February 23, 2009

Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle Goodies

First of all, I must tell you how happy we at the Pixelmator Team factory are to finally ship Sprinkle. We worked diligently for several months and I hope you like the results. There was much discussion during the development stage about a 1.4 release, and we came to the conclusion that Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is what version 1.0 should have been: a beautiful, stable, and useful image editor for the rest of us.

And then since we are celebrating Sprinkle’s birth, let’s talk about the new features in detail:

Feature #1: New Painting Engine

Much of the work we did for Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle was for the new painting engine. In fact, we did a complete rewrite of painting foundation in Pixelmator to improve on what we had before and create more power and features for the Brush, Pencil, Eraser, Clone Stamp, Blur, and Sharpen tools.

The result is a new painting engine that delivers smoothness, excellent performance, and new brush settings for painting tools in Pixelmator. This new painting engine creates a very good foundation for not only current, but also future tools in Pixelmator that relate to painting.

Feature #2: New Brush Settings

The creation of the new painting engine introduces several new brush settings to Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle. New advanced brush settings include scatter, flow, follow direction, size jitter, stroke jitter, angle jitter, opacity jitter, and color jitter. In order to maintain Pixelmator’s ease of use, we decided to include just the most essential brush settings and remove the less useful ones.

Feel free to experiment with these and give us your feedback. Also, accessing Pixelmator Help for more information about what each setting does might help you create the next great brush.

Feature #3: New Brush Presets

Sprinkle features a nice collection of brush presets for you to start with. Here is a preview of some of them:

Feature #4: Brush Sharing

From now on you can share your brushes with other Pixelmator users. It is as simple as dragging and dropping brushes from the Pixelmator Brushes palette onto your desktop, and vice versa.

Feature #5: Big Brother Brushes Support

In addition to the ability to load and save brush presets, Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle also gained the ability to import Adobe Photoshop brushes. Again, it is as simple as dragging and dropping .abr files (Photoshop brush presets) into the Pixelmator Brushes palette or window.

Feature #6: Graphics Tablet Support

Clearly if there is a better painting engine there should also be a better graphics tablet support. Well, our graphics table support is not just better …it is much broader in terms of painting experience. Pixelmator gained the ability to control brush diameter, flow, and scatter—not only by graphics tablet pressure, but also by tracking speed (of your mouse or the same graphics tablet). Try it: I think you will love it.

Feature #7: Document Presets

One of the most requested features since version 1.0 has been document presets. We have removed the image name field that was unusual in OSX and somewhat useless and added a document presets pop-up instead in the New Image panel. We have included a list of most popular presets for you, but of course you can easily create your own. You can also share your presets simply by dragging and dropping a preset onto desktop from the Manage New Document Presets sheet. This will save it as a document you can send to your friends.

We have even included iTunes Artwork and iPhone Desktop picture presets for you. We want your feedback, so tell us if you create something cool for you iPhone desktop!

Feature #8: Clouds Filter

Again, one of the most requested features by those of you who do a lot of work with special effects was a cloud filter which allows the artist to easily generate realistic clouds that can be used in either photos, special effects, or for creating natural textures.

Feature #9: Details

The proof is in the details! It is not about the features as much as it is about the details that make the application better and more fun. For example, the Clone Stamp is a bit more user-friendly; the painting tools cursor shows you the selected brush shape; the Welcome Screen has been updated; and perhaps most noticeable is that the package in which Pixelmator comes was reduced from 62 MB to 25 MB.


Again, I really hope you love what we did with version 1.4. Obviously I want to thank you very much for using Pixelmator, providing us feedback, and letting your friends know about this great Mac application that we feel is definitely worth trying.

Have fun!


  • Dev

    Feature #5: Big Brother Brushes Support

    There is a visual limit to the amount of brushes you can import. There is no scroll or sizing feature on the brush palette which make it impossible to view a long list of brushes.

    as you import each brush, the palette grow longer and longer eventually hiding. I hope Team Pixelmator address this issue or the brush import is a bit useless ;-(

  • Wooster

    =D Any chance of offering a forum to which we can upload and share our brushes?

  • Jonathan Kemp

    “Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is what version 1.0 should have been: a beautiful, stable, and useful image editor for the rest of us.”

    Good to know I bought the 1.0 version and it’s just now getting to where it should have been when it launched in September 2007. If it wasn’t for free upgrades, I would’ve written this off as wasted money way back then.

    I still can’t use it due to the lack of a decent web export option on par with other Mac image editors for the same price. Will I have to wait another year and a half for that?

  • tai

    Loving every minute with Sprinkle. Your tablet support is divine! Of course I have my list of features I want: vector shapes/pen, layer effects, etc. But with Sprinkle I can already use my tablet more efficiently than with your Big Brother (adobe’s terrible support for the dvorak keyboard layout alone is infuriating), and the rate Pixelmator is improving is astounding!

  • Chris

    Great release!

    If only opacity could be controlled via pressure/speed of stylus, it would be THE perfect companion to Sketchbook Pro.

  • Lucky

    “We have even included … iPhoto Desktop”

    I think you meant to say iPhone there 🙂

  • Hello World!

    Is it possible to use full color brushes (RGB, not tinted.)? Crop it out off an open image? (Best with a „brush tool“.) Please think of the paint classics like Deluxe Paint! 😉

  • Kercal

    Hey hey hey what’s with the negativity? The brushes are ace, we just need some scroll bars or, better yet, an iPhoto style interface.

    And Saulius’ comment about Pix 1.4 being what 1 should have been is a little disingenuous: we needed to go through 1 to get to 1.4 and similarly we’re here on the way to 1.5, 2 and beyond. You want a CS4 replacement? You start with PS1 and struggle up to layers in v3 and onwards and that takes a decade or so.

