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Posts tagged with "pixelmator"

Pixelmator Pro 3.0 Adds Templates

Templates are a great way to speed up your workflow and maintain a consistent design language and branding across everything you create. With Pixelmator Pro 3.0,, you now have over 200 professionally-designed templates for creating a wide range of documents and mockups. I’ve been playing around with the new templates for a few days, and they have a lot of potential.

Templates are organized by type and branding style.

Templates are organized by type and branding style.

When you start a new Pixelmator Pro document, you’re presented with the app’s catalog of templates, which is broken down into several categories for creating social media, print, video, and mockup assets. There’s also a Brand Templates category that cuts across different template types, collecting templates by their branding style. There’s a lot here to browse, but like any app that offers templates, I quickly gravitated to a couple of looks that I particularly liked. You can also define your own templates using the app’s system for creating placeholders for various image elements.

Replacing a placeholder image is easy.

Replacing a placeholder image is easy.

Once you open a new template-based document, tweaking it is easy. The options for each template vary depending on its design, but browsing through the layer navigator in the left sidebar, you’ll find controls to change things like lighting effects, placeholder images, colors, and more. The Pixelmator team says that for actions like replacing placeholder images, Pixelmator Pro uses the app’s machine learning engine to remove backgrounds, resize images, change their resolution, and place them properly in any frame.

Examples of Pixelmator Pro's Document Colors.

Examples of Pixelmator Pro’s Document Colors.

Pixelmator Pro 3.0 also introduces the concept of Document Colors, which are sets of colors that can be applied to a template. Each template comes with a few starter palettes to choose from, and you can create your own too. Click on a set of colors, and your template will be updated with the new color scheme all at once.

Device mockups are limited but look good.

Device mockups are limited but look good.

Overall, I like the new Pixelmator Pro templates a lot. It’s simple to get started and easy to adjust your creation. I also appreciate the wide variety of formats available for social media and other types of documents.

The iPhone, iPad, and MacBook mockups have potential too, but I found the lack of adjustments available for the device frames and backgrounds limiting, A bigger library of mockup styles would help, but more controls to manipulate device frames and backgrounds would be ideal.

Still, I like the direction Pixelmator Pro is heading with its templates. They’re easier to use than the systems used in other apps and should meet the needs of a lot of users.

Pixelmator Pro 3.0 is available on the App Store as a free update to existing customers.


Pixelmator Photo Switches to Subscription Pricing and Provides a Sneak Peek at the App’s Upcoming Mac Version

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

The Pixelmator team announced today that its iPhone and iPad photo editor, Pixelmator Photo, has moved to subscription pricing, and a Mac version of the app is on the way.

Existing Pixelmator Photo users won’t have to subscribe to continue using the app and should be able to add the Mac version at a discount when it’s released. New customers can subscribe for $4.99 per month or $23.99 per year after a 7-day free trial. There’s also a lifetime purchase option that costs $54.99. Pixelmator says that the subscription pricing will increase for new subscribers when the Mac app is released, so now is a good time to subscribe if you were hoping that the team would add a Mac version.

Pixelmator Photo for iPad.

Pixelmator Photo for iPad.

There are a lot of reasons for Pixelmator Photo’s move to a subscription model, which are explained in detail in the team’s blog post. As with any move from paid-up-front to a subscription, some users will be left behind, which is a shame, but I’m not surprised by Pixelmator’s move. I’m more surprised that the switch didn’t occur earlier. Pixelmator Photo is a top-notch, high-quality app that is continuously developed to keep up with advances in Apple’s photo editing frameworks and hardware updates. That’s not the sort of app that can be offered for a set price indefinitely, as demonstrated by the many other sophisticated apps, including other photo editing apps, that have made the leap to a subscription model. Hopefully, the switch to subscriptions will allow the Pixelmator team to continue to develop Photo for a long time to come.

There aren’t many details about the Mac version of Pixelmator Photo to share except for the image at the top of this story, but I like what I see. If you’ve used the iPad version of Pixelmator Photo, the Mac app will be immediately familiar with its spare UI and focus on the image being edited. There’s no word yet on when the Mac version might be released, but when it is, we’ll have a complete review.

The Pixelmator Photo update that adds its new subscription pricing model is available on the App Store now.


