Pixelmator Pro can now remove color banding from your low-quality photos

The Mac Photoshop alternative Pixelmator Pro has gained another machine learning-powered feature in its arsenal: One-click banding removal.

Marketing image showing the before vs. after example of Pixelmator Pro's Deband feature that smooths out color banding
Deband analyzes colors, gradients and textures | Image: Pixelmator
  • What’s happening? Pixelmator Pro can now remove posterization, also known as color banding, and other JPG artifacts.
  • Why care? Because this feature, dubbed Deband, works like magic.
  • What to do? Update your copy of Pixelmator Pro to the latest version.

Pixelmator Pro will now remove banding from your photos

You’ve heard of color gradients, right? Also known as color transitions, these things gradually blend from one color to another. Some of our most popular iPhone wallpapers use gradients, and some of the featured images used throughout this site feature vibrant gradient backgrounds.

In low-quality photos that don’t take advantage of the high dynamic color range, colors in a gradient often “jump abruptly from one shade to the next, forming distinct bands of color,” explains the Pixelmator Pro blog. Enter Deband, a new feature that uses machine learning to magically remove banding and improve your images.

While posterization isn’t particularly difficult to get rid of — you can blur it out or add noise to hide it—it is very much a labor-intensive task. Or, it was. With the magic of machine learning, we’ve been able to turn color debanding into an effortless, one-click process.

To use the feature, select an image layer and click the Format menu, then choose Deband. You can also press the Control (⌃) – Shift (⇧) – B shortcut on the keyboard to invoke Deband. One-click banding removal joins Pixelmator’s other features that use machine learning to a significant effect such as ML Enhance, ML Match Colors and ML Denoise. Read: How to convert WebP images to JPG/PNG

Holiday templates

Pixelmator Pro 3.2.3 also includes a bunch of new templates for those times when you want to quickly create a holiday-themed social media post, Instagram story, printable poster or greeting card but don’t want to design from scratch. There are eighteen new holiday-themed templates to choose from in the updated app.

How to download Pixelmator Pro

Pixelmator Pro 3.2.3 is a free update for all existing users. New customers can get Pixelmator Pro from the App Store for $20, 50% off its usual price of $40, to celebrate the recent launch of video-editing features.

The team hasn’t yet switched Pixelmator Pro to a subscription model like Pixelmator Photo so there’s still time to get all the features with a one-time purchase.