Pixen is a professional pixel art editor designed for working with low-resolution raster art, such as those 8-bit sprites found in old-school video games. With features like a unique color palette system, patterns, layers, and high-zoom support, Pixen packs all the tools pixel artists need in an intuitive, Mac-native interface. Pixen also makes creating frame-by-frame animations fun and easy.
Animations – Create and arrange image frames in the filmstrip view to piece together animations. Pixen can import animations from animated GIFs, animated PNGs, and even sprite sheets! It can also export animations as animated GIFs, animated PNGs, QuickTime Movies, and sprite sheets.
Tools – Leverage Pixen's wide array of tools when composing pixel art: Pencil, Eraser, Brightness, Text, Eyedropper, Zoom, Rectangular Selection, Magic Wand, Lasso, Move, Fill, Line, Rectangle, and Ellipse.
Layers – Take advantage of the flexibility layers provide when working with complex pixel art. Change opacity, blending modes, and more to compose creative effects.
Color Palettes – Add and organize commonly-used colors into palettes. Pixen can even import and export color palettes in the Adobe Color Table, Microsoft Palette, JASC Palette, and GIMP Palette formats.
Patterns – Define custom patterns to use while drawing with the Pencil, Line, or Eraser tool (instead of a single pixel).
Custom Backgrounds – Pick a flat, striped, or checkered background to be drawn beneath the canvas. You can even set a reference image as a background.
Filters - Use filters to adjust colors, create effects, and post-process your artwork.
Grid + Alignment Crosshair – Let the grid and the alignment crosshair guide you in placing pixels just where you want them.
Preview – While editing at high zoom levels, use the Preview window to view the canvas scaled out; play back animations in the Preview window.
Left and Right Tools – Assign a different tool to the left and right mouse button. For example: pencil on the left; eraser on the right.
Pressure-sensitive Drawing – Pixen supports pressure-sensitive drawing tablets and Force Touch trackpads, mapping pressure to color opacity.
Hotkeys – Customize tool hotkeys to ease the transition from other image editors.
Wide Format Support - Export your artwork in PNG, JPEG, GIF, ICO, BMP, TIFF, RGF, SVG, and PSD file formats.
Dark Mode - Focus on your content with Dark Mode in Pixen.
Sharing - Share your creations quickly and easily using Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, and more!
Full Screen – Work with all your favorite tools in full screen mode.
Pixen is also available for iPad and syncs documents over iCloud!
Ratings and Reviews
Used for Years, Still the Best
I've used Pixen for several years now and I've yet to find an app that makes it easier or more convenient to animate, test, and export sprites. Honestly this app is one of the big reasons I stick with MacOS. I won't lie, there are occasionally bugs here and there, but it's nothing dire and frankly it's still significantly better than other software I've used.
This application is GREAT. I've never worked with 8-bit pixel art like this except for Microsoft Paint, which is far less capable. I just spent about an hour and a half transposing a picture of my girlfriend and I -- it looks great! Very very accomplished feeling. One thing I wish you could do is rename your layers. The way I drew it was a basic drawing with grey, then I began to edit the different parts on a different layer for each: hair, clothes, skin, etc.. It started to get a tad confusing when I had more than 4 layers and simply renaming them would've been great for at-a-glance. But it's not a big deal since next to each layer, there is a kind-of preview of the layer in a thumbnail that updates itself in real-time.
I've even made my first animated .gif with this program. Very simple to do -- great GUI. I highly recommend it. What a great app! VERY powerful if you use it to it's full potential. As far as I'm concerned, this was totally worth the purchase.
I will update this review if anything should happen or if there's anything else worth mentioning. In the meantime, get it!
missing features in update
lost ability to add images to background in update, worthless now
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- Matt Rajca
- 11.2 MB
- Graphics & Design
- Requires macOS 10.13 or later.
- Age Rating
- © 2016 Pixen Project
Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.