May 23, 2024

Pixelmator Pro 3.6 supercharges masking with AI and vector masks

Pixelmator Pro 3.6, codenamed Archipelago, is here and brings incredible new masking capabilities, including AI-powered background masks, support for vector masks, new on-canvas mask controls, and much more. These new features are designed to make working with masks easier for beginners and faster for pros, so everyone can make the most of nondestructive editing when creating their own designs.

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All-New Masking Experience

Masking in Pixelmator Pro 3.6 has been reengineered from the ground up to offer quicker and more convenient ways to add and refine masks. For example, you can now instantly mask a layer or create a mask from a selection by simply double-clicking it on the canvas using the Arrange tool. You can then effortlessly resize and reposition the mask, or even adjust its corners, making tasks like rounding image corners or cropping individual layers in multi-layer compositions much faster and easier.

For refining masks, you’ll now find all the necessary tools conveniently located at the bottom of your screen. The new on-canvas controls appear whenever you select or create a mask, allowing you to quickly adjust its transparency or edge softness, invert it, add new masks, and more. And, with support for multiple masks, you can work with as many masks as you need, using blend modes to combine them in different ways.

To showcase how you can use the new masking features in your own creative workflows, we’ve prepared a tutorial on creating an eye-catching design with transparent text — all while using masks. Check out the tutorial on our YouTube page.

AI Background Masks

The new AI-powered Hide Background feature now lets you nondestructively remove image backgrounds with just a single click. The intelligent subject detection algorithm automatically finds the subject in an image and adds a precise background mask to hide everything else. You can always hide or reveal any additional details of the subject or background by simply refining the mask. This means your original image always remains intact and unchanged, giving you the freedom to make adjustments and experiment with edits as much as you like.

Vector Masks

The new vector masks in Pixelmator Pro make it easy to quickly mask layers into specific shapes, opening up new editing workflows. Vector masks consist of paths and use shapes to hide or reveal parts of layers. When you add a vector mask, the areas inside the vector shape remain visible and the areas outside are hidden, creating a cookie-cutter-like effect. To mask a layer, simply select a shape from the special new Mask menu at the top of the layers sidebar, or create a mask from scratch using the Pen tools. You can also easily switch between different mask shapes by selecting them from the Shape browser conveniently located at the bottom of the screen.

Vector masks are also fully editable, allowing you to adjust each individual point just like you would when editing regular shapes, and offer resolution-independent scaling, making them perfect for designs that need to maintain high quality at any size, like graphics created for web or print.

We’re really excited to bring you these powerful new features that make working with masks faster and easier than ever. As always, the update is completely free to all existing Pixelmator Pro users. And, If you haven’t tried Pixelmator Pro yet, be sure to give it a go. It has just hit an impressive 43,000 5-star ratings on the Mac App Store!

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