Pixelmator Pro 2.4 is now available, bringing color adjustments and effects layers, a completely redesigned Layers sidebar, over 200 beautiful new vector shapes, support for M1 Ultra, and more.
Color Adjustments and Effects Layers
Color adjustments and effects layers let you nondestructively change the look of entire layered compositions more quickly and easily than ever before. These new layer types also make it possible to more easily make selective edits to photos, designs, and illustrations, completely transforming many common workflows.
If you’d like to learn more about these layer types, we’ve got you covered – check out our video on this topic below.
We’ve also got a new tutorial that takes full advantage of color adjustments layers to create a beautiful color splash effect.
Redesigned Layers Sidebar
The Layers sidebar has been redesigned with a fresh new look and a range of usability improvements – different layer types are now much more easily recognizable, layers feature informative subtitles, it’s now possible to customize layer thumbnail sizes, and more.
Over 200 New Vector Shapes
Pixelmator Pro 2.4 adds over 200 new artist-designed vector shapes in categories like science, activities, and symbols. Vector shapes are resolution-independent so can be used freely in any design or illustration. And they’ve been meticulously crafted to be pixel-perfect in pixel designs, so you won’t see any unwanted blurring at their edges when using them as icons or other elements in your designs.
M1 Ultra Support
Pixelmator Pro is a Universal app that runs natively on M1-powered Mac devices, taking full advantage of all the power of the new M1 Ultra chip and its unified memory architecture. Thanks to machine learning model optimizations, ML-powered tasks, like automatic background removal, super resolution, and photo enhancement are up to 1.7 times faster on M1 Ultra compared to M1 Max.
Pixelmator Pro 2.4 also adds a new Scrubby Zoom mode, adding an all-new way to zoom images, brings the ability to unlink layer masks, includes new keyboard shortcuts for adding layers, and more.
The update is totally free for all existing Pixelmator Pro users and $39.99 for those of you who don’t yet have a copy. Head on down to the Mac App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and enjoy all the shiny new features!
We’ve been spoiling you with updates recently – and we love doing it – so we’re very excited to say that, today, we’ve got a cherry on top of the 2021 cake for Pixelmator Pro. Today’s update brings the ability to export files to Apple’s motion graphics tool, the aptly-named Motion. Now, if you don’t use Motion, that might not sound like such a big deal to you, but hiding behind the headline is another equally big improvement for all Pixelmator Pro users: completely reengineered support for SVG files. Intrigued? Read on for all the details.
So, starting today, you can now export Motion files from Pixelmator Pro, making it easier than ever to create motion graphics. Not just that, because Pixelmator Pro has support for SVGs, you can even open SVGs and export those in Motion format. This is great if you, for example, want to create some animations or Final Cut Pro templates but don’t feel like creating all the illustrations yourself. If you’d like to learn more about using Pixelmator Pro and Motion, check out this in-depth video guide from Ripple Training.
All-new SVG engine
Another big project this year has been improvements to the file reading and writing foundations of Pixelmator Pro, starting with massively improved support for PSD files. Now, it’s time for SVGs. And the improvements here are maybe even bigger.
The SVG format is pretty fascinatingly huge and isn’t limited to just simple vector layers. It can contain images, text, path text, layers with different blending modes, letter spacing, filters and effects, masks, clipping paths, opacity. And how much of this is supported can be measured in numeric terms because there are certain compliance tests you can run and we have created our own test suite.
The file format specification really is huge and most raster and vector apps would pass a small number of these tests. The latest version of Pixelmator Pro now passes four times more of our test suite the the previous version did. We’ve also added support for some features that are only available in SVG 2, the newest specification of this format.
4ximproved support for SVGs
Below, you can see a visual example of how some SVG files used to be opened in Pixelmator Pro and what the situation’s like in today’s version. Big improvements!
We also don’t plan to stop there and will continue improving support for PSDs, SVGs, and will probably add some more useful formats next year and in the future. Pixelmator Pro itself will need more features to be able to keep up, so that’s also in the works.
