Image editor for pixel artists

runs on Mac
screenshot of Pixen

The term "digital graphics" covers a huge range. Whether it's megapixel-sized digital photos, or teeny-tiny little icons and graphical bullets, they're all digital pictures. The image manipulating tools you might be most familiar with tend to be more useful for things on the larger end of that range. But what if your work runs to the other end? Icons, sprites, little ornaments; these can be a bit of a challenge when you use Photoshop to tweak them.

Pixen is an app designed specifically for "pixel artists", the folks who live in this land of the little. Even though it's simple in design, it boasts some big features. It supports layers, which means that you can work on different elements of your images independently—the background can be separate from shadows which can be held apart from your main subject. You can save your work in all the normal Web-usable formats, as well as several others. Along with individual images, it's also easy to build animations to save as GIF files, QuickTime movies, and more.

Pixen is a free download for your Mac. It runs under OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and later. You'll also need to have QuickTime 7 installed on your system.

Download Pixen

3 Responses to “Image editor for pixel artists”

  1. computerfreaker says:

    Is there a Windows equivalent of this? It looks like a great app, but I don’t have an OS X system.

  2. Holly B says:

    I agree! An app like this would be awesome for Windows. Not fair that we shouldn’t have one, this was like dangling the proverbial carrot just out of reach.

  3. OSusanna44 says:

    GREAT program! It was so easy to find my way around since I have some Photoshop experience and the end results both on screen and print have been amazing! Thanks for the heads up on this wonderful program!
    A grateful Mac User! 🙂