Pixelmator 2.7 Introduces a New Design, A Faster Editing Engine, and Limited Support for Pixelmator Pro Files

Before there was Pixelmator Pro on the Mac or Pixelmator Photo on the iPhone and iPad, there was just plain Pixelmator, the layer-based image editor that started on the Mac, added iPad support in 2014, and then made its way to the iPhone a year later. It’s been a long, successful story, but Pixelmator was supplanted by Pixelmator Pro on the Mac, and although it has remained available ever since on the iPad and iPhone, its development slowed significantly with the introduction of Pixelmator Photo. Still, Pixelmator survived, at least in part, because it’s a simple touch and layer-based editor, which has had few competitors on the iPhone and iPad until recently.

Today’s update to version 2.7 is a modest but important update that sets Pixelmator up for the future. The first thing you’ll notice is that the design has been updated, making it feel more at home with other apps on the iPhone and iPad. Day-to-day, though, the biggest change is a new Metal-based editing engine that results in better performance than ever before. Pixelmator was already fast enough for the basic image compositing I do, but for more complex operations with lots of layers and machine learning tasks, the transition to Metal will make a bigger difference.

Editing an image in Pixelmator.

Editing an image in Pixelmator.

Pixelmator has also added initial support for Pixelmator Pro’s file format. In my limited testing, I’ve found that images touched up in Pixelmator Pro work fine in Pixelmator. However, Pixelmator doesn’t support all of Pro’s tools such as Effects. When I opened an image that had a small area blurred out with a Gaussian Blur effect, I got a warning that proceeding would merge changes into my image. When I clicked through, the effect was applied to the entire image instead of a small part of it. Fortunately, though, Pixelmator makes a copy of your original file, so you can always roll back to your original image.

Notwithstanding Pixelmator 2.7’s limited support for Pro’s file format, it’s good to see the app get a substantial update to its design and editing engine. There are other options for layer-based image editing, but most are overkill for a lot of people. Pixelmator has always struck a nice balance by offering the power inherent in using layers without the complexity of an app like Photoshop.

Pixelmator 2.7 is available on the App Store as a free update for existing users and $4.99 for new users.


Pixelmator Pro 2.4 Adds New Color Adjustment and Effects Layers, Plus 200+ Vector Images

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

Pixelmator Pro 2.4, the photo and image editor for Mac, was released today with two new layer types, a redesigned layers sidebar, and over 200 built-in vector images.

Today’s addition of color adjustment and effects layers adds new flexibility to Pixelmator Pro that should simplify the creation of more complex layered projects. According to Simonas Bastys, lead developer at the Pixelmator Team:

One of the things that users love most about Pixelmator Pro is how it makes advanced layer-based image editing incredibly easy. And with the addition of color adjustments and effects layers, layer-based editing in Pixelmator Pro becomes even more powerful, enabling all-new workflows, such as advanced selective editing of photos.

I haven’t had a need for Pixelmator Pro’s new layers yet, but the possibilities are intriguing and something I plan to spend some time experimenting with more in the weeks ahead.

Adding new layer types to an image.

Adding new layer types to an image.

Pixelmator Pro has expanded well beyond photo editing to become a full-blown design tool. With today’s update, the app adds over 200 vector images designed by artists that can be incorporated into design projects using the app’s Shapes tool. The collection includes all sorts of shapes and symbols, along with categories like science and activities.

M1 Mac optimization isn’t a new feature of Pixelmator Pro, but the Pixelmator team reports that thanks to the app’s M1 tuning, machine learning tasks like ML Super Resolution and background removal run up to 1.7 times faster on Apple’s latest M1 Ultra chip. So, if you’ve got a new M1 Ultra-based Mac Studio, all of those computationally-intensive tasks should be faster than ever.

Pixelmator Pro is available on the Mac App Store as a free update to existing customers and is $39.99 for new users.


Pixelmator Photo for iPhone: First Impressions

Pixelmator Photo has long been one of my favorite iPad photo editing apps. The app makes great use of the iPad’s large screen, which provides space for tools alongside the image you’re editing. Reducing that experience to even the largest model of iPhone is a tall order, but from my preliminary testing, it looks as though the Pixelmator team has pulled it off.

Pixelmator Photo on the iPad offers an extensive suite of editing tools that strike a nice balance. The app makes it simple to apply the app’s machine learning-based tools for quick editing and sharing, but it also includes fine-grained controls for when you want to more finely tune a photo. The same is true on the iPhone, but the design tilts in favor of quick access and edits, which I think is appropriate on a device like the iPhone. The deeper tools are still there, just beneath the surface and easy to access when you need them, but on the iPhone the emphasis is on accessing frequently-used tools quickly.

