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pixelmator + aperture - a good combo?

4029 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 14, 2012 9:51 PM by Gabriel Ponzanelli RSS
sauble Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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Jan 15, 2011 8:00 AM
I have both iPhoto and Aperture 3 and am now using Aperture as my main photo library. I just recently became aware of Pixelmator and it sounded like fun. Here's my question: If I use Pixelmator to edit and create images, can those images be used in a photo book created in Aperture?

I have searched on both this discussion site and the dpr review/Mactalk site looking for the answer to this question and I'm confused. On the one hand, I read that while Pixelmator can access photos from both iPhoto and Aperture libraries, the edits cannot be 'read' by either of the Apple apps. On the other hand, I read that edits made in Pixelmator are automatically saved to Aperture.

The first statement would indicate to me that I can't use Pixelmator edited photo/images in an Aperture photo book, but the second statement suggests that I can. I would appreciate someone sorting this out for me.
imac, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,655 points)
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    Jan 15, 2011 8:06 AM (in response to sauble)
    Is there a reason you don't just set Pixelmator as an external editor in Aperture?

    Regards

    TD
    MacBook Pro 15 2.4 i5 / iMac 20" 2.66 C2D, Mac OS X (10.6), 4 gig RAM/ 4 gig RAM
  • DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)
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    Jan 15, 2011 8:36 AM (in response to sauble)
    Pilxelmator is great for the price- $30USD on the app store. I thought it was fully compatible with Aperture, but I tested it out anyway. The answer appears to be yes and no:

    Aperture cannot import files saved in the Pixelmator format, and Pixelmator cannot save layers any other way. So you can use Pixelmator as an external editor, and you can import flattened tiff files created in Pixelmator. However, if you need to preserve layers, you'll have to save a copy outside of Aperture.

    When you have Pixelmator set as the external editor with Aperture set to send files over as a tiffs and try to save a layered file, Pixelmator will give you the choice of doing a save as to preserve layers or flattening the image to see your changes in Aperture. If you want to import Pixelmator files, you'll have to flatten them and save as tiffs.

    BTW: Pilxelmator2 is coming so this may be addressed.

    DLS
    15"MbP 2.6 4GB/ NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB VRAM/ 20" ACD, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Canon 5D, 7D, G7, 10D Infrared
  • DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)
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    Jan 15, 2011 8:57 AM (in response to DLScreative)
    Additional info:

    I was able to save a layered file as a PSD and import it to Aperture, but the only way to get back to the layers was to do a Show in Finder and open it with Pixelmator.

    DLS
    15"MbP 2.6 4GB/ NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB VRAM/ 20" ACD, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Canon 5D, 7D, G7, 10D Infrared
  • DLScreative Level 4 Level 4 (1,595 points)
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    Jan 15, 2011 9:02 AM (in response to sauble)
    Layers are a tool you use for creating composite images. Once you flatten the image, all the layers are combined, and they can no longer be edited individually. Layers are a very powerful feature that you will want to use when you learn about them. IMHO for 30 bucks you can't go wrong. If nothing else, it's an inexpensive way to explore this type of software.

    DLS
    15"MbP 2.6 4GB/ NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 MB VRAM/ 20" ACD, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Canon 5D, 7D, G7, 10D Infrared
  • Gabriel Ponzanelli Calculating status...
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    Jun 14, 2012 9:51 PM (in response to sauble)

    Apologies for reviving this thread, but the Aperture-Pixelmator compatibility is something I've been dealing with a lot. I thought others might find this useful.

     

    Unfortunately, Aperture and Pixelmator are not truly compatible. As mentioned above, Aperture doesn't recognise the native Pixelmator format (PXM). As it stands today, I haven't found a way to do proper round-tripping. Meaning, your original photo is in Aperture, you send to Pixelmator to edit (via Edit with...), and save back into Aperture. This is with Aperture 3.3 and Pixelmator 2.0.5.

     

    Pixelmator does have an option to send files to Aperture, but it's via a "Share" menu. All this does is send a flattened (non editable) copy into Aperture, but you loose your layers.

     

    I wrote about the Aperture - Pixelmator integration here for those interested.

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