What price fame and riches? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. My husband and I have three daughters that we’re training to become future famous digital artists (who will be rich and care for their aging parents who gave them their start toward fame).
So, any Mac app that pushes pixels around on the screen is fair game. Even better if it’s priced in the free range (not as in chickens).
If you, or a loved one, or kids at school need to learn how to draw pixels on a Mac, there’s a free app for that.
Pushing Pixels For Fun Or Profit
Here’s the reality. We can’t afford Photoshop. Besides, the girls would need to take night classes at the local community college just to figure out how to use Photoshop.
And the oldest is in pre-school, so we scratched Photoshop from the list. Maybe next year.
Instead of the industry standard, we’ve gravitated toward Mac apps that give us a little less month left over at the end of our money.
That’s Pixen. It’s a free pixel pushing Mac art editor. How it got to be free, I don’t know, but I’m not asking any questions. It just is.
Pixen is quite clever. There’s a bunch of the standard drawing tools– pencil, erase, eyedropper, zoom, selection, weaned, fill, lines, rectangles, and shapes.
And, layers. So you can draw stuff on top of stuff and lose items and wonder where they went but not get too frustrated about it because the app is free.
Pixen comes with patterns, backgrounds, a tile view, a preview, floating color palettes and tools. For precision there’s a grid and an alignment crosshair for pixel perfect alignment.
You can even assign different tools to the right mouse button than you assign to the left mouse button. And, it works with graphic tablets so you can avoid the mouse or trackpad altogether.
As an added bonus, Pixen features an option to create and arrange images in a filmstrip view so you can put together animations. Then, the animations can be exported as animated GIF images, or QuickTime movies.
That’s very cool and a good way for young ones to learn the basics of animation when their parents are on a tight budget. Pixen is fun, elegant, and useful, but it’s not competition for Photoshop or Pixelmator. You do get what you pay for.