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Posts tagged with "pixelmator"

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.


Pixelmator 2.6 Adds Pointer Support and More Than 70 Keyboard Shortcuts for iPad Users

The modernization of Pixelmator continues apace with the addition of more iPad-friendly features in version 2.6. Earlier this year, Pixelmator 2.5 added the native iOS and iPadOS document browser along with nine categories of preset image templates.

The latest version picks up where 2.5 left off with iPadOS pointer support. Whether you’re using the Magic Keyboard’s trackpad with your iPad or another trackpad or mouse, Pixelmator 2.6 fully supports pointer interaction with all UI controls, transforming to indicate available actions when performing actions like editing an image, in which case it turns into a double arrow for resizing.

Pixelmator 2.6 includes pointer support throughout.

Pixelmator 2.6 includes pointer support throughout.

The Pixelmator update also includes a long list of keyboard shortcuts. There are over 70 shortcuts, which are catalogued on Pixelmator’s website. There’s little that isn’t covered by the shortcuts. You can enter the app’s various editing modes to do things like crop an image, use the app’s selection tools, and arrange layers. There are also shortcuts to view an image at its actual size or zoom in so it fills the screen, and when you’re finished editing, there’s a keyboard shortcut for exporting too.

Pixelmator Photo is one of my favorite image editors on the iPad, but it’s strictly a photo editing app. To composite images, I rely on Pixelmator, which is why I’m so glad to see that it continues to get the sort of updates that make working with images on my iPad easier than before.

Pixelmator 2.6 is available on the App Store and is a free update for existing users.


Pixelmator Photo Adds ML Super Resolution Powered by Apple’s Neural Engine and Split-Screen Preview Slider

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

During Apple’s keynote today, the company showed off the iPad Air’s new A14 Bionic chip with a demonstration from Pixelmator, which showed off the latest version of Pixelmator Photo, which was released today. The new version of the app comes with two headlining features: ML Super Resolution, which is powered by the Neural Engine that’s part of Apples SoC, and a split-screen slider for comparing photo edits.

ML Super Resolution is a feature that first debuted on the Mac with Pixelmator Pro late last year. On the iPad, Pixelmator says the feature can increase an image’s resolution up to three times, using a machine learning-based algorithm. ML Super Resolution is also available in Pixelmator Photo’s batch editing mode.

The new split-screen preview is a terrific way to show off ML Super Resolution or any other edits you make to a photo. Tap and hold on the screen, and a vertical line appears under your finger, dividing the screen into a before-and-after preview with before on the left of the divider and after on the right side.

ML Super Resolution does an excellent job bringing out the details in this shot of the Sydney waterfront.

ML Super Resolution does an excellent job bringing out the details in this shot of the Sydney waterfront.

In my limited tests, the results of using ML Super Resolution have been impressive. I used an image from a trip I took to Australia in 2007 with a low-resolution pocket digital camera. As you can see from the split-screen preview above, ML Super Resolution does a fantastic job sharpening the text on the side of a warehouse and adding definition to the brick buildings in the foreground.

Pixelmator Photo now supports double-tapping the Apple Pencil.

Pixelmator Photo now supports double-tapping the Apple Pencil.

Today’s update to version 1.4 also adds a new Apple Pencil double-tap option in Pixelmator Photo’s settings. Double tapping the Apple Pencil is set to undo and redo edits by default, but you can also use it to select the repair tool or show the split-screen preview slider.

Pixelmator Photo is one of my favorite iPad photo editors. I use Pixelmator Pro on my Mac a lot too, and I’m glad to see more of its features coming to the iPad. There’s a lot to be said for editing images on the big display connected to my Mac mini. However, my iPad is often the biggest screen I have available and a more enjoyable way to browse and tweak photos I’ve taken.

Pixelmator Photo 1.4 is available as a free update on the App Store for existing users. For new users, the price has been increased to $7.99.


Pixelmator Pro 1.7 Adds Type to Path, Canvas Rotation, and More

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

Version 1.7 of Pixelmator Pro was released today with support for placing text along a path, rotating the app’s canvas, a refinement of ML Super Resolution, and a new quick-start welcome screen.

The update, dubbed Sequoia, adds three type tools: Circular Type, Path Type, and Freeform Type. You can pick one of those tools to create a path for your text or click on an existing path in a project to type along it. With the text tool selected, your pointer switches as you approach the border of a shape in your project to the text path tool, indicating that you can begin typing along the shape with a click. The tool supports emoji and SVG fonts and can be converted to shapes too.

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

Canvas rotation is handled by a circular puck in the lower-right corner of Pixelmator Pro’s image viewer. You can enter a precise number of degrees to rotate the canvas, drag the dot along the circle’s perimeter, or use multi-touch on a trackpad to dial in the exact rotation you want. When using the trackpad to rotate, Pixelmator Pro provides haptic feedback in 90-degree increments, which is a nice touch. By default, the rotation tool appears when you begin a trackpad rotation, but you can set it to always or never be visible from the View menu too. Canvas rotation is a fantastic addition for anyone using Pixelmator Pro with Sidecar on an iPad.

