The other day I was testing Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus by playing with the famous Bokeh tutorial (brought to Pixelmator users by the famous graphics designer Fabio Sasso), and I created a desktop picture for my Mac, iPhone, and new iPad (yay, I do have that one and highly recommend it to everyone!). And boy, this Bokeh desktop picture came out so amazing on all three – Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Even though you can do one yourself easily in Pixelmator, I could not resist doing a good thing and sharing it with you, so download it now (package includes Bokeh backgrounds for your Mac, iPad, and iPhone).
Also, you can sort of personalize it quickly by opening the downloaded images in Pixelmator and, for example, changing the color hue and/or saturation (Choose Image > Hue and Saturation).
Update: The package now also includes standard-size (1024 x 1024) version of Bokeh picture for your iPad (Thanks to Dave M. for letting me know about it – I am not that experienced iPader yet 🙂 )
Yup, that’s right: we are moving our whole code to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. In fact, we already moved it a few months ago. And, boy, are we happy about that! But most important, yours truly, Mr. P., is the happiest of all.
Moving 100% to Snow Leopard not only makes the development easier and faster for us, but also it makes your favorite image editor a much better app and also an environmentally cleaner app (considering that the environment is the Mac OS X). Other reasons for the move are obvious: new technologies that we can take advantage of, old show-stopping technologies that we can get rid of, an extremely fast growing number of Snow Leopard users (our web stats are our intel), happier developers (us), and so on and on and on.
In other words, we just love developing for Mac and wish to take advantage of the best that Mac can give.
For those of you who are still running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, I can say that even though it is a good OS, I really hope that Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus will encourage you to upgrade to an even better OS – Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. Or if you can’t or don’t want to move to Snow Leopard, Pixelmator 1.5.1 Spider (still one of the best apps) will be there for you for awhile.
I just wanted to let you know about this move (which is very big, especially considering the huge number of Pixelmator users out there) so that you could prepare yourself if necessary.
P.S. Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus development is going very well. Still a few bug fixes and minor refinements left. I sometimes tweet on Twitter about what we do and how it goes.
Everyone on the Pixelmator Team agrees that creating new features is the most fun part of work. When developing Pixelmator, we experiment with lots of things (new technologies, code-level tricks, user interface stuff, etc.), and we create lots of mockups, sketches and prototypes…
However, we adopt only a few features that we come up with.
For various reasons, we remove numerous features from our products one or two weeks before they are released to the public. For example, some Mac GPUs do not have some specific features that a feature uses, perhaps the code or UI was complete nonsense or the user interface looks or feels terrible or appears cluttered. In addition, there might be usability issues. We have created hundreds of bad features that are discarded.
We try to ship only those features that are useful and complete. In our opinion, learning from our mistakes only makes us a stronger company.
Some features that we removed the last minute include Shadows and Highlights (in Pixelmator 1.5 codenamed Spider), reflection filter (1.4 Sprinkle), indexed color for GIF and PNG Indexed in save for Web (1.5 Spider), precise numbers (1.3 Tempo), black and white (1.4 Sprinkle), page bounds (1.3 Tempo), gradient map (1.4 Sprinkle), document presets in cover flow, and send to Mobile Me (1.5 Spider).
We removed the aforementioned features for the following reasons:
- Shadows and Highlights was too slow.
- Reflection filter was too heavy and had too many controls.
- Color indexing in save for Web had no future (Web no longer requires it) and added too much clutter to our easy-to-use save for Web feature
- Precise numbers looked cheap.
- Black and White adjustment had the wrong user interface that nobody liked.
- Page bounds was not useful.
- Gradient map was too simple and useless; it was better suited for Microsoft Paint.
- Document presets in cover flow looked wrong.
- Send to Mobile Me had some quality issues.
The removal of indexed color for GIF and PNG resulted in the biggest loss due to the fact that it took us nearly two weeks to develop the quantization engine. Although the indexing looked and worked great, we removed it following the last Pixelmator Spider 1.5 inside pre-release review. We thought that indexing had no future; we still think this. I assure you that I am completely confident that we did the right thing.
