A while ago

Coming Soon

This is the biggest thing that we’ve ever done. The most innovative, beautiful and powerful thing that we’ve ever done. And it’s also the most Mac thing that we’ve ever done! This is what the legendary Pixelmator Team has been secretly and incredibly passionately working on for 5 whole years.

It turned out to be the coolest thing that we or anyone else has done in years, and, oh boy, I wish I could unveil everything just now, but I can’t. Well, I could, but I don’t wan’t to. Just yet. I am very excited about it and I really want every single thing to come out perfectly. So no details for now. But be sure that the entire team is currently working hard to bring you a lot more about what we’re doing — ASAP.

Great times ahead (again).

And because of all this, I highly recommend you subscribe to our Notify Me list or follow us on Twitter to be the first to know as soon as we have something more to reveal.

A while ago

Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera is out

Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera is out now and brings a ton of cool stuff. First of all, there’s support for macOS Sierra and the Touch Bar on the all-new MacBook Pro. Then, there’s Tabs and a content-aware way to refine selections with Smart Refine. We’ve also added support for P3 color and Wide Color displays, and a few other really neat features. Honestly, this update is a big one!

  • macOS SierraPixelmator is now fully compatible with macOS Sierra. In this version, we’ve added support for great new features like the Universal Clipboard and window alignment, and of course, the usual compatibility and bug fixes.
  • Touch BarThe Touch Bar adds a completely new way to interact with Pixelmator for Mac. You can use it keep your favorite tools within reach, set all kinds of useful tool options, and more. Check out our awesome Touch Bar tutorial for a closer look.
  • TabsWith Tabs, keeping track of all your open Pixelmator documents becomes really easy because you can keep them all in one window. For a short and sweet look at Tabs in Pixelmator, watch the Tabs tutorial.
  • Smart RefineThe new Smart Refine feature lets you instantly improve selections with a single click. And the best way to get an idea of what it can do is to see it in action by watching the Smart Refine tutorial.
  • Deep ImagesThanks to support for Deep Images, all 16-bit images you open on Mac computers with Wide Color displays will have more vibrant and true-to-life colors (especially in the greens and reds), and stunningly smooth gradients.

Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera also adds an awesome live preview for the Quick Selection Tool, a faster and more accurate algorithm for the Repair Tool, and other improvements and bug fixes. As always, the full release notes have all the little details if you’d like to learn more.

A while ago

Sneak Peek at Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera

Hey everyone, this is just a quick note to say that we’re working on an awesome update to Pixelmator for Mac. It will add full support for macOS Sierra and it’ll be called Pixelmator 3.6 Cordillera. In the meantime, we’d love to share with you just one of the new features you’ll be seeing in this update – Tabs.

Of course, there’s a lot more in store, but we wouldn’t want to give everything away just yet. And yes, this one’s going to be a free update for all users who purchased Pixelmator from the Mac App Store. Stay tuned!

A while ago

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS is here

Pretty much the first tweets and emails we got after shipping the last Pixelmator for Mac update had you guys asking us if the Quick Selection and Magnetic Selection tools were coming to iOS. Which was pretty cool, because that was actually our plan all along—to bring those two tools to macOS and then add them to Pixelmator for iOS. And that’s just what we did in Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS.

One of the great things about working with macOS and iOS is that we can often reuse code from one app in the other, because the two platforms are so well integrated. In this case, that made it much easier for us to add two truly desktop-class selection tools to Pixelmator for iOS. I guess that makes it sound like it was just a case of copying and pasting a bunch of code, but it wasn’t quite as simple like that.

The design of the marching ants was one of the biggest changes we had to make in this update. The marching ants we used to have were good enough for the Paint Selection Tool, but since Quick Selection is a lot more powerful, we had to completely rewrite the whole thing—from the ground up. Now, the ants look much nicer, work way faster, and you get to see a live preview of your selection as you’re making it. That’s all down to the awesome new design.

