March 3, 2009

Pixelmator: Blazingly Fast Image Editing

I was intruiged to hear about Pixelmator, an OS X only image editing tool designed with speed, simplicity and a great user interface in mind. It lacks the raw power of Photoshop, but provides a great, flexible tool for graphics editing and photo manipulation. It’s a fairly recently launched app, but has already undergone several updates, adding widely requested functionality.

David Appleyards

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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!

February 19, 2009

Pixelmator Team Releases Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle

Version 1.4 Features New Painting Engine, Support for Adobe Photoshop Brushes, Clouds Filter, Document Presets, and More

The Pixelmator Team released Pixelmator 1.4 today, the fourth major 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 1.4, codenamed Sprinkle, features a new painting engine, Adobe Photoshop brushes support, a clouds filter, document presets, and more.

“By leveraging the power of Mac OS X, Pixelmator brings image editing to life,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “With Pixelmator 1.4 features, the application is a superior image editor and an excellent painting tool that is as fun as it is powerful.”

Pixelmator’s new painting engine delivers smoothness, performance improvements, and new brush settings for painting tools in Pixelmator. New advanced brush settings in Pixelmator include scatter, flow, follow direction, size jitter, stroke jitter, angle jitter, opacity jitter, and color jitter. In addition to the ability to load and save brush presets, the application also allows users to import Adobe Photoshop brushes.

New document presets in Pixelmator can be used to quickly choose image dimensions and resolution for display, web, photo, or print projects. Users can also create their own document presets.

Pixelmator’s powerful new clouds filter allows the artist to easily generate realistic clouds that can be used in either photos, special effects, or for creating natural textures.

Other new features in Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle include improved graphics tablet support, new brush presets, minor user interface, compatibility and performance improvements, and several bug fixes.

Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is a free update for current Pixelmator users.

February 4, 2009


Though our blog appears to be empty for January, this doesn’t mean we haven’t been working. The Pixelmator Team factory is on a full throttle these days, and the results will soon be there for all to see. Here are the latest updates:

Update #1

I am happy to announce the release of Pixelmator 1.3.3, which incorporates minor improvements and several bug fixes. Take a look at the release notes for the full list. Though the 1.3.3 release is a small one, it fixes many of the problems that you have mentioned to us in your e-mails. In addition to this, 1.3.3 makes that terrible waiting for version 1.4 slightly easier. Download Pixelmator 1.3.3 now.

Update #2

I can’t wait for you to get your hands on Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle. With just a few final tests and some fine tuning, Sprinkle will be complete. Please allow us a week or two to put the finishing touches on it – I can assure you that it will be worth the wait.

December 18, 2008

Pixelmator 1.3.2 – Select Color Tool, Japanese language, and more

Since everyone is preparing for the holidays, we are too, by releasing a small update to Pixelmator.
The headline above tells basically everything that’s new in version 1.3.2: Select Color Range Tool (Edit > Select Color), Japanese localization, lots of Type Tool polish, and some other improvements and bug fixes—see a list.

The update is not very big, but that’s because our new painting engine for Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle is just so amazing that we really want you to have it on Pixelmator as soon as possible (January, we hope) and that’s why we don’t have much time left for those minor updates.

Don’t forget to create a happy holiday postcard for people you love (using the app we all love, of course).

So, happy holidays everyone and talk to you next year!

P.S. Yup, the picture with this article was painted using Pixelmator 1.4 Sprinkle.

December 4, 2008

Bokeh Effect in Pixelmator

This one is really cool. And you noticed that, too, since I received lots of e-mails asking for that nice picture we use in the Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo screenshot.

The wonderful bokeh picture was created by Fabio Sasso—an image editing magician at The guy really knows how to push Pixelmator to perform its best.

So instead of giving you a direct download link to an image, I am happy to provide you with the bokeh tutorial by Fabio Sasso so you can make one for yourself.


P.S. According to, bokeh is the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photographic image, especially as rendered by a particular lens.

November 26, 2008

Pixelmator 1.3.1 – Color Management Made Right

It has been a while since Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo was released. And it is doing amazingly well: your feedback about performance, features, and overall stability is excellent. It is probably the best rated major update we’ve ever done. Thank you!

Tempo 1.3 is history since we are releasing 1.3.1 today. Though 1.3.1 is mostly about bug fixes and minor improvements, it includes two new things for you: the very easy to use Color Management sheet and a very fresh Refine Selection tool with real-time preview. Definitely try the new tools right away and let us know what you think.

I hope you enjoy playing with the update and while you do that, I am going back to work on 1.4 Sprinkle, which is going to be wonderful.

Have fun!

November 11, 2008

Pixelmator Team Releases Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo

Version 1.3 Tempo Features Major Performance Improvements, Click-and-Drag Tools, Improved Adjustment Tools, Smart Palette Hide Feature, and More.

The Pixelmator Team today released Pixelmator 1.3, codenamed Tempo, a third major update to the revolutionary GPU-powered image editing tool that provides everything needed to create, edit, and enhance still images. Available today as a free software update, Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo features major performance improvements: click-and-drag technology-based Magic Wand, Paint Bucket, and Magic Eraser tools; improved Hue and Saturation, Replace Color, and Colorize tools; Smart Palette Hide; and more.

“Pixelmator is an awesome tool for anyone to enjoy the benefits of image editing,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “And now with innovative click-and-drag tools, improved adjustment tools, and major performance enhancements it is becoming one of the most innovative, top-quality image-editing tools for Mac OS X.”

Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo delivers performance gains in almost every function of the application. It takes even more advantage than before of Core Image, OpenGL, and the power of other Mac-only technologies so that dramatic performance improvements are easily seen when one is working with large images—opening and saving, using filters and adjustments, and more.

Pixelmator’s new click-and-drag approach in Magic Wand for selecting, Paint Bucket for filling, or Magic Eraser for removing unwanted backgrounds allows the artist simply to drag the mouse and see instant results when working with these tools. Click-and-drag, technology-based tools are easy-to-use and fun, yet they keep all the functionality of same-purpose classic tools.

Pixelmator’s new adjustment tools include the redesigned Hue and Saturation, Colorize, and Replace Color tools. These three tools now feature a color wheel with color buttons nearby. Spinning the color buttons will show users 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 to the ability of the Hue and Saturation tool to edit different ranges of colors, Replace Color features a new Radius preview slider which shows a black-and-white preview of how much of the selected color will be changed.

The Smart Palette Hide feature solves the problem of palette clutter when one uses adjustment tools or filters in Pixelmator. It makes all the unnecessary palettes temporarily dissolve when any of the adjustment tools or filters are in play, allowing the user to focus on only one image and chosen tool.

Other new and improved features in Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo include improved Type tool, Stroke, an Action Tooltips feature, minor user interface and compatibility improvements, Spanish and French languages, and some bug fixes.

Pricing and Availability

Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is available to order for $59 (US). Pixelmator 1.3 Tempo is a free update to current Pixelmator customers.