Can I get the same effect with levels from photoshop with Pixelmator Pro

Talk about Pixelmator Pro, share tips & tricks, tutorials, and other resources.
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2018-04-02 04:53:01

I'm considering switching to Pixelmator, but I have a very specific need. I'm editing coloring book drawings and to edit them in Photoshop I go to Blur>Gaussain Blur and then go to Levels and make the picture sharp again. This makes it easy to make my lines stronger and it clears the background smudges. I've found the blur function in Pixelmator Pro, but have not figured out how to do the same effect with levels. Is there another way to get this effect? I'm completely new to image editing, so I don't know how to find this.
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2018-04-02 07:38:07

Hi Michaela.

Levels exists on Pixelmator Pro (1.0.9). It's under the Adjust Colors tool (head there and click on Add in the top right). There's one thing you need to be aware of, though. When Pixelmator Pro applies its effects and adjustments to a layer, it does so non-destructively (providing you don't edit the layer after you apply the effect), and in a specific order. It applies Color Adjustments then Styles then Effects (I think). So levels will be applied before the blur. Which is not what you want.

There are two solutions:
Destructive: when you choose how much blur to give, hold down the option key (⌥) and the Reset Adjustments button will change to a Flatten Adjustments button. Click it and the blur will be committed to the layer. You can then add the Levels adjustment. If you want to flatten the Levels effect later, do the same thing.
Non-destructive (and my favourite): Apply the blur to the layer. Put the layer in a group by itself and apply the Levels adjustment to the group. That way you can adjust both the blur and the levels to get the overall effect that you want. If you want to flatten the effects later, the easiest way is to right click on the group and select Merge. This will merge the layer and both effects (in the order that you need them) into a single layer.

I hope this helps.

- Stef.
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2018-04-02 20:45:27

Thanks, that's very helpful. Is there a levels just for black and white? I see levels for RBG but that is different from Photoshop where you can change the white levels which effectively wipes out any smudges in the background (I tend to have a lot) and the you can essentially sharpen (although that's not the words they use) the black lines. I'm less worried about the destructive non destructive because I do the blur/levels filter at the very beginning and then go into more editing. If I don't get that right I just redo it right away.
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2018-04-02 22:21:55

I think I understand the basics of what you are doing but am a little lost on how levels for black and white would work differently from applying levels to RGB together (or turning an image monochrome then applying RGB levels). Could you explain how that operates? Or upload a example picture showing the effect you are trying to achieve?