Massive upgrades to Phoenix

new team addition, we've also been furiously working on improving all currently released tools AND gearing up for the alpha release of 2 new birds (Some users are already seeing access to them in their accounts, but more on those later).

Let's start this off with some new feature enhancements to our image editor, Phoenix! In our next post we'll touch on some of the amazing new features added to Peacock, our visual laboratory (for creating complex patterns and filters).

Right-Clicking on the canvas to choose a specific layer

Now you can find and select any layer automatically by rightclicking anywhere on the canvas. A list of the layers directly below your mouse will appear. Clicking on the name in that list will select the corresponding layer in the Layers panel on the right hand side and allow you to immediately begin working on it.

Layer can be converted to a selection

If you have a layer with transparencies in it, you can now automatically trace the solid areas and turn it into a selection. To use this feature just go to the menu bar at the top and choose Select > Selection from Layer.

Rulers and Guides!

One of the most requested features to date is the addition of rulers and guides. Now users can get pixel-level accuracy as they draw. To create a new guide, just click and hold on the ruler (horizontal or vertical) and drag onto the canvas. A guide will automatically appear. To move a guide once it's created, click on the Move/Transform tool, then click and drag the guide to the desired location.

As you work with the selection and move tools, your cursor will snap to the guides (see the picture below). We'll be adding more support for other tools in upcoming releases.

Dodge and Burn tool

Another highly requested feature. We've added a Dodge/Burn tool which allows you to selectively lighten and darken different areas of a picture. We'll be splitting these into two separate tools in a future release, but for now they are available as functions within the same tool.

Saving now includes tags, permissions and description

Now you can automatically save your changes directly from within the interface. Previously you needed to first save your work, then adjust your permissions, tags and description on the website. You can still use the website to adjust your changes in these areas as well.

Brushes and fonts are now larger

This was an easy, but important one. Brushes can now be up to 300 pixels in size (from 100). Fonts can be up to 288 pixels in size (from 72).

Input level control over zoom

You can now type in the zoom level you'd like to go to. Spacebar control over panning is coming in the next release.

New & improved Color Picker panel

The colorpicker is now reorganized and a lot quicker. The same interface is also available in all Aviary applications (including Toucan and Peacock). Additionally, you can now adjust alpha transparency directly in the interface. In upcoming releases we'll be adding additional color settings (like CMYK) which are currently only available in Toucan.

Gradient improvements

Gradient now has some new methods (pad, reflect and repeat), which lead to greater control over what types of patterns the tool can be used to create.

Access to Flickr, Picasa and Facebook images

You can now access your Flickr, Picasa and Facebook images from within the Resource Browser (within all tools). One note is that this currently doesn't work if you have a Popup blocker installed (which is used when authenticating at these sites. We'll be addressing that problem and adding additional sites in upcoming releases.

Every single bug is now fixed and the software is flawless

Just kidding. But we've made pretty good headway. We have solved countless bugs, too numerous to list. Thank you so much to all our beta testers for helping us to make our tools that much better by reporting every thing.

Are there any features you'd like to see in Phoenix? Please comment below. Highest on my wishlist? Paths.]]