The update is free for all existing users and available now. Also, Pixelmator Pro is still on sale for another week or so, so you have time to grab a copy at the current ridiculously low price. To do that, you can open up the App Store using the link below.
Phew. It’s been a busy and very fun 2021 here at the Pixelmator Team. Thank you to all of you who use our apps to create cool stuff, give us compliments, feedback, and the occasional bits of criticism. We really do appreciate you all. And we’ve got even bigger plans for next year – stay tuned!
Pixelmator Photo, the most powerful photo editor ever designed for a mobile device, is now available on iPhone. From the very first day we released Pixelmator Photo on iPad, we’ve dreamed about having this editor on our iPhones and we’re beyond excited to announce that it’s finally here.
What makes Pixelmator Photo so incredibly cool? A few exceptional features.
Over 30 desktop-class color adjustments
The color adjustments in Pixelmator Photo were first developed for Pixelmator Pro, our layer-based image editor for Mac. They were designed to let you edit the color of images in just about any way you could imagine while preserving the highest possible color quality and detail. And all those incredible tools are now available on iPhone.
Full support for over 600 RAW formats, including Apple ProRAW
Pixelmator Photo includes full, native support for RAW photos from over 600 cameras as well as the Apple ProRAW format. Editing RAW gives you much more flexibility and makes it possible to recover seemingly lost detail. And in Pixelmator Photo, that flexibility is unlimited because every editing tool works nondestructively. This includes our Repair tool, which is possibly the only fully-fledged object removal tool that works nondestructively with RAW shots.
Tools powered by machine learning
Machine learning is the most magical technology in image and photo editing today. And Pixelmator Photo is packed full of super-intelligent tools powered by machine learning. Like automatic photo enhancement that, with just a tap, lets you improve a photo like a pro photographer. You can also increase the resolution of photos (think “Zoom… Enhance!”) using AI, remove camera noise, automatically crop photos, and more. Even if you’re a complete beginner to photo editing, you can jump in and start making your photos look amazing.
Effortless library management, powered by the Photos app
Pixelmator Photo is designed from the ground up to build upon your Photos library. When you edit photos, changes sync with the Photos app automatically, your edits are nondestructively preserved by Pixelmator Photo, and everything just works. And specially for iPhone, we’ve added a new, filmstrip-style editor that makes opening photos for editing simpler and easier than ever.
Available on iPhone and iPad
Pixelmator Photo is a Universal app, so once you buy it for iPhone, it’s yours to keep on iPad too. And if you’ve already bought it on iPad, congratulations – you now have the most most powerful photo editor for iPhone in your pocket, too.
That’s it. That’s the blog post. If you want to take your iPhone photography to the next level, Pixelmator Photo is for you. If you want to edit RAW photos you’ve taken with your digital camera right on your phone, Pixelmator Photo is for you. If you want touch up and improve photos using the most advanced tools out there, Pixelmator Photo is for you. And you can get it on the App Store today with a special 50% launch discount.
Not even a full month since our last major update, we’re bringing you another huge update with some truly amazing new features. Pixelmator Pro 2.3 – codenamed Abracadabra (because it’s totally magical) – brings a new automatic background removal feature, automatic subject selection, a new Select and Mask tool, and more. Not just that, starting today, Pixelmator Pro is also going on sale for 50% off!
Magic Background Eraser
With today’s update, you can now magically remove the background from any image with just a click. We’ve trained a convolutional neural network to find the subject in pretty much any image and automatically remove its background. In fact – we’ve created three separate machine learning models to each do its little bit of magic. If you’d like to learn more about where to find this feature, we’ve got a super quick tutorial on it that you might enjoy.
Built-In Quick Action
In addition to being available in Pixelmator Pro itself, the Remove Background feature is also available in the Finder app as a Quick Action!
When you remove the background from an image, the object left behind can often have traces of the previous background around its edges. The (AI-powered) Decontaminate Colors feature automatically removes these traces so objects blend seamlessly with any new background. Although this is usually done automatically when it makes sense, you can also apply it yourself to any layer – even ones that have been cut out in other apps.
