Photoshop rival Pixelmator Pro gets new export & color tools, Touch Bar support on MacBook...

Posted:
in Mac Software
Pixelmator on Thursday released a major update of Pixelmator Pro for the Mac, adding features such as Touch Bar commands on the MacBook Pro, and a slew of automatic color adjustments.




The new Touch Bar commands vary based on the active tool, for instance letting users pick brush colors or effect presets. Automatic color tools include Auto Lightness, Auto White Balance, and Auto Hue and Saturation, enabling single-click adjustments for common situations. Similar options are a staple of Adobe Photoshop, Pixelmator's main competition.

Other significant additions to Pixelmator Pro include a Slice tool, which lets people divide an image into several and modify each portion. A heavy emphasis of the update is on export, with options like Export for Web, the creation of Export Presets, and a Quick Export command that uses frequent settings. "Save for Web" is fundamental component of Photoshop.

The app can now also export to HEIF, and both open and export SVG vector images.




Smaller improvements include a Select Color Range tool, live previews when manipulating text or layer blends, and a Tutorials section intended to better acclimate newcomers.

Photoshop is typically considered an industry standard, almost mandatory in graphics and photo editing. That software is only available through a Creative Cloud subscription though, whereas Pixelmator Pro is a one-time purchase.

Photoshop retains some advantages, such as 3D creation tools and even animation. Creative Cloud subscribers also get access to Lightroom, photo workflow software that can simply batch editing and processing.

Pixelmator Pro costs $59.99 for new users. For existing owners, the update is a free download via the Mac App Store. By comparison, Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography plans start at $9.99 per month with 20 gigabytes of storage, growing to $19.99 or more with storage at the terabyte-plus level.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,417member
    Really wish this software was as good as or better than Photoshop, but it just isn’t.
    sandor
  • Reply 2 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    So they caught up to Affinity Photo.  It is good there are now two good alternatives.  I still use PS mostly but I am trying to learn Affinity Photo when i get time.  It's hard to change after using PS since the first betas in 1988.  
    willcropointcornchip
  • Reply 3 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,949member
    Waiting to hear comments about still no CMYK. How many of you still design for print and how many only design for web and other non-print work?

    i also started with the full Adobe suite in the early ‘90’s (whenever it actually came out), having to budget enough money to cover several dozen artist, designers and photographers. It wasn’t easy going from the art board to the computer. It also wasn’t cheap. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 16
    MacPro said:
    So they caught up to Affinity Photo.  It is good there are now two good alternatives.  I still use PS mostly but I am trying to learn Affinity Photo when i get time.  It's hard to change after using PS since the first betas in 1988.  
    Thanks for the mention of Affinity Photo.  Search in this forum barely mentions it... yet general search shows it as strong contender in the image editing space. Might be worth a review here as well.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,749member
    rob53 said:
    Waiting to hear comments about still no CMYK. How many of you still design for print and how many only design for web and other non-print work?
    CMYK is not as crucial for print these days as it was in the 80s-90s. Sort of depends on the image, but today's RIPs convert RGB images to CMYK quite well. That said, I still use Photoshop to convert the RGB images before importing them into inDesign. I too have been using PS since version 1. One reason I prefer PS is that inDesign can import .psd files directly so I don't have to export them to some other format. That saves disk space and avoids redundancy. 
  • Reply 6 of 16
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,340member
    Really wish this software was as good as or better than Photoshop, but it just isn’t.
    I agree.  I think what the folks at Pixelmator do is amazing.  They're passionate about Macs and it's a treat to use Pixelmator.  From a performance standpoint, it just obliterates photoshop.  

    Unfortunately, and expectedly, it's the missing features that restrict what can be done with it.  Then again, Adobe had literally decades of development on Photoshop whereas Pixelmator is only years into it.

