UPDATE: Goodbye Aviary.  It's been fun!

The Aviary suite of tools is among the most impressive free web applications I have used since launching GarrisonSites. It is rare to find a free tool that works this effectively - finding six of them that work so well both on their own and together is decidedly noteworthy. Each tool it the suite deserves a post all to itself - but here are the brief descriptions of each to get you started along with links to a couple of the video tutorials:
  • Phoenix is the image editor. It is basically PhotoShop for free. Phoenix can do a lot of impressive things on its own. When paired with the other tools in the suite it becomes even more powerful. How to Video. Tutorials.
  • Peacock is what aviary calls a visual laboratory. To fully understand what that means and how many ways you can transform and filter images with Peacock's simple node based UI you just have to watch the introductory video.
  • Raven's vector images are scalable because they are built on a mathematical formula rather than pixels. Raven allows you to create logos and other scalable art. Give it a try!
  • Myna is the tool that first led me to Aviary. It is Audacity and GarageBand all in one.
  • Falcon is an easy to use cropping and screen capture tool similar to SnagIt. It works seamlessly in Firefox. I use it daily.
  • Toucan is a swatch editor. Aviary says, "Our color swatches and palettes tool will help you find colors you didn't even know exist." I agree! GarrisonSites readers know I am a huge fan of ColourLovers as it makes design available to the masses. Toucan does the same thing, but in true Aviary fashion it is more powerful, customizable and user friendly than the competition. Try it out when you build your next lesson!
Too much Aviary for one sitting? Try one tool each day this week. Spend 5 minutes watching the tutorial video and then create visual and auditory magic!