Hexels Version History

Hexels 3.1.5 | December 20th, 2018

3.15 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Fixed incorrect previews of very small documents
  • Fixed a bug where some keyboard shortcuts didn’t work

Hexels 3.1.4 | November 30th, 2018

3.14 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Fixed hard crash for some macOS Mojave (10.14.*) users
  • Other miscellaneous performance improvements

Hexels 3.1.3 | August 21st, 2018

3.13 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Added mirror, symmetry & other brush paint FX to the eraser tool
  • SVG Export Improvements
    • Voronoi polygons
    • Document dimensions
    • Embedded image scaling


  • Better High Sierra glitch prevention
  • Fixed cropping of opened images at launch
  • Fixed “Apply Mask” for pixel layers
  • Merging a group now preserves that group’s mask
  • Fixed “New Layer from Selection” on pixel layers
  • Post effects can now be dragged to trash can

Hexels 3.1 | March 29th, 2018

Legacy 3.1 Installers: Windows | Mac

New Tools!

  • Shape tools (circle, polygon & perspective shapes)
  • Lasso and polygon selection tools
  • Floating color picker

Pixel Painting

  • New pixel brushes and effects
  • Custom brush editor
  • Combinable pen pressure effects
  • Mirrored & radial symmetry drawing


  • Customizable keys & mouse buttons
  • Customizable radial menu
  • Color palette presets & importing
  • Selection modification (expand, contract, feather, border)
  • Isolate layer hotkey


  • Layer sub-looping
  • Export subsets of an animation


  • Local & global layer wrapping modes
  • Combinable pixel & vector grid guides
  • New paint blend modes
  • Info Tab
  • Shift snapping for dragging selections
  • Adjustable auto-save interval
  • Scripts can now save SVG files
  • Bicubic sampling for free transform
  • Multiple file selection for pixel layer import (use as animation frames or layers)
  • Animation sequence import menu item
  • GIMP (GPL) Palette import
  • Smooth playback when dragging animation playhead

Post Effects

  • Categories for post effects
  • New UI widget/uniform available: ranged slider
  • Color palette colors available in post effect shaders
  • Texture Tab textures available in post effect shaders


  • Improved compatibility with macOS High Sierra
  • Reduced GPU memory usage
  • Performance improvements for sketching with pixels
  • Fixed animation property copy/paste bugs
  • Layer properties dialog has its own undo stack
  • Fixed bug where opening and re-saving an image could crop dead space
  • better pixel brush shift constraints
  • SVG polygon bleeding now works for single-poly color groups

Hexels 3.0 | September 26th, 2017

Legacy 3.0 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Pixel & Vector canvas modes
  • Live preview of all export settings in Pixel mode
  • Set canvas dimensions in units of Hexels or pixels
  • Pixel-aligned aspect ratios for trixel & isometric art
  • Tons of new shaders & effects to play with!

Pixel Tools

  • Hexel & pixel layers, living together, in harmony
  • Hard & soft pixel brushes
  • Flow & opacity based brushes
  • Tablet pen pressure dynamics
  • Rasterize Hexel layers into pixels
  • Hexelize pixel layers into Hexels
  • Copy/paste pixels to and from other apps

Other Tools

  • Outline tool now has Bucket Fill and Bucket Erase options
  • Added Snapping constraints to transform & gradient tools
  • Added option to link brush settings across tools
  • Added Pixel & Hexel modes to selection tool
  • Added shrink-wrapped mode to Select All
  • Added Color picker UI added to shader & effect parameters
  • Added HSV gradients to color palette
  • Added negative scaling to layer transform tool


  • Smaller files & faster saving
  • Multiple backup save files
  • Animated GIF & spritesheet import
  • Layered PSD import
  • Multi-image import
  • Drag-n-drop image import
  • Export dialog image scaling options
  • Export with premultiplied transparency


  • Improved framing of layer thumbnails
  • Improved SVG export
  • Improved Hexel and Trixel copying/pasting
  • Improved preview window rendering
  • Increased limits on max frame & cel counts
  • Fixed render padding at export
  • Fixed image import cropping
  • Fixed rectangle selection bugs
  • Fixed various layer & grid bugs
  • Fixed texture tab bugs

Hexels 2.56 | February 21st, 2017

Legacy 2.56 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Added custom effect importing by menu or drag-n-drop
  • Added “Effects” menu for managing custom effects
  • Added “Developers” section of “Effects” menu with several new links and resources
  • Post effect and blend mode shaders are now designated in their shader code, not by where the file is placed
  • Added “Layer Name” field to “Layer Properties” window
  • Better step size for shader parameter sliders
  • Added drop-down menus and parameter presets for effect shader GUI
  • Improved and honed the effect shader API
  • Double-clicking a blending mode keyframe will open blending options in Layer Properties window
  • Replaced “Trixel Width” slider with presets for various Trixel mode aspect ratios
  • Pixel shape now called Square (for secret, future-proofing reasons)