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Pixelmator Pro Updated with Background Removal, Subject Selection, and Select and Mask Tools

Mac image editor Pixelmator Pro continues its streak of releasing machine learning-based tools that feel like magic, with a release that the Pixelmator team calls Abracadabra appropriately enough. The release of version 2.3 features tools to remove the background of an image, select just the subject of a photo, and a new Select and Mask feature for making fine-tuned selections.

I started with these images.

I started with these images.

When I first saw a demo of what Pixelmator 2.3 could do, I was a little skeptical that the features would work as well with my photos as the ones picked to show off the new tools. However, Pixelmator Pro’s new suite of related features is the real deal. With virtually no work on my part, I grabbed a photo of Federico and me from my trip to Rome, selected us, and after making a few refinements to the selection to pick up more of Federico’s hair (mine was perfect), I cut out the background, and replaced it with a photo I took in Dublin days before. After compositing the photos on separate layers, I color-matched the layers using ML Match Colors, so they’d fit together better.

The final composed image.

The final composed image.

The results aren’t perfect – the lighting and perspective are a little off – but those are issues with the photos I chose, not the tools I used. The photo of Federico and me was taken after the sun had set and was artificially lit, while the Dublin Canal was shot on a sunny morning, yet the composite image works incredibly well. What’s remarkable is what I was able to accomplish in just a few minutes. I also removed the background from one of the photos I took recently for my Stream Deck story, which worked perfectly with no additional work needed, which has interesting implications for product photography.

Remove Background takes advantage of Apple’s Core ML framework and works in just a few seconds. Select Subject works similarly but selects the subject of an image instead of erasing the background behind the subject. If you look closely at the masked selection below, you can see how well Pixelmator Pro did picking up the edges to get selection details like hair without any additional work by me. However, if an image needs a little selection touch-up, the Refine Edge Brush and Smart Refine feature make that sort of work easy too.

Pixelmator Pro’s new tools are available elsewhere in macOS, too, as Finder Quick Actions, Shortcuts actions, and AppleScript commands. I covered Pixelmator Pro’s Shortcuts actions earlier this fall, and they are some of the best available among Mac-only apps, so it’s fantastic to see those automation options continue to expand.

Pixelmator Pro has long been one of my must-have Mac apps. I don’t spend a lot of time editing images, but when I do, I appreciate that Pixelmator Pro makes the process easy and produces excellent results regardless of your experience with image editors.


Pixelmator Pro 2.1 Adds ML Crop, Quick Fill Color, and Text Tool Updates

The team at Pixelmator has released an update to its Mac photo and image editing tool Pixelmator Pro that includes several new features.

Teased last month, Pixelmator Pro 2.1 has been updated with ML Crop, a machine learning-based cropping tool that algorithmically suggests ways to crop your images. The feature joins several other machine learning-based features that the app has added in the past couple of years. In my limited testing, ML Crop works well, suggesting crops based on the subject of photos that are more dramatic and focused on the image’s subject. The entire cropping process is non-destructive, so even if you aren’t entirely happy with a suggested crop, it can be used as a starting point and easily tweaked manually.

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

Pixelmator Pro has evolved into more than just a photo editor. The app includes powerful image creation tools that got an update today too. Quick Fill is a fast way to fill an image layer with color by simply dragging the color from the app’s new color well that also supports switching between foreground and background colors.

The app has added a Stroke with Brush feature that facilitates painting with the app’s brushes along the path of shapes and image layers too. The feature joins a new brush picker and an option for smoothing strokes. Also, the Type tool has been updated to add a slider that quickly resizes text and the ability to control paragraph spacing.

There are other smaller refinements throughout the app too. For instance, when you hover the pointer over a predefined crop, your image updates with a preview of what the new crop will look like. The feature works dynamically in tandem with ML Crop when that feature is turned on, and there are now multiple crop overlay options in the latest update like the Rule of Thirds, the Golden Ratio, the Golden Spiral, and others. Image perspective can be adjusted, and the background of the app’s editor can be changed too. For a quick demo of the highlights, Pixelmator’s announcement video is worth watching:

I haven’t had a chance to try all the new features of Pixelmator’s latest release yet, but I like what I’ve seen so far. The app’s machine learning-based features are fast, especially on an M1 Mac, and they work well in most circumstances. Even when the results aren’t exactly what I want, the app’s machine learning tools are a handy head start with editing.