Another totally magical new feature is automatic subject selection – with just a click, you can make a selection of the subject of any image. And if you’d like to refine that selection down to the tiniest detail, we’ve also got a…
Select and Mask Tool
To make it possible to make incredibly accurate selections of any object, we’ve created a new Select and Mask tool. This is designed to make it easy to select the most difficult areas of all – hair, fur, and similar objects with very complex edges. Here, you’ll find a completely redesigned Smart Refine feature and other tools that make it a breeze to select even the most challenging areas of an image. To help you get the most out of this tool, we’ve got a great tutorial on it – check it out on our YouTube channel.
If you have a rough – or even quite accurate selection – you can refine it automatically using the totally redesigned Smart Refine feature. Again, with just a single click, you can go from a rough outline to a perfect selection.
Refine Edge Brush
For anyone who wants absolutely pixel-perfect selections of every single area in an image, we’ve added a Refine Edge Brush. This brush is designed to be used specifically on tricky edge areas – create accurate selections of those areas by simply brushing over them.
How the magic happens
All this is powered by a set of machine learning algorithms that we’ve spent the last 12 months developing. Because Pixelmator Pro does much more than just simple background removal, we decided to create three algorithms – one for detecting the subjects of images, one for refining selection edges, and one for decontaminating the colors at the edges of objects. If you’d like a closer look at how this all works – read on!
Step 1: Find the subject of the image
First, we need to find the subject of the image. In the comparison below, the image on the left is the original and the one on the right shows the mask created by the subject detection feature. In this case, the mask is already pretty accurate but the edges aren’t fully refined.
Mask created by subject selection algorithm
Step 2: Refine the edges of the selection
The next step involves refining the edges of the selection. The image on the left shows what the mask looks like after the subject selection algorithm has done its magic and the one on the right shows what the selection looks like after it’s been processed by the edge refinement algorithm. Much better!
Selection after subject selection
Selection after subject selection and selection refinement
Step 3: Decontaminate the colors at the object’s edges
The last thing we need to do is decontaminate the colors at the edges of the object. This is actually a massively important step – without it, the object wouldn’t blend naturally with backgrounds of different colors. In this comparison, we’ve changed the background so you can see what the image would look like both with and without color decontamination.
Without color decontamination
With color decontamination
These new features are going to completely transform pretty much every image editing and photography workflow in Pixelmator Pro, so we’re incredibly excited to be able to share them with you. The update is totally free for existing Pixelmator Pro users and on sale for 50% off for anyone who doesn’t yet have a copy. Visit the Mac App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and enjoy all the additions!
The update includes some other little things, like the ability to specify custom export sizes and scales in the Export dialog. For all the details, check out our Updates page. And lastly, although 2021 is drawing to a close and we’ve shipped some really fantastic updates this year, we’ve got a few more surprises under our belt. Stay tuned for more news in the coming weeks!
Hey everyone, Pixelmator Pro has just received an awesome major update and we’d love to tell you all about it! Pixelmator Pro 2.2 brings support for macOS Monterey and the new M1 Pro and M1 Max-powered MacBook Pro devices, adds 28 actions to the new Shortcuts app, includes a Split Comparison view for easily comparing edits, and a whole lot more.
Thanks to full compatibility support for macOS Monterey, Pixelmator Pro works perfectly with the latest and greatest version of macOS. Go for it – get the upgrade!
M1 Pro and M1 Max
As a Universal app, Pixelmator Pro is fully equipped to harness all the power of the latest MacBook Pro devices featuring the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. This means that you can expect features like ML Super Resolution to be up to 15 times faster compared to the most recent Intel-powered Mac devices!
Shortcuts makes its grand entrance to the Mac and boy do we love it! So much so that we’ve added 28 dedicated Pixelmator Pro actions, including all our ML-based tools (Super Resolution, Enhance, Denoise, Match Colors, and Crop). We’ve also got some new, Shortcuts-exclusive features, like automatic background removal for photos of people! And to learn more about using our actions, make sure to watch our tutorial on Shortcuts and Pixelmator Pro.