  • Added more fallbacks for rescuing corrupted files
  • More graceful failure for MAS version opening PNG with funny characters
  • Added fallbacks for colored icon failures
  • Fixed post effect clipping bug at high zoom
  • Fixed crash when hitting delete on a non-cel
  • Fixed bug where pressing alt in preparation of copy-drag would eliminate multiple selection
  • Fixed bad data in GUIUniform when there are hundreds of frames
  • Fixed wheel scrolling direction when holding shift
  • Fixed some export window bugs
  • Fixed some “Import Image to Hexels” bugs
  • Better preview icon generation for the Recent Files list
  • Renamed Mac add-ons folder to be consistent with Windows

Hexels 2.55 | January 13th, 2017

Legacy 2.55 Installers: Windows | Mac


  • Non-animatable shaders now show up on the timeline
  • Ctrl-Y can now redo
  • Added default icon for iconless templates
  • Added Lab color import from Photoshop palettes
  • You can now use “#define REQUEST_MIPMAPS” and “_MipmapsAvailble” to sample from mipmaps in post-effect shaders
  • Disable shader area optimization with “#define FULLSCREEN”


  • Fixed alt-wheel zooming when a transformed layer is selected
  • Improved behavior of canvas size spinners
  • Fixed blend shader UI bugs
  • Mipmaps used to speed up blur and other shaders
  • Color adjustment dialog is much faster
  • Better testing for GLSL and GL version
  • Improved handling of high-DPI displays
  • Duplicate Layer now says “Duplicate Group” when appropriate
  • Fixed glow multiplier > 1.0 not working
  • Fixed hexels not drawing in part of render padding (canvas only)
  • Optimized PFX processing to the drawn-on part of the canvas
  • Improved render padding calculation

Hexels 2.54 | December 15th, 2016


  • Pixel-perfect lines in Pixel shape mode
  • Outline and hexel line tools erase when tablet pen is flipped around
  • Deferred AA export setting


  • Fixed bug where dragging selection killed outlines
  • Fixed shift-snapping breaking when going off-canvas
  • Glow amount for groups is now respected
  • Fixed glow-only export
  • Fixed bug when loading old horizontal-trixel documents
  • Improved copy and paste
  • Adjust pixel values in the frame tool after clearing frame now puts the rectangle back up
  • Improved shift constraints for line tool
  • Improved pixel mode circle brush

Hexels 2.53 | November 28th, 2016

Feature Additions:

  • Tween curve type is now displayed on timeline
  • Copy/paste layer property keyframes in timeline
  • Copy/paste post effects between layers
  • Added slider notch to “Trixel Width” for pixel-perfect isometric art

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed Cintiq & drawing tablet issues on Windows 10
  • Improved alt-tabbing away from Hexels while drawing
  • Added intermediate undo for free transform changes
  • Fixed crash when adding animation cels
  • Improved selection tool marquee
  • Fixed selection tool on wrapped canvases
  • Quick layer select tool now detects outlines
  • Post effects on groups and root layers no longer break glow
  • Fixed focus-on-selection when current layer is transformed
  • Fixed layer transform tool bug with recenter pivot enabled
  • Timeline pause button now stops playback on the proper frame
  • Fixed anti-aliasing artifacts with clipped layers

Hexels 2.52 | November 10th, 2016

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed crash at startup on some older Intel graphics chipsets
  • Improved handling of texture opacity so users can recreate the old glow effect with textures
  • Added numbers to the Trixel subgrid buttons when alt is held
  • Fixed crashes and other unwanted behavior when working with selections on tiled layers
  • Fixed bugs related to tablet pen erasers.
  • Releasing shift while drawing a line and then pressing it again will now snap to angles originating at the new position
  • Many other small bug fixes

Hexels 2.51 | October 27th, 2016

Feature Additions:

  • Layer and clipping masks
  • Layer groups
  • Multiple selection of layers, cels, and frames
  • Animation looping tools
  • Frame tweening
  • Animated layer transformations
  • Free transform tool
  • Selection tool tweaks
  • Quick layer select tool (W key)
  • Adjustment layers
  • Color adjustments
  • Animated post effects
    • Curves
    • Blob
    • Blur (Motion, Linear, Radial, Gaussian)
    • Hue/Saturation
    • Smear
    • Distortion
  • Blend modes
    • Standard
    • Additive
    • Subtractive
    • Multiplicative
    • Dissolve
  • Create and import custom post effects and blend modes
  • Per-layer halftone settings
  • Per-layer grid settings
  • Point grid
  • Tiled layers and drawing
  • Fill tool improvements
  • Outline tool improvements
  • Improved outlines for trixels in halftone mode
  • Per-pixel glow
  • Copy and paste images
  • SVG Export much improved
  • More PSD export options
  • Lots of performance improvements

Bug Fixes:

  • Reduced minimum window height
  • Many more fixes

Hexels 2.04 | March 4th, 2016

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed missing icon issues
  • Fixed data loss bug when deleting a selection
  • Fixed crash with files containing special characters
  • Fixed bugs with the frame count text box

Hexels 2.03 | February 15th, 2016

Feature Additions:

  • Shift-click ‘Add Next Key Cel’ button to add a blank key cel

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed crash bug on Mac when file names contain special characters
  • Fixed data loss bug caused when deleting a selection
  • Fixed bugs with the frame count text box
  • Fixed possible crash with custom shape and image layers
  • Shape mode-specific scripts will only run in the proper shape mode
  • Added better support for foreign characters
  • Fixed various issues with Super Grid
  • Fixed issue where the Custom Shape preview didn’t always update
  • Fixed stray outlines in classic mode when Wrapped Canvas and Hafltone are enabled
  • Timeline should no longer encroach on the main window
  • Fixed bug with loading image layers
  • Improved onion skinning when halftone mode is turned on
  • Gradient and noise tools are now affected by Super Grid
  • Improved Hexels-to-Trixels conversion
  • Sub-divide scripts now retain zoom level and saves previous shape-type to the Super Grid when converting from Hexels (or an old Trixels document)

Hexels 2.02 | February 4th, 2016

Feature Additions:

  • Sub-divide Pixels script

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed crash on launch (Windows)
  • Fixed crash when adding image layer
  • Onion Skinning now works in Pixel Mode
  • Frame border hidden in export preview
  • Improvements to animation playback in preview window
  • Improvements to Trixel SVG output
  • Fixed Outline errors with 1.2 files

Hexels 2.01 | January 27th, 2016

Feature Additions:

  • Animation:
    • Timeline key frame editor, create frames, cels, key cels, etc
    • Settings for frame rate frame count, and playback controls
    • Onion skinning (enabled per layer) shows fade preview of content before/after frame
  • Animation export:
    • Animated GIF
    • Layered PSD
    • Folder of still images
  • Layers:
    • Per layer opacity and glow settings (key frameable as well)
    • Duplicate/merge down/flatten image functionality
    • Layer visibility and locking toggles
  • Layered PSD export
  • Redesigned, customizable UI:
    • UI layout of all windows tweaked for ease of use
    • Drag and drop to rearrange windows/tabs
    • Windows can be docked, float or moved to secondary monitor
    • Collapse windows to focus on your favorite tools and settings
    • Ctrl(cmd on mac)+1-8 will flash specific tabs (see the view menu for details)
    • Redesigned new file window features recent files, templates and samples
    • Text boxes are now tab-able
    • Preview window with independent playback controls, useful for previewing animation
  • Trixels Mode with advanced sub-grids for painting various shapes and slopes replaces Shards
  • Super grid with Preserve setting allows you to paint with multiple sub-grids in Trixels Mode and easily re-paint without switching sub-grids
  • Refined shape modes, removed less common modes and improved others
  • Square and round brush in Pixel Mode
  • Fancy palette window, auto assign painted colors, and drag and drop to create gradients between colors
  • Improved outline tool, draw connected lines on either the inside or outside edge of Hexels
  • Gradient tool
  • Noise tool, drag left/right to set intensity
  • Frame tool defines export area
  • Export settings saved per file
  • Holding shift allows you to draw on one axis
  • Holding V flips canvas vertically
  • Erase tool improved, including hold Q to for quick erase
  • Many performance improvements
  • Undo system improved
  • Zooming improved
  • Image import improved
  • Drawing tablet support improved
  • Scripting improved
  • Color picker improved
  • Wrapped canvas option enables tiling when moving a selection
  • Max canvas size now 2048×2048
  • Windows build is now 64 bit
  • Squashed a metric ton of bugs
  • And more tweaks and changes to improve your Hexels experience

Version 1.2.1

Marmoset Re-release!

