Pixelmator 3.0 FX now available with Layer Styles, Liquify Tools and new Mavericks features

Pixelmator 3.0 for Mac (screenshot 001)

My favorite Photoshop Mac replacement, Pixelmator, has just received a massive 3.0 update. Now rechristened as Pixelmator FX to reflect the newly acquired capabilities, it brings the much needed Layer Styles and Liguify Tools, both building on top of the recent 2.2 update which dates back as recently as two weeks ago.

Pixelmator 3.0 also supports new features introduced in OS X Mavericks (a free upgrade) and introduces a new image editing engine which the team claims make Pixelmator “a top-quality, full-featured image editing app for the Mac”

The new Layer Styles, which can be accessed from the Styles Palette, make it easy to quickly apply common effects to layers, such as shadows, gradients, outlines, reflections – even any combination of effects based on Layer Styles presets.

Of course, you can save your own layer presets which can include stroke colors, styles and any other layer effect or a combination of thereof. Topping it all off, layer effects are applied non-destructively so your original image file is kept intact just as you’d expect.

Pixelmator 3.0 for Mac (screenshot 004)
Layer Styles in Pixelmator 3.0 FX.

Pixelmator 3.0 for Mac (screenshot 005)

As for the Liguify Tools, these are basically ways to shape up and tweak your images by way of the new Warp, Bump, Pinch and Twirl Liquify Tools. You can use the new effects to “add an artistic detail or even completely distort the entire image,” the team notes.

Pixelmator 3.0 for Mac (screenshot 003)

Finally, the improved editing engine speeds up the app by taking full advantage of hardware-accelerated OS X technologies like Core Image, OpenCL, OpenGL, 64-bit architecture and Grand Central Dispatch so you’ll notice an all-around faster performance in everything you do in Pixelmator.

Pixelmator 3.0 for Mac (screenshot 002)

Just in time for yesterday’s release of the free OS X Mavericks upgrade, Pixelmator now supports new Mavericks features like Finder Tags, Compressed Memory which improves multitasking and responsiveness by compressing your Mac’s memory in the background and App Nap, which also helps speed up the rest of your system by powering down Pixelmator and other apps when they’re hidden on your desktop.

One of the biggest enhancements in Mavericks has got to be the improved multi-display support. If you like to edit your images in Pixelmator’s gorgeous full-screen mode and on a separate display, you’re in for a real treat.

The 35.9MB update is free for those who purchased a previous version of Pixelmator. The program is optimized for 64-bit processor and requires a Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or later.

In my opinion, Pixelmator is well-worth its asking price.

Coming from Photoshop, I’ve been a happy Pixelmator user for two years now and have never looked back. Granted, it’s no Photoshop, but in my experience Pixelmator has about 80 percent of the Photoshop features (including support for the layered PSD files) the average user needs, but at a much, much lower price point.

What more can a man ask for?

Download Pixelmator for $29.99 from the Mac App Store.