The Shape of Everything
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August 20, 2015

Acorn 5 is out now, and it even comes with a 14 day trial so you have no excuse not to try it.

We worked hard on it, and we think it's pretty awesome. We're biased of course, and you can check the release notes for the full details, but here are three of my favorite new features:

New Thing: The Shape Processor. It's a collection of non destructive filters that work on vector shapes instead of pixels.

flower

In the example above we start with the white shape on the left, and then combining four filters together to make the flower on the right. Here's what the settings look like:

flower

If this looks a lot like the filter that Acorn already has… well, that's on purpose. Shape processors are of course non-destructive and save along with Acorn's native file format. So you can save your image, open it back up, and tweak the settings as you'd like. You can make some really fun stuff with it and it turns out to be super useful for lots of things.

New Filters: Curves and Levels. But wait - Acorn already has Curves and Levels, right? Yes, but in Acorn 5 they are baked into the existing filter chain. So now you can add Levels to your Curves and then a blur and then why not add Curves again after that and finish with a Drop Shadow filter? Then save the file and open it upagain and remove the second Curves because that's just too much what were you thinking? And then you realize Curves and Levels are now non-destructive and that's amazing.

Boom.

Hundreds of Little Things: We fixed hundreds of minor bugs and annoyances. Little things that built up over the years that very few people ever encountered, like "the shortcut key for zooming in doesn't work when the keyboard layout is set to Dvorak - Qwerty ⌘". So we fixed pretty much all of those. It took months and months of work, it was super boring and mind numbing and it was really hard to justify, and it made Acorn 5 super late. But we did it anyway, because something in us felt that software quality has been going downhill in general, and we sure as heck weren't going to let that happen to Acorn. So we took a long break from adding features and just fixed stuff.

There's lots more of course (updated icons and ui, snapping, crop improvements, soft brushes for clone/burn/etc, shape tool improvements, more blend modes, image meta-data editing, Photoshop brush support, etc). So grab Acorn and start playing with it right now.

And I'll go back to answering emails and helping people out.