effects API

Five New Filters Added to the Effects API

A few months ago, we revealed the newest member of our API family: our Effects API. It's a server-side API which allows developers to quickly and easily apply utilities and cool filters to photos on their own site. For example, instead of just uploading your users' photos, you can crop them to avatar proportions and automatically fix the color levels of the photos or turn them into polaroids. Whatever floats your boat!

We launched with 20+ filters, and are pleased to announce five brand new ones which are available today! These filters are even more user-friendly, as they all improve photos with just one click, and a little birdy told us that more brand new filters are coming next week :)

We think these are pretty great, but we also know there can never be enough variety! If there are utilities or effects you'd love to be able to apply to the photos on your site, email us and let us know! You can always reach us at support@aviary.com.

Note: even if you're not a developer, you can still use these awesome effects on your photos! Eventually they'll all be available through our simple editor Feather, but until then you can use them through our developer site. Just upload the photo of your choice and go!

So, without further ado, here are today's new filters. Take a look, and then try them out yourself over on our developer site. Enjoy!


**Auto Enhance:** Bring out colors and details, fix levels, generally make your world a better looking place! (We're already applying this filter to all of our photos.)


**Cinematic:** Your life, if it were a movie. Specifically, a docudrama starring maybe Tom Hanks. Not that we've thought about it that much or anything.


**Daydream:** The soft white glowy vignette that you've been dreaming of.


**Heatwave:** High saturation, intense colors, and that general feeling of an oasis just a few more steps ahead.


**Indiglow:** It doesn't just make your photos purple.

To stay up to date with the latest filter releases, subscribe to our blog, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Developer Contest: Aviary + Zazzle Mashup

On the heels of a successful run for our first ever API contest, we're officially announcing round 2, except this time... we're going big!

That's right, we've joined forces with our friends at Zazzle to host an opportunity for you to get creative with two awesome APIs!

What can you do with our APIs?

Aviary's Effects API allows you to bulk process photos while applying utility filters (crop, resize, watermark, etc) as well as dozens of photo effects like Instant, Toy Camera, Retro, Color Matrix, Bad Ass, and more.

Zazzle's Create-a-Product API allows you to generate a customized product (t-shirts, postage stamps, posters, and more) with dynamic images and text. Imagine your favorite image, sold on anything and everything!

So what's this contest all about?

You'll get to use Aviary's Effects API in conjunction with Zazzle's Create-a-Product API to produce a creative, fun, and powerful app! You're welcome to develop an application with JUST Aviary or Zazzle, but only apps using both APIs will be entered to win the grand prize (see below)!

Bonus* For each user that creates an app incorporating both API's (assuming that you can buy the end product using Zazzle's API), they'll get 15% of the sale, thanks to Zazzle's generous royalty fee program You don't even need to win to get a chance at the revenue stream! To learn more, visit Zazzle's Referrals and Reporting section of their documentation.

What's that? You want even MORE power? Feel free to integrate any other existing API into your Aviary + Zazzle app to add an additional layer of SWEETNESS.


Can't decide what to make? Have no fear, our team of visionary cyborgs have come up with a variety of examples to get your creative juices storming out of your nostrils.

  • A Facebook app that uses friends' photos to add a filtered photo/text to their clothing
  • Upload a photo of yourself, choose from a set of themed stickers (e.g., for a hippie theme use peace signs, hearts, etc. Personalized stickers can be applied using our Feather API), add the “bad-ass” filter (a filter that produces wild colors), apply to your shirt in the photo, and output 9 options before choosing one to make
  • Create your own personalized stamps by uploading photos and using stickers and filters - wedding themed, birthday themed, pics of your dog...
  • Political buttons: upload a photo and use the simplify filter & watermark to make "VOTE FOR" buttons (simplify is great for turning any images into something *simple* enough for product images - see what we did there?)
  • Upload a photo and use the comic book filter to turn the image into a movie poster for an upcoming superhero movie starring whoever you want


On top of being featured and recognized in our Contest Gallery, you’ll have the chance to win:

  • Grand Prize: 1000 Zazzle/Aviary Dollars (500 Zazzle dollars + 500 Aviary dollars. Zazzle dollars can be used to create and purchase anything on Zazzle. Aviary dollars can be used towards any app using the Effects API.)
  • Runner-Up: 700 Zazzle/Aviary Dollars (350 Zazzle Dollars + 350 Aviary dollars)
  • Honorable Mention: 200 Zazzle/Aviary Dollars (100 Zazzle Dollars + 100 Aviary Credits)

*Note: All winners (top three entries) will be showcased in our Contest Gallery, and will receive Aviary and Zazzle t-shirts and stickers.


Deadline to Enter: Tuesday, July 26th, 2011. 11:59 PM PST

Judges: Aviary and Zazzle Staff (Including the CEO's and CTO's). Apps will be judged based on technical accomplishment, cleverness, originality, and of course, the value of the application. Bonus points for coming up with something completely unique.

Rules and Submissions: Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, July 26th. To submit an app, please sign up here.

If you have any questions about our Effects API or about this contest, please visit our developer site or Google Group, or send an email to api@aviary.com.

