Pixelmator Pro 2.3 Adds Smart Subject Selection and Background Removal Features, Plus New Select and Mask Tools
Pixelmator Pro 2.3 went live on the Mac App Store on Tuesday, and the latest major update to the popular image editing app brings a smart new automatic background removal feature, automatic subject selection, new Select and Mask tools, and more.
In a blog post announcing the update, Pixelmator's developers say that it's now possible for users to "magically" remove the background from any image with just a click. The new feature is based on machine learning models that can find a subject in almost any image and automatically strip out the background, and it's also available in Finder as a built-in Quick Action.
In addition to the background eraser feature, a new AI-powered Decontaminate Colors feature can remove traces of the old background from the edges of objects left behind, allowing them to blend seamlessly with any new background. Decontaminate Colors can be applied manually in any layer, even on ones that have been cut out in other apps.
Building on the same set of machine learning algorithms is Automatic Subject Selection, which allows users to make a selection of the subject of any image with just a click. Meanwhile, a new Select and Mask tool makes it easier to select difficult areas of subjects like hair, fur, and other objects with complex edges.
The Smart Refine feature has also been redesigned to enhance selection accuracy, and a new Refine Edge Brush lets users brush over particularly tricky edges to get the selection they want.
These new features are powered by ML algorithms that are integrated into Pixelmator Pro using Core ML, which makes them "absolutely fly" on the latest M1-powered devices thanks to their overall speed and the Apple Neural Engine, according to the developers. For example, background removal takes around 2-5 seconds on M1 devices and up to 30 seconds on Intel devices for an average image.
The update includes some smaller changes, like the ability to specify custom export sizes and scales in the Export dialog. More details are available in the release notes. Version 2.3 is free for existing Pixelmator Pro users, and there's currently a 50% discount off the app price (usually $39.99) in the Mac App Store.