So there’s this new thing called Aviary. It’s a suite of web apps that aim to rival the Adobe suite. All together, none of it seems to converge in to a supreme replacement for the real McCoy. However, the most-used features have surfaced without too many more Adobe’s more obscure features that 99% of graphic artists never use. So far there’s a Photoshop-esque image editor complete with layer fx and masking, a node-based image filtering and compositing tool not unlike Blender’s compositor, a basic vector image illustration app that outputs to SVG and takes advantage of Flash’s unique off-center gradients, a quick photo-edit app for cropping and adding text (think Picasa), an audio mixer that comes with fairly decent looping and automation, and a color picker and swatch manager that even comes with color-blind previews. It’s a nice set of tools that offers some refreshingly different options. I’ll keep Aviary in the back of my mind for the next time I’m in a situation where I can’t install the Adobe suite on a computer (which might be never).

Most of the stuff being made with it right now isn’t all that spectacular… Then again, I was saying the same thing about Facebook Graffiti, and then it just sort of exploded.

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