Pixelmator

Fiery Fireballs in Pixelmator 1.4

Last year I created some images using fireballs, explosion, fire and smoke. Basically I only used brushes to create that in Photoshop. Now with the release of the new Pixelmator 1.4 and its brand new Brush Engine I decided to try it and create the same image in Pixelmator.

Fábio Sasso, Abduzeedo

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Saturday, 21 February 2009.

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Pixelmator Team Releases Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle

Version 1.4 Features New Painting Engine, Support for Adobe Photoshop Brushes, Clouds Filter, Document Presets, and More

The Pixelmator Team released Pixelmator 1.4 today, the fourth major update to the revolutionary GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images. Available as a free software update, Pixelmator 1.4, codenamed Sprinkle, features a new painting engine, Adobe Photoshop brushes support, a clouds filter, document presets, and more.

“By leveraging the power of Mac OS X, Pixelmator brings image editing to life,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “With Pixelmator 1.4 features, the application is a superior image editor and an excellent painting tool that is as fun as it is powerful.”

Pixelmator’s new painting engine delivers smoothness, performance improvements, and new brush settings for painting tools in Pixelmator. New advanced brush settings in Pixelmator include scatter, flow, follow direction, size jitter, stroke jitter, angle jitter, opacity jitter, and color jitter. In addition to the ability to load and save brush presets, the application also allows users to import Adobe Photoshop brushes.

New document presets in Pixelmator can be used to quickly choose image dimensions and resolution for display, web, photo, or print projects. Users can also create their own document presets.

Pixelmator’s powerful new clouds filter allows the artist to easily generate realistic clouds that can be used in either photos, special effects, or for creating natural textures.

Other new features in Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle include improved graphics tablet support, new brush presets, minor user interface, compatibility and performance improvements, and several bug fixes.

Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is a free update for current Pixelmator users.

Thursday, 19 February 2009.

42 Comments

Updates

Though our blog appears to be empty for January, this doesn’t mean we haven’t been working. The Pixelmator Team factory is on a full throttle these days, and the results will soon be there for all to see. Here are the latest updates:

Update #1

I am happy to announce the release of Pixelmator 1.3.3, which incorporates minor improvements and several bug fixes. Take a look at the release notes for the full list. Though the 1.3.3 release is a small one, it fixes many of the problems that you have mentioned to us in your e-mails. In addition to this, 1.3.3 makes that terrible waiting for version 1.4 slightly easier. Download Pixelmator 1.3.3 now.

Update #2

I can’t wait for you to get your hands on Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle. With just a few final tests and some fine tuning, Sprinkle will be complete. Please allow us a week or two to put the finishing touches on it – I can assure you that it will be worth the wait.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009.

16 Comments

Pixelmator 1.3.2 – Select Color Tool, Japanese language, and more

Since everyone is preparing for the holidays, we are too, by releasing a small update to Pixelmator.
The headline above tells basically everything that’s new in version 1.3.2: Select Color Range Tool (Edit > Select Color), Japanese localization, lots of Type Tool polish, and some other improvements and bug fixes—see a list.

The update is not very big, but that’s because our new painting engine for Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is just so amazing that we really want you to have it on Pixelmator as soon as possible (January, we hope) and that’s why we don’t have much time left for those minor updates.

Don’t forget to create a happy holiday postcard for people you love (using the app we all love, of course).

So, happy holidays everyone and talk to you next year!

P.S. Yup, the picture with this article was painted using Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle.

Thursday, 18 December 2008.

26 Comments

Bokeh Effect in Pixelmator

This one is really cool. And you noticed that, too, since I received lots of e-mails asking for that nice picture we use in the Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo screenshot.

The wonderful bokeh picture was created by Fabio Sasso—an image editing magician at Abduzeedo.com. The guy really knows how to push Pixelmator to perform its best.

So instead of giving you a direct download link to an image, I am happy to provide you with the bokeh tutorial by Fabio Sasso so you can make one for yourself.

Enjoy!

P.S. According to Dictionary.app, bokeh is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

Thursday, 4 December 2008.

3 Comments

Pixelmator 1.3.1 – Color Management Made Right

It has been a while since Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo was released. And it is doing amazingly well: your feedback about performance, features, and overall stability is excellent. It is probably the best rated major update we’ve ever done. Thank you!

Tempo 1.3 is history since we are releasing 1.3.1 today. Though 1.3.1 is mostly about bug fixes and minor improvements, it includes two new things for you: the very easy to use Color Management sheet and a very fresh Refine Selection tool with real-time preview. Definitely try the new tools right away and let us know what you think.

I hope you enjoy playing with the update and while you do that, I am going back to work on 1.4 Sprinkle, which is going to be wonderful.

Have fun!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008.

20 Comments

Pixelmator Team Releases Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo

Version 1.3 Tempo Features Major Performance Improvements, Click-and-Drag Tools, Improved Adjustment Tools, Smart Palette Hide Feature, and More.