The technology behind the Quick Selection and Magnetic Selection tools is amazing. In our last blog post, we go into detail about them, so I won’t go over what we mentioned there. But, if you’re curious about what exactly lies beneath the tools, be sure to check out our previous blog post. We’ve also got two great video tutorials about both tools, which explain how they work. You can click here to watch the Quick Selection Tool tutorial. And here if you’d like to watch the Magnetic Selection Tool tutorial.

Along with the new selection tools and new marching ants design, we’ve also added loads of little improvements to the entire selection experience. Little things like an Invert Selection feature (yes, it did take a little too long for this one to make it into the app…), improved edge-smoothing with the Color Selection Tool, and a two finger double-tap to zoom gesture. And that’s not even close to being it. In fact, there were so many changes, that we had to cut the release notes in half just to fit them in the App Store description. But if you want to know all the little details, the full, unabridged release notes can be found right here.

This update is free for everyone who has previously bought Pixelmator for iOS, so you can just open up the App Store, get the latest version, and get selecting!

A while ago

Pixelmator 3.5 Canyon is Out

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.

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.

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
  • Edge Detection

    Smart Edge Detection lets you select an object incredibly precisely even if there is a very similar one right besides it.

  • Shadow Recognition

    Shadow Recognition lets you magically select an object while leaving its shadow unselected.

  • Direction Awareness

    Awareness of the direction in which you’re selecting an object lets the Tool predict what you will want to select next.

  • Smart Borders

    Smart Borders makes sure you select only the area you want even if you move the selection brush over that area.

  • Smooth Outline

    A separate algorithm perfects the outline of your selection, so you can copy the object into another image naturally.

  • Dynamic Brush

    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

    Core Animation is used to create the most beautiful selection marker line that has ever existed. Because every detail counts.

  • Core Image

    Magnetic Selection Tool takes full advantage of the powerful Core Image technology for amazing quality and speed.

  • A* Outline

    The selection outline is perfected with the advanced optimal path finding method, called A*, mainly used in video games.

  • Perfect Snap

    The selection magically snaps around the edges of the object you trace, thanks to advanced calculations underneath.

  • Smart Anchors

    The position of all the anchor points you clip is gently refined to perfectly match the edge of the object you trace.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts

    Smart keyboard shortcuts let you quickly switch between tools, adjust the brush size, remove anchor points, and do more.

A while ago

Pixelmator for iOS update is out

From the moment the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil were announced, we just couldn’t wait to get our hands on them — we were itching to get Pixelmator working perfectly with both. And now we’re happy to introduce Pixelmator 2.2 for iOS, which feels awesome to use on the iPad Pro and lets you get the most out of the Apple Pencil.

We also added 3D Touch support on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, a new Pixel brush to create pixel art, a way better crop experience, and more.

Pixelmator on iPad Pro

First off, saying that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil is just a slight understatement. As we waited for them to arrive at our office, everyone’s first words of the day were “Are they here yet?” We were all super excited to try them out and, of course, get an update out for you as soon as possible.

Using the Apple Pencil on the large iPad Pro display, you can do almost everything in Pixelmator with a lot more precision. Like scaling objects, working in specific areas with Retouch tools, tuning the Color Adjustment settings, and, well, doing everything else.

We’ve also added tilt, acceleration and pressure sensitivity support when painting, so using the brushes feels almost like drawing on paper. And, because the iPad Pro is such a powerful device, Pixelmator now supports huge, 16K images up to 100 megapixels, which means you can open and edit incredibly large photos and create even more advanced compositions.

3D Touch Support

On the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, we’ve added some really useful Quick Actions on the Home Screen and support for the new Peek and Pop feature in the Pixelmator Gallery thanks to 3D Touch. It definitely saves a few taps when you want to quickly import a photo or take a peek at an images before opening it. 3D Touch also allowed us to add pressure-sensitive painting, which feels really intuitive — you just press harder on the screen to get a thicker brushstroke or less for a thinner one.

