Pixelmator

Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle Goodies

First of all, I must tell you how happy we at the Pixelmator Team factory are to finally ship Sprinkle. We worked diligently for several months and I hope you like the results. There was much discussion during the development stage about a 1.4 release, and we came to the conclusion that Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is what version 1.0 should have been: a beautiful, stable, and useful image editor for the rest of us.

And then since we are celebrating Sprinkle’s birth, let’s talk about the new features in detail:

Feature #1: New Painting Engine

Much of the work we did for Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle was for the new painting engine. In fact, we did a complete rewrite of painting foundation in Pixelmator to improve on what we had before and create more power and features for the Brush, Pencil, Eraser, Clone Stamp, Blur, and Sharpen tools.

The result is a new painting engine that delivers smoothness, excellent performance, and new brush settings for painting tools in Pixelmator. This new painting engine creates a very good foundation for not only current, but also future tools in Pixelmator that relate to painting.

Feature #2: New Brush Settings

The creation of the new painting engine introduces several new brush settings to Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle. New advanced brush settings include scatter, flow, follow direction, size jitter, stroke jitter, angle jitter, opacity jitter, and color jitter. In order to maintain Pixelmator’s ease of use, we decided to include just the most essential brush settings and remove the less useful ones.

Feel free to experiment with these and give us your feedback. Also, accessing Pixelmator Help for more information about what each setting does might help you create the next great brush.

Feature #3: New Brush Presets

Sprinkle features a nice collection of brush presets for you to start with. Here is a preview of some of them:

Feature #4: Brush Sharing

From now on you can share your brushes with other Pixelmator users. It is as simple as dragging and dropping brushes from the Pixelmator Brushes palette onto your desktop, and vice versa.

Feature #5: Big Brother Brushes Support

In addition to the ability to load and save brush presets, Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle also gained the ability to import Adobe Photoshop brushes. Again, it is as simple as dragging and dropping .abr files (Photoshop brush presets) into the Pixelmator Brushes palette or window.

Feature #6: Graphics Tablet Support

Clearly if there is a better painting engine there should also be a better graphics tablet support. Well, our graphics table support is not just better …it is much broader in terms of painting experience. Pixelmator gained the ability to control brush diameter, flow, and scatter—not only by graphics tablet pressure, but also by tracking speed (of your mouse or the same graphics tablet). Try it: I think you will love it.

Feature #7: Document Presets

One of the most requested features since version 1.0 has been document presets. We have removed the image name field that was unusual in OSX and somewhat useless and added a document presets pop-up instead in the New Image panel. We have included a list of most popular presets for you, but of course you can easily create your own. You can also share your presets simply by dragging and dropping a preset onto desktop from the Manage New Document Presets sheet. This will save it as a document you can send to your friends.

We have even included iTunes Artwork and iPhone Desktop picture presets for you. We want your feedback, so tell us if you create something cool for you iPhone desktop!

Feature #8: Clouds Filter

Again, one of the most requested features by those of you who do a lot of work with special effects was a cloud filter which allows the artist to easily generate realistic clouds that can be used in either photos, special effects, or for creating natural textures.

Feature #9: Details

The proof is in the details! It is not about the features as much as it is about the details that make the application better and more fun. For example, the Clone Stamp is a bit more user-friendly; the painting tools cursor shows you the selected brush shape; the Welcome Screen has been updated; and perhaps most noticeable is that the package in which Pixelmator comes was reduced from 62 MB to 25 MB.

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Again, I really hope you love what we did with version 1.4. Obviously I want to thank you very much for using Pixelmator, providing us feedback, and letting your friends know about this great Mac application that we feel is definitely worth trying.

Have fun!

Monday, 23 February 2009.

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