If you have any questions about Zazzle's Create-a-Product API, please visit their developer site, download their Create-a-Product PDF's (which will head off most issues) or send an email to devsupport@zazzle.com

Comic-ize Your Photos at Philadelphia Comic Con!

As you may recall, we partnered up with Wizard World last month to offer their Comic-Con attendees an additional level of user interaction. Using the Comic Book filter from our Effects API, adventurous Comic-Con goers were able Comic-ize themselves with a simple email. In fact, some might say the photo returned was faster than a speeding bullet, maybe even faster than Flash himself!


Philadelphia Comic-Con is just getting started at the PA Convention Center, and will continue on Saturday and Sunday, June 18th and 19th. Special guests for this Comic-Con include Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness), Adam Baldin (Independence Day), Adam West (Batman!) Vivica A. Fox, Julie Benz, Run D.M.C and more! View more details on the event, and purchase your tickets now!

Of course, there's no way we'd let such an awesome, superhero-filled event slide by without adding an additional layer of Aviary fun to the event! All attendees will be able to send their photos to comics@wizardworld.me, to receive a comic-ized version straight to their inbox. Each image will be showcased in the Wizard World's photo gallery, and will be entered to win a signed lithograph from the original Zombie King artist, Arthur Suydam! Hoo hah!

If you're interested in seeing how this app works, send your own photo to comics@wizardworld.me!

Subscribe to our blog, or follow us on twitter to get the latest updates on our next comic adventure! We'll post the top photos from the event next week!

Come Join Us! Internet Week NY Presents: API Hack Day

It's Internet Week in NYC! If you live in the area, or plan on taking a day trip, come visit us! We've partnered up with SimpleGeo and SendGrid to present:

What is API Hack Day? It's a day where developers will get together for an all-day coding fest.  Developers of all experience levels will be collaborating together to share ideas on current and future projects. They'll focus and collaborate with one another to build awesome apps with various APIs, and with the recent launch of our Effects API, it's a perfect event for us to be a part of.

The event is FREE to attend and hack. Food and drinks will be provided as well.

It will be held tomorrow, Thursday, June 9th, 2011 from 8:30AM - 8:00PM (EST)

Visit InternetWeekNY.com to learn more, or get your tickets now!


Top Comic-ized Photos from Big Apple Comic Con

Wizard World's Big Apple Comic Con was a big hit! With more than 10,000 superheros visiting to get their comic fix, we were able to integrate the Comic Book filter from our Effects API into the event, to offer their attendees an additional level of interaction. Users were able to submit a fan photo and receive it back...Comic-ized!!! You can read more here.

We'll be partnering up with Wizard World again, as they host the Philadelphia Comic-Con June 17th, 18th, and 19th. Visit their site to learn more about who's coming and what to expect, or to purchase your tickets. Subscribe to our blog, or follow us on twitter to get the latest updates on all our comic adventures!

You can view the entire album at photo.wizardworlddigital.com. Here are the top 5 we thought ruled from the event. Scroll to the bottom to see the grand prize winner, who will be getting 'Simpsonized' by none other than Phil Ortiz!

And the winning photo goes to.... Aquaman!!!

If you think this effect is awesome, and would like to power your own event, let us know at api@aviary.com, or check out the entire list of filters!

API Updates: Android SDK, GitHub and JSON Support

We've been working hard at improving our API and just wanted to share a few of our recent changes to our developer site with you. First, we've added a new code library for....... Android! That's right, our first mobile library is ready for your mobile applications. Use our Effects API to power your app's photo editing, whether you're looking to provide your users with fun filters or utilities like crop and red eye. You can find the documentation and code in the brand new Android section.


Here are 2 sample screenshots from an Android app built in house


Speaking of code, we've also moved our libraries to GitHub for easier code management by us and code downloading by you. You can check out our profile and libraries at https://github.com/aviaryapi. We've also linked to some user-contributed libraries for node.js and ColdFusion so if you write your own wrapper, please do let us know and we'll add it to the list!

For those of you hackers who are too cool for wrappers or libraries and prefer to access the REST API directly, we've added JSON support to all our API calls. Simply add the parameter "response_format=json" to the querystring of any of your API calls and you'll get a JSON response. To that end, we've updated our documentation to include sample responses in both XML and JSON.


We've also generally revamped our documentation to improve both formatting and content. Reading through the old documentation, we realized that lots of things were not quite as clear as they could have been and we apologize for that. We think you'll find the new docs a lot easier to read and understand.

Lastly: don't forget about our API contest, which ends tonight! Submit your apps while you still can!

Aviary API Developer Contest

*Update: Check out the winners gallery here!

To celebrate the launch of our Effects API + new developer site, we're excited to announce our first ever API challenge! The idea of this contest is to give developers an opportunity to build on top of our API to create an application that's interesting, useful, powerful, and fun.

This is the beginning of something new and exciting for us, and we're happy to say this is the first of many contests.  As contests end, we'll announce a new one accordingly - some will have twists and turns (specific categories, use cases, industries, etc.) and some will allow you to work with other existing APIs to create one ultimate application. All in all, we want to see developers hack our API like it's the end of the world, and of course, winners will be rewarded very kindly!

