New Goodies in 1.3 Tempo
Although Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is not completely about adding new features, there are many exciting new things that fit perfectly with those major performance improvements on which we focused. I am just about to tell you about the new things that I am sure you will love using a lot because a) I promised to do that a few weeks ago, and b) Tempo is to reach your hands a few days from now. So let’s get started.
Feature #1: Magic Eraser (a.k.a. Instant Alpha, click-and-drag tool)
Magic Eraser does exactly the same things as Instant Alpha in Keynote. The feature is useful for removing an unwanted background or any other colors in an image. Many people asked for this, and we couldn’t help but include it. It looks and works great in Pixelmator.
To use Magic Eraser, you will have to select the Magic Eraser icon in the Eraser Tool Options palette or simply click the E shortcut twice.
Feature #2: Magic Wand (click-and-drag)
We took the Instant Alpha idea even further with the Magic Wand tool. It works exactly like Magic Eraser, except that it doesn’t remove anything, but selects a portion of an image when you click and drag your mouse cursor. We believe it’s the only Magic Wand in the world that is so useful and fun and still keeps all the functionality of the classic Magic Wand. No one else has this. In addition to click-and-drag, the new Magic Wand also brings anti-aliasing and an ability to sample all layers.
Feature #3: Paint Bucket (click-and-drag)
This one is really fun and also very useful. The click-and-drag approach of Paint Bucket in Pixelmator makes it the coolest Paint Bucket tool in the world. When using Paint Bucket to fill areas, you see the results instantly by dragging your mouse, even when filling in any blending mode. The look and feel are amazing. Paint Bucket in Pixelmator also gained anti-aliasing.
Feature #4: Hue and Saturation
As you may have already noticed, we are adding or improving adjustment tools with every single major update—and it was time for Hue and Saturation, Colorize, and Replace Color to get some improvements in usability and fun. The main task was to make something really interesting and fun, and I believe we did it. The new Hue and Saturation tool is gorgeous. It now features a color wheel with color buttons nearby. When you spin the color buttons, you see what is changed as those buttons go with other colors in the wheel (e.g., red is replaced with green, green is replaced with blue, etc.) In addition, it is now possible in Hue and Saturation to adjust a specific color component in an image and to specify the range for it.
Feature #5: Colorize
Colorize now features a user interface similar to Hue and Saturation, and some other minor improvements have been made.
Feature #6: Replace Color
Replace Color has now gained the same Hue and Saturation interface. In addition, a new feature makes Replace Color much more fun and useful: the Radius preview slider, which makes an image dissolve to black and white when you click on it for radius preview purposes.
Feature #7: Smart Palette Hide
This one is a very important innovation for Pixelmator users. We have received feedback from people who say they have too many palettes open in Pixelmator, and when they use adjustments or filters, they would like to focus just on that filter or adjustment tool. That’s where Smart Palette Hide comes in. Whenever you launch any adjustment or filter, unnecessary palettes that you won’t be using now temporarily dissolve. Once you’re done with that adjustment or filter tool, palettes that were hidden come back. I’ve been using this feature for five months now, and I must say I can’t live without it anymore.
Oh, and there is a second reason for this feature: we don’t believe in a one-window user interface image editor.
Feature #8: Action Tooltips
This one is mostly for those one-click menu items that you choose sometimes but can’t see any changes—and then you wonder if you did really choose it. So now when you choose any tool that does not have a palette, it will show a nice action label just so you know you did choose something. It is very good for working using keyboard shortcuts (especially undo/redo ones).
Feature #9: Type Tool
Because the Type Tool was on our board of shame, we had to do something about it. Type Tool in Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo brings an ability to draw the text box, some new type features, and a bunch of bug fixes. Well, not exactly bug fixes—we have completely overwritten it.
In addition to mentioned features and improvements, Version 1.3 brings a bunch of bug fixes and other minor improvements. Stay tuned for the update to be released (as I told you, it will happen in the next few days—we just want our little image editor to be perfect).