    If it were comparable to PS on features, I'd jump to it in a heartbeat.
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    henshawhenshaw Posts: 8member
    Web export and SVG support were the last two things I was waiting for in order to get rid of my Adobe subscription. As someone who has been building websites since 1995, they hit it out of the park in regards to web export features. I have no idea if Photoshop is still better for advanced photographers or not (because I'm not a professional photographer), but Pixelmator Pro is now the only app I really need for creating and editing web design assets. And the more I've used it, the more I've preferred it over Photoshop's UX.
    cgWerkswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 16
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,949member
    volcan said:
    rob53 said:
    Waiting to hear comments about still no CMYK. How many of you still design for print and how many only design for web and other non-print work?
    CMYK is not as crucial for print these days as it was in the 80s-90s. Sort of depends on the image, but today's RIPs convert RGB images to CMYK quite well. That said, I still use Photoshop to convert the RGB images before importing them into inDesign. I too have been using PS since version 1. One reason I prefer PS is that inDesign can import .psd files directly so I don't have to export them to some other format. That saves disk space and avoids redundancy. 
    Sorry for the loooooooong post but two important things. First is the new features and second shows me exporting a jpeg file as Photoshop (PSD). It comes out as RGB but it's still a Photoshop file. I believe this feature was added in the last version. Remember, we're talking about Pixelmator Pro here, not the original Pixelmator application.




  • Reply 9 of 16
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,185member
    No, they're still definitely behind Affinity Photo, and will be even further once the new betas for Photo and Designer roll out.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,827member
    AppleInsider said:
    The app can now also export to HEIF, and both open and export SVG vector images.
    Hmm... does anyone know more about what this means? Can you actually edit vector files with the vector tools now? Like... import a vector file, work on it, and export a useful vector file?

    rob53 said:
    Waiting to hear comments about still no CMYK. How many of you still design for print and how many only design for web and other non-print work?
    Not much, mostly digital. But, the last times I did, I used Pixelmator (not even Pro) and then converted to CMYK for the printer (not even sure I'd have to do that anymore). It worked for what I was doing, but I could see wanting a smoother workflow if you did it much.

    fractaldreams said:
    Thanks for the mention of Affinity Photo.  Search in this forum barely mentions it... yet general search shows it as strong contender in the image editing space. Might be worth a review here as well.
    Yeah, I don't know what's up there. Is it a matter of who spends enough in ad revenue, or journalists just aren't aware of Affinity? I'd like to see more inclusion/comparison of it in these kind of articles instead of just PhotoShop comparison. (And, I don't just mean AI... this seems to be a trend across Mac media.)

    sflocal said:
    Unfortunately, and expectedly, it's the missing features that restrict what can be done with it.
    Yeah, that and if you aren't working for yourself, nearly every job requires PS experience, so you're distancing yourself from employment. :(
    The one feature I really miss is Smart Object compatibility.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 203member
    sflocal said:
    Really wish this software was as good as or better than Photoshop, but it just isn’t.
    If it were comparable to PS on features, I'd jump to it in a heartbeat.
    I don’t mean to doubt what you (and SpamSandwich) are saying, but I’ve heard these kinds of things since the 90s until now—i.e. Mac’s can’t do serious work like PCs, the iPad can’t do the work I need it to do, Final Cut Pro X isn’t able to satisfy the needs of real video professionals, etc.

    I still hear people saying they can’t use the iPad for serious work. I see the problem as often the person being used to working a certain way that they can’t do on an iPad so they conclude they can’t do the work, when instead it just needs a shift of mindset about how to do the work (I did my dissertation on the iPad 1 and received a special mention for presentation!).

    So I wonder how much of a complaint against Pixelmator Pro has to do with being unable to do the needed work or if it’s an inability to just ‘work differently’?
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 12 of 16
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,827member
    georgie01 said:
    I don’t mean to doubt what you (and SpamSandwich) are saying, but I’ve heard these kinds of things since the 90s until now—i.e. Mac’s can’t do serious work like PCs, the iPad can’t do the work I need it to do, Final Cut Pro X isn’t able to satisfy the needs of real video professionals, etc.

