I’ve been using Pixelmator for some time and I have to say, the more I use it the more impressed I am with the app.
I can’t say it’s been my workhorse since I’ve been doing a lot of my designs in the browser but when I do have a design task that requires me to use a design app, I’ve been turning to Pixelmator more frequently.
Photoshop for the longest time had been my goto design app but there are some things that Pixelmator is the clear winner.
In Photoshop there’s an issue of banding when exporting graphics from the app. Louie Mantia has an example of banding and a solution on how to reduce banding. From my experience, the results were ok and just seems like something Photoshop should do right out of the box. Out of curiosity when I first was aware of banding, I fired up Pixelmator to see if the results were any better; the results were silky smooth.
I never understood Photoshop’s shape tool. I have an inkling that Adobe did this intentionally since they have a dedicated vector tool – Illustrator – and want you to use it. Pixelmator’s Shape Tool on the other hand is simple and works in a way that makes sense. You drag a shape to your canvas, move around some points and change some colors. Simple. They even have a vector mode you can access by pressing
Command + Shift + V.
Aside from the new features they release, optimizing and enhancing the app to take advantage of all the tech that’s available to them in each new update to OS X is a focus for the devs. Which is crazy because the app weighs in just shy of 60 megabytes on my machine while Photoshop weighs in at over a gig.
Low Barrier of Entry
Purchasing Pixelmator was a no brainer when I saw the price. I bought the app when it went on sale for 50% off their regular price; something they do from time to time. I applaud the Pixelmator team, I think their app is worth a lot more than they charge for it but they keep the price low. This makes it easier for creatives to pick up a solid piece of software and get to work without saving up pennies and waiting to make a grandiose purchase.
There are so many other great features that I could mention but those are the ones that came to mind as I write this post.
This week, Pixelmator 3.2 was released. Along with it the most touted feature is the new Repair Tool. First thing I did after updating the app was grab a photo off of Google and gave the magical repair tool a shot.
My results were not even close to what was shown in their sneak peak video.
(Taking the kite out of the picture was pretty easy, while trying to remove the mom from the photo, not so much.)
I suspected the results were mehhh because of the amount of data in the actual image. Meaning the image was so small in size that there wasn’t much for the tool to sample from in order to work well. This was confirmed by Saulius from Pixelmator on Twitter.
@hellomichaellee Yes, it does. We made some tweaks that even with little data the repairs would be smooth. Looks like this one is too small.— Pixelmator Team (@pixelmator) May 22, 2014
So I grabbed the photo used in the 3.2 release announcement on the blog and tried the erase tool on that. The results were much better!
(Please note that this image above was downsized once I applied the erase tool and optimized for viewing here. If you’re itching to try out the erase tool I advise to grab the original image on their site or use a high resolution image of your own.)
The result looks as if the tool bar elements and the magic carpet riding girl was never there. You’ll notice though the sand in the bottom right hand corner is a little distorted. I’m guessing it’s because of the complex pattern in the sand. I’m sure if I spent more time with the image I could make it look a lot better but this image was done in about a minute.
If you’ve ever considered Pixelmator or if you’re looking for a graphic design tool that is high quality with a low cost, I highly recommend giving Pixelmator a shot!