From the start of Pixelmator, I’ve been and still am receiving many questions about what the roadmap of Pixelmator is going to be like. What features are we going to add? Where are we heading with it, and what is our plan? Altough I can’t get into specifics, and micro features, I’ll try to answer these questions now.
If you think of Pixelmator and look at what we already have done, I think you would understand that one of our main strengths is the extraordinary support of Mac OS X. We would never be able to create something like Pixelmator in such a short time on other operating systems. Also, we would not have such exciting features as Core Image, Automator, iSight, ColorSync, Photo Browser, and many others without Mac OS X. So believe me, we totally understand that our biggest strength here is taking advantage of Mac OS X features and technologies. We will continue to do so and it is the first and most important part of the Pixelmator flight plan.
The second task with Pixelmator development is the improvement of all the tools that are already available. You can expect surprises with tools we have planned for Pixelmator. Of course, we could add many improvements now, but then we would not be able to ship Pixelmator anytime this decade. Anyhow, you will see important improvements/features to Pixelmator tools soon after the release. I am not talking about new features here; I am talking about the evolution of existing things – and there still is some work that needs to be done.
The third thing with Pixelmator that we are concentrating on is the foundation. The Pixelmator foundation is very important when you want to have the best application for image editing. For that, we have some incredible technology, which I hope you will see a few months from now. Aidas did a few experiments with it and told me that to implement that “top secret” thing, we would need a month or two. Sorry about the secrecy, but I promise – you’ll love it.
The last but not least task with Pixelmator is to carefully add new features. We know what features you guys need and we know what features we will add, but we promised ourselves to do so very wisely because we want to make those features stable and useful; we don’t need to just sound good – we need to make it good. Therefore, if you look at Pixelmator and what I’ve already told you, you may be able to guess some of those cool things we are going to add.
Additionally, regarding the new features or improvements, please take some time to drop us a message about what you really would like to see in Pixelmator because we listen, and we listen very carefully. Aidas and I read every e-mail and keep a development list in our heads. Your voice is very important to the future of Pixelmator.
To sum up everything I’ve mentioned here: We are just beginning! And our beginning is good enough to create the best image editor for Mac OS X that anyone can use.
Just shipped our latest and greatest Pixelmator 1.0 Beta 2 to our beta group—and feedback has been just great. I guess there is a good reason for that:
Our beta testers are catching bugs like crazy. Many people have sent us perfectly detailed reports, and we thank you for that! So, because of you guys, we were able to fix more than 100 bugs and add more than 50 different improvements to Pixelmator. It now looks like we have a really stable, fast, and, of course, fun version of the coolest image editor for Mac. We are really excited about it!
For those of you who didn’t make it into the beta test group: thank for trying to get in, but please note that our beta program was more than a couple of weeks ago and we are not taking any more submissions. Well, don’t be sad about that, because Pixelmator will be shipping very soon…
This is an interview from 29 August 2007 with Saulius and Aidas Dailide who are bringing the world Pixelmator.
Simon Shand, Start
Whew, today is the day. Finally, we started sending our first closed beta seed to testers. I don’t have much time for beta description, but I wanted to make a few notes.
First of all, thank you very much for being so active with your emails about participating in Pixelmator Beta. It’s really great to know that so many people care about Pixelmator. That’s one more reason why it has to be great.
As I mentioned in the Pixelmator Beta Guidelines document (which comes with the application), the main purpose of Pixelmator Beta is to ensure the highest quality possible for the final version of the application. And by using beta and letting us know about any problems you are experiencing, you will help us to significantly improve the application before it is released.
And, I promise a little “thank you” gift for all of the beta testers once we are ready with Pixelmator.
However, one thing that I really would like to ask all of the people who are participating in beta is to please, please, please do not post any info or share the application yet. It’s not finished and any bad things that go public would hurt us. First you’d better give us a chance to fix them. We plan to have three seeds of the beta before the final release.
So, thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy the first beta of Pixelmator! (Be sure to try the filter rope. ;))
P.S. This weekend will be the first weekend we are to have some rest. Whoohooo! Well, half-rest. We could not stop thinking about and checking the status of Pixelmator bugs.
As you may have already noticed, we’ve been quiet for some time. And yup, you are right, we’re working like crazy these days. The last time we had a free weekend was two months ago and we are still very passionate about our work. I see from your emails that you can’t wait to get your hands on Pixelmator and keep asking us how the birth of our little app is going, when will the beta be released, how will some features work, and so on.
