Pixelmator 3.0 FX gives users more features to edit their images.

In September of 2007, the Pixelmator Team released version 1.0 of the GPU-powered image editing tool, Pixelmator. Six years later, the team driven by two brothers, Saulius and Aidas Dailide, is proud to announce the release of Pixelmator 3.0. FX.

Original

Original 1

“This is the day we’ve been working for since the initial Pixelmator launch and we are absolutely thrilled to bring this massive upgrade to Pixelmator fans,” said Saulius Dailide, of the Pixelmator Team. “Now with Layer Styles, Liquify Tools, and an incredibly faster performance delivered by the new Pixelmator’s state-of-the-art image editing engine, Pixelmator becomes a top-quality, full-featured image editing app for the Mac.”

Pixelmator 3.0 FX gives users new options for editing including Layer Styles and Liquify Tools, which are familiar territory for Photoshop users. Layer Styles allow users to quickly apply shadows, inner shadows, gradients, outlines or reflections to any chosen layer. Once a layer’s style is perfected, users can easily copy and paste it to another layer to duplicate the effects exactly. The Liquify Tools include effects such as Warp, Bump, Pinch and Twirl, which add artistic details or even completely distort the image depending on how they are used.

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Edit 1

My first experience was at version 2.2, which was released on May 7, 2013. It was a major update that included Smart Shapes Tools, a shape palette, text-to-shape feature, Smart Move Tool, Paint Selection Tool, the Light Leak effect and more. I was impressed with what lay before me at that time and thought it was comparable to Photoshop, my most frequently used photo editor. Now with the release of version 3.0, Pixelmator is not only comparable, but it also competition.

Since many of the commands, shortcuts and tools behave the same in the two pieces of software, it’s very easy to transition to Pixelmator from Photoshop. The addition of the Layer Styles and Liquify tools make it possible for me to create unique images similar to what I could with Photoshop, but at a fraction of the cost.

For example, I had a photograph of a giraffe taken at our local zoo (Original 1). It was a sunny day with no cloud cover. The photograph was ideal for some ‘tweaking.’ So, I used this update as an opportunity to really test out the new features.

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Original 2

First, I isolated the giraffe’s head. The subject had a pretty well-defined edge, so with the help of the selection tool, I was able to cut the background out of the shot. I then used the Generator from the Effects Browser to create the cloud effect in the background (it was the ‘smoke’ effect). I changed the coloring of the background and added a sunbeam. To add an extra touch of creativity, I used the brand new Twirl feature to add some extra design to the giraffe’s pattern. The result only took me about 15 minutes to complete.

As an additional example, I used the same giraffe in a different pose (Original 2) to cut and paste his head into a different scene. Again using the selection tool, I was able to isolate the head away from the remainder of the photo easily. I spent some time with the lighting and coloring effects to try to match the background’s light as closely as possible. Again, this entire process took less than 15 minutes.

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Edit 2

In addition to the added editing tools, Pixelmator 3.0 FX is optimized for the newly released OS X Mavericks. With the brand new image editing engine that works flawlessly with OS X and takes advantage of all the newest features to deliver a powerful, responsive photo editing tool.

Pixelmator 3.0 FX is available exclusively from the Mac App Store, for just $29.99 and current users can upgrade to version 3.0 for free.

The Pixelmator Team has developed a great teaching tool through their website. They have several tutorials and are willing to reach out to users when requested.