Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Aviary Media Editor

I recently came across an online media editor called Aviary. My primary interest was in having a web-based image editor with layers for times when I am away from my personal machine. As you likely know, I enjoy making logos for this blog, and it can be a real pain when I get an idea in my head and cannot work on it due to local computer restraints.

Now, Aviary uses flash to power its editing, as well as some server side processing. I have not used it a great deal yet, but being a Paintshop Pro and The GIMP user I had little trouble getting started. Here is a quick logo I cranked out.

Now, not everything is 100% intuitive. I am used to having tools that are strictly raster (bitmap) or vector based, and due to poor judgment on my part could not figure out how to move text. After a bit more toying around I was able to grasp what I was missing.

There are a few things you need to do. One, to save images you must have an account (you can export without an account, more below). Second, if you do not want the Aviary watermark on your images, you must turn it off in your dashboard. Third, if you want images to be public, you need to figure out how to accomplish that. I have not yet.

Granted, any issues I am currently having are likely due to me not reading the documentation. I am not a reader where technology is concerned. I like things to be simple, and for icons to express what a tool does. In this regard, Aviary is quite good. If you are at all familiar with image editing software you will have little trouble getting started. If MS Paint is your tool of choice, you should definitely take Aviary for a spin. The world of layers will change you forever.

The nice features: You can open an image with its web URL. You can export to your image to your hard drive as a GIF, PNG, JPEG, and TIFF formats. Your work is saved to their server, so no need for thumb drives since it is cloud computing. It is, best of all, free.


wiec? said...

sounds cool. i think i might give it a try. thanks for the tip and the header is tiiiiiight.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Glad you like it.

It seems like a good little medium-speed program. Doing some of the things I like to do is a bit tough, like there is no drop shadow, but all in all it is a nice thing to use when you need it. It is at least as easy to use as The GIMP, and certainly less expensive than commercial models.

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