Source: Pixelmator.

Source: Pixelmator.

There have always been several entry points into Pixelmator Pro, but it’s easier to pick the one you want with the new welcome screen. The screen includes recent documents, the option to create a new empty document from one of the app’s many templates, and the ability to pick an image from Photos or anywhere in your Mac’s file system.

Finally, today’s update also adds improvements to ML Super Resolution. This feature refines images’ resolution to allow them to be displayed at bigger sizes with a minimum amount of blurring. It’s a handy feature that I’ve used in the past to upscale screenshots of standard definition video. In addition to working better than before with the latest update, MS Super Resolution has added support for RAW images and a progress bar.

Pixelmator Pro has long been one of my favorite image editors on the Mac. With each release, the app has gained additional functionality that makes it more than just a photo editor. With tools like typing along a path and canvas rotation, Pixelmator Pro should be far more capable than ever before in a designer’s hands.


Pixelmator 2.5 Brings Document Browser, New Photo View, and Extensive Presets to iPad and iPhone

The document browser in Pixelmator.

The document browser in Pixelmator.

Pixelmator is one of the few apps I’ve used longer than anything else. Over time I regularly change up task managers, email clients, note-taking apps, and more, but nothing has ever come close to replacing Pixelmator for me. In fact, last summer I had to try living without it for a time while the app was briefly incompatible with the iOS 13 beta. Try as I might, I could find no replacement for the excellent layer-based image editor.

Not even Pixelmator Photo, the more modern photo editing tool, could replace the original Pixelmator. It wasn’t exactly intended to, since the apps specialize in different areas, but the standard Pixelmator nonetheless felt light on meaningful updates even before the release of Pixelmator Photo. My fear was that eventually the app would be discontinued.

Pixelmator 2.5, launching today, is strong evidence that that’s not going to happen. By transitioning the app to the Files document browser, designing an all-new photo browser, and adding a rich collection of new image size presets, Pixelmator’s team has crafted the app’s biggest leap forward in years and set it up for a strong future.

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Pixelmator Photo 1.2 Adds Cursor and Split View Support, ML Match Colors, and More

The Pixelmator team has released version 1.2 of Pixelmator Photo for the iPad with iPadOS cursor and Split View support and Pixelmator Pro’s ML Match Colors feature. The update also includes a new way to change the intensity of color and preset adjustments and a ‘Recents’ section for its filter tool.

Pixelmator Photo uses a custom cursor for tasks like cropping images.

Pixelmator Photo uses a custom cursor for tasks like cropping images.

The addition of cursor control is a welcome enhancement to Pixelmator Photo, which already supported keyboard shortcuts. Now it’s possible to make edits to a photo with a combination of the keyboard and either a trackpad or mouse without reaching up to touch the screen. Combined with the addition of Split View, Pixelmator Photo is far more powerful when used in combination with another app than it was before.

For example, when I’m working on an article and want to touch up a photo, I often use Pixelmator Photo to touch up any photos I plan to use. Before the update, if I was doing that with my iPad Pro in a stand, I would usually remove the iPad and edit with it lying flat on a table because it was easier than reaching up repeatedly to navigate Pixelmator Photo’s UI.

Editing images while I write in iA Writer.

Editing images while I write in iA Writer.

With cursor support, my iPad can remain in the stand while I edit. Better yet, with Split View, I can edit an image alongside the article I’m writing and use the app’s share sheet support to use a shortcut that uploads the final image to our CDN and returns a URL that I can paste into the story. The pairing eliminates the need to switch back and forth between Photos and my text editor, saving time. It’s worth noting that Pixelmator Photo does not support iPadOS’s multiwindowing feature, which I imagine could be valuable in some editing scenarios.

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Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Released with New Color Picker and Improved Way to Select Multiple Items

Pixelmator Pro 1.6 has been released with an all-new color picker that streamlines color management in the app, plus an improved way to select multiple objects in an image.

The lion’s share of Pixelmator Pro 1.6 is focused on the app’s new color picker that consolidates multiple tools in one place. The color square section of Pixelmator Pro’s color picker allows users to pick a hue, adjust its saturation and brightness, displays HEX and RGB values, provides for the creation of color swatch collections, and displays the six most recently used colors.

Pixelmator Pro features a brand new color picker.

Pixelmator Pro features a brand new color picker.

There’s also a dedicated color picker tool at the bottom of the tools on the right-hand edge of the app’s window. With the new tool open, the eyedropper remains active, improving the process of picking colors. The new color picker tool also keeps your swatches and color-picking settings available in the sidebar.

Pixelmator Pro 1.6 includes a number of other refinements too. Among them, multiple objects can also be selected now simply by dragging over them, and there’s a new tool for replacing missing fonts in a project more easily.

I’ve only spent a short time with Pixelmator Pro 1.6 so far, but even with my limited use, the new color tools a clear improvement. By consolidating everything into a custom picker, selecting and managing colors is vastly simpler than in the past. To learn more, check out the Pixelmator team’s post that additional details about the update.

Pixelmator Pro is available as a free update on the Mac App Store.