Pixel Brush

Pixel artists — this one’s for you. As part of a new Basic brushes collection, we’ve included a brand-new Pixel brush. So now you can create awesome pixel art images with Pixelmator on your iPhone and iPad! The magic behind the brush is that, no matter what brush size you choose, the pixels you draw on the canvas automatically snap to the ones nearby. Making cool pixel-art images this way is really easy. Here’s what we’ve just created:

And it’s a free update for existing users, so visit the App Store, download the latest version and enjoy!

A while ago

Problem

At Pixelmator Team, we take a great deal of pride in developing a high-quality, powerful and reliable app. Our goal is to make it the best in the world. In order to achieve that, we have no problem putting off new features to work on improving performance. Over the years, this has proved to be the right approach. However, we’d like to discuss one issue in a little more detail.

Just over a month ago, after the release of the final few beta versions of OS X El Capitan, we ran into a serious crashing issue on certain Macs. On these computers, the app would crash for no apparent reason, even when working with very basic images.

We immediately put everything else on hold to get to the bottom of this. We started looking for where we could have gone wrong, and we came up empty. It was tough to say the least. It was also tough seeing the App Store ratings we had worked so hard to earn take a hit because of this issue.

So, we went back, pored over the crash reports you sent us and, eventually, the cause became clear: Intel HD 3000* graphics card drivers. Even though the problem isn’t with Pixelmator, we haven’t given up on finding a workaround. We did find a way to reduce the crashing but that meant having to make the app run very slowly on those Macs. Unfortunately, nothing else seems to have worked yet.

Realizing that this isn’t something we can solve on our own, we reached out to Apple for help, and they’ve been great so far. If you haven’t done so already, please e-mail us at support@pixelmator.com, and we’ll contact you the instant we hear about a fix.

As always, we are 100% committed to making your favorite app even better. To cheer you (and ourselves) up a little bit, we’re currently preparing an update that will include a Retouch Extension, bringing Pixelmator’s incredible Repair Tool to your Photos app.

* The following models with Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics cards are affected: MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011), MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011), MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011), Mac mini (Mid 2011).

A while ago

OS X El Capitan Support and a New Photos Extension

It’s here! Our latest and greatest version of Pixelmator has just hit the shelves of the Mac App Store. It brings some very exciting updates, including full support for OS X El Capitan, the new Split View feature, and a powerful, Metal-based Photos Extension together with a range of other improvements and fixes. This update really did take a great deal of effort on our part and the things we’ve done under the hood with the Photos Extension are seriously awesome.

OS X El Capitan

With the release of El Capitan, Apple introduced a unified OS X and iOS Core Image technology. And OS X Core Image is the foundation on which Pixelmator is built. As you can imagine, once the foundation is modified, things might get really messy. And they did.

We started to work on El Capitan support since its Beta was introduced back in June, during the WWDC. And today, after more than four months of work, we’re extremely proud to announce that Pixelmator is ready and works great on OS X El Capitan!

Together with that, we’re bringing a bunch of other neat enhancements, such as an enhanced Force Touch support, which makes painting with Force Touch trackpad way smoother, San Francisco as the new user interface font, and the cool new Split View feature, which lets you work with Pixelmator and any other app side-by-side, in full screen.

And there’s more.

Pixelmator Photos Extension

OS X El Capitan has introduced the ability for third-party developers to create Photo Editing extensions. And with Pixelmator 3.4 Twist, just two weeks after the official El Capitan release, we’re adding some amazing, incredibly fast Distort tools to your Photos app.

With the Pixelmator Photos Extension, you can reshape areas of your images to retouch photos, create artistic effects or simply have fun with your photos without having to leave the Photos app. Its really fun to use, and the quality and speed are incredible. All thanks to a few groundbreaking Apple technologies.

One of them is Metal, which allows the Photos Extension to be as good as it can possibly be. It gives the Extension a direct access to the GPU of your Mac, cutting down compute times and making graphics processing lightning quick. It also allowed us to boost the quality of all Distort tools to the very extremes. That’s just something you need to see for yourself.

To be honest, creating the Photos Extension with Metal was a lot of fun so we’re very excited about what the future holds for image editing with this and other amazing Apple technologies.

