When it comes to image editing on the OSX platform, Pixelmator has set the bar very high and is considered as one of the best applications of its kind in the Mac App Store. This certainly isn’t just another simplified image editor, since this is a full-featured application that could compete with Adobe Photoshop’s abilities in many areas. Just a few days ago Pixelmator brought a major new version named “Pixelmator 3.0 FX” which we are about to review.
Currently, you can find two reviews of this application on our website. We brought you articles about the first major overhaul of the original Pixelmator, and later on we took a look at version 2.2 of the popular image editor which came with some interesting additions. The newest version comes completely free of charge to existing users (who can update their apps through Mac App Store), and it’s priced at $30 for new users (compare that to Adobe Photoshop).
In case you already know you way around Pixelmator’s interface, than you’ll be happy to hear that the new version didn’t change anything in this field. In fact, there was no need for change since this image editor was always known for easy to use UI and flexible workspace. Even though it looks the same as before, it works much better thanks to support for OSX Mavericks and some new core technologies. In theory this means that you should notice from 1.4 up to 2.0 times better performance. In practice this means that all of these changes are noticeable, but you’ll benefit more if you’re using the latest OSX in combination with a powerful Mac.
Version 3.0 of the image editor brings two new tools that that can become very powerful in combination with existing ones. One of those is the new Layer Styles tool. This one allows you to work more freely with your layers, just like you would do in Adobe Photoshop. For example, you’ll get to cast inner and outer shadows, use fill, stroke, and gradient, and you can also fine-tune reflections of a layer. Pixelmator also brings more than 20 presets in terms of layer styles palette, so you can also start working from there.
Another new tool that I mentioned before is a set of four Liquify Tools. These are: Warp, Bump, Pinch, and Twirl. They are pretty much self-explanatory, and can produce great results. This is something that you can also do in Adobe Photoshop, but will require more skills and a great precision, so I guess that team behind Pixelmator did a great job with this one too.
As I’ve said in the introductory paragraph, Pixelmator is probably the best affordable image editor available for OSX. It comes with numerous easy to use features that you can read about in our previous two articles. The new version is a major upgrade, and with improved performance you’ll get to immerse yourself into those complex operations without suffering from common problems of other image editors.
In case you’ve used Pixelmator before or if you’ve got it installed on your Mac, upgrade right away. And if you’re still looking for an image editor, than I warmly suggest you to purchase Pixelmator. You will understand why it is a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop.