July 10, 2017
So we released Acorn 6 today. 🎉
It's been a lot of work and it shipped a little later in the year than we planned, but we're really happy to have something awesome for everyone to use. And in addition to that, we've currently got it on sale for 50% off. Go grab it for cheap while you can.
What's new and awesome?
For a number of years, text on a path has been our number one feature request and we finally got to deliver it with version 6. Acorn has always had great text support; it handles unicode effortlessly, and you can have multiple font faces and weights in a single text block. You can even have emoji as part of your text block. All of these same features work perfectly with text on a path. Inline editing, selection, etc- it just works. And it was a ton of fun to code on as well. Buy me a beer someday and I'll spill the details on how I coded it.
We also implemented our number two feature request, clone tool improvements. You can now select any layer as a clone source (bitmap layers, a group of layers, even shape layers) and then clone to any other layer, or even another image. We also added stamping to the clone tool, which works by holding down the shift key when you click on your image.
Wide gamut images are all around us now thanks to newer iPhones and DSLRs, and we wanted to find a way in Acorn to show you where the colors in your image may fall out of the range of sRGB (which is pretty much the current standard color profile these days). We did that by adding an extra option in the web export window, which shows up when your image is wider than sRGB. When turning it on, you'll get a nice view of your image with areas highlighted that fall out of the range of sRGB. There are also options to convert your image to sRGB at that point, either by perceptually matching colors or just by assigning the sRGB profile to your image without touching the source pixels.
What else is cool? Inner and outer stroke for vector shapes! New boolean options for shapes! Smart Layer Export things! Much improved interactions when cropping, transforming, or other things that used to be modal operations. And more. Full release notes are available (actually- that statement is only partially true. There are a lot of little things we didn't include in the official notes).
And as mentioned in a previous post, we're doing something new with trials in Acorn 6. The direct version will get its usual 14 day trial, but after that's up you can still use Acorn to view your images. The only change will be that the tools are disabled if you choose not to purchase it. We're also doing this for the App Store version in Acorn 6. You can download it for free and "purchase" a 14 day trial for $0.00. When that's up you can keep on using Acorn to view your images, or you can unlock Acorn at the usual price. This will make it really easy for App Store customers to download Acorn and try it out. We're really curious as to how this is going to work out in the long run, and if you choose this option- let us know how you like it.
And finally, I should mention that Acorn improvements mostly come from ideas from our customers. So if there's something you'd like to see, let us know.
Now off to work on the inevitable 6.0.1 release…
June 20, 2017
It's been a long time since we've done a public beta of a major app release. In fact, we've never done this before for Acorn. But we feel now is a great time to open up Acorn 6's beta to the public.
So we're happy to say that we've got Acorn 6 in public beta for you to try out today.
We're introducing some great new features and refinements, including text on a path, cloning across layers and images, improvements to web export and smart layer export, and new shape stroke options.
We've also added some great new tools for working with color profiles and wide gamut images, which is becoming more important every day for iPhone and pro photographers alike. You can now load and export color profiles from the Image ▸ Color Profile… menu. And when you're exporting for the web, you can highlight the areas of your DP3 or wide gamut image which are out of the range of sRGB.
And there's more of course, so why not grab the beta?
We're doing something new with trials in Acorn 6. The direct version will get its usual 14 day trial, but after that's up you'll be able to still use Acorn to view your images. The only change will be that the tools are disabled if you choose not to purchase it. We're also doing this for the App Store version in Acorn 6. When Acorn officially ships you'll be able to download it for free and "purchase" a 14 day trial for $0.00. When that's up you can keep on using Acorn to view your images, or you can unlock Acorn at the usual price. This will make it really easy for App Store customers to download Acorn and try it out.
Finally- one of the reasons we're doing a public beta, and one of the reasons that we still love working on Acorn, is hearing about what you like and what you think needs improvement. So if you like something- let us know! And if there's something you'd like to see better- let us know! And if you hate it- let us know that too. The feedback we get from our customers is the main driver for changes in Acorn.
So go grab the Acorn 6 beta already.
If you purchase Acorn 5 directly from us between now and Acorn 6's release, you'll be emailed an Acorn 6 license when it ships. We aren't able to do this for the App Store however (sorry).
Acorn 6 requires 10.11.4 or later, including MacOS 10.12 Sierra. Acorn will of course support 10.13 when it comes out in the fall.
P.S., I'm also using this as an opportunity to kick off our new forums, which you can find at https://forums.flyingmeat.com.
June 17, 2017
The folks behind Code Obsession, creators of Observatory, just put out some new plugins for Acorn to read FITS, XISF and SBIG images:
"Code Obsession’s Acorn Plugins add FITS, XISF and SBIG image support to Acorn. After installing the plugins, you can open any such image as easy as a JPEG or TIFF.
"Calibrate, align and stack your images in Observatory, export as 32 bits FITS, open in Acorn and start post-processing. Add layers, annotations, watermarks. The options are endless."
I wrote the plugin api to do this years ago, but except for a few small examples it was never really used. However, earlier this week Sander Berents from Code Obsession contacted me about it since Acorn's ability to save 64 and 128 bit images with non destructive filters (ie- curves and levels) was perfect for astronomical data. Acorn 5.6.5 was just about to go out and I made a couple of tweaks to the API for him, and that was that.
