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Posts tagged with "pixelmator"

Pixelmator Pro for Mac Adds an Apple Photos Extension, New Zoom Tools, and Other Features

Pixelmator Pro released a significant update today that integrates the Mac app with Apple’s Photos app using a full-featured extension, adds enhanced zoom functionality, new cropping options, and more.

Pixelmator Pro is one of my favorite image editors on the Mac, but until today, I typically edited images in it that I pulled from an SD card or exported from Photos. That’s no longer necessary because Pixelmator Pro has been updated with a Photos extension that lets you use all of the app’s tools directly within Photos.

Photos extensions allow third-party developers to integrate their apps with Photos. Few of the photo editing apps I’ve used work with Photos though, which is a shame because Pixelmator Pro shows how much can be done with a Photos extension.

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Pixelmator Pro Updated with New Layers Features

Today the Pixelmator team released a layers-focused update to Pixelmator Pro, their Mac image editor.

The update allows users to add any of seven colored tags to a layer to help identify them. The feature also supports Adobe PSD color tags on import and export.

To make navigating projects with lots of layers easier, users can now filter layers based on several criteria including the new color tags, images, shapes, text, RAW, and groups. At the bottom of the layers sidebar, there is also a search field for locating layers by name.

Pixelmator Pro 1.3 supports clipping masks too. The feature allows users to apply the contents of one layer to the shape of another layer or group of layers. Clipping masks can be created from text, shapes, groups of layers, or nested shapes.

Finally, you can also adjust a layer’s opacity and blending mode using the controls at the bottom of the layers sidebar. Adjustments made are previewed live in the app’s main window.

Pixelmator Pro is available on the Mac App Store.


Pixelmator Photo Is Coming to the iPad Later This Year

I use Pixelmator Pro almost every day on my Mac. A lot of the time, that’s for simple edits to screenshots, but I also use it for more complex layered images and editing photos. I’ve enjoyed the iOS version a lot too, but with the introduction of Pixelmator Pro on the Mac, development of the iOS version slowed. I still use the iOS app, but it’s in need of an update, which is why I was so pleased to see Pixelmator Photo teased at today’s Apple event in New York.

Pixelmator Photo will be out later this year. The app, which was first mentioned when Pixelmator Pro launched almost a year ago, is an iPad-only photo editing app that appears to closely follow the design of the Mac app and include much of its functionality too. In addition to being highlighted during Apple’s keynote today, Pixelmator Photo was on the iPads in the hands-on area after the event where Federico had a chance to try the app for a short time and was impressed.

Pixelmator Photo's image editing UI (right) is very similar to Pixelmator Pro's on the Mac (left).

Pixelmator Photo’s image editing UI (right) is very similar to Pixelmator Pro’s on the Mac (left).

According to the Pixelmator team’s preview webpage, the app:

features a collection of nondestructive, desktop-class photo editing tools, a set of stunning, machine learning-enhanced film emulation presets, a magical Repair tool to remove unwanted objects from your photos, support for editing RAW images, and more.

Pixelmator says the app will include non-destructive color adjustments including Levels, Curves, Hue & Saturation, Selective Color, and Black & White as well as Repair and Cropping tools. The app will also support RAW image editing and the ML Fix feature recently introduced in the Mac app. Machine learning will also be used to simulate analog film with a set of presets and power cropping suggestions.

Apple showed that it’s committed to offering pro-level hardware in the iPad line with the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pros today. Apps are the other half of the equation, and it’s encouraging to see Pixelmator Photos announced along with Adobe’s Photoshop, and other apps that will take advantage of Apple’s new hardware.


You can also follow all of our Apple event coverage through our October 30, 2018 hub, or subscribe to the dedicated October 30, 2018 RSS feed.


Pixelmator Pro First Impressions: A Beautiful Modern Interface with Advanced Image Editing Tools

Five years in the making, Pixelmator Pro debuted today with an all-new look and host of new features. The new interface eliminates visual clutter and anchors tools in side panels, so you always know where they are. Much of the app’s chrome has been eliminated too, putting your project in the spotlight where you can focus on it and not the app. It’s a modern, clean style that makes the app feel spacious and professional.

Pixelmator Pro adds a raft of features as well. Layer styles, color adjustments, and effects are all highly customizable, can be saved as presets, and shared. I’ve only had a little over 24 hours to put Pixelmator Pro through its paces, but based on my first impressions, it’s an impressive debut that I expect will replace the original version of the app as my go-to image editor.

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Pixelmator for iOS Adds Drag and Drop Support and HEIF Compatibility

Following just a few days behind Pixelmator for Mac, which recently received support for HEIF and editing files stored in Apple Photos, Pixelmator for iOS was updated today with the aforementioned HEIF support – Apple’s new file format for images in iOS 11 – as well as drag and drop support on iPad.

Drag and drop enables, as you might expect, moving images and graphics out of or into Pixelmator. Dropping images into a work in progress will import them all as new layers. Depending on the size and number of images you’re dropping, there may be a brief delay before they appear in your working document, but overall this action works well. When it comes to dragging content out of Pixelmator, you’ll need to do it with a single layer at a time – once you’ve lifted a layer, you can’t use drag and drop to pick up any additional layers. In a document containing many different layers, this can be fairly limiting, but there is a type of workaround: you can merge layers together in the sidebar to then drag the newly merged layer out of the app as a single image. Unfortunately, this only solves the problem if you want both layers permanently combined into one when dropping them elsewhere.

