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Über dieses Buch

The world is changing. Where before you needed to purchase and install big and expensive programs on your computer in order to create stunning images, you can now do it all online for free using Aviary. Aviary is an online collection of applications that enable you to upload and modify your own photographs and images, and create new imagery from scratch. It includes a powerful photo-manipulation tool called Phoenix, a vector-drawing application called Raven, an effects suite for creating eye-watering image effects called Peacock, and much more. Introducing Aviary takes you through all of these tools, showing you how to use each tool individually and also how to combine the tools across the suite to create some truly stunning artwork.

Get familiar with the Aviary suite of applications. Follow friendly, detailed instructions for creating and manipulating artwork in each application. Manage your creations online to get the most out of Aviary’s features.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Welcome to the Aviary

Abstract
Have you ever wanted to create stunning images on your computer to discover that the preinstalled programs lack key features or are too clumsy to be efficient? On the other hand, a full-fledged desktop graphic-editing program costs thousands of dollars and has hundreds of features that you will never use. There is a solution. It is a computer graphic revolution called Aviary. Aviary is an online service that enables you to upload, edit, create, and manage images. You no longer have to install large programs or be tied down to a single computer. All of Aviary’s applications are hosted online and you can access them and your images on any computer or mobile device that has Internet access and the Flash Player plug-in. The applications run on most browsers; they also work on most operating systems, including Linux. Aviary and its suite of creation applications set you free, enabling you to make creations on the fly.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 2. Creating Images with Phoenix

Abstract
Phoenix is a full-featured image editor that is similar to many of the desktop image editors you might have seen or used. Many of the tools are located in the same vicinity and act similarly. Aviary is designed this way to make it easy for people who have used other applications to learn Aviary. Phoenix enables you to manipulate images in various ways, build files in layers, and save files to keep objects separated for easy editing. You can adjust the color, brightness, and contrast of images. A versatile selection system enables you to isolate and alter intricate and complex areas of images. With the Clone and Liquefy tools, you can push, pull, and relocate pixels. Phoenix might at first look like a simple image editor, but as you will see in this chapter, it is sophisticated and enables you to create incredible images.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 3. Image Manipulation with Phoenix

Abstract
Digital and cell phone cameras changed the face of photography forever. Developing photos from film used to be expensive and time-consuming, and photo correction was basic. Many of the tools in digital editing programs come from this early photo manipulation. Dodge and burn meant cutting stencils from paper and manually over and under exposing sections of film, which was a tedious and imprecise process. Colored-glass filters were used to adjust the hue and saturation in a photo; to remove an object from a photo literally took a brush to manually paint it out. It has gotten much easier in the computer age. Photos are digitized, turned into discrete points of color and value. These digital pixels are much easier to manipulate than film and negatives. Photo manipulation has become cheaper and more accessible. Furthermore, with the advent of the digital camera, cheap memory, and photo-hosting sites, digital photography is in reach of the average person. No longer do we carry around huge SLR cameras and canisters of film; we can now pull out our cell phones and snap a picture. Our world is instantly saved. The only downside to this accessible and immediate medium is that it sacrifices quality. The average point-andshoot digital camera does not take images of quality on par with film cameras. This is where Phoenix can give you the power to fix the quality and enhance details.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 4. Raven—Vector Editing

Abstract
Raven is used to create fully scalable vector art appropriate for logos or t-shirt designs. Unlike the bitmaps you have used in previous chapters, Raven uses vectors. A vector is an object defined by points in space, lines connecting those points together, and color that fills the shape in between those lines. Vectors are defined mathematically and are drawn in real time so they are always drawn at the optimum resolution for the display. Thus, it is a great format for printers, illustrators, and logo designers. You won’t find another tool quite like Raven on the Web.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 5. Creating Images with Peacock

