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Tuesday, May 07, 2013, 02:40 pm PT (05:40 pm ET)

Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry hits Mac App Store on Thursday with new tools, effects

Popular OS X photo editing tool Pixelmator is set to receive major update come Thursday, with the latest version bringing an added palette of image tweaking tools and effects.

Pixelmator

Screenshot of Pixelmator v2.1 Cherry, which will be updated on Thursday with a bevy of new features.


Building on Pixelmator 2.1 Cherry, the soon to be released version 2.2 offers a variety of new, powerful tools like shapes, smart move, paint selection and more. A new "effect" called Light Leak will also be included in the update, adding to the extensive list of filters already available.

The new Shapes tool allows users to quickly add and adjust a number of shapes by dragging and dropping directly from the toolbar. A Shape Style palette allows for more advnaced customization, while the Convert Text into Shape option lets users convert text layers into shape layers, with the resulting product able to accept gradients, shadows and other enhancements.

Pixelmator's Paint Selection tool offers fast and accurate selections using brush strokes, while the LIght Leak effect creates "retro-artistically illuminated" images from existing photos. The effect mimics aberrations seen in older camera systems, where light would "leak" onto the film plane, causing large swaths of diffuse color to appear over an image. The unique look is associated with vintage photos and has become popular as a "retro" image filter.



The Smart Move tool reportedly "knows when you are working with image or shape layers," giving users targeted editing or adjustment options.

As with all Pixelmator tools and effects, the new offerings look to be extremely polished and user friendly, with deep customization and editing control rivaling some professional software.

According to the software's developers, over 100 new features and improvements are included in version 2.2, which will be available for $14.99 for new users or as a free update for those who already own a previous version purchased through the Mac App Store.

AppleInsider will have a deeper look into Pixelmator 2.2 Blueberry on Thursday.