A review of Pixelmator 2 – Bitmap and Vector Editing

Pixelmator review- Is the upgrade to version 2 what makes Pixelmator a credible competitor to Photoshop – ?

Pixelmator two has just been released and it is available in the Mac App Store, here is a Pixelmator 2 review. This Mac application claims to have a new look and feel, although to be honest I think it is quite similar to the previous version in the way that it works. According to Pixelmator reviews, having a fair amount of similarity though is a good thing, otherwise users of previous versions might as well be buying a new application completely. There is nothing worse than having to completely relearn an application when it has been upgraded.

Pixelmator Vector design

Editing photographs with Pixelmator

The new healing tool, the content aware fill, the smudge, sponge, burn and dodge tools along with the red eye tool, will be of most use to you when dealing with photographs. For example with the healing tool you will be able to paint over objects or specific details within an image and they will be magically removed. The content aware filling tool, looks like it does something similar, although I haven’t tried that one yet.

Burning and dodging tools

These are terms which come from the way that photographs used be manipulated in a darkroom. With the Burn tool you can darken a specific area of a photograph and you can choose whether that will be in the highlights, the mid tones or in the shadows of a specific area of that photo. The Dodge tool does similar except that instead of darkening, it lightens areas of an image.

Editing images at pixel level

There are times when you need to get in as close as possible to the pixels of a photograph. For this type of delicate pixel precise editing, there is the pixel tool of Pixelmator 2.

In the previous version of Pixelmator I have used the eyedropper tool to be able to select colours from an image, to use in other parts of my design. In Pixelmator 2, this tool has been updated and has a magnifying effect so that you can see more clearly the colour that you are capturing from the image.

Extra easy-to-use in Pixelmator 2 – The Info Bar

I am finding the new Info Bar particularly useful, because the information that is provided, is context sensitive to the tool that I am using. On the Info Bar there is information about the tool and the objects that you are working on, such as size and position. I like where the Info Bar goes, when you are not using the application in the OS X Lion full-screen mode. The Info Bar is placed at the top of the image that you are working on. It is very useful to have those details close to where you are working with your mouse pointer. When I have the application Pixelmator 2 running at full screen, then that Info Bar goes to the top left-hand corner of my screen. As I am working with a 27 inch iMac, unless I am using most of the screen for a larger image, then I find that the info bar is too far away for best use.

Pixelmator 2.0 review

The verdict on Pixelmator two

I was already a great fan of Pixelmator, although I don’t use it on a daily basis, I do use it a lot, nearly every day. With these new improvements to the application I expect to be using it even more. The thing that I am most excited to work with, is the vector drawing tools. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can combine that with the bitmap editing that Pixelmator is renowned for. An application which has both bitmap and vector editing is the way to go. In fact, of Mac applications, Pixelmator is a little bit slow to the party.

When I’m creating graphics for my websites there is another tool that I particularly like using called Art Text 2. The workflow I most often use is to create the fancy text and 3-D effects on the text and images within Art Text to bring into Pixelmator and then working on the whole image. I expect that this part of my graphic design work is not going to change, unless I find some filters that allow the creation of the 3-D look I like and get so easily from Art Text 2.

For the price of $29.99, it is a no-brainer as to whether you should buy this or not to have on your Mac. It stacks up really well compared to Photoshop and I would say that for 95 to 99% of users, graphic designers included, Pixelmator is the one-stop shop for creating some brilliant creative graphics. I wish I still had my Wacom drawing tablet to really dive into using Pixelmator 2. Mac20Q for Mac reviews, hardware and software. Look out for the next Mac review on the Mac20Q web site.

3 thoughts on “A review of Pixelmator 2 – Bitmap and Vector Editing

  1. Seraphiel says:

    A great review though a bit dangerous to mention Pixelmator and Photoshop in one sentence. If you want to get to know the new tools in Pixelmator. Especially the drawing tool then you can visit the site of the Pixelmator tutors. http://pixelmatortutorials.net They have a great overview over Pixrlmator 2 and their recent video podcast is all about shapes.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the comment Seraphiel. Good to have your input about Pixelmator2. I think there are people that would like to be able to do gradient fills with the vector tools. Overall the vector tools are a bit underwhelming if you have used proper vector drawing apps but I suppose it has to be taken one step at a time.

    I still think that Pixelmator2 is an excellent app for the Mac.

  3. Paul says:

    I love Pixelmator 2. And the update to 2.1 is also great. My question is about the Wacom comment. I’d like to use a Wacom tablet with Pixelmator, but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on it, especially since I’m not sure it will work with PM on my Mac. Does anyone have any experience with tablet pens and PM? Which is good for a beginner and not too expensive? Thanks.

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