Pixelmator Pro’s Debanding Update

Color banding (or posterization) is a common type of image artifact especially noticeable in low-quality photos featuring gradients or large areas of solid color. I see this all the time in wallpapers and landscapes.

Instead of smoothly blending together, colors jump abruptly from one shade to the next, forming distinct bands of color. The latest Pixelmator Pro release takes all the work out of debanding with its “Deband” button. Push the button. The bands go away. It’s that simple. Behind the scenes it is using machine learning to pull this off.

I purchased Pixelmator Pro when it first launched and continue to find value in the purchase as they continue to solve annoying photo problems for me.

Pixelmator Pro 3.0

Pixelmator Pro 3.0 is out now, and this update is big. There are now over 200 built‑in ultra‑premium design templates and mock-ups. Other changes include: 

  • Easy‑to-use on‑canvas controls: Templates are incredibly easy to personalize, with simple controls.
  • Smart Replace: When replacing placeholder images, they are automatically optimized. Pixelmator’s machine learning can remove backgrounds, increase resolution, and even place them.
  • Brand templates: To make it easier to create consistent visuals across different platforms and mediums, Pixelmator has introduced brand templates, which are collections of templates created using the same design language.
  • One‑click template recoloring: You can completely change the colors of templates and mock-ups with just a click with the Document Colors feature. All color fills, effects, and other styles are changed automatically and non-destructively.

This is a major update and I can’t wait to play with all of these tools.

Pixelmator Pro 2.4 – Odesa

Pixelmator Pro just dropped a significant update. The new version features new classes of layers including color adjustments and effects layers. This lets you keep the edits in a separate layer and, in effect, create non-destructive edits. I use Pixelmator Pro almost daily and I really appreciate the developer’s constant updates that all feel aimed at making the process of using Pixelmator Pro easier for people like me that want a powerful photo editor but don’t care to learn how to use/subscribe to Photoshop.

This update also adds 200 new vector shapes and improvements for Apple silicon. You can learn more from Pixelmator directly.

PIxelmator 2.3, Uses AI to Remove Backgrounds

Today Pixelmator dropped version 2.3 of Pixelmator Pro. There are a few highlights of note:

AI-powered automatic background removal: With just a click, users will now be able to remove the background from any image

AI-powered automatic subject selection: Again with just a click, users will now be able to automatically select the subject of an image

A Select and Mask tool for advanced selections: This is designed to make it easy to select the most challenging image areas of all – hair, fur, and other objects with very complex edges.

These new features are powered by ML algorithms that are integrated into Pixelmator Pro using Core ML. As a resul, they are very fast on M1-powered devices. For example, background removal takes around 2-5 seconds on M1 devices and up to 30 seconds on Intel devices for an average image.

I spent some time with the pre-release version and the background removal is remarkably good with the press of just one button. I love how Pixelmator has been jumping on the use of artificial intelligence to make image editing easier (and better). In celebration of the new release, Pixelmator is 50% off starting today and for a limited time.

Pixelmator Updates

The team at Pixelmator certainly isn’t sitting around watching Netflix. They have had a few recent updates of note.

Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Magenta is now out with a major update. The all-new, color picker makes it easier than ever to choose and manage colors. They made a simple way to select multiple objects: just drag over multiple objects to select them. And now it’s a snap to identify and replace missing fonts. The update also includes some performance improvements and new features to make image editing more convenient and fun. Pixelmator Pro 1.6 Magenta is free for existing users and $39.99 for new customers.

Also, Pixelmator Photo for iPad also got a nice update with cursor and Split View support. I hope we have a parade of iPad app developers giving us customized cursor support now that the iPad supports trackpad and mouse so nicely.

Pixelmator Pro Update Works with Photos on Mac

The new update to Pixelmator Pro acts as a massive upgrade to the Apple Photos app. With the updated Photos extension, you can can access all of the tools and features from the full application, including layers and machine-learning tools. You can also save Pixelmator Pro documents to Photos. The update has additional features (e.g., new zoom tool, improved crop tool, and a delete mode), but the story here is that Apple Photos + Pixelmator Pro just became a potent photo editing solution.

Pixelmator Photo for iPad


Pixelmator Photo
, the latest application from Pixelmator, is out. This iPad-only application is a powerful photo editor that allows you to manage and edit RAW images right on your iPad. Like other Pixelmator products, Pixelmator Photo includes tools to make one-tap improvements to your photos and more precise tools to make adjustments to individual attributes of your photos.

Pixelmator’s something extra is the inclusion of machine learning based photo editing. The application has a machine-learning enhancement that allows you to fix your image with the touch of a button. Pixelmator has now fed their algorithm over 20 million professional photos. More often than not, the machine-learning enhancements are better than my own attempts to tweak a photo with the precision tools. I had never seen the ability to use machine learning to crop your images. If you didn’t take the time to frame your image correctly before, now you can let the robots do it for you. This works better than you think it would.

The application also ships with a collection of hand-built presets. These allow you to apply several black-and-white and color filters to your images. 

Most impressive about the new application is the repair tool. If you have something on your image you want to remove, swipe the repair tool over it, and Pixelmator fixes it for you. What makes this interesting is the breadth of the repair tool. Watch this video to see what I mean.

Pixelmator Photo sells for $5 but has an introductory price of $4. If you want to edit photos on the iPad, this is worth it.

Pixelmator Pro and Machine Learning

Last week Pixelmator Pro released a new version, 1.2, including full support for macOS Mojave. As a pro app, Pixelmator Pro has always had a dark mode. So with macOS Mojave, they’ve tweaked the dark appearance and released a new light appearance. That way whether you’re running your Mac in dark or light mode, Pixelmator will fit right in.

What is most interesting to me about this new version is reliance on machine learning for photo optimization. For years I’ve been fiddling with the buttons and dials in photo applications to try and make my pictures look better. But I’m just a little better than a monkey when it comes to fine-tuning images. With Pixelmator Pro, the developer has been using machine learning, having the application look at professional photos, so the application can better understand what makes a good photo and automatically tune your pictures for you. With the latest version, they have a machine learning algorithm trained on millions of professional photos. There’s a video explaining how it works below. Between the iPhone and Pixelmator, the robots are making my picture look better than ever before.

Pixelmator Pro

Screen Shot 2017-12-01 at 10.47.30 AM.png

Many years ago, I spent something like $30 to purchase Pixelmator for my Mac. For years now, that application has served as that little bit extra for me when Photos isn’t up to the task. This week Pixelmator released Pixelmator Pro, I significant upgrade to the original. There’s a whole list of additional tools and an excellent video showing you the basics of Pixelmator Pro.

There is a lot to the new Pixelmator including improved layout tools, way better painting support, photo adjustments of seemingly every kind and nature, easy application of nondestructive effects, and more. Having only used the app a few days, I’m really digging the new repair tool.

As with the original, Pixelmator Pro is entirely a Mac app and takes advantage of every dirty trick Apple lets developers use including Metal 2, Core Image, use of the graphics chip for processing, and machine learning-enhanced editing features.

At $60, this is a significant investment but it is also a significant upgrade in the image and vector tools available in the original. Pixelmator seems to be holding the line about not going to a subscription model and it is nice that you pay once and you’re done. Likewise, the Pixelmator team issued a lot of updates to the original Pixelmator over the years and I fully expect them to do the same with Pixelmator Pro. I guess what I’m trying to do here is justify the fact that I spent $60 on the new Pixelmator but I expect I won’t have any regrets.

If you’re looking to get some better image and vector tools, go check out Pixelmator Pro.