Abstract
Peacock is a powerful effect construction application. Effects, as they are referred to in Aviary, are a process that alters the pixels in an image. Effects can range from simple color manipulation to distortions to complex pattern generators like the AutoPainter. These effects can be layered or connected into chains. Each effect in a chain adds its effect from the previous and passes the results to the next. Units called hubs produce effects in Peacock. Hubs are compositional units that perform one specific effect and have their own specific parameters (see Figure 5-1). For example, there is a hub that performs a blur effect and there is a hub that performs bilateral smoothing. Even though these two perform similar effects, their inner workings are much different, so each effect is contained in a hub with different parameters. Peacock’s hubs are grouped into six different categories based on similar functions. These categories include Generators, Effects, Controllers, Resources, Blackboxes, and (User Interface) UI Elements. Generator hubs are hubs that generate an output image. You must always start a file with a Generator hub because it gives you resources. Effect hubs alter or manipulate the input. Controller hubs are utility hubs splitting inputs, outputs, orientation, and sizing. Resource hubs are imported images that can be used in a file. Blackbox hubs are precompiled Peacock files that are groups of hubs designed to be reused. These files are also used as Custom Filters in Phoenix. UI Elements are controls used with Blackbox hubs to add functionality. To create any effect imaginable, you can add any number of these hubs and connect them in an almost unlimited fashion.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 6. Creating Textures and Tiles in Peacock

Abstract
Peacock was initially designed to create patterns and effects for Phoenix, and it has powerful tools for creating these patterns and textures. The program has many uses. For example, If you develop websites, you can create a seamless tile in Peacock for repeating across a page’s background. Peacock is also a perfect application for creating textures for three-dimensional (3D) modeling applications. Of course, you can also render patterns for use in your Phoenix images. With a good knowledge of the parameters and the Seamless hub, you can create tiled images; Tile, Repeat, and even the AutoPainter hubs offer tools to arrange these textures. Peacock is powerful, but it can be difficult to use for those starting out with computer graphics. In this chapter, we go over some simple examples so that you can quickly master this graphic powerhouse.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 7. Selecting and Managing Colors with Toucan

Abstract
From unifying colors in web pages to setting images up for print, color is an important aspect of design. Color is an often-overlooked aspect of image creation, but the proper use of colors can make an average image into a masterpiece. Color schemes can evoke different emotions and reactions. A splatter of red on an image can conjure thoughts of anger or rage, whereas the same splatter colored light blue can create a soothing peaceful feeling. Color is the first feature in an image that you notice, and then you notice the subject and details. You can easily pick out images that have captivating colors; you get an immediate reaction to them. This demonstrates the importance of well chosen and implemented colors. However, attention to color is usually neglected in images for various reasons. How can you tell how different colors interact with each other? How do you keep track of the colors used in an image? After you compile a set of colors, how do you use them in other applications? These are all easy with Aviary’s color palette creator, Toucan. In this chapter, you learn how to use Toucan to construct color palettes that can be used in other Aviary tools. You see how to organize color schemes, explore harmonies, and create unify schemes to be used throughout images and applications.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 8. Screen Capture and Markup with Talon and Falcon

Abstract
Talon and Falcon are Aviary’s screen capture and markup application, respectively. Screen captures are images taken directly from your computer screen; anything you see on your screen can be saved as a resource. Although Markups are simple graphic overlays used to highlight something, decorate an image, or make notes, they are designed to be quick and useful for simple tasks. This can all be done from your browser, so there is no longer a need to launch several different applications to post a quick image to your blog or grab a starting image for a creation.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 9. Application Switching

Abstract
Application switching is a powerful feature that can extend your image creation and manipulation options. Aviary’s applications are designed to be quick and simple to use; thus, many advanced features have been omitted to keep the applications nimble. To offset this smaller feature set compared to the more expensive desktop applications, Aviary has added easy application switching. For instance, if you are working on an image in Phoenix and find that you need the precision of Raven’s vectors to create a mask, instead of going through the time-consuming process of saving the Phoenix file, launching Raven, making the vector paths, saving, reopening, and importing it into Phoenix, you can just switch applications. Application switching is a feature that lets you pass resources between applications without having to actually leave, close, or save the original file. You can create, edit, and see updates of resources from separate Aviary applications while still having the original file open. This extends to each application well beyond its native feature set and gives you more power to create with and speed up your workflow.
Mike Peutz

Chapter 10. Getting to Know Aviary.com

Abstract
Aviary has more to offer than just launching applications for creating and editing images. The site is set up to exhibit your creations, give you notifications of changes, help you connect and collaborate with other artists, and much more. In this the final chapter, you learn how to maximize your experience using the Aviary site. You also learn how to set up an Avatar; a graphical representation of you on the site. You learn how to adjust your email notifications about almost any change to your creations, comments, activities, and more. You also personalize the Dashboard, your landing page for Aviary. Finally, you learn about how to participate in the large community of artists by using and exploring the forums.
Mike Peutz

Backmatter

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