    I still hear people saying they can’t use the iPad for serious work. I see the problem as often the person being used to working a certain way that they can’t do on an iPad so they conclude they can’t do the work, when instead it just needs a shift of mindset about how to do the work (I did my dissertation on the iPad 1 and received a special mention for presentation!).

    So I wonder how much of a complaint against Pixelmator Pro has to do with being unable to do the needed work or if it’s an inability to just ‘work differently’?
    A lot of it had to do with what the work to be done is, and with whom you have to do it.

    I also tried to use an iPad 2 for about a year and a half as my sole mobile device. It was mostly fine for research and writing, to a point. But, trying to do thing like building and managing websites, or like the CAD/3D animation work I used to do, it wasn't up to that kind of stuff. Even now that iPads are much more powerful, the problem is still the UI, lack of tools, and productivity/workflow hits.

    Or, if you have to work with people using certain programs in terms of compatibility or group collaboration. Or, if using certain kinds of content, for example the libraries of After Effects templates and projects, etc. (Or the files that support Smart Objects I mentioned above.)

    Also, regarding iPad vs Mac, if you still have to use a Mac or PC, then you're generally supporting two different workflows to get your stuff done, both at the OS/UI level, but often in apps. That creates a lot of overhead.
    edited May 2018
  • Reply 13 of 16
    One of these apps that look great when promoted, but once you actually use them are incredibly disappointing. I was really looking out to their Pro app but found their regular version was better on the UX front.
    I ended up using Affinity’s products.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    No, they're still definitely behind Affinity Photo, and will be even further once the new betas for Photo and Designer roll out.
    Good to know, I'll look out for the betas.  I tried both apps and just felt Affinity was my personal preferred PS alternative.  I like their Designer app too.  I really hoped they'd bring out a DAM as I hate LightRoom and Apple have abandoned Aperture and well Photos is for home use not any form of business use obviously.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member

    georgie01 said:
    sflocal said:
    Really wish this software was as good as or better than Photoshop, but it just isn’t.
    If it were comparable to PS on features, I'd jump to it in a heartbeat.
    I don’t mean to doubt what you (and SpamSandwich) are saying, but I’ve heard these kinds of things since the 90s until now—i.e. Mac’s can’t do serious work like PCs, the iPad can’t do the work I need it to do, Final Cut Pro X isn’t able to satisfy the needs of real video professionals, etc.

    I still hear people saying they can’t use the iPad for serious work. I see the problem as often the person being used to working a certain way that they can’t do on an iPad so they conclude they can’t do the work, when instead it just needs a shift of mindset about how to do the work (I did my dissertation on the iPad 1 and received a special mention for presentation!).

    So I wonder how much of a complaint against Pixelmator Pro has to do with being unable to do the needed work or if it’s an inability to just ‘work differently’?
    You are partially correct.  It is bloody hard to switch after getting on for thirty years using a program almost daily.  That said it's not just learning curves, there are still certain features missing for some users but for sure, Affinity is getting there and of course, best of all the pricing is great and it isn't using the dreadful rental system to use it that Adobe have adopted for their share holders' benefit.  Plus I almost forgot, Affinity make 100% Mac programs in every way,  not a PC programs running in a Mac environment. That last bit always annoys me given how Adobe got their start!
  • Reply 16 of 16
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    rob53 said:
    Waiting to hear comments about still no CMYK. How many of you still design for print and how many only design for web and other non-print work?

    Yes, Pixelmator has made it clear that they want you to work in RGB and only export to CMYK at the end - because they think it best - and apparently they never plan to support working in CMYK. That's not how I work, so I didn't bother to upgrade to Pro.

    I bought Pixelmator at the outset to encourage alternatives to Adobe, but I'm a print guy. Doesn't work for me but I wish them well.
    edited June 2018
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