In my previous post titled 'Going Cold Turkey On Photoshop: The 30-day Trial', I explained why am I looking for a Photoshop alternative. One of the best way to do this is to go completely cold-turkey with it. It's been a week that I have not fired up Photoshop yet, and most of my graphics editing is done with Pixelmator.
I am not quite a big fan of dark interface on apps. Maybe I'm a little old school - I like mine in boring light greyish color.
This isn't a big issue though, it's just a matter of getting used to it. So far I've been doing good. However, one thing that I find hard to tolerate is the lack of application window. The floating window of Pixelmator is driving my OCD scale up to 11 trying to keep it neatly positioned on screen.
If anyone knows if it is possible to make the toolbars and panels dock to the sides of the screen in Pixelmator, it would be a great help.
Is it a good replacement for Photoshop?
Yes, and no (to a certain extent). I love the fact that Pixelmator opens PSD files flawlessly (sans the support of smart objects). So transitioning is very easy for me since I can keep the PSD files and access them anytime via Pixelmator.
If you want to do a lot of raster manipulation and photo editing, compositing, etc. Pixelmator will do the job extremely well. It is also very fast in performance.
What I love the most is the effects browser, which have a similar feel to iMovie's panels. Just double-click and it's there. Very handy.
Their image content detection is awesome. If you're using Pixelmator's move tool you'll notice that it actually tries to read the image and see what's in it, and suggest the best option for you if you want to manipulate parts of the image. Think of it like Photoshop's Content-aware features, but on steroids.
The only issue is that if you are working in a team, then either all of you have to switch to Pixelmator or, pray so that you don't have to give out the source files. Otherwise they have no idea how to open that file.
These are some of my initial impressions using Pixelmator. I still have three weeks worth of trial time on it to see if it fits my needs.