Once again, Friday Links is going to be a little different. I’m going to review Aviary.com‘s new web-based Flash photo editing and “visual laboratory” software, named Phoenix and Peacock respectively. Phoenix, Peacock, and Toucan, the color swatch program, are out for all users, but are still in beta. I had to keep that in mind, especially with Peacock.
These programs were touted around the Internet that this stuff was free, but there is always a catch. You can use the programs for free with limited access and storage, of course, but you can either pay one of two yearly subscription fees for more features and access. Aviary’s web site touts their programs as an alternative to Photoshop and such will eventually be good enough for professionals to use. I decided to give it a shot.
This is the image I finally squeezed out of Peacock after about two hours. This site is NOT INTUITIVE AT ALL. The node system is a little confusing and all help and get started links either didn’t work or didn’t provide much help. There were absolutely no tutorial using Peacock. None. Nil. I wanted to punch someone in the larynx most because I was frustrated and I was seeing how people did manage to get really cool images out of Peacock. This one does have a cool 3-D effect, I must say.
I didn’t even get a chace to look at Toucan because I got sick of slow servers and frustration.
Overall, Aviary’s stuff might be good for someone who wants to fiddle around, but more serious users should avoid these programs, unless you just want to fiddle and see for yourself. There really are better online photo editing resources out there like Picasa and Adobe Photoshop Express. Stick with those for now, but keep an eye on Aviary and see what these birds hatch.