Pixelmator 2.1 is a free update on the Mac App Store, and currently, the app is available for $19.99, which is 50% off of its usual price until July 6th.


Pixelmator Pro Teases ML Crop Feature and Announces a 50% Off Sale

Source Pixelmator.

Source Pixelmator.

Some of the most impressive additions to Pixelmator Pro in recent updates have been the ones that rely on machine learning. From the auto enhancement feature added in 2018 to last year’s ML Color Match and ML Super Resolution, a wide variety of the app’s tools have harnessed machine learning to help photographers edit their images. Today, the Pixelmator team announced that their extending Pixelmator Pro’s reliance on machine learning to its cropping tool with ML Crop.

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

ML Crop uses machine learning to analyze the composition of a photo and suggest how you might like to crop it with the click of a single button. From the video in Pixelmator’s blog post, which is excerpted in the GIF above, the feature looks promising. ML Crop joins features that let you quickly set primary and secondary colors for an image and edit colors in a composition using drag and drop.

In addition to the sneak peek at ML Crop, Pixelmator announced today that the app is currently on sale for 50% off, which makes it a great time to jump in and give Pixelmator Pro if you haven’t yet.


Pixelmator Pro 2.0 Released with M1 Mac Support, An Updated Design, and New Effects and Presets

The Pixelmator team has released an extensive update to its image editing app, Pixelmator Pro. Version 2.0 is a Universal Mac app that supports both Intel and M1-based Macs. In addition to the under-the-hood support for Apple’s new SoC architecture, the update has an all-new Big Sur-style design and a host of new features like redesigned effects and presets browsers, the ability to customize the app’s layout, and a new app icon.

Pixelmator Pro’s new design is terrific, right down to its new Big Sur-style app icon. The app already featured a design with minimal chrome that stayed out of the way, focusing attention on the content, which is also a hallmark of Big Sur’s design. As a result, the update will look familiar to existing users but also fits right in with other apps designed for the latest version of macOS.

Changes big and small have been made throughout Pixelmator Pro’s UI. For example, like the Finder and Apple’s other system apps, button outlines are highlighted only when the pointer hovers over the icons in the app’s toolbar. The name of the document you’re working on has been left-justified too. Pixelmator Pro has also added a new zoom control to the toolbar for fast access to zooming in and out of an image using the pointer instead of a trackpad gesture or keyboard shortcut.

Pixelmator Pro's new effects UI.

Pixelmator Pro’s new effects UI.

Although the order of the tools along the right edge of Pixelmator Pro is customizable, the default position of the effects tool has been moved near the top of the window. When active, the effects tool opens a panel that is divided into six default categories of image effects, which can be modified by the user. The design is more compact than before and provides a live thumbnail preview of what the effect will look like if applied, making it easier to find the look you’re after. With the addition of even more effects, the new UI is a much more efficient way to browse through them.

Pixelmator Pro features preset workspaces.

Pixelmator Pro features preset workspaces.

The update also features four preset workspaces in addition to the app’s default configuration, which each move the toolbar and panels to different positions in the app’s window to accommodate photography, design, illustration, and painting workflows. You can also design and save your own setup dragging the app’s two panels and toolbar into positions that suit you.

You can define your own workspaces.

You can define your own workspaces.

Presets have been greatly expanded and enjoy the same sort of compact UI as effects too. The Pixelmator team says it has added over 200 new presets for photography, design, and illustration use cases, which allow users to work more efficiently. The app also has more than 50 new vector shapes in five categories from which to choose.

On the new M1 Macs, Pixelmator Pro benefits from its use of Apple’s Metal frameworks. The M1 Macs are designed to take advantage of Metal, which accelerates tasks in Pixelmator Pro like upscaling images using the app’s ML Super Resolution feature. The Pixelmator team says ML Super Resolution can be accomplished up to 15 times faster on an M1 Mac than was possible before.

I’ve said many times before that Pixelmator Pro is the image editor I use most often for my work at MacStories. The app is powerful but easy to use, dispensing with the steep learning curves of many other pro-level image editors. With version 2.0, the Pixelmator team continues to push the app forward with a design and underlying technologies that are perfectly aligned with where the Mac is heading, which is a reassuring indication that the app will continue to be one of the premier Mac image editors for a long time to come.

Pixelmator Pro 2.0 is available on the Mac App Store to existing users as a free update and new customers for $39.99.