So, I guess, it’s time for a good Pixelmator development update.
First of all, I have to tell you that we are very happy with what we have done so far. Pixelmator looks great, it works great, and it really is so much fun. Although it is not yet finished, it’s not too far from being ready.
If you investigated the Pixelmator Tech Specs website, you would notice that we had some strange blending modes like Minus, Modulate, Bumpmap, and Subtract. Although they looked nice, we removed them and added those that are available in Big Brother (Photoshop). The reason for this is to ensure better compatibility with PSD files. So now, our blending mode list includes: Normal, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn, Darker Color, Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, Linear Dodge, Lighter Color, Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, Hard Mix, Difference, Exclusion, Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity. We compared them to Big Brother and they look exactly the same in Pixelmator. That’s good.
Other changes In Pixelmator Tech specs are about .Mac support. .Mac support is temporary removed. It’s not that we had any problems developing it—it’s just that when we done with it, we were not very happy with just being able to backup Pixelmator swatches and brushes. It’s almost useless. Another reason for this is that we would like to concentrate on the most important features in Pixelmator. Anyway, .Mac support will be back in Pixelmator version 1.1 or 1.2.
Pixelmator supports over 100 different file formats; 112, exactly. However, the most important ones are PSD, Tiff, PNG, JPEG, JPEG 2000, GIF, BMP and PXM. PXM is the native Pixelmator file format. It is the best way to store your compositions without losing layers or any other info about your file. We would love to use PSD as our main file format, but it is too closed and we don’t have as many features in Pixelmator as Big Brother stores in PSD files.
Speaking of other file formats, probably few of them (five I guess) will be removed from the list, because of some problems in ImageMagick (Pixelmator foundation). We don’t want to have any stuff in Pixelmator that is not stable. But once those formats are fixed—they will be back. We’ve prepared a little overview of Pixelmator-supported file formats. You will be able to download the PDF soon.
That’s pretty much it about the changes in the Pixelmator technical specifications. Note, however, that there are some amazing news about gradients (I will tell you in our next article) and some more new, little improvements in some corners of the app that are not mentioned in Tech Specs page.
The biggest part of Pixelmator is already done, but there are still some features that have to be finished. These days, Aidas is working on Layer masks (we should be completely done with Layers this week). Other things that are not yet complete in Pixelmator are transformations (Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, Perspective, etc.), Sharpen/Blur tools, the Clone Stamp tool, and Undo/Redo. Undo/Redo is the hard one. It will take 4–5 days to finish that feature. Also, we would like to improve the painting engine a bit; there is something that is not yet right.
So, our plan is: 1. Finish all the Pixelmator features. 2. Test and fix some bugs internally. 3. Release closed beta (Closed?! OMG How could we dare to do that!).
Yes, we decided not to release a public beta. Let me explain why. As you may know, we are just two guys in the Pixelmator Team (well, sometimes three), and we get many emails every day. That’s great, and we love answering emails, but we also have to spend some time creating Pixelmator. So, if we release a public beta, we think our mailboxes would be more than full; we would get a lot of feedback, feature requests, even blames. While Pixelmator is not finished and has bugs, we would like to concentrate just on improving the application. That we would do better, faster, and without chaos with a small group of people (about 2000 plus MacHeist promo purchasers). And once it is released, you would have a stable and as good an app as it should be.
I know you need some dates, and I know we promised release at the end of July. Although we will do everything we can to have a feature complete and bug-free version of Pixelmator the last second of this month, I don’t think that we will release it yet. So, the Pixelmator closed beta release date is scheduled to be the 16th of August.
Drop me an email at bugs at pixelmator.com if you would like to participate. Be sure to tell me your Mac specifications and your skills. Please note that having a lot of experience working with many design apps does not mean that you have more chances to be in beta than if you don’t know anything about graphic design or computers. We would love to see iLife fans, switchers from Windows, grandfathers and grandmothers, 6-year-old kids, and our secret friend John Gruber trying out Pixelmator beta.
I hope this helps you to understand where are we. Feel free to blame us, motivate us, or discuss anything I mentioned in this article.
Pixelmator is the exciting new “delicious” image editor in the works. The two developers are brothers, Saulius and Aidas Dailide, and they agreed to answer my questions about their new app, as well as what it was like to work on it.
Well, in fact, we have been back from San Francisco for a few days now, but we have been very busy with Pixelmator. I finally found a minute to let you know what we have been up to lately.