Pixelmator Pro now includes a split-screen comparison view, so you can see all your edits more closely than ever. You can turn on the split comparison view by Option-clicking the Show Original button or force clicking the canvas when using the Color Adjustments and Effects tools. You can also press the Control + C keyboard shortcut or add the new compare button to the Pixelmator Pro toolbar by clicking View > Customize Toolbar.
As for additional new features, there’s also an all-new Bokeh blur effect, you can now open Pixelmator Photo files in Pixelmator Pro, maximum brush spacing has been increased from 100% to 1000%, and there’s a few other things you can find in the full release notes.
The update is totally free for all existing Pixelmator Pro users and $39.99 for those of you who don’t yet have a copy. Head on down to the Mac App Store to make sure you’re all up to date and enjoy all the great new features!
Our machine learning models practically live a life of their own. For most of our apps, features and improvements have to be worked on for each app separately. But when it comes to ML models, we can include improvements everywhere at once. And that’s what has just happened with ML Super Resolution – the algorithm has been refined to work much better with illustrations and graphics, especially those that include semitransparent areas – and those changes are available in both Pixelmator Pro and Pixelmator Photo as of their most recent updates.
Our ML Super Resolution algorithm is pretty unique because it supports transparent images and this adds an extra level of complexity to the algorithm. In images with transparency, upscaled edges weren’t quite as sharp as we’d like. So we made a few tweaks and have some pretty big improvements that we’re very proud of! Check them out below.
Old ML Super Resolution version
New ML Super Resolution version
And in other ML news, the sixth-generation iPad mini is now available. It sports the new A15 Bionic chip with a 16-core neural processor, which is around 40% faster than the previous generation. We ran a quick test that we’ve done previously and the iPad mini came in at 0.41s to upscale a 0.3 megapixel image. That’s faster than the 2017 iMac Pro!
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)
iMac Pro (2017)
M1 MacBook Air (2020)
iPad mini (Sixth generation)
* For this test, a 300,000 pixel image was upscaled to three times its original size. The iPad mini was tested on iOS 15, the M1 Mac on macOS 11, and other devices on macOS 10.15.
Pixelmator Pro 2.2 Carmel will be released not too long from now, when the wonderful new macOS Monterey becomes available. We’ll be adding full compatibility support for macOS Monterey and really extensive support for the all-new Shortcuts for macOS with over 24 new shortcuts! And today, we’re making it available for beta testing through TestFlight.
We’ve really been looking forward to TestFlight for macOS for a while now so we wanted to be one of the first apps available on it, even if TestFlight itself is still in beta. If you’d like to join our team of TestFlight beta testers, you can do so at the link below. Please bear in mind that you need to be running the macOS Monterey beta and download the beta version of TestFlight from the Apple Developer downloads page. We’ve opened up 500 beta testing spots for now, so grab yours fast!
macOS Monterey is in beta, TestFlight is in beta, and Pixelmator Pro 2.2 is also in beta. That’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong and beta testing software means you will see bugs. So, please, only join the beta if you know and accept the potential risks.
After a short summer break, the entire Pixelmator Team is back at work, continuing our quest to create the world’s best image editor! And boy do we have some great stuff in store for you over the coming months. Today, we’re releasing Pixelmator Pro 2.1.3, which includes a huge update to our support for Adobe Photoshop files – in fact, we’ve rewritten the entire engine that handles this from the ground up.
All-new PSD engine
First of all, what’s the PSD engine? It’s what we call the part of the app that handles reading, opening, and writing PSD files – in a nutshell, everything to do with PSDs. And we’ve completely rewritten it to be faster, safer (crash-free!), and much more advanced.
This was a really big project and took us almost a year to complete. A cool note is that for the reading and writing part of this project, we used the Rust programming language. Also, we dived really deep into the PSD format itself and have a much better understanding of it, with some fantastic internal documentation and a great foundation for even more improvements in the future.
Support for PSD shapes
There are so many things that have been improved with regard to PSD support, but one of the most important ones is support for shapes in PSDs. Previously, PSD shape layers would be opened as image layers in Pixelmator Pro. Now, they’ll be opened as vector shapes, which is a really big deal. They’ll also be exported as shapes from Pixelmator Pro, bringing much improved compatibility!
