ReadWriteWeb is reporting that Aviary, a much-hyped and long awaited suite of online image editing tools, is about to leave private beta. Aviary was developed by the people behind the popular Photoshop contest site Worth1000 using Adobe’s Flex, and is easily one of the most impressive pieces of graphic design software delivered as a web application.
Aviary’s current stable of products includes Photoshop-replacement Phoenix, a multi-layer image editor, visual effects editor Peacock, and Toucan, a color picking tool. Currently in alpha is Raven, a vector image editor, and Talon, a Firefox plugin for creating screen captures.
Aviary has an ambitious product roadmap, with 15 visual, artistic, and creative design applications currently planned or under development, including a 3D modeler, an audio editor, a desktop publishing app, a video editor, and even a word processing application. Based strictly on volume of applications, it is easy to think of Aviary as the creative professional counterpart to Zoho.
Starting November 3, Aviary will begin offering pricing plans. A free, ad supported version will mark all images created on the software with a watermark. Paid plans will remove the watermark and advertising, as well as allow access to collaboration tools and tutorials. Paying customers also get early peaks at alpha versions of software before free customers.
The graphic below illustrates the paid plans coming next week. Anyone who signs up by Sunday gets $50 off the most expensive plan.
Aviary stores all files to it’s internal cloud storage service (called Rookery — notice a theme?), and backs up data to Amazon S3. A DVD backup service is in the works, and all files can be exported to flattened image formats, like JPEG and GIF. Fully layered file exports are something that the company is still working on. Also in the works: AIR versions of the applications for bringing the Aviary suite to the desktop.
In addition to the software, Aviary also hosts a Flickr-like image sharing site for artists to share their creations with one another. For artists that allow it, graphics can be shared with others fully layered, so anyone can open an image directly from the gallery in one of the Aviary tools and remix it.
Below is a video of an image being created using Phoenix.
Have you used Aviary? Let us know what you think. While it clearly isn’t a Photoshop replacement, we think it is a very impressive online image editing suite that many people will find more any adequate.
Josh Catone joined Mashable in May 2009 and is Executive Director of Editorial Projects. Before joining Mashable, Josh was the Lead Writer at ReadWriteWeb, the Lead Blogger at SitePoint, and the Community Evangelist at DandyID.
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