The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator 1.3, codenamed Tempo, a third major update to the revolutionary GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images. Available today as a free software update, Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo features major performance improvements: click-and-drag technology-based Magic Wand, Paint Bucket, and Magic Eraser tools; improved Hue and Saturation, Replace Color, and Colorize tools; Smart Palette Hide; and more.

“Pixelmator is an awesome tool for anyone to enjoy the benefits of image editing,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “And now with innovative click-and-drag tools, improved adjustment tools, and major performance enhancements it is becoming one of the most innovative, top-quality image-editing tools for Mac OS X.”

Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo delivers performance gains in almost every function of the application. It takes even more advantage than before of Core Image, OpenGL, and the power of other Mac-only technologies so that dramatic performance improvements are easily seen when one is working with large images—opening and saving, using filters and adjustments, and more.

Pixelmator’s new click-and-drag approach in Magic Wand for selecting, Paint Bucket for filling, or Magic Eraser for removing unwanted backgrounds allows the artist simply to drag the mouse and see instant results when working with these tools. Click-and-drag, technology-based tools are easy-to-use and fun, yet they keep all the functionality of same-purpose classic tools.

Pixelmator’s new adjustment tools include the redesigned Hue and Saturation, Colorize, and Replace Color tools. These three tools now feature a color wheel with color buttons nearby. Spinning the color buttons will show users what is changed as those buttons go with other colors in the wheel—e.g., red is replaced with green, green is replaced with blue, etc. In addition to the ability of the Hue and Saturation tool to edit different ranges of colors, Replace Color features a new Radius preview slider which shows a black-and-white preview of how much of the selected color will be changed.

The Smart Palette Hide feature solves the problem of palette clutter when one uses adjustment tools or filters in Pixelmator. It makes all the unnecessary palettes temporarily dissolve when any of the adjustment tools or filters are in play, allowing the user to focus on only one image and chosen tool.

Other new and improved features in Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo include improved Type tool, Stroke, an Action Tooltips feature, minor user interface and compatibility improvements, Spanish and French languages, and some bug fixes.

Pricing and Availability

Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is available to order for $59 (US). Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is a free update to current Pixelmator customers.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008.

37 Comments

New Goodies in 1.3 Tempo

Although Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is not completely about adding new features, there are many exciting new things that fit perfectly with those major performance improvements on which we focused. I am just about to tell you about the new things that I am sure you will love using a lot because a) I promised to do that a few weeks ago, and b) Tempo is to reach your hands a few days from now. So let’s get started.


Feature #1: Magic Eraser (a.k.a. Instant Alpha, click-and-drag tool)

Magic Eraser does exactly the same things as Instant Alpha in Keynote. The feature is useful for removing an unwanted background or any other colors in an image. Many people asked for this, and we couldn’t help but include it. It looks and works great in Pixelmator.

To use Magic Eraser, you will have to select the Magic Eraser icon in the Eraser Tool Options palette or simply click the E shortcut twice.

See it in action…


Feature #2: Magic Wand (click-and-drag)

We took the Instant Alpha idea even further with the Magic Wand tool. It works exactly like Magic Eraser, except that it doesn’t remove anything, but selects a portion of an image when you click and drag your mouse cursor. We believe it’s the only Magic Wand in the world that is so useful and fun and still keeps all the functionality of the classic Magic Wand. No one else has this. In addition to click-and-drag, the new Magic Wand also brings anti-aliasing and an ability to sample all layers.

See it in action…


Feature #3: Paint Bucket (click-and-drag)

This one is really fun and also very useful. The click-and-drag approach of Paint Bucket in Pixelmator makes it the coolest Paint Bucket tool in the world. When using Paint Bucket to fill areas, you see the results instantly by dragging your mouse, even when filling in any blending mode. The look and feel are amazing. Paint Bucket in Pixelmator also gained anti-aliasing.

See it in action…

Feature #4: Hue and Saturation

As you may have already noticed, we are adding or improving adjustment tools with every single major update—and it was time for Hue and Saturation, Colorize, and Replace Color to get some improvements in usability and fun. The main task was to make something really interesting and fun, and I believe we did it. The new Hue and Saturation tool is gorgeous. It now features a color wheel with color buttons nearby. When you spin the color buttons, you see what is changed as those buttons go with other colors in the wheel (e.g., red is replaced with green, green is replaced with blue, etc.) In addition, it is now possible in Hue and Saturation to adjust a specific color component in an image and to specify the range for it.

See it in action…

Feature #5: Colorize

Colorize now features a user interface similar to Hue and Saturation, and some other minor improvements have been made.

See it in action…

Feature #6: Replace Color

Replace Color has now gained the same Hue and Saturation interface. In addition, a new feature makes Replace Color much more fun and useful: the Radius preview slider, which makes an image dissolve to black and white when you click on it for radius preview purposes.

See it in action…

Feature #7: Smart Palette Hide

This one is a very important innovation for Pixelmator users. We have received feedback from people who say they have too many palettes open in Pixelmator, and when they use adjustments or filters, they would like to focus just on that filter or adjustment tool. That’s where Smart Palette Hide comes in. Whenever you launch any adjustment or filter, unnecessary palettes that you won’t be using now temporarily dissolve. Once you’re done with that adjustment or filter tool, palettes that were hidden come back. I’ve been using this feature for five months now, and I must say I can’t live without it anymore.

