Pixelmator Beta Notes
Whew, today is the day. Finally, we started sending our first closed beta seed to testers. I don’t have much time for beta description, but I wanted to make a few notes.
First of all, thank you very much for being so active with your emails about participating in Pixelmator Beta. It’s really great to know that so many people care about Pixelmator. That’s one more reason why it has to be great.
As I mentioned in the Pixelmator Beta Guidelines document (which comes with the application), the main purpose of Pixelmator Beta is to ensure the highest quality possible for the final version of the application. And by using beta and letting us know about any problems you are experiencing, you will help us to significantly improve the application before it is released.
And, I promise a little “thank you” gift for all of the beta testers once we are ready with Pixelmator.
However, one thing that I really would like to ask all of the people who are participating in beta is to please, please, please do not post any info or share the application yet. It’s not finished and any bad things that go public would hurt us. First you’d better give us a chance to fix them. We plan to have three seeds of the beta before the final release.
So, thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy the first beta of Pixelmator! (Be sure to try the filter rope. ;))
P.S. This weekend will be the first weekend we are to have some rest. Whoohooo! Well, half-rest. We could not stop thinking about and checking the status of Pixelmator bugs.
Pixelmator Development Update
As you may have already noticed, we’ve been quiet for some time. And yup, you are right, we’re working like crazy these days. The last time we had a free weekend was two months ago and we are still very passionate about our work. I see from your emails that you can’t wait to get your hands on Pixelmator and keep asking us how the birth of our little app is going, when will the beta be released, how will some features work, and so on.
So, I guess, it’s time for a good Pixelmator development update.
First of all, I have to tell you that we are very happy with what we have done so far. Pixelmator looks great, it works great, and it really is so much fun. Although it is not yet finished, it’s not too far from being ready.
If you investigated the Pixelmator Tech Specs website, you would notice that we had some strange blending modes like Minus, Modulate, Bumpmap, and Subtract. Although they looked nice, we removed them and added those that are available in Big Brother (Photoshop). The reason for this is to ensure better compatibility with PSD files. So now, our blending mode list includes: Normal, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn, Darker Color, Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, Linear Dodge, Lighter Color, Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, Hard Mix, Difference, Exclusion, Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity. We compared them to Big Brother and they look exactly the same in Pixelmator. That’s good.
Other changes In Pixelmator Tech specs are about .Mac support. .Mac support is temporary removed. It’s not that we had any problems developing it—it’s just that when we done with it, we were not very happy with just being able to backup Pixelmator swatches and brushes. It’s almost useless. Another reason for this is that we would like to concentrate on the most important features in Pixelmator. Anyway, .Mac support will be back in Pixelmator version 1.1 or 1.2.
Pixelmator supports over 100 different file formats; 112, exactly. However, the most important ones are PSD, Tiff, PNG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, BMP and PXM. PXM is the native Pixelmator file format. It is the best way to store your compositions without losing layers or any other info about your file. We would love to use PSD as our main file format, but it is too closed and we don’t have as many features in Pixelmator as Big Brother stores in PSD files.
Speaking of other file formats, probably few of them (five I guess) will be removed from the list, because of some problems in ImageMagick (Pixelmator foundation). We don’t want to have any stuff in Pixelmator that is not stable. But once those formats are fixed—they will be back. We’ve prepared a little overview of Pixelmator-supported file formats. You will be able to download the PDF soon.
That’s pretty much it about the changes in the Pixelmator technical specifications. Note, however, that there are some amazing news about gradients (I will tell you in our next article) and some more new, little improvements in some corners of the app that are not mentioned in Tech Specs page.
The biggest part of Pixelmator is already done, but there are still some features that have to be finished. These days, Aidas is working on Layer masks (we should be completely done with Layers this week). Other things that are not yet complete in Pixelmator are transformations (Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, Perspective, etc.), Sharpen/Blur tools, the Clone Stamp tool, and Undo/Redo. Undo/Redo is the hard one. It will take 4–5 days to finish that feature. Also, we would like to improve the painting engine a bit; there is something that is not yet right.
So, our plan is: 1. Finish all the Pixelmator features. 2. Test and fix some bugs internally. 3. Release closed beta (Closed?! OMG How could we dare to do that!).
Yes, we decided not to release a public beta. Let me explain why. As you may know, we are just two guys in the Pixelmator Team (well, sometimes three), and we get many emails every day. That’s great, and we love answering emails, but we also have to spend some time creating Pixelmator. So, if we release a public beta, we think our mailboxes would be more than full; we would get a lot of feedback, feature requests, even blames. While Pixelmator is not finished and has bugs, we would like to concentrate just on improving the application. That we would do better, faster, and without chaos with a small group of people (about 2000 plus MacHeist promo purchasers). And once it is released, you would have a stable and as good an app as it should be.
I know you need some dates, and I know we promised release at the end of July. Although we will do everything we can to have a feature complete and bug-free version of Pixelmator the last second of this month, I don’t think that we will release it yet. So, the Pixelmator closed beta release date is scheduled to be the 16th of August.
