cropping out unnecessary parts of the photo can make it more focused and appealing.
  • Adjust Saturation and Tint: Boosting the saturation can make the colors pop, while adjusting the tint can help in correcting any unwanted color casts.

Always make subtle adjustments. Over-editing can make your photo look unnatural.

How Do You Use Canva In 5 Steps?

Here’s a simple guide to use Canva in just 5 steps:

  1. Sign Up or Log In: Visit Canva’s website and sign up for a free account or log in if you already have one.
  2. Choose a Design Type: Once logged in, you’ll see various design templates like posters, presentations, social media posts, etc. Select the one that fits your needs.
  3. Customize Your Design: Now comes the fun part! Drag and drop elements, upload your photos, adjust colors, add text, and customize the design to your heart’s content. Canva’s library offers millions of images, fonts, and design elements to choose from.
  4. Preview and Adjust: Before finalizing, click on the ‘Preview’ button to see how your design looks. Make any necessary adjustments to perfect it.
  5. Download or Share: Once you’re satisfied, you can download your design in various formats like JPG, PNG, or PDF. Alternatively, use the ‘Share’ button to send it directly via email or post it on social media.

How Do I Make An Editable Template In Canva?

Here’s how you can make an editable template in Canva:

  • Design Your Base Template: Start by creating a design just like you would for any other Canva project. This will be the foundation for your template.
  • Use Placeholders: Instead of specific text or images, use frames and generic placeholders. For instance, instead of a specific photo, insert a placeholder image in a Canva frame. For text, use “Your Headline Here” or similar generic text.
  • Group Elements Together: If there are elements that should be moved or resized together, select them and use the ‘Group’ option. This ensures they maintain their relative positions.
  • Share as a Template: Click the ‘Share’ button on the top right. Under the ‘Share a link to edit’ option, you’ll find a link that allows anyone with that link to use your design as a template. They can edit the placeholders without altering your original design.

How Do I Make A Picture Clearer In Canva?

To make a picture clearer in Canva, follow these steps:

  • Upload Your Image: Begin by uploading the photo you want to make clearer to your Canva workspace.
  • Adjust Sharpness: Navigate to the Adjust tab on the toolbar. Here, you’ll find the Clarity slider. Gently slide it to the right to enhance the image’s clarity and define its details. Be cautious not to over-sharpen as it can introduce unwanted noise.
  • Adjust Blur: Go to the Blur slider and toggle to the left to reach a negative value.
  • Play with Brightness and Contrast: Within the same Adjust tab, modify the brightness and contrast sliders to balance out the light and make your image pop.
  • Check Resolution: Ensure that the image you’re working with is of high resolution to begin with. Using a low-resolution image and then trying to make it clearer might not yield the best results.

Why Are My Images Always Blurry On Canva?

Your images can appear blurry on Canva for several reasons:

  • Low-Resolution Upload: If the original image uploaded to Canva is of low resolution, it will appear blurry, especially when resized to a larger dimension.
  • Over-Enlarging: Stretching an image beyond its original size can result in a loss of clarity.
  • Download Settings: When downloading your design, ensure you’re selecting the appropriate file type and quality. For most uses, a high-quality PNG or JPG is ideal.
  • Using Free Elements: Some free images or elements available on Canva might not be of the highest resolution. It’s always a good idea to check the clarity within Canva before finalizing your design.
  • Compression: Sometimes, to speed up the platform, Canva might display a slightly compressed version of the image. However, the downloaded version should be clearer.
  • Use Canva’s Magic Resize: If you have Canva Pro, the ‘Magic Resize’ tool is your best friend. It allows you to instantly resize your design to various predefined dimensions without loss of quality.
  • Maintain Aspect Ratio: When resizing manually, ensure you lock the aspect ratio. This way, the image’s width and height are adjusted proportionally, preventing distortion.
  • Start with High-Resolution Images: The key to retaining quality during resizing is to begin with a high-resolution image. This ensures that even when the image is enlarged, it remains clear.
  • Avoid Overstretching: If you need to resize an image to be larger, be mindful not to stretch it too much. Overstretching can make the image pixelated or blurry.
  • Use Vector Graphics: For logos or icons, try to use vector graphics available in Canva. These can be resized without any loss of quality since they’re not pixel-based.

Similar Posts