Oh, and there is a second reason for this feature: we don’t believe in a one-window user interface image editor.

See it in action…

Feature #8: Action Tooltips

This one is mostly for those one-click menu items that you choose sometimes but can’t see any changes—and then you wonder if you did really choose it. So now when you choose any tool that does not have a palette, it will show a nice action label just so you know you did choose something. It is very good for working using keyboard shortcuts (especially undo/redo ones).


Feature #9: Type Tool

Because the Type Tool was on our board of shame, we had to do something about it. Type Tool in Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo brings an ability to draw the text box, some new type features, and a bunch of bug fixes. Well, not exactly bug fixes—we have completely overwritten it.

In addition to mentioned features and improvements, Version 1.3 brings a bunch of bug fixes and other minor improvements. Stay tuned for the update to be released (as I told you, it will happen in the next few days—we just want our little image editor to be perfect).

Tuesday, 4 November 2008.

24 Comments

Pixelmator Development Update: Entering the Frontlines

Howdy, my dear readers – Pixelmator lovers and haters, users and those still doubting. I think it is the perfect time for our traditional development update article about one of the best image editors in the Mac world.

First of all, I must tell you that Pixelmator is doing great, perfect, in fact – tens of thousands of Pixelmator licenses have been shipped (over 50,000, as of today), and that number is rapidly nearing the hundred thousand range. The download number is exceeding 500,000. These are definitely huge numbers for such a young and tiny software company with just one product in store.

While the numbers are great, that is not the main passion and motivation engine for us. Actually, much more exciting thing for us is that your feedback and reviews are becoming better and better with every single update of Pixelmator. I know that because, even though I am still very busy working on Pixelmator stuff, I read your e-mail, blogs, comments, and other websites that talk about Pixelmator every single evening before going to sleep.

And, while everything is so nice with the current version (1.2.3) of Pixelmator, I can only imagine what it will be like once Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is released. Speaking of the 1.3, we at the Pixelmator Team agree that it is the best major update we have ever done. Let me tell you why.

From the beginning, the purpose of version 1.3 Tempo was to focus on performance improvements. And, boy, we did focus! Aidas had to rewrite some very important portions of Pixelmator foundation that speak directly to Core Image itself. It took him three long summer months to accomplish that. And it was really worth it – Pixelmator performance improvements can easily be seen when working with large images, opening and saving, using filters or adjustments, and more. The performance changes/improvements are very important since they: 1) solve the problem that crops up when working with large images with Pixelmator; 2) make it much easier for us to optimize every single aspect of the app and 3) allow us to bring in some very powerful features.

And, by the way, from now on, Pixelmator is faster (and I really mean faster) than Big Brother in many cases. For example, opening that quite big JPEG file which is 4000x 4000 in size took Big Brother something like 2 sec., while, in Pixelmator, exactly the same image on the same Mac took 1 sec. to open. That’s very good, right? But there is even more about the speed of the app, which I am sure you will find out for yourself once 1.3 is out.

The other reason why version 1.3 is so great is the new features, which I am about to tell you more about in my next article in this weblog. Anyway, if you can’t wait – read what TUAW, ArsTechnica, and Smoking Apples had to say.

The beta for Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is doing well enough – we finally know the list of things we have to fix before the update can be released. Be sure that our Macs HDs, GPUs, CPUs, and RAMs spin like crazy as we work hard squashing bugs and making sure Tempo is available to you as soon as possible. Though, unfortunately, I can’t give you any specific release date – it’s software, you know.

It is also worth mentioning that the Pixelmator Team is working on a huge Pixelmator User’s Guide that should reach your hands in November and a new Learn Web site, which will feature lots of resources for learning about image editing and Pixelmator.

To sum up everything I have scribbled – the Pixelmator Team crew (incl. me) is working very hard to introduce the best major update of Pixelmator. With its new amazing features and, especially its performance improvements, I think it is OK to say that Pixelmator, step by step, is moving up to the frontlines against Big Brother…

I also want to give a massive Thank You to Mac and Pixelmator users around the world for your amazing feedback, outstanding support, and heartwarming smiles (I am sure you bring those up) when using Pixelmator. That’s the reason we are so passionate about our work.

Thank You.

P.S. The next major update of Pixelmator is 1.4 Sprinkle (Sprinkle is a codename), which will focus on painting tools.

Thursday, 9 October 2008.

29 Comments

Pixelmator 1.3 “Tempo” Beta Reviewed

While Adobe has just made their big announcement for the CS4 package, the Pixelmator Team has been working on a new beta of their Photoshop alternative, Pixelmator 1.3 “Tempo”. Yes, they have a habit of christening their releases with code names. Gives it a little more appeal, don’t you think?

Milind Alvares

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Monday, 29 September 2008.

6 Comments