Pixelmator Pro adds support for iPhone photos with Portrait depth masks, plus new comic book effect

Pixelmator Pro 1.3.1 has just been released to the Mac App Store, the app can now import iPhone Portrait photos and automatically extract the depth data as a masking layer. You can then enable the mask in one click to isolate the foreground from the background. There’s also a fun new comic book effect.

Pixelmator Pro can extract depth masks from iPhone Portrait photos taken on iOS 12 or later. To use the feature, you simply import a Portrait photo into Pixelmator and it automatically makes a mask from the depth data.

The mask is visible in the layers sidebar, adjacent to the actual image. However, it is disabled by default. To enable it, right-click on the layer and select ‘Enable Mask’. You can then add content in a layer beneath the photo to adjust the background.

Version 1.3.1 also now defaults to always using document tabs by default. This means when you open a new Pixelmator Pro project, it opens as a tab rather than a window. You can turn this off in Pixelmator’s Preferences window and change it to respect the standard system settings.

The team also added a bevy of new keyboard shortcuts, and fixed a laundry list of bugs, which you can read about in the release notes. Finally, there’s a new Comics effect which simulates a comic-book style filter, similar to what you can find in Photo Booth.

Just for fun, I combined the new Portrait masking with the Comics effect to create the following ‘work of art’. It was pretty nice not to have to meticulously cut around my outline with a selection tool, and just immediately apply an adjustment. Obviously, in real world usage, you would opt for something more subtle.

Get Pixelmator Pro from the Mac App Store for $39.99. As usual, the update is free for existing customers.

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