Friday Links 10: Aviary Resources Review

Once again, Friday Links is going to be a little different. I’m going to review‘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 photomanipulation was done using Phoenix, Aviary’s photo editing software. I followed one of the many tutorials, and big surprise!, you have to be a subscriber to access most of them. One on photo cross processing was not. The tutorial and finding things tools in the program is fairly easy. It does NOT compare to the flexibility and ease of Photoshop, and it will be very difficult for a web-based program such as this to do so. Phoenix is good for someone wanting to get their feet wet in photo editing, but is not a good choice for the serious amateur or professional.

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.

One thought on “Friday Links 10: Aviary Resources Review

  1. Thanks for linking me back to the photo after you used it! I really like what you did with it and feel your pain about programs that don’t let you have complete access to their capabilities!


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