Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon is now available from the Mac App Store! This is a major update with two brand new and really smart selection tools, a powerful Retouch Extension for the Photos app, and a bunch of other great improvements.
A smart Quick Selection Tool
The biggest new features inside the app are the Quick Selection Tool and the Magnetic Selection Tool.
First, let me tell you about the Quick Selection tool. This is something we spent 6 months perfecting and, honestly, it’s so fun, so precise and so easy to use.
Let’s face it, making selections can sometimes be tricky, especially if you don’t have a bunch of experience with different selection tools and selection modes. So, we wanted to create a selection tool that is intuitive and easy to use but also incredibly powerful.
To work its magic, the Quick Selection Tool uses some amazing features and technologies and an innovative and sophisticated algorithm, which makes it possible to select areas really precisely with just a few simple brushstrokes.
To perfect the algorithm, we used machine learning techniques to analyze over 200 images. More than half of these had a person as the main object, because that’s what you’ll want to select most often, right? Plus, people can be quite challenging objects to select.
The algorithm tried out thousands of ways to select the objects in every one of those images. Then, we took that information and used it to adjust over 100 different parameters in the Quick Selection Tool algorithm to make it as accurate as possible. And then we tweaked them. Over and over again.
In short, the Quick Selection Tool really is the most advanced selection tool we’ve ever made. And it’s incredibly fun and easy to use. You can see it in action here: Quick Selection Tool Overview video.
A precise Magnetic Selection Tool
Another great addition to the Pixelmator Tools palette is the Magnetic Selection Tool. The way this tool works is it finds the object edges you’re trying to trace and automatically snaps a selection around them, which lets you make very accurate selections really quickly.
There’s a whole bunch of great features and technologies behind the tool, and one of the most powerful is the so called A* pathfinding method, which is mainly used to develop navigation algorithms in video games. Put simply, it’s an incredibly smart way to perfect (or optimise) the selection outline.
Pixelmator Retouch Extension for Photos
And now, here’s something many of you have been waiting for since we released Pixelmator 3.4 Twist, which included the Pixelmator Distort Extension for Photos. Back then, you told us you’d also love to have Pixelmator Retouch Tools inside your Photos app. So, in this update, we’ve done just that – Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon features the Pixelmator Retouch Extension, which brings a full set of Pixelmator retouching tools to your Photos app, including the magical Pixelmator Repair Tool.
You just have to take a look at the overview video.
By the way, the Pixelmator Retouch Extension is powered by Metal, Apple’s powerful graphics-processing technology. This allows Pixelmator to make the most of the graphics card in your Mac and means that the tools are both lightning fast and incredibly powerful.
Make sure to visit the Pixelmator Retouch Extension page to learn all about the tools, under the hood features, powerful technologies and more.
New Pixelmator Tutorials’ Page
Speaking of awesome content on our website, today we’re also releasing a new Pixelmator Tutorials page!
It’s really easy to navigate, has a great search bar, a whole lot of short and useful tips, and more neat details. Also, we’ve added some new tutorials and we’re planning to bring more videos soon, so take time to explore the new page and come back occasionally.
Other great improvements and fixes
Whew! Congratulations if you managed to get through all that.
And those were just the main new features in Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon. Check out the Release Notes to find out more about other great improvements and bug fixes, such as a much faster Stroke effect and improved smoothing with the Color Selection, Paint Bucket and Magic Eraser tools.
By the way, just like always, this update is free for existing Pixelmator users, so visit the Mac App Store, download the latest version and enjoy!
Quick Selection Tool Specifications
Smart Edge Detection lets you select an object incredibly precisely even if there is a very similar one right besides it.
Shadow Recognition lets you magically select an object while leaving its shadow unselected.
Awareness of the direction in which you’re selecting an object lets the Tool predict what you will want to select next.
Smart Borders makes sure you select only the area you want even if you move the selection brush over that area.
A separate algorithm perfects the outline of your selection, so you can copy the object into another image naturally.
The brush size auto-adjusts as you zoom in or out of your image, so it always stays the right size.
Magnetic Selection Tool Specifications
Core Animation is used to create the most beautiful selection marker line that has ever existed. Because every detail counts.
Magnetic Selection Tool takes full advantage of the powerful Core Image technology for amazing quality and speed.
The selection outline is perfected with the advanced optimal path finding method, called A*, mainly used in video games.
The selection magically snaps around the edges of the object you trace, thanks to advanced calculations underneath.
The position of all the anchor points you clip is gently refined to perfectly match the edge of the object you trace.
Smart keyboard shortcuts let you quickly switch between tools, adjust the brush size, remove anchor points, and do more.