Pixelmator Development Update: Entering the Frontlines
Howdy, my dear readers – Pixelmator lovers and haters, users and those still doubting. I think it is the perfect time for our traditional development update article about one of the best image editors in the Mac world.
First of all, I must tell you that Pixelmator is doing great, perfect, in fact – tens of thousands of Pixelmator licenses have been shipped (over 50,000, as of today), and that number is rapidly nearing the hundred thousand range. The download number is exceeding 500,000. These are definitely huge numbers for such a young and tiny software company with just one product in store.
While the numbers are great, that is not the main passion and motivation engine for us. Actually, much more exciting thing for us is that your feedback and reviews are becoming better and better with every single update of Pixelmator. I know that because, even though I am still very busy working on Pixelmator stuff, I read your e-mail, blogs, comments, and other websites that talk about Pixelmator every single evening before going to sleep.
And, while everything is so nice with the current version (1.2.3) of Pixelmator, I can only imagine what it will be like once Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is released. Speaking of the 1.3, we at the Pixelmator Team agree that it is the best major update we have ever done. Let me tell you why.
From the beginning, the purpose of version 1.3 Tempo was to focus on performance improvements. And, boy, we did focus! Aidas had to rewrite some very important portions of Pixelmator foundation that speak directly to Core Image itself. It took him three long summer months to accomplish that. And it was really worth it – Pixelmator performance improvements can easily be seen when working with large images, opening and saving, using filters or adjustments, and more. The performance changes/improvements are very important since they: 1) solve the problem that crops up when working with large images with Pixelmator; 2) make it much easier for us to optimize every single aspect of the app and 3) allow us to bring in some very powerful features.
And, by the way, from now on, Pixelmator is faster (and I really mean faster) than Big Brother in many cases. For example, opening that quite big JPEG file which is 4000x 4000 in size took Big Brother something like 2 sec., while, in Pixelmator, exactly the same image on the same Mac took 1 sec. to open. That’s very good, right? But there is even more about the speed of the app, which I am sure you will find out for yourself once 1.3 is out.
The other reason why version 1.3 is so great is the new features, which I am about to tell you more about in my next article in this weblog. Anyway, if you can’t wait – read what TUAW, ArsTechnica, and Smoking Apples had to say.
The beta for Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is doing well enough – we finally know the list of things we have to fix before the update can be released. Be sure that our Macs HDs, GPUs, CPUs, and RAMs spin like crazy as we work hard squashing bugs and making sure Tempo is available to you as soon as possible. Though, unfortunately, I can’t give you any specific release date – it’s software, you know.
It is also worth mentioning that the Pixelmator Team is working on a huge Pixelmator User’s Guide that should reach your hands in November and a new Learn Web site, which will feature lots of resources for learning about image editing and Pixelmator.
To sum up everything I have scribbled – the Pixelmator Team crew (incl. me) is working very hard to introduce the best major update of Pixelmator. With its new amazing features and, especially its performance improvements, I think it is OK to say that Pixelmator, step by step, is moving up to the frontlines against Big Brother…
I also want to give a massive Thank You to Mac and Pixelmator users around the world for your amazing feedback, outstanding support, and heartwarming smiles (I am sure you bring those up) when using Pixelmator. That’s the reason we are so passionate about our work.
P.S. The next major update of Pixelmator is 1.4 Sprinkle (Sprinkle is a codename), which will focus on painting tools.
Pixelmator 1.3 “Tempo” Beta Reviewed
While Adobe has just made their big announcement for the CS4 package, the Pixelmator Team has been working on a new beta of their Photoshop alternative, Pixelmator 1.3 “Tempo”. Yes, they have a habit of christening their releases with code names. Gives it a little more appeal, don’t you think?
TUAW preview: Pixelmator 1.3 "Tempo"
We’ve praised Pixelmator here before (and we’ve even shared our love with the devs directly) — I am by no means an image-editing professional (Photoshop and Aperture are way, way beyond my ken), but Pixelmator lands exactly where I want it to: it’s a relatively lightweight application with just enough features to do the complicated stuff when I need it done.