Layered TIFFs, PSBs, improved effects, and more
In addition to this, there’s a whole lot more that we’ve added. This includes support for PSB files (very large PSDs), layered TIFF files (which actually include embedded PSDs), way better support for effects, and even support for some adjustment layers (such as Hue/Saturation, Exposure, Invert, and Channel Mixer). Support for text layers has also been improved a great deal – there’s now support for advanced features like SF Symbols sizing and improved handling of line height, spacing, and indents.
Optimize for Apple pro apps
A really nice extra detail is that you can now optimize exported PSDs for Apple pro apps like Final Cut Pro and Motion. This was needed because Pixelmator Pro now supports some much more advanced features in PSDs that these apps don’t.
A quick example
Below, we’ve got a quick visual example of how certain PSD files with some advanced PSD features (smart filters with masks and certain layer styles) would be opened in the previous version of Pixelmator Pro. This was inspired by a real-world case – the template files you can find on the Apple Design Resources page. The differences are pretty huge! And the new PSD engine is an ongoing project, so we’re certainly not done – we’ll be making more improvements as we continue to develop Pixelmator Pro.
Pixelmator Pro 2.1.2
Pixelmator Pro 2.1.3
Today’s update is free for all existing Pixelmator Pro users and is available from the Mac App Store right now.
Good day, Pixelmator fans! Today is truly a fantastic day because we’re releasing Pixelmator Pro 2.1 Coral, our latest and greatest major update, which is packed full of awesome new features and improvements.
Machine learning-powered intelligent cropping
The first new feature (at least in the What’s New window) is ML Crop, which provides suggestions for eye-catching ways to crop your photos. Simply click the new ML Crop button in the Crop tool and see what happens!
This tool isn’t designed to take the creative side out of cropping your photos, but getting a good composition can be tricky for beginners and getting a new perspective on this common task should be useful – especially when there’s machine learning magic involved. By the way, in the Crop tool, you’ll find that we’ve actually redesigned quite a lot of the tool itself, adding perspective correction, crop overlays, and more.
Quickly fill areas using drag and drop
The new Quick Fill feature lets you drag and drop colors from colors wells onto layers to quickly fill them with colors. It’s incredibly fun and so convenient when you want to quickly change the color of a shape, some text, or even an image layer.
You’ll find there’s also a brand new color well in the Pixelmator Pro toolbar that displays your foreground and background colors and lets you quickly switch between them. That’s a feature for which we’ve had quite a few requests and we’re excited to be able to add it.
Paint perfect brush strokes along paths, shapes, and selections
In the Paint tool, you’ll find a brand new Stroke with Brush button that lets you automatically paint brush strokes along paths, shapes, and even selections! We’ve even got a new tutorial about the feature – it’s very easy to use, so the tutorial is a quick one. You can find it here.
An improved Type tool
The Type tool has got itself a makeover, making it even more powerful and easy to use. It’s got a handy new text size slider (this sounds small, but you’ll find yourself using it all the time, trust us), a way to adjust paragraph spacing and indents, and more.
These are just the features that we could fit into the What’s New window, but there’s way more than that. To get you up to speed with all the changes, we’ve also created an overview video about the update, which you can find on our YouTube channel. And for those of you that want to see a line-by-line list of the changes, you’ll find them on our Updates page.
The update is now available (and is free for existing users), so open up the Mac App Store to make sure you’ve received it, and maybe leave us a nice word there too. If you feel like it, of course.
As for us, once an update like this is ready to ship, we’re usually already working on a whole bunch of things to surprise you with in the future – and boy do we have some goodies in store for you later this year. Speak soon!
Now that WWDC has finished (much love, again, to the new virtual format!), we just wanted to share one very quick update with you: Pixelmator Pro will absolutely be getting Shortcuts support. And we’ll be doing our best to make sure that support is first-class – second to none.
That’s it. That’s the blog post.
Until next time!
P.S. If you have any ideas for cool workflows that you’d like us to support, we’re always listening.