When I first saw Aviary I called it an incredibly ambitious art project. Aviary is creating a online creativity ecosystem that consists of a Flash based graphics suite tied to a marketplace where artists can sell their creations.
For the suite, the New York based team of 12 has been developing over 14 graphics tools ranging from pattern generators to vector based graphic editors. They’ve now put the finishing touches on two of their main programs (image editor Phoenix and pattern maker Peacock) and are letting in TechCrunch readers in to play around with them.
I’ve been really impressed after playing around with the tools. While by no means a Photoshop master, the image editor Pheonix has all the functionality I’ve come to expect from Adobe’s image editor (drawing, smudging, layers, filters, etc.). Founder Avi Muchnick says it has the most important functionality of Photoshop 6 and is not meant to be a total replacement (see other online photo editors as well and even Adobe’s soon).
Instead it’s meant to do the majority of what you want to do with an image editor, but also benefit from easy integration with the other online tools. For instance, you can use their pattern generator, Peacock, to make textures for an image you’re editing in Phoenix. If you share the pattern publicly anyone else can do it too (eventually you’ll be able to sell it).
Public files can also be commented on by other users, and preserve a version history that lets anyone to go back and branch your work in a different direction. All the files generated with the tools are saved as .egg files on Aviary’s servers, making them easy to share and track the intellectual property rights of files generated from scratch or uploaded to the system.
Aviary is giving away 100 invites to TechCrunch readers who sign up for an early bird invite here. They’ll be handing them out by tracking referrals, so you need to click through the link. You can also share/put your name down on a waiting list for invites at InviteShare.