  • Re-branded, updated support links, etc.
  • Minor bug fixes

Version 1.2.0

  • Texturing! Apply textures to your art in a variety of ways for subtle and not-so-subtle effects
  • Voronoi shape mode Morph between Hexels, Trixels, pixels, and diamonds, and add jitter for randomness
  • Halftone mode: Shrink shapes via their opacity for awesome effects
  • Examples gallery: A showcase of Hexels files demonstrating many different techniques
  • Wrapping: All shape modes can now create tileable images for use as textures and patterns
  • Image import, by popular request Import images in a variety of ways to turn them into Hexels
  • Color adjustments: brightness, contrast, hue, the usual stuff
  • Custom shape mode lets you tile your shapes in new ways: flip them or rotate them per column or per row
  • Tons of things we can’t even think of Lots of bug fixes, stability improvements, performance embetterments
  • Oh yeah and better scrollbars

Version 1.1.2

  • “Export Again” lets you re-export your art quickly, without having to deal with dialog boxes and questions regarding your desire to replace the old file. This is super useful if you’re using Hexels to make art assets for another project.
  • Vertical spacing for the custom shape editor.
  • Fixed a bug where the cursor would be in the wrong position when using a Wacom Cintiq on Windows.
  • The floating Render Options no longer jumps around when using multiple monitors.
  • The light-up grid should now turn off properly (and can be disabled in preferences).
  • Importing a glow image now preserves its aspect ratio.
  • Fixed a bug where the first click of a marquee selection would take brush size into account.
  • Trixel mode properly saves the state of the “Preserve Alignment” box.
  • Greyscale images can be loaded properly.
  • The little checkerboard background is now the same size regardless of if anti-aliasing is on.
  • (Windows) if you try to export an image at a larger size than Windows can allocate memory for, Hexels will give you a dialog box and a chance to reduce your export size, rather than crashing.
  • (Windows) Hexels should no longer force itself to the front when updating the export progress bar.

Version 1.1.1

  • Fixed a bug where Hexels files would occasionally become unreadable.
  • Better support for pen pressure and tablet eraser
  • Flip your selection horizontally or vertically
  • Higher performance and responsiveness while drawing by temporarily switching to slightly lower-quality visuals
  • Your pan and zoom are now saved into your file so you can resume work right where you left off
  • Clearer user interface for the outline tool’s erase mode
  • Fixed a bug where the grey canvas background didn’t show up properly on some AMD graphics cards
  • Better support for JPEGs by using Chad Austin’s Corona project for backup image loading
  • File reading process is more resistant to crashing if there’s bad data inside the Hexels file
  • A few more bug fixes, plus some small features

Version 1.1.0

Cool Stuff:

  • Rotated and pitched Trixels! Use Trixels in totally new ways!
  • Canvas image import for reference or compositing! (Can sample colors from it too!)
  • Flatten-to-canvas option puts your current drawing in the background and lets you draw on top of it.
  • Fine control of pixel size of exported images.
  • Recent Items can be found under the File menu.
  • Pixel shape for Custom Shape mode.
  • Hexel opacity slider in Document tab (keeps glow and background).
  • Pan, zoom, and text input for the custom shade editor.
  • Export glow layer alone (without Hexels).
  • You can now delete outlines by selecting and pressing delete.
  • Lots of new startup tips.

Minor Stuff:

  • Fixed the Intel shader bug!
  • No longer auto-quits on computers with very poor OpenGL support (oops!).
  • Toggling grid no longer turns HDR mode on.
  • Improved canvas cropping for Trixels and Custom Shape.
  • Better background in the export window.
  • Hexels will ask before it checks for updates the first time.
  • Grid no longer vanishes on selected Hexels.
  • Selected hexels move better in certain situations (such as making a square grid with the custom shape tool).
  • Zoom tool centers on your mouse click.
  • Fixed a bug where lines would show up and then vanish when the mouse is released outside the canvas.
  • Fixed a bug where extra outlines would appear if you select all->move.
  • Added hotkey (i) for color drop tool (you can still press alt/option to switch to it).
  • Made dialogs and alerts friendlier.
  • You can move Trixels in finer vertical increments now.
  • Floating Render Options window no longer jumps back to its standard place when you close and re-open it.
  • Checkbox for high quality glow right in the Glow window.
  • Improved detection of shader errors.
  • Finer control of glow radius.
  • Fixed bugs relating to use of tablet pen pressure.
  • Option to skip an update and wait for the next version.
  • Grid lights up when you change shape in Trixel and Plus mode.
  • Copied and pasted Hexels should now always be on-screen.
  • Reduced idle processor load.
  • Fixed the file format for compatibility between Mac and PC versions.
  • Saving should now go to the proper directory in Windows.

Version 1.0.0

  • Initial awesome release!