Drop me an email at bugs at pixelmator.com if you would like to participate. Be sure to tell me your Mac specifications and your skills. Please note that having a lot of experience working with many design apps does not mean that you have more chances to be in beta than if you don’t know anything about graphic design or computers. We would love to see iLife fans, switchers from Windows, grandfathers and grandmothers, 6-year-old kids, and our secret friend John Gruber trying out Pixelmator beta.
I hope this helps you to understand where are we. Feel free to blame us, motivate us, or discuss anything I mentioned in this article.
Pixelmator Team Interview
Pixelmator is the exciting new “delicious” image editor in the works. The two developers are brothers, Saulius and Aidas Dailide, and they agreed to answer my questions about their new app, as well as what it was like to work on it.
We are back
Well, in fact, we have been back from San Francisco for a few days now, but we have been very busy with Pixelmator. I finally found a minute to let you know what we have been up to lately.
So, let me start with the World Wide Developers Conference. Attending was great for us and our little friend Pixelmator. First of all, we met and had an opportunity to chat with many great Mac developers and stars. Secondly, we met many Apple engineers who helped us to solve some little problems with Pixelmator. We would especially like to thank Apple’s Core Image team. These guys are amazing. They helped us to solve what we thought were some hard problems with Pixelmator.
Also, we showed off Pixelmator at the Delicious Generation party. You can take a sneak peak at all the apps that were showed at this party, including Pixelmator, in this video (sorry about the quality).
We enjoyed all of the WWDC events, parties, and sessions, but the one thing that truly amazed us is the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. We already love Leopard’s desktop and the features it has. What’s more, Pixelmator runs even faster on Leopard than it did on Tiger. We learned that in some cases it can run up to two times faster – and that’s because of Core Image improvements.
So, the future looks sooo bright for Pixelmator, and there was never a better time to be a Mac developer.
Well, I’m getting back to work now.
Pixelmator Team at WWDC
Me and Aidas, for the first time in our lives, are going to the USA. What’s more, we are heading toward the most exciting Apple event for Mac developers–the World Wide Developers Conference.
We’ve already learned that there will be many wonderful events at WWDC, such as the Steve Jobs keynote, Apple Design Awards, Sessions & Labs for developers, and much more. One of the most important things for us is that we will have an opportunity to meet other Mac and Apple developers and ask questions. Boy, we have many questions!
Also, we will get our hands on Leopard Beta! You might want to know that Pixelmator was first an application developed exclusively for Leopard. We took advantage of plenty of wonderful Leopard technologies (which I can’t talk about much–you’ll see them once Leopard ships), but because of an Apple delay (because of the iPhone, which is going to be great), we decided to let Pixelmator run on Mac OS X Tiger too. I will explain that decision in my future articles.
So, if next week you see two strange guys who look scared to death because they are lost in San Francisco–that will be us.
Pixelmator the Unbelievable
It’s been four days since we announced Pixelmator. And you know what? I would never, never, oh never believe that something as insanely wonderful as last week could ever happen to our little company. It’s impossible to explain all the feelings that both of us—my brother and myself—have. We live in a fantastic dream these days. We can’t talk, we can’t sleep, we can’t even work normally. It’s so hard to wake up from Pixelmator euphoria.
I can’t tell you the exact stats, but believe me, we had an unbelievable number of visitors to our website. The traffic was so huge, there were times when our server was down (and we use one of the most reliable web service providers in the world!).
Also, I would like to thank all of you for writing us! We are receiving hundreds of e-mails from people all the around the world telling us they can’t wait for Pixelmator and how much they love what we have done. Usually we reply to messages the same day we get them, but this time, please forgive us if it takes us two or three days to answer—we are still trying to catch up!
And what can I say about your messages? I love the Mac community and its culture, I really do! It is so supportive of what we are doing, so creative with ideas, and so intelligent that I am really excited about being a little part of it.
Thank you all for your inspiring words!
I would quote all the e-mails here, but it would fill more than 20 pages of our weblog. So here are just a few of them:
“I could not wait to have your new app to play with…I will buy it right at the moment it is out.”
“Dear Aidas and Saulius,
The power that it sounds like Pixelmator will be able to have is unbelievable. I am personally a video editor and Mac application blogger, and from the video side, I know the power of GPU.”
“I’ve heard about your great Pixelmator project and what I’m reading about looks fantastic.”
“Hi! Pixelmator seems to be the “How come no one has done that yet!” app that I and many of my Mac using friends have been wanting for so long.”
“Just saw the Pixelmator video on Tuaw, and I’m stunned at the elegance and professionalism of your application.”
“Pixelmator is exactly what I’m looking for.”
“I think this is going to be huge! All i can say is wow! Amazing…beautiful UI I can’t wait to buy this! Hurry up! ;)…no seriously hurry I’m dying to buy this!”
“This tool looks extremely exciting and (dare I say it) FUN!”
TUAW Exclusive: Video of Pixelmator in action
While Pixelmator may technically be vaporware according to Gruber, I managed to snag an exclusive demonstration video of the app in action from its developers, brothers Aidas and Saulius Dailide (who you might be interested to know also founded Jumsoft). The demo showcases some impressive Pixelmator features, including working with multiple layers and objects, opening Photoshop files and moving layers from one image to another, taking a picture with an iSight camera and embedding it into the current working image, and even some impressive blending modes.