So, let me start with the World Wide Developers Conference. Attending was great for us and our little friend Pixelmator. First of all, we met and had an opportunity to chat with many great Mac developers and stars. Secondly, we met many Apple engineers who helped us to solve some little problems with Pixelmator. We would especially like to thank Apple’s Core Image team. These guys are amazing. They helped us to solve what we thought were some hard problems with Pixelmator.
Also, we showed off Pixelmator at the Delicious Generation party. You can take a sneak peak at all the apps that were showed at this party, including Pixelmator, in this video (sorry about the quality).
We enjoyed all of the WWDC events, parties, and sessions, but the one thing that truly amazed us is the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. We already love Leopard’s desktop and the features it has. What’s more, Pixelmator runs even faster on Leopard than it did on Tiger. We learned that in some cases it can run up to two times faster – and that’s because of Core Image improvements.
So, the future looks sooo bright for Pixelmator, and there was never a better time to be a Mac developer.
Well, I’m getting back to work now.
Me and Aidas, for the first time in our lives, are going to the USA. What’s more, we are heading toward the most exciting Apple event for Mac developers–the World Wide Developers Conference.
We’ve already learned that there will be many wonderful events at WWDC, such as the Steve Jobs keynote, Apple Design Awards, Sessions & Labs for developers, and much more. One of the most important things for us is that we will have an opportunity to meet other Mac and Apple developers and ask questions. Boy, we have many questions!
Also, we will get our hands on Leopard Beta! You might want to know that Pixelmator was first an application developed exclusively for Leopard. We took advantage of plenty of wonderful Leopard technologies (which I can’t talk about much–you’ll see them once Leopard ships), but because of an Apple delay (because of the iPhone, which is going to be great), we decided to let Pixelmator run on Mac OS X Tiger too. I will explain that decision in my future articles.
So, if next week you see two strange guys who look scared to death because they are lost in San Francisco–that will be us.
It’s been four days since we announced Pixelmator. And you know what? I would never, never, oh never believe that something as insanely wonderful as last week could ever happen to our little company. It’s impossible to explain all the feelings that both of us—my brother and myself—have. We live in a fantastic dream these days. We can’t talk, we can’t sleep, we can’t even work normally. It’s so hard to wake up from Pixelmator euphoria.
I can’t tell you the exact stats, but believe me, we had an unbelievable number of visitors to our website. The traffic was so huge, there were times when our server was down (and we use one of the most reliable web service providers in the world!).
Also, I would like to thank all of you for writing us! We are receiving hundreds of e-mails from people all the around the world telling us they can’t wait for Pixelmator and how much they love what we have done. Usually we reply to messages the same day we get them, but this time, please forgive us if it takes us two or three days to answer—we are still trying to catch up!
And what can I say about your messages? I love the Mac community and its culture, I really do! It is so supportive of what we are doing, so creative with ideas, and so intelligent that I am really excited about being a little part of it.
Thank you all for your inspiring words!
I would quote all the e-mails here, but it would fill more than 20 pages of our weblog. So here are just a few of them:
“I could not wait to have your new app to play with…I will buy it right at the moment it is out.”
“Dear Aidas and Saulius,
The power that it sounds like Pixelmator will be able to have is unbelievable. I am personally a video editor and Mac application blogger, and from the video side, I know the power of GPU.”
“I’ve heard about your great Pixelmator project and what I’m reading about looks fantastic.”
“Hi! Pixelmator seems to be the “How come no one has done that yet!” app that I and many of my Mac using friends have been wanting for so long.”
“Just saw the Pixelmator video on Tuaw, and I’m stunned at the elegance and professionalism of your application.”
“Pixelmator is exactly what I’m looking for.”
“I think this is going to be huge! All i can say is wow! Amazing…beautiful UI I can’t wait to buy this! Hurry up! ;)…no seriously hurry I’m dying to buy this!”
“This tool looks extremely exciting and (dare I say it) FUN!”
While Pixelmator may technically be vaporware according to Gruber, I managed to snag an exclusive demonstration video of the app in action from its developers, brothers Aidas and Saulius Dailide (who you might be interested to know also founded Jumsoft). The demo showcases some impressive Pixelmator features, including working with multiple layers and objects, opening Photoshop files and moving layers from one image to another, taking a picture with an iSight camera and embedding it into the current working image, and even some impressive blending modes.
David Chartier, TUAW