And there’s a whole lot more to the Pixelmator Photos Extension. You can learn about the details on the Pixelmator Photos Extension page.

So there it is. Go ahead and update to our latest version and enjoy Pixelmator on OS X El Capitan, together with Split View and other great features, as well as the incredible Pixelmator Photos Extension.

This is just the beginning of things to come. We hope you’ll love the new features and we hope you’ll continue inspiring us to improve.

note
If you have a MacBook released in 2011 with an Intel HD Graphics 3000 graphics card, you may continue experiencing some issues. We’re really doing our best to find a fix. In fact, we’ve even asked Apple for help on this and they’ve always been great in the past, so we hope to find a solution as soon as possible. If your MacBook has this graphics card, leave us your contacts at support@pixelmator.com and we’ll get in touch with you personally as soon as we have any news about this.

A while ago

Pixelmator for iOS 9 with 8K Image Support

A few days ago, we released a very cool update to Pixelmator for iOS with some amazing new features. And here is an in-depth overview of the key enhancements you get with the new Pixelmator version and a glimpse into why exactly we made all of these changes.

  • iOS 9Pixelmator now works great on the new iOS 9.

  • MultitaskingMultitasking on iPad via Split View and Slide Over.

  • 8K SupportOpen and edit images in stunning 8K resolution.

iOS 9 Support

Simply put, Pixelmator now works great on iOS 9. For those of you who enjoy digging deeper, we’ve put together some more details on the main new features. Read on.

Open in Place

With the Open in Place feature, you can now open a Pixelmator image from anywhere you want to (for example, from iCloud Drive), edit your image in Pixelmator, and save the changes you’ve made back onto the same document. This means you can have all of your most recent edits in the same document.

This might not seem like such a big deal, but it is. Previously, when you opened an image from iCloud Drive, Pixelmator had to duplicate this document and save its copy in the Pixelmator image gallery, which you would then edit (Pixelmator just didn’t have another choice). This meant that once you edited and saved your image, the original document in your iCloud Drive was not changed.

And what if you really needed to have the edited image in your iCloud Drive? In this case, you would have to “Save a Copy” of your edited document back to your iCloud Drive. The worst part was that you had to repeat the same process every single time you wanted to edit an image and wanted to be able to find your most recent edits in the same place. Every time.

The new iOS 9 Open in Place feature allowed us to simplify this process. Now, when you open a document from another location (again, let’s take iCloud Drive as an example), instead of making a copy, Pixelmator gallery creates an alias for the exact same document. Therefore, you can open an image from another location, edit it in Pixelmator, and then save your changes right onto the same document in the exact place you opened it from. How much simpler is that?

Save to Photos

The Save to Photos feature is quite similar. It helps you to get rid of all of the duplicating inconvenience when editing images from your Photos app. You can now open an image from Photos, edit it in Pixelmator, and save it back onto the same image. Just a much more clever way to edit your photos.

Copy Image

We’ve also added a feature that improves the ease of sharing your images—the ability to quickly copy the entire image composition to Clipboard.

Previously, you could copy any single layer of your image with just a few taps. You still have that capability. Yet if you wanted to share your entire image composition—for example, a photo with text and shapes—there was no really easy way to do this. You could either merge all of your image layers and then make a copy, or you could export your image into a different file format (for example, PNG) and share it afterward. Not the most efficient workflow.

What we did in Pixelmator 2.1 for iOS is we’ve added a simple feature that allows you to copy your entire image composition, so now it’s way easier to copy and paste the whole image into a text message, an email, or a social channel.

San Francisco

Most of you already know that we focus a lot of attention on making Pixelmator as native to iOS users as possible, and we definitely couldn’t have missed the new iOS 9 default font. So once you upgrade your app, take a few moments to appreciate how much more beautiful yet perfectly native Pixelmator looks with the new and totally modern San Francisco user interface font.

Multitasking on iPad

We also added Multitasking on iPad with the Split View, Slide Over, and Picture in Picture features, which allow you to use Pixelmator for iPad and any other app at the same time.

