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Mars Report:

Compositor: Image Editing for Artists

Published September 16th, 2006

Compositor is a full featured image editing and image to art application

Compositor Software Originally downloaded 6/1/06. The website has tons of information, a tour of the apps features, a gallery of samples, and, of course, a 30-day demo to download. It looks at first glance like quite an innovative image editor that might just be the Photoshop replacement I’m looking for. At $35, it sure would be cheaper!

Update 9/18/06. Compositor has a lot going for it, and I’m sure it’s a favorite tool for many Mac users by now… It has lots of interesting filters, including some modes for basics like sharpen and blur that could prove really useful. Compositor uses many familiar shortcuts from Photoshop, which is a plus for longtime Photoshop users. Like Photoshop, Compositor supports automated steps by letting you record and play back actions.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Compositor is really ugly. I know that’s just a matter of taste, but as an example of where working in Compositor seems a little skanky is that it doesn’t support antialiased type. Heck, if I wanted to go there, I could use Windows XP! Not only that, Compositor uses icons that might have seemed cool 6 years ago, but which just look out of place in Mac OS X.

But my decision to pass on Compositor goes deeper than just looks. Two things I simply can’t live without in a creative tool like this are support for multiple levels of undo (which is pretty much standard in all Cocoa apps now), and support for layers. Compositor seems to have an equivalent to layers, but I honestly couldn’t figure out how it works, and even trying felt like going back to Photoshop 3.

As much as I want to find an alternative to Photoshop, it’s just not going to be Compositor.

Version as tested: 2.9.1

Compositor windows

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