Sneak preview: Pixelmator 1.3 is largest update yet
The crew behind Pixelmator, a powerful and well-integrated Mac OS X photo editor, gave us a chance to play with what they consider the largest update since they tore off 1.0’s beta badge. It features a solid batch of new tools and major updates to old ones, so we’re inclined to agree that this is a major update.
Abstract Wallpaper in Pixelmator
Following our series of Pixelmator tutorials, this week we will show you how to create an abstract wallpaper using the Quartz Composer filters. Even though the effect seems a bit complex, you will be surprise how easy is to create it in Pixelmator. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes to reproduce this tutorial.
Fábio Sasso, Abduzeedo
Comic Style effect in Pixelmator
I know it’s been quite awhile since the last time I published a Pixelmator tutorial, but the wait is over. This weekend I took some time to play around with Pixelmator and I also had the opportunity to test out the new beta version called Tempo. I must say, the new features are really neat.
Fábio Sasso, Abduzeedo
Pixelmator 1.2.3 and Tempo Beta
Here is some good news for all Pixelmator users: version 1.2.3 is out and features a bunch of bug fixes, minor improvements, and new keyboard shortcuts. Not a lot of changes, but still a must-have release since the app is getting better and better with every update.
In addition, we have created a Pixelmator Keyboard Shortcuts document. Many of you have been asking for a list of Pixelmator keyboard shortcuts, and here it is! We will be updating the document with almost every release now, so be sure to download it again after any Pixelmator updates.
Now, the interesting stuff. We are putting the final touches on Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo! Of course it looks great and works great, but since there are major foundation changes we will have to do in-depth beta testing.
Would you like to play with Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo before it is released? Of course you do, and so do I! Anyway, if so, simply drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and make sure you mention your Mac’s technical specifications (Mac model, GPU, CPU, RAM) and a little bit about what you do for a living or in your spare time.
Please note that I can’t promise beta testing for everyone – it’s secret and we don’t want anything to go public before we announce it, but still there is always a chance you will be in.
Also, while the beta is going on and the guys are working on the latest Tempo improvements, I promise to describe some of the features of Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo soon in this blog. Stay tuned!
We have some great news for anyone willing to learn Pixelmator. Though Pixelmator comes with great Help documentation that covers nearly everything available in the app, and, as you may have already noticed, our forum community is always available to help with problems, we all know that this is not enough for someone who is very new to Pixelmator and to image editing concepts.
That’s where our long-time forum buddy Sebastiaan van der Velden enters, with his collection of video tutorials for Pixelmator! The new Pixelmator podcast offers exciting tutorials that cover basic as well as advanced features of our favorite image editor.
What’s more, Sebastiaan has made it available on iTunes (click here) and on his website. The podcast available through iTunes is in medium resolution while those on the website are exclusively optimized for your iPhone, iPod, or AppleTV.
Enjoy the show! And I am sure Sebastiaan is looking forward to your feedback.
Pixelmator 1.2.2 and Some Other Stuff
At last, I am happy to announce that we just shipped the latest update of Pixelmator, version 1.2.2. This version is not a huge update, but we are working on two versions of Pixelmator these days, so shipping the application was a bit harder than usual.
The two versions I mentioned above include (1) the currently released 1.2.2 update and (2) the soon to be released 1.3 Tempo, which, by the way, will be the best major (and free) update we have ever done. But let us not talk about the Tempo yet.
For the most part, the changes in Pixelmator 1.2.2 involve the Gradient tool and bug fixes. The Gradient tool now works live, which means you see the result while dragging the mouse. Expanding the Gradient tool’s function in this way might appear to have been an easy task, but it was not – we had to convert all the gradient types from simple Cocoa to Core Image kernels for performance. Fortunately, the conversion was successful, and I believe Pixelmator now has the most fun Gradient tool to work with. Try it and let us know what you think.
Of course, Pixelmator 1.2.2 includes many more enhancements and bug fixes that you may check by clicking here or by simply downloading it and putting it through its paces.
That’s it for now. Going back to work on 1.3 Tempo, which is what I believe we are all waiting for…