Slide Over

For example, you’re editing your image in Pixelmator and receive a text message from your friend. Without closing Pixelmator, you open your Messages app with literally a single swipe, quickly respond, and then slide the app away to get back to editing your image. It’s a really fast way to do side tasks without interrupting your workflow.

Split View

You can also use Split View and work with Pixelmator and any other app side by side, both at the same time. For example, you can work on an image you’re going to use in your presentation and have your Keynote slides open at the same time. So you can make just the right adjustments and quickly paste your image into Keynote (the new Copy Image feature makes this really easy to do).

One of the most obvious and most useful ways you can use Split View together with Pixelmator is to search for images in Safari, which makes it even easier to add new elements to your composition.

Picture in Picture

What’s more, with Picture in Picture, you can edit your image while watching a video (for example, an image-editing tutorial or something that inspires you) or while video chatting.

Adding Multitasking support can be quite a burden. If an app is not fluid (that is, not able to automatically adapt to different environments), you have to rethink the way it looks on every Multitasking layout individually. That’s almost the same as adapting every menu item, every button, and every popover for six new devices.

LAYOUTS FOR MULTITASKING SUPPORT

Yet in some cases, it might not be that hard.

The Pixelmator user interface is based on Apple’s Auto Layout technology, so it looked good on all Multitasking layouts almost automatically. All we needed to do was to make some minor design adjustments in the most unusual, tall “second app” layouts.

By the way, we have a few more layouts ready for the near future (any ideas for which new device?)

note
Slide Over and Picture in Picture features are available on iPad Air and later, as well as on iPad mini 2 and later. Split View is available on iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 4.

8K Image Support

This one is our favorite. Just a while back, Pixelmator allowed you to open and edit images of up to 4K resolution. That’s not too bad, yet we always craved to let you open really large, professional-quality images. It’s just what we thought was the right thing to do. In fact, we’ve been trying to find a way to do this for more than six months!

We’ve spent most of our time experimenting with the so-called Tiles support. We tried to divide a large image into many smaller images (something like stitching separate patches) so your iOS would understand them as separate images and would not apply the size constraint.

Unfortunately, that did not work quite so well for us. After many months, we still could not use this approach with many of our image editing features (for example, Effects). But then we got our hands on iOS 9.

A while back, one of our developers was digging really deep into the new iOS, exploring everything we could use to enhance Pixelmator. He also tried to run some tasks with large textures (translation for humans: large images). And it worked! After six months of hard work and hundreds of attempts to create a unique solution, what worked was our persistence and, well, opening a large image.

It appears that the optimizations we had implemented by that time were more than enough to support the new resolution limit that comes with iOS 9 on all 64-bit devices.

It’s hard to imagine the atmosphere that was here in our office once we ran some more tests and were absolutely sure that Pixelmator can now let you open and edit really—truly—large images! Right in Pixelmator, on your iPad, iPhone, or even on your iPod, if you wish.

This means you can now use a professional SLR camera to take photos of up to 50 megapixels, instantly upload them onto your iOS device, and use pro-grade Pixelmator tools to instantly edit and share them.

We really wanted to try out the enhanced Pixelmator, so this summer, we worked with a passionate mountaineer-photographer, Saulius Damulevicius. Saulius had just come back from an amazing expedition to Chan Tengri (7439 m.), his personal highest peak. He was documenting his entire journey with a professional mirrorless system camera and used Pixelmator on his iPhone to process and share his photos every time he went back to the base camp. He gave us some amazing feedback and some stunning images, too.

And that’s what 8K image support ultimately is—the possibility of editing your professional images right when and where you need to, no matter whether you use your iPhone or a professional camera. You can.

note
8K images are supported on iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, and iPod touch 6th generation.

All of these features make us think of how far mobile image editing has already gone and how much there’s yet to be done. Following along these lines, we’re super excited about the new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and the next-generation technologies that come with them.

It all obliges our team to constantly innovate and focus on creating next-generation, professional, powerful image editing tools. This provides a clear focus for the future of both Pixelmator for iOS and Pixelmator for Mac.

Many huge plans ahead. So stay tuned.