    Pix 1.4 isn’t perfect. Personally I’m missing the wave filter, filter repeat distortion, pallette tabs to free up screen estate, alt keystroke to interactively change lassoo to mag lassoo and vector pen tools. Personally I don’t need web export in the same way that some didn’t need the new brush tool and, to me, CMYK support is an earlier need than web slices… Horses for courses.

    but that said I’m in no way unhappy with what I’ve got: in a year and a half I’m nearly fully swapped over from a tool that costs ten times more. Some bits I prefer – Pixelmator’s cleaner, quicker, filters apply faster and some of the built in filters are gorgeous… For me Kaleidoscope is worth the money alone for all the fun I;ve had with it. I’m full of admiration over how good Pixelmator is now and looking forward to seeing what comes next.

    After I play with brushes a little more that is.

  • Adrian

    Yes, excellent! Thanks for the new features!

  • foofoorabbit

    “I still can’t use it due to the lack of a decent web export option on par with other Mac image editors for the same price. Will I have to wait another year and a half for that?”

    Yeah? Which ones have decent web export for the price of Pixelmator? I call bullshit.

  • Wimpus

    Great job guys! PM is getting better every update 🙂

  • Jonathan Kemp

    I want to apologize for my previous rant. It is just that time of the month and I get a bit cranky. Also, I am extremely cheap so while the price of Pixelmator might seem low to you, I spent my life savings on it. As for the web export option, my mom wants me to do her web page so I really need that feature or I will get grounded.

    p.s. I love you foofoorabbit.

  • osoidian

    Thank-you so much for the new brush features, they’re the one feature that I’ve been waiting for.

    I’ll now be able to use Pixelmator for creating textures for my 3D models and hopefully never have to upgrade my copy for Photoshop. Thank- you once again for Pixelmator.

  • Drew

    When will the pixelmator team release an illustrator killer????

    I am waiting…and so are my money!!!!

  • Kercal

    @Drew. Dunno if you can still track it down but Creature House Expression 3.3 was a free dl from the Microsoft website and, imo, a more pleasant and fun vector working environment. They’ve since updated it to Expression Studio and (again imo) taken some of the fun out. But for free Expression 3.3 is a program that I enjoy in a similar way to Pixelmator.

    @adrian – groovy website 🙂

    @nobody in particular 🙂 Just doodled this in 40 minutes flat using the new brushes. Liking Sprinkle loads…

  • andi

    this is a great update.

    i’m still missing a few features but i don’t regret buying pixelmator at all. the look and feel of this application alone makes it more fun to work with pixelmator than any other program.

    the features i’m missing (smudge tool, web export, shapes, better text tool) have been mentioned here before and maybe they will be only in 2.0. but i will definately stay with pixelmator.

  • David Turnbull

    Pixelamator doesn’t have all the features I need but I’m making some compromises just so I can move away from the beast that is Photoshop. I made this within 20 minutes of downloading the app: http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/9633/picture3o.jpg – it’s not that fancy or anything but the fact that Pixelmator is so intuitive made me happy.

  • Kercal

    @DT good point. Compromises made but good fun to play with…

    @Pixelteam please, please, please can we have a brush viewer – similar to the photo viewer? I’ve added so many brushes by accident the brush box is all over the place. Still loving it but it’s taking an age to work around.

    @no-one in particular 🙂 did this using Pmater over the weekend and was fun to do again. Pretty speedy too. Bearing in mind I spend most of my time teaching Photoshop it’s strange that I’ve pretty much swapped over now, mostly.


  • dropbot

    For those of you whining… er… requesting a save for web function. I’m using a free app called ImageOptim. It optimizes and saves the files. It works as a stop gap and keeps me from opening Big Brother.


  • Agustin

    On important thing, this release is excellent, I’ve been testing it and it amaze me every day.

    But one incredibly important thing for me is missing, and for everyone around who use to sketch :

    Canvas live rotation like Corel Painter !

    If you guys implement this, Pixelmator will become my only and everyday sketch tool !!! I can’t stress enough how this is soooooo important for people who draws a lot. You asign a shortcut like a sticky key, when you press it, you click and drag the canvas and you rotate it. And since Pixelmator is GPU accelerated this will be like a breeze.

    Oh and put on top of that a floating colorwheel more practical than the one MacOs come with, and some kind of color board where you can mix color and brushes to test before you paint.

    Pretty please ????

    Just my 2cents and suggestions.

    Thanks for this amazing release !


  • Kercal

    Still loving the ‘mator, still playing about with it and finding more things to enjoy…

    But pleasepleaseplease can we have a finder style brush viewer and folders in the brush tab? would be tres useful oh yes. At the moment my brushes pallette goes way over the screen top to tail and it’s a bit of a pest to weed through them all. The strokes box in Expression 3.3 is the best example of an interface that works well doing a similar thing and you can dl it free for mac and pc (it’s vectors rather than bitmaps tho – not competition 🙂 ).

    Anyhow: loving it as ever. In fact print jobs notwithstanding it’s taken over from other software on my box and that’s an excellent thing. So, he said anticipatorially, when’s 1.6 🙂 😀

  • Emmanuel

    Hello.. I have a big problem when I’m using my brushes I have like a lot, and I can’t see the top ones! they’re on the really top of my screen! Someone please help me to fix this weird problem?

    e-mail me pls:

  • Deripet

    Fully agree with you, about a week ago wrote about the same in his blog!

  • Marco

    Great great great JOB!.
    Resist to temptations ! do not allow yourself to get bought unless you have control on your decision making or they will take you out of business.

    Please think at more products and keep kicking butts !