Pixelmator 3.0 FX adds layer styles and liquefy tools, OS X Mavericks support

Lithuanian developer The Pixelmator Team has released Pixelmator 3.0 FX, a major update to its popular Mac image-editing tool. Version 3.0 adds non-destructive Layer Styles, allowing users to apply multiple effects at once, as well as Liquefy Tools that allow users to shape images in multiple ways.

Version 3.0 also adds full support for OS X Mavericks, promising to tap into OS X 10.9’s new features like App Nap and Compressed Memory for faster, more efficient performance.

Support for Layer Styles makes it easy to apply different effects like inner shadows, gradients, outlines and reflections to images and then blend them together. Pixelmator 3.0 FX offers a number of presets to give users a taste of what can be achieved. Layer Styles are non-destructive, meaning the original image is left untouched underneath.

Also added to version 3’s feature set are four Liquefy Tools, which make it possible for users to warp, bump, pinch and twirl images, either to create subtle effects or to completely transform the image.

The new build also comes with a brand new, rebuilt image-editing engine. This combines technologies such as Core Image, OpenCL, 64-bit architecture and Grand Central Dispatch to dramatically improve performance. The latest build also fully supports additional technologies introduced by OS X Mavericks -- alongside App Nap and Compressed Memory, Pixelmator 3.0 FX also supports tags as well as the new OS X’s enhanced multi-display support.

Echoing Apple’s decision to make OS X 10.9 free to existing paid-for users, the Pixelmator Team has also made Pixelmator 3.0 a free update via the Mac App Store too. Early response to the update has been favorable, although a few dissenting voices have expressed disappointment that Layer Styles have been introduced ahead of Adjustment Layers, a popular feature in rival package Photoshop.

Pixelmator 3.0 FX 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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