Edit Images Online with The Aviary Photo Editor Suite

Wez Pyke 22-02-2009

Aviary is an online photo editor suite that has a lot of promise and currently has four applications – Peacock Visual Laboratory, Phoenix Image Editor, Raven Vector Editor and Toucan Color Palettes.


The site has two membership plans available at the time of writing this article – Basic (free) and Pro ($9.99 per month). With Basic and Pro you can use all four of Aviary’s applications. With the Basic and Pro account you also get access to basic tutorials on the applications so that you can learn how to use them properly.

With Pro you’ll also get access to new beta applications. As of writing this the application that is in beta testing is Talon the screen capture addon for Firefox. There are lots of other features that are only available to Pro users such as setting permissions on who can see your files, unlimited storage, the ability to watermark your images 4 Ways To Watermark Your Images Online Read More , more advanced tutorials on the applications so that you can learn more advanced techniques and community enhancements such as a Pro badge so that other community members can see you are a supporter and subscriber of Aviary.

Now let’s take a look at each of the four Aviary applications.

Aviary Phoenix

aviary phoenix review

Phoenix is the Photoshop-like web based image editor of the Aviary application suite. Phoenix has quite a few advanced image editing techniques considering that it is a web based app. The layers, blending modes, alpha channels, layer styles, levels, hue & saturation and masking allow you to do some very effective image editing techniques.


If you head on over to the creations page and you see an image you like and wonder how it was created using Phoenix then you can click on ‘Open in Phoenix’ and you will be able to see what is on each layer.

Aviary Raven

aviary raven

If you are looking for a web based version of Adobe Illustrator that you can access from anywhere then Raven may be the perfect tool for you. Over at Aviary’s creation page for Raven I have seen a lot of creative things so I can’t see this application having many limitations for being a web app.

If you are a fan of Adobe Illustrator and are looking for something free with good features then I am sure you will be happy with what Raven has to offer.


Adobe Photoshop has it’s own online image editor known as Photoshop Express.

Aviary Toucan

aviary toucan

Toucan is a great web application that allows you to create color swatches for projects such as websites. So instead of visiting websites like ColourLovers for color swatches, you could alternatively create your own.

Aviary Peacock

aviary peacock


Aviary describes Peacock as a “visual laboratory”. Peacock allows images to be manipulated by applying effects to give it a completely different look and feel simply by dragging and dropping different generators, effects and controllers.

Anything that is created in one of the Aviary web applications can be used in any of the other applications that they have created. So far Aviary have four applications that are available for use but a lot more will be available soon that allow things such as 3D graphics manipulation and audio editing. So keep an eye on the site!

Let us know what you think in the comments and whether you think this site is a worthy web contender to their Adobe software counterparts that they are trying to rival.

Related topics: Adobe Photoshop, Image Editor.

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  2. Vadim P.
    February 23, 2009 at 11:38 am

    +1 for Aviary. Cross-platform too.

  3. alfred
    February 23, 2009 at 10:50 am

    nice post thanks

  4. Sam
    February 23, 2009 at 2:05 am

    I think Phoenix is better.

    Thanks for that post.

  5. Sean
    February 23, 2009 at 1:11 am

    I would definitely like to think of Aviary as a big contender with the giants like Adobe and whatnot. One tool in particular, Peacock, is an amazing application (not to mention it's browser based!). There's nothing else like it.

    Not to mention the community and staff over at Aviary is very kind and supportive if you need help or anything for that matter :).