This layer merge technique is the only way I’ve discovered to drag a final image, containing multiple layers, out of Pixelmator and into another app – if you don’t want to first merge all layers together, you’ll have to use a more traditional data transfer technique like the share sheet. I would have liked to see drag and drop enabled within Pixelmator’s main image browser for moving a completed image out of the app, or for importing photos into the app to edit later. Currently, long-pressing an item from the image browser simply engages rearrange mode.

One nice side effect of drag and drop support is that when dealing with layers that don’t fit inside your canvas – such as an image you’ve dragged in that’s larger than the canvas itself – previously it was difficult to easily determine how large the full layer was. But now, grabbing the layer and watching it lift from the screen will provide a view of the full image, regardless of canvas size. Once you start dragging the layer away, it will shrink into a smaller drag preview, but until that move is engaged, the lifted image will be shown in full.

Despite its limitations, drag and drop support in Pixelmator is definitely great to have; before today I have tried several times to drag images into the app only to remember I couldn’t do that yet. Perhaps when the upcoming Pixelmator Pro arrives on the iPad, it will include a richer implementation of drag and drop. Until then, I’m grateful to have one less app limiting my iPad drag and drop experience.


Pixelmator for macOS Updated with HEIF and Apple Photos Support

Pixelmator, which announced Pixelmator Pro is coming later this year, has released an interim update to the current version of its image editor that adds full compatibility with macOS High Sierra.

In addition to bug fixes, Pixelmator 3.7 supports importing HEIF image files. Pixelmator can be opened directly from Apple Photos now too. The feature, which was added to Apple Photos as part of High Sierra, allows users to choose an image in Apple Photos, but edit it in Pixelmator. All edits made in Pixelmator will be saved back to the original file in Apple Photos. Pixelmator posted a video that explains how the feature works:

Pixelmator is available on the Mac App Store.


Pixelmator Pro Announced

Just before WWDC, the Pixelmator team teased a Mac app they’ve been working on for five years. The big reveal came today with an announcement that Pixelmator Pro will be joining the Pixelmator family of image editing apps this fall. Reimagined and rebuilt from the ground up, Pixelmator Pro promises a whole new level of power and ease-of-use.

According to the announcement:

“Pixelmator Pro provides every tool you could ever need to create, edit, and enhance your images on a Mac in an incredibly intuitive and accessible interface”, said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team. “And with its GPU-powered, machine learning-enhanced tools, it’s truly one of the most advanced and innovative image editing apps on the planet.”

I haven’t tried Pixelmator Pro yet, but judging from the announcement, I expect we’re in for a treat. The most noticeable thing about the new app is its striking UI. Gone are the floating toolbars, replaced by left and right-hand side panels that fade into the background, so the image you’re working on dominates your workspace. I like the one window approach a lot, if for no other reason than I know exactly where my tools are at all times. The combination of a minimalistic toolbar, sparse chrome around the panels, use of transparency, dark interface, and ability to hide UI elements give Pixelmator Pro an expansive feel that emphasizes the image in your workspace instead of the tools.

The changes announced go much deeper than just a redesign, though. The Pixelmator team has taken the opportunity to incorporate the latest Apple technologies and harness Machine Learning. Pixelmator Pro’s editor takes advantage of a Mac’s GPU using Metal 2, the graphics framework announced at WWDC that will debut with macOS X High Sierra. CoreML, also announced at WWDC, will drive much of Pixelmator Pro’s editing engine according to the announcement. There’s also support for the new HEIF image file format.

Also, editing in Pixelmator Pro will be non-destructive:

Pixelmator Pro’s color adjustments, effects, styles, and layouting tools are completely nondestructive, giving users the freedom and flexibility to go back and modify or delete individual changes at any point in the editing workflow. Thanks to the new presets feature, you can create endless combinations of multiple adjustments, effects, or styles, save them to your favorites and reuse them in any of your images. Drag-and-drop sharing also makes it a breeze to share presets with others.

I expect the ability to share combinations of effects, styles, and adjustments will be especially popular.

Pixelmator Pro will be available exclusively from the Mac App Store this fall alongside the current Pixelmator app.


Pixelmator for iOS Adds Quick and Magnetic Selection Tools

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS was updated today to add the same Quick Selection and Magnetic Selection tools that were introduced on the Mac with Pixelmator 3.5 in May. The Quick Selection Tool lets you paint over an image with your finger to select it. Magnetic selection grabs the outline of an object based on anchor points you create as you trace around the object with your finger. Pixelmator detects the edges of the object in the image and snaps the section to them. In my brief tests, both selection tools worked well and are particularly well-suited to touch.

In addition to the new selection tools, Pixelmator 2.3 adds many small refinements and other improvements, including:

  • Apple Pencil pressure sensitivity support for the Quick Selection Tool;
  • Greater Apple Pencil precision when using the Free Selection Tool;
  • a ‘tap to invert selection’ button;
  • improvements to the precision and speed of the Color Selection Tool; and
  • snap to pixel precision for the Free, Rectangular, and Elliptical Selection Tools.

Pixelmator 2.3 for iOS is a free upgrade for existing Pixelmator customers and is available to new customers on the App Store for $4.99. Pixelmator 3.5 for Mac, which we previously covered, is available for $29.99 on the Mac App Store.