Pixen First Impressions

I bought Pixen the other day from the app store. It cost me about $10 something AUD I finally got around to using it today. So far all I’ve done is made a little purple cube. For anyone who doesn’t know, Pixen is a  pixel art editor for mac OS. It’s not that bad but could do with some improvements.

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So the biggest problem I have with Pixen is that it doesn’t have panning. As someone who uses a lot of photoshop I just expected that I could hold space bar and be able to move around the canvas, this was not the case. While zoomed in I needed to use the scroll bars, which isn’t a bad thing but I feel like it slows me down. Pixen does have a “move” function but that moves the image.

My second problem with Pixen is probably stupid. On the top left there are two little icons a clock/timer and a little graph. These are the Recent Colors and Frequency Palette. They are alright in their own way and the frequency palette isn’t that bad. The frequency palette will store whatever colours you have been using, this is neat unless you are indecisive and can’t choose which shade of purple you want to use and end up with the frequency palette filled with 5 million shades of purple. I do wish I could hide the recent colors and frequency palette. I’m not sure if you can, so far it looks like you can’t. 

Thirdly (and finally) another thing that annoys me with Pixen is that you can’t hide the cursor while in pen mode. It’s a little distracting and hard to explain.

Anyways, on the plus side of things pixen is pretty damn good for what you pay. Here’s a few things I like about Pixen:
1. Live preview (lets you see your image at size 100% while you are zoomed in working on your pixel art)
2. Custom colour palettes, unlike the Recent Colours and Frequency Palette you can create and store the colours you want and will carry on into any new files you create.
3. Background settlings! Comes with Flat colour and checkered background. Also allows you to use an image as a background.
4. Layers!
5. Animations!
6. Grid!

That’s it for now. This is just my first impression. I’ll update again after I do a few more things. So far it seems pretty good value. But if you want to try pixel art you can also do it in Photoshop and MS paint, maybe then get Pixen if you find yourself enjoying doing pixel art (or keep using whatever you were using).

Wacom and the Plum


This morning I started setting up my intuos 3 to work with my laptop. I love the side buttons, they are so helpful. Left side buttons are pretty much pan, and photoshop’s undo and redo shortcuts. Normally I leave the side buttons on the right side alone since I could never think what to go there but since peach has spaces I though it would be nice to be able to change spaces with the tablet.

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Once I get myself to a desk I’m so going to do some drawing :D

Multi-Touch Gestures! yay!


I’ve never been good with English and there are many words I don’t know the meaning of, so normally I have to google these words. JB showed me this neat trick today that works on any OS X app, you can three finger click on a word and it will give you the Dictionary meaning. I think it’s super neat, however the pronunciations for some word are just… stupid.

preview and PDFs

So I pretty much went from Leopard to Mountain Lion when it came to OS X on mac. I’m still getting use to some of the feathers Lion has. I’ve started to read PDFs on the laptop rather then printing them out these days, preview does a pretty good job reading PDFs and so I started mucking about with preview.

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So preview has this thing called markup, which pretty much high lights text for you. Now the first time I came across was that once you markup-ed a PDF file I couldn’t seem to copy and past from it anymore, but after some testing with other PDFs it seemed to be a one off problem.

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I also looked at how to remove markups, there doesn’t seem to be fast way to remove all mark ups but I did learn you can like select the markup text right click and remove the mark up, I also learnt about “Revert to”

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This revert to is pretty damn awesome, I was told if I had time machine I could revert back to forever. I should set up a time machine at some stage.

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Another thing I came across with is that some PDFs are locked and I can’t edit or markup without a password. It’s very odd.

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Normally when I markup a file it will show a little edited text next to the file name. And normally I hit command + S to save and when I re-open the PDF all my markups are still there.

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But there’s some files that seem to make you copy the PDF if you make any changes to it. This however gets annoying coz once you make a copy of the PDF and you make changes it asks you to create a new copy with said changes. So strange.

Meet Plum!

Back in 2007 just before I started uni I asked my mum if she could buy me a laptop as a early birthday present and a “good work, you got into your first preference uni choice” gift. I picked the 2007 Mac book pro 15″, I named her Peach (after the starfish in finding nemo). Peach lasted me all though uni and 2 computers. Skip towards 2013, it’s been 6 years since I got Peach and she’s pretty much at the end of her run. I’m amazed she lasted me this long, she was going quite well up to this point, if you think a broken fan and always overheating was going well, but lately the graphics card began to fail.

For a while I had been looking at new laptops, I stetted on the idea of getting a mac again, seeing how Peach lasted me way longer then anything I would have guessed. At first I was thinking maybe getting a 11″ air, but after some thinking the retina display 13″ mac book pro. Today bt told me JB-hifi was having a 10% off sale. So after an hour of wondering if I should buy a new laptop or not, JB and I rushed into the city.

And came home with my new baby, Plum. 13″ mac book pro <3

IMG_1842The tower of power, 2007 pro 15″, 2010 pro 15″ (jb’s laptop) and pro 13″

Now time to install everything and set up Plum :)