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Friday Freebies for your Blog: Image editing power with Aviary’s Phoenix

By Tom Collins

Tom-Miah-BlogPaws2011 Tom-Miah-BlogPaws2011-wAviaryEditsLast year, I announced that we’d activated a nifty image editing feature for adding captions, cropping, and adding special effects to your uploaded photos right within the BlogPaws Community site (I’m sure you can do better than I did, demo-ing some of the fun effects that are built-in presets). To use them right in the Community site, just upload your image, place your cursor over it, and a bar should appear across the top of your image. When you click on that, the Aviary editing panel opens and you’re off!

As I mentioned in our November 30 Newsletter, though, you can do more than just edit images for your Community photo album:

“If you don’t have access to Photoshop, or some such, you can do a fair job of touching up, captioning, cropping, and so on, right here in your My Photos pages. Upload an image, edit/save it, then right-click and “Save Image As …” and, voila! You’ve got the edited version back on your hard drive to use as you please!

But wait! There’s more!

In keeping with my things I found while looking for something else theme, TypePad recently announced it’s adding the plugin version of Aviary, too (now in Beta). So I was checking out the details and clicked over to the Aviary site and discovered their Phoenix image editing software.

Here’s a screenshot, showing some of the advanced features (LAYERS is the big one) that I think make this an amazing resource for anyone without access to a high-end tool like Photoshop, or my beloved Fireworks (click image to enlarge):


I could go on about what you can do with many of the tools shown above and certainly there are tradeoffs with using web-based — “cloud-based” if you prefer — tools, especially free ones (maybe we’ll come back to those questions in future posts), but for now,


Let us know what you think!

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  1. Oh my goodness, I think I have died and gone to heaven! I can’t wait to check this out! I just watched the demo version, and from what I have seen so far, I LOVE IT! I would give ANYTHING to learn how to do layers, and it looks like this program would be easier to use than my much more expensive program that I have yet to figure out!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. @Dayna – Happy to contribute to your happiness! As to layers, if you’ve ever seen one of those shows about how Disney animators worked with multiple layers of clear plastic to create scenes with depth, that might help you envision how to use layers with images. Does that ring any bells?
    @Linda – Ah well, I can’t “activate” it unless/until the NL provider first installs the API in their tools. ;-(
    Meanwhile, you can use the “light” version in the Community (that’s likely all we’d ever get inside another tool), or take the plunge with Phoenix! Happy to try to help, if you hit any snags. Let us know if you give it a whirl and what your results are, okay?

  3. I opened it and am going to play with it…I also downloaded Aviary…I could just kick myself. I was using Picnik which is ending in April……I was an idiot and purchased PhotoShop a few days ago, too bad it wasn’t what I wanted and I blew A LOT of money…wish I had seen this first!
    I am going to give this a try!

  4. not bad!! I just played with it a bit…very cool!! the only thing, what if you don’t want to save them on the BlogPaws site? It didn’t give me an option to save it anywhere else unless I missed it

  5. @Caren – Hey there, are you using the “light” version on BlogPaws Community? If so, once you’ve saved the image in your photo album(s), you should be able to Right-click on it and “Save Image As …” (or whatever the Mac equivalent is), to save to your hard drive.
    Then, if you didn’t want it public, I suppose you could delete if from your album (though I don’t warrant anything being truly “deleted” once it’s online!) ;-D
    If you’re in Phoenix, I haven’t tried actually creating images and saving them from it, he typed sheepishly! ;-P
    The tool set is just so impressively similar to what I’m used to in Photoshop and Fireworks, that I had to share! I guess I’m going to have to commit to looking over their tutorials and recommending (or adding to them), eh?

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