Less than a month after Pixelmator Pro 2.2 was released, Pixelmator Pro 2.3 is now available. The new version is codenamed Abracadabra ‘because it’s totally magic,’ and it adds many new features, including automatic background removal, automatic subject selection and more.

The new Magic Background Eraser lets you remove the background from any image with a click. It works using a convolutional neural network to identify the subject in ‘pretty much any image’ and remove the background. The tool uses three different machine learning models that work together. You can see it in action in the short tutorial below.

Magic Background Eraser also includes a built-in Quick Action in the Pixelmator Pro Finder app. Further, it includes a Decontaminate Colors feature. When removing a subject from its background, there are occasional traces of the background’s color left behind. Using AI, the Decontaminate Colors tool gives your image another pass to clean up the edges. You can apply it yourself to any layer in the app.

It’s no surprise that considering the work going on behinds the scenes with subject detection with the Magic Background Eraser that Pixelmator Pro 2.3 includes a separate Select Subject function. With a single click, you can select your subject and refine the selection using a new Select and Mask Tool. The tool is designed for objects with complex edges, like hair and fur, and can be refined using Smart Refine (automatic) and Refine Edge Brush (manual).

These big new features are powered by machine learning algorithms that the Pixelmator team has spent the last year developing. The company writes, ‘Because Pixelmator Pro does much more than just simple background removal, we decided to create three algorithms – one for detecting the subjects of images, one for refining selection edges, and one for decontaminating the colors at the edges of objects.’

The first step performed by the AI is finding the subject and creating an approximate mask around it. The next step is refining the edges of the selection. Then a third AI model enters the scene to perform color decontamination. You can see each step in the process in the images below.

Step 1: Find the subject of the image
Step 2: Refine the edges of the selection
Step 3: Decontaminate the colors at the object’s edges

Pixelmator Pro 2.3 is available now as a free update for existing Pixelmator Pro 2 owners. To view the full list of updates, visit the Pixelmator Pro Update page.

For new owners, Pixelmator Pro 2.3 is on sale for 50% off, bringing its price down to $19.99. You can purchase Pixelmator Pro through the Mac App Store. By the way, the app runs natively on Apple Silicon, for those of you with Apple M1-powered hardware.

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