David Chartier, TUAW
Believe me, this is the most exciting day after many months of very hard, but fun work. Finally I can announce: Hello world, we are the Pixelmator Team!
I couldn’t wait to let all you wonderful Mac users know about us and work that we have been doing for the past few months. So, let me introduce ourselves.
We are a little Mac software company, called Pixelmator Team. Pixelmator Team was launched by two brothers a few months ago. Actually we launched the project first, then picked a name for our company. For a few months now, we’ve been developing one of the coolest Mac apps ever. We call it Pixelmator. It’s the real-Mac OS X image editing application. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here.) For now, I will not talk much about Pixelmator – we have many years ahead for that. Instead, I’ll tell you more about the people behind it: the Pixelmator Team.
So, my name is Saulius Dailide and I am one of the two brothers that are working in this company. I do business, user interfaces, project management stuff and develop this website. My brother, Aidas Dailide, is Mac OS X programmer. I can objectively say that he is one of the best I’ve ever seen. So, here we are – the Pixelmator Team.
We’ve been using Macs for more than ten years now. Our first Mac was Centris 650 – we enjoyed it so much that we started to study it, and we still are. Using Apple stuff, especially Mac, feels insanely great (you know what I mean). In fact, I just wanted to say that we love Macs and we proud of being part of Mac community. I guess, that’s why we are into Mac software business.
What I did not mention is that we co-founded another Mac software company six years ago. That company is called Jumsoft and is still alive and well. Jumsoft was one of the journeys that brought us to where we are today. It taught us to make Mac apps and to market them (but not how to write blog articles). We learned many exciting things and met many wonderful people at Jumsoft. And I want to say big thanks to Jumsoft and Jumsoft customers who, by purchasing Jumsoft software helped us build our next big thing, that we think is going to be a giga thing.
Pixelmator Team is one of the most magical things in my life and Aidas would definitely agree. We’ve never been happier to wake up in the morning, start our Macs (I use MacBook Pro, while Aidas uses a black MacBook) and start polishing Pixelmator. Imagine every single day you find something very exciting and you make it and the next day you have it all running (I am talking about Pixelmator, of course). That’s the atmosphere at Pixelmator Team and I hope you will feel the same when you run our software.
That’s enough about us for now. If you didn’t find what you are looking for – don’t worry – we’ll be talking about it and the stuff we do very often. If you really can’t wait, check out our company site, our flickr photos or take a sneak peek at Pixelmator – it’s worth it.
Should you have any questions, comments or ideas for our blog don’t hesitate to contact us or just simply join the discussion in our blog comments.
Hello World and stay tuned!
P.S. That is my first blog article ever. Please forgive whatever glitches are in it.
New Mac Company Introduces the World's First GPU-powered Image Editor
Founded by brothers Saulius and Aidas Dailide in 2007, the Pixelmator Team today introduced Pixelmator, the world’s first GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images.
“Finally, an innovative, fast, and easy-to-use image editor for Mac OS X that brings the power of todays expensive image production tools to every Mac user at a very affordable price,” said Saulius Dailide, Pixelmator Team. “We think all Mac people—home users as well as professionals—will find Pixelmator very usefull and fun”.
Built from the ground up on a combination of open source and Mac OS X technologies, Pixelmator features powerful selection, painting, retouching, navigation, and color correction tools, and layers-based image editing, GPU-powered image processing, color management, automation, and transparent HUD user interface for work with images.
Mac iSight users will enjoy Pixelmator’s New Layer from iSight feature that allows taking a snapshot with Mac’s built-in video camera and adding the snapshot as a layer in composition. The Photo Browser palette in Pixelmator offers quick access to iPhoto Library, albums, Smart Albums, and pictures in user’s Pictures folder. Best of all, the user can just drag-and-drop any of those images as layers in Pixelmator composition.
Another very important feature of Pixelmator is Automator support. Very powerful Pixelmator actions in Automator allow the user to quickly enhance, resize, or transform images, add any special effects, and even export images to more than 100 different file formats.
Pixelmator is based on Core Image and OpenGL technologies that use Mac’s video card for image processing. Core Image and OpenGL utilize the graphics card for image processing operations, freeing the CPU for other tasks. And if a high-performance card with increased video memory (VRAM) is present, one will find real-time responsiveness across a wide variety of Pixelmator operations, including editing tools, color correction tools, filters, and more. Pixelmator is lightening-fast on the latest PowerPC and all Intel-based Macs.
Other notable features: Pixelmator supports more than 100 different file formats, including Photoshop images with layers, and it comes with more than 16 color correction tools and 50 Core Image-powered filters, transform tools, fill and stroke, QuickMask mode, full-screen editing mode, Dashboard support, .Mac support, ColorSync support, Spotlight support, and much more.
Pricing & Availability
Pixelmator 1.0 will be available in late July for $59 (US). Full system requirements and more information on Pixelmator can be found at www.pixelmator.com