There were many more canceled features like those mentioned in Pixelmator. Unfortunately, I am not able to discuss them or show you how they look because some include secret UI objects or will appear in upcoming Pixelmator releases. I hope that you have an idea of how difficult and interesting it is to develop a single feature in any software application. I am sure that Pixelmator is not the only app built in this way. It is also likely that we will cancel some features of the Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus; we have already canceled the new Crop Tool. It is a good thing, as I am sure that it will be much better in the 1.7 version.
P.S. A day or two ago, we created a fast version of Shadows and Highlights, which we might add to Pixelmator Nucleus 1.6. Further, you can try the slower experimental Shadows and Highlights adjustment now at your own risk by taking the following steps: Press Control + Option + Command + H when in Pixelmator.
Pixelmator took the lead right out of the gate and never looked back. With a final tally of 56% of the votes cast, Pixelmator was the leader from start to finish.
Tom Nelson, About.com
Although we weren’t in a hurry to release Pixelmator 1.5.1, it was built in a comparatively short period of time (two weeks of development, plus one week for testing). Some of its features include:
- Brush Collections
- Fit Images and Crop Images Automator Actions
- Move to Applications dialog (thank you to the Potion Factory and Delicious Library for inspiring this feature)
- A tiny Dock menu
- The ability to change the background color of the work area
- Many more tiny improvements and important bug fixes
Pixelmator 1.5.1 is available for download immediately. It’s a highly recommended update for everyone; undeniably, its appeal is in the details.
Enjoy! The entire Pixelmator Team is getting to work on Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus, and it is going very well.
All of the Pixelmator Team crew members (except for the support master, of course) just returned from a nearly three-month vacation. Yes, I realize that is an unusually long break. But if you take into account the considerable number and quality of recent Pixelmator releases(including Firestarter, Kitten, Draftsman, Tempo, Sprinkle, and finally, the glorious Spider), I hope that you can find it in your heart to grant us the time we took to slow down a bit so as to prepare ourselves for even greater accomplishments.
What’s more, our vacation was absolutely perfect for the following reasons:
- It was agreed that our vacation time would be unlimited, with each crew member taking as much time as needed before missing worktop such an extent that one cannot but resist returning.
- We visited Germany’s Munich, Alps, and some impressive Alpine castles, all of which contributed to making this a mentally refreshing and restorative trip.
- We set up our new office, which is turning out to be a much more well-suited place in which to work and for our company to grow:
- It looks as though Pixelmator is selling everywhere – from our tiny Web store to such giants as Apple Store, Amazon, and almost anywhere else you can think of.
- Not surprisingly, Pixelmator 1.5 Spider happened to be the most successful Pixelmator release ever. Spider is still selling like hotcakes, and your feedback regarding the current version is great.
- And because Spider has been so successful and other Pixelmator releases were also very strong, we have made lots of money.
- Since we have a bit of money, we are looking to put the majority of it into Pixelmator’s development, perhaps investing in some new technology, hiring some good developers to help us out, and so forth.
- With clearer heads from our vacation, we have also reviewed the Pixelmator flight plan, which looks better than ever. The plan is, in fact, so inspiring that the whole team cannot wait to reveal it to you in future Pixelmator updates.
Currently, the Pixelmator Team is working on the 1.5.1 update, which will provide numerous improvements and enhancements. It is to be released at the end of this month or sometime in early February. If you happen to have any problems with Spider, now is the perfect time to let us know about them; we might be able to add the change or improvement into 1.5.1.
