The Pixelmator Team has released Pixelmator 3.2 for Mac OS X. Codenamed Sandstone, it’s a significant update with the promise of a brand new – and much improved – Repair tool.
The new release also extends 16-bits per channel support to all Macs and throws in two new features (Lock Layers and Convert Selection into Shape) alongside a selection of improvement, UI tweaks and general bug fixes.
Pixelmator 3.2 Sandstone opens with a brand new Repair Tool that – it promises – improves precision and quality when removing imperfections and other unwanted objects from images. These techniques are built on the back of all-new algorithms that not only produce better results but also consume four times less memory than the engine in previous builds.
Support for 16-bits per channel means Pixelmator is capable of working with more colour data, which in turn should reduce the effects of colour banding when making adjustments. The feature was introduced in the previous build – version 3.1 (codenamed Marble) – but was restricted to the latest Mac Pro models only.
The new Lock Layers feature allows users to protect selected layers from unwanted changes when working on other parts of the image – users can quickly toggle this on and off for the selected layer using the [/] key, which previously handled locking image transparency.
It’s joined by a new Convert Selection into Shape option that speeds up the creation of shapes from any selected part of the image.
The update also includes a large number of tweaks and improvements – the user interface accommodates the new Repair tool in its Tool Options bar while offering three basic options – quick, standard and advanced – based on the size and complexity of the repair job as well as a new Diameter slider for selecting the repair brush size.
Similarly, a new Color Depth dialog for converting images between 8-bits and 16-bits per channel has also been implemented.
General improvements include the promise of better performance when using the Stroke and Fill layer styles, plus support for selecting visible layers through the empty areas of a shape. Various other shape and image layer improvements have also been applied in version 3.2.
Pixelmator 3.2 closes with a large number of specific bug fixes as well as general stability improvements aimed at reducing the number of crashes in specific situations. A full list of changes can be found here.
Pixelmator 3.2 Sandstone is available as a free, fully functional 30-day trial for Macs running OS X 10.7 (Lion) or later. The full version can be purchased for $29.99.
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