March 16, 2017
Up here at the FM world headquarters, I've recently pushed the buttons and typed the commands to make Acorn 5.6.4 roll out to all my favorite people.
It's purely a bug fix release, but it includes a fix for a 10.12 issue that I've spent way too long tracking down. So if you're on 10.12 Sierra, and you've seen the occasional case where a black box would suddenly appear somewhere on your canvas, this release is for you.
So start your update engines and grab it today.
And a small request: if love Acorn and you've purchased it via the App Store, why not leave it a nice review or give it a handful of stars? When we push out new releases, it resets the previous reviews and ratings in the store which is a huge bummer for us (and it also creates a disincentive for releasing bugfix builds! But that's a story for another time). We love getting reviews and ratings though, it's like fuel for future releases.
December 15, 2016
Flying Meat has just released Acorn 5.6, which is a free update to anyone who already owns Acorn 5.
What's new and awesome? The big new feature is Touch Bar support for the MacBook Pro. You can now resize your brushes, flip around your canvas, apply boolean operations and align your selected shapes, and much much more. The Touch Bar gives you intuitive control when editing your images, all with a couple of easy taps on your new MacBook Pro.
If you don't have a new MacBook Pro you're going to like this update anyway because it includes one of our top feature requests: A Photos Extension to edit your images in Acorn. Now with a couple of clicks you can open up your image from Photos, edit in Acorn, then save your image back to Photos. It really is that simple.
The full release notes are also available.
December 5, 2016
Tomorrow, Dec 6th, Flying Meat will be donating 100% of our sales to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
"The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality."
If you don't already own Acorn, tomorrow would be a good time to pick it up. And if you buy it directly from us instead of the App Store, 30% more of your purchase will be given to the SPLC.
November 21, 2016
Just because we're still pushing ahead with Acorn 5, doesn't mean we have forgotten about Acorn 4. We've just pushed Acorn 4.5.8, which contains compatibly fixes for MacOS 10.12 Sierra. Acorn 4.5.8 is now compatible with 10.8 through 10.12.
This release is currently for direct customers only. For some reason the App Store has Acorn 4.5.7 in some sort of wedged state that we haven't quire figured out. We'll see if we can get that resolved sometime soon and get v4.5.8 out there as well.
August 17, 2016
For years we've had people ask for Acorn's documentation in PDF form, and as a response to that we created the Acorn 5 Basics PDF which you can download from the main documentation page. It was only ever a subset of the entire documentation however.
Ever since the iPad came out, and with it iBooks, we've been wanting to turn Acorn's online documentation into a downloadable ePub. In theory this is pretty easy to do- all of our online documentation is pushed up as HTML, and that's the native format of ePubs. But ePub readers don't support the full range of HTML that web browsers do, so there were a ton of little things to clean up and organize.
Anyway, this is a long way of saying we have the Acorn 5 documentation available as an ePub for you: Acorn 5.epub. You can download all 1100+ pages of Acorn's documentation and read it in iBooks either on your Macintosh or iOS device.
It's pretty awesome. And since this is a first run of it, we're calling this a beta. We'll clean up things in future releases of the ePub. And if you find any problems in it, please let us know.
August 2, 2016
Earlier today I typed in the magic commands which perform the Acorn release song and dance, which means Acorn 5.5 has been released for everyone. It's available via direct update as well as the Mac App Store, so go grab it when you get a second.
What's new and interesting in 5.5? For starters, I've rewritten the color picker loupe tool so that it Does The Right Thing (tm) regarding display color profiles and sampling colors from anywhere on the screen. We've also given it a few new tricks for zooming in and out when sampling colors as well. It also looks better than the standard system one Acorn used previously.
We've also added new dithering filters, new layer alignment options, and additional information about your image in the Metadata window.
Changes in Acorn 5.5 include various color profile improvements including reworking how colors are matched to the your image's profile before they hit the display, as well converting incoming colors from the color picker to the right color space. Cleaning up these seemingly little things really make a difference now that wide gamut displays are showing up everywhere these days.
And as I always do, I close up bugs that we find along the way. The full release notes are available on our website. And while you're reading about what's new, make sure to scroll down and see what else we've changed since Acorn 5 was released. We've put out 10 updates to Acorn 5 in just under a year with over 100 new things and tweaks, so I won't fault you if you might have missed one or two.
Acorn 5.5 is a free update for anyone who has already purchased Acorn 5 and it runs on macOS 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan, and 10.12 Sierra.
July 22, 2016
macOS Sierra is just around the corner, and if you're running the beta or developer seeds of it you're of course going to want to know if your favorite application, Acorn 5, is compatible with it.
And it is of course.
There is at least one Sierra issue we are aware of (in beta 3, and it's totally Apple's fault). Exporting deep images (aka, 16 bits per component) is currently broken in the developer and public betas. I've filed a radar with Apple and this is such a serious oversight on their part, that I'm sure it'll be fixed pretty soon (#27285115 ImageIO problemo).
Update August 1st, 2016: Apple has fixed this bug in beta 4, and we are no longer aware of any issues with Acorn and 10.12 Sierra.
If you're running the Sierra betas and you encounter any crashes, bugs, or other issues let us know right away! We want to make sure we don't miss anything.