For those of you wondering whether or not the Pixelmator Team is working on version 2.0, I can assure you that we are, in fact, doing so! And working very hard at it, too. To be more precise, we have been working on it (UI, features, foundation) for almost a year now, but it is still months, maybe even years away from release – it certainly won’t happen in 2010.Reasons for this delay include:
a) Pixelmator 1.X is the foundation for 2.0 and, by our standards, still needs a lot of improvements;
b) Since 2.0 has more than enough features, some of them should really be introduced in the 1.X era;
c) We would like to polish up certain important features in 1.X before adding new features;
d) Lastly, it really does take time to develop impressive stuff.
Thus, there will be no less than two or three major updates for Pixelmator 1.X. The newest one to be released once it is finished is called Pixelmator 1.6 Nucleus.
I am more than happy to confirm that after such a long vacation and such great news about Pixelmator, the Pixelmator Team’s batteries are once more fully charged and ready for a triumphant Pixelmator journey into the future.
Version 1.5 Adds Save for Web, Snow Leopard Support, and More
The Pixelmator Team released Pixelmator 1.5 today, an update to the revolutionary GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images. Available as a free software update, Pixelmator 1.5, codenamed Spider, features Save for Web, a Slice tool, a Trim tool, Info Labels, and more.
“Pixelmator is a perfect fit for anyone who is passionate about image editing,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “And now with the breakthrough version 1.5 Spider features, Pixelmator becomes one of the world’s best tools for exporting images for the Web.”
The new Web tools in Pixelmator allow users to prepare and export images for the Web with minimal effort, whether it is an individual image or a complex page layout. Images can be optimized and saved in Web-standard JPEG, PNG, or GIF file formats with different quality settings.
The new powerful Slice tool in Pixelmator can be used to slice an image into pieces, allowing each piece of an image to be optimized and saved using its own optimization settings. Saving an optimized part of an image is as easy as dragging and dropping it onto the desktop. The file size and preview of optimized slices or images are available in nearly real-time in the Pixelmator window.
Pixelmator also comes with a useful Web Color plug-in for the Apple Color Palette, allowing Web designers to select and copy hexadecimal colors quickly to the HTML or CSS application.
The new Info Labels feature unobtrusively shows useful information depending on the tool in use such as selection, crop and slice sizes, tolerance levels for Magic Wand, Paint Bucket, and Magic Eraser, gradient angle and radius, transform dimensions, and more.
The new Trim feature allows quick and easy cropping of an image by trimming surrounding transparent pixels or background pixels in a specified color.
Other new features in Pixelmator 1.5 Spider include support for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Italian language, the Reveal All feature, and the Send To feature that allows the user to send images quickly to the Mail and iPhoto applications; improved Export, Image Size, Canvas Size, and File Info features; minor user interface changes; compatibility and performance improvements; and several bug fixes.
Pixelmator 1.5 Spider is a free update for current Pixelmator users. Download now!
I am sure many of you can’t wait for Pixelmator 1.5 to be released. We had planned to ship the wonderful update today but couldn’t do it due to a few small issues. As always, we want the release, the app, and everything that has to do with it to be perfect.
Anyway, the good news is that Spider will be released on Tuesday, September 8th, and because I don’t want you to be depressed until Spider is available, here are some 1.5 screenshots for you:
Talk to you on Tuesday. Cheers.
After the remarkable Pixelmator updates of late, including Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle and Pixelmator 1.4.1, the new Learn website, and the new manual, I am very happy to inform you that we are working very hard to build the next major Pixelmator update: Pixelmator 1.5 Spider.
I am not able to provide any details yet due to competition and our desire to surprise you, but I can say that Spider is the largest and, based on your feedback, requests, and comments on our website and our neighbor websites as well as Twitter comments, probably the most welcome Pixelmator update since 1.0.
Pixelmator 1.5 Spider is coming in a few weeks and will be available as a free update to existing Pixelmator users.
Update: (2009/07/29) it seems it takes longer then expected to release the new version – stay tuned as we’re working hard to bring 1.5 release to life.
Pixelmator is what I imagine Apple would make if it were going to create an image editor. It has an elegant interface, it’s easy to use, it’s powerful, and it’s reasonably priced. At $59, it’s a steal for what you get.