| One feature that I found very workflow-friendly is the draggable tolerance adjustment that is available in some of the tools. When using the Magic Wand tool in Photoshop, you can manually change the Tolerance value in the Options bar. A higher tolerance allows the Magic Wand to select a wider range of colors and a lower tolerance limits the number of colors that the Magic Wand will select in one click. In Pixelmator, this tolerance level can be easily changed, on the fly, by dragging on the image with the Magic Wand tool. You will see the change in the number of colors in the image being selected in real time as you drag the tool. Also the Tolerance percentage is displayed to the right and a semi-transparent circle grows or shrinks to indicate the percentage. This draggable tolerance feature is included in many of the tools such as the Paint Selection, Magic Eraser and Paint Bucket tool.|
If you love to create digital art, you will be glad to know that Pixelmator has a great set of painting tools, including presets for realistic brushes. As in PhotoshopR, you have complete control over the brush characteristics such as tip, jitter and flow. For those pixel art enthusiasts, Pixelmator has a special Pixel paint tool.
The Effects browser has most of the common image effects and color adjustments such as Auto Enhance, Blur, Sharpen (including Unsharp) and Distortion. I use Levels and Curves adjustments on all of my product photos and was glad that Pixelmator also had these features. However, I have to admit that I am not a fan of using a color wheel as an adjustment control. So I prefer the slider controls in Photoshop's Hue and Saturation dialog box.
Layers and the Layers palette is the most important feature of image editing software. Pixelmator has those layer features that we cannot do without such as blending modes, layer styles and layer masks. One new feature in Pixelmator 3 is the non-destructive layer styles. If you frequently use the Layers palette in Photoshop to add non-distructive alterations to images, you will be glad to know that Pixelmator now offers a similar feature. Another nice feature for working with layers in an image is how easily you can switch between layers in Pixelmator with Auto Select, just by clicking on the object contained in any layer. Also, if you right-click on the object in a layer, you will get a menu of the most common tasks, such as the transform commands.
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Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this article. The Pixelmator Team supplied a free copy of Pixelmator for the purpose of this review. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
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