Contest: This first challenge will be very straightforward: Use our Effects API to make an awesome app. It'll be a free-4-all, meaning any app leveraging our API will be considered for the grand prize! To enter the contest, head over to the Effects API page and get your key.

To get your engines running, here are a few ideas we've brainstormed ourselves (but we're pretty sure you'll come up with something even better!):

  • An app that uses your webcam + our filters to create one sweet photobooth
  • An app that makes Facebook's news feed and photos look like a broadsheet newspaper from the 1800's
  • A mobile app that adds an effect/filter + automatically posts to your desired social network
  • An app that takes 10 photos and makes a stylized scrapbook out of them, or builds a collage using effects on each image
  • An app that turns your images into a collectible comic book (comic book effect)

Prizes: On top of being featured and recognized in our Apps Gallery (coming soon) , you'll have the chance to win:

  • Grand Prize: A brand new iPad 2 (black or white)
  • Runner-Up: The F-Stop Watch
  • Honorable Mention: Box o' Aviary swag

Note: All entries will be showcased in the Apps Gallery, and all three winners will receive a box o' Aviary swag.  Follow @aviaryapi and our blog to get the latest happenings and updates on this developer contest.

Deadline: 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, May 24th. Winners will be announced the following week.

Judges: The Aviary staff! Apps will be judged based on technical accomplishment, cleverness, originality,  and of course, the value of the application. Bonus points for coming up with something completely unique.

Rules and Submissions: Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, May 24th. To submit an app, please sign up here. If you have any questions about our API or about this contest, please visit our developer site, Google Group, or send an email to api@aviary.com.

*Aviary reserves the right to extend the deadline and/or make adjustments to the contest if need be. If your website has an API, and is interested in partnering up for a future contest, let us know at api@aviary.com

Aviary's Effects API and New Developer Site!

Aviary's goal is to power the world's creativity, and we think we've done a pretty good job so far with the apps available on aviary.com. But as Brain says to Pinky: tonight we're going to try to take over the world...'s creativity. The first step was our embeddable simple editor, Feather, which let any developer add one-click editing functionality to their website so that their users could experience fun, lightweight photo editing without leaving the page.

Today, we're very excited to officially announce our Effects API, which takes this power even further by running Feather's functionality (and more) behind the scenes.

What's the Effects API?

Aviary's Effects API is a powerful bulk processing service that can apply a number of filters and utilities to multiple photos at once. The best part is that it runs through our server, letting you - the developer - focus on your existing app while we provide your users with the new ability to perfect their photos without doing any work.

Our Effects API works with web and mobile apps, and can help your users improve their photos in three major areas without any complex user interaction:

  • Auto-correction: remove red eye, fix lighting, remove blurriness, perfect contrast and color levels
  • Apply stylistic filters: retro, polaroid-esque, frames, comic book, and tons more, with even more in production all the time
  • Utility operations: smart-crop a photo to a person's face, rotate a photo, create thumbnails, resize a batch of photos, etc!

How do the effects work?

Our Effects API offers both utility operations and fun photo filters. You can check out the documentation for technical details of how we process photos behind the scenes, but in the meantime here's a rundown of what the filters can do for your users' photos!

  • They range from functional (check out Beauty Farm and the Fixer) to purely aesthetic (e.g., First Camera and Polaroid) and just plain fun (we love Old News and Toy Camera for our Facebook profile pics!)
  • Use predefined settings (they should work well on most photos), generate random thumbnails and use the settings from your favorite, or fine-tune the effect with the built-in controls
  • When you've got the filters how you like them, just copy and paste the code to add them to your app's arsenal of photo editing functionality!

How is this different from Aviary's other APIs?

Great question! Actually, we've gotten a lot of feedback from developers (even when we only had our Suite API and Feather API) that it was difficult to figure out the differences between the various APIs, and therefore tricky to decide which one was right for them. So we thought this launch was the perfect time to go live with our new developer site, which details the different functionality of all three APIs, has all the documentation and implementation details in one place, provides various code samples and even lets you try out our various tools right there on the spot.

Here's what you'll find once you're there:

  • A simple explanation of all our APIs on the homepage, which should help you determine which is the right one for your needs
  • A separate section for each API, which includes more details, examples, and documentation
  • A place to try out the functionality of each API: a filter sandbox for the Effects API, and a demo version of Feather
  • A link to our developers' forums, which will be a great resource for companies who have implemented our API to compare tips and ideas

We'll be doing some showcases of different ways to use the Effects API over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this will give you an idea of its capabilities, but really - the possibilities of what it can do are endless! As always, please do contact us with any questions or comments that you have, or you can follow @aviary and @aviaryapi to get the latest updates!

Zoomin Adds Filter Effects to Their Facebook App

Zoomin is a leading online service that enables you to share, store, and print your digital images, easily and affordably. From photo books, prints, postcards, gifts, stationaries and more, Zoomin is no doubt on top of their game. Their photo prints and gifts are of the highest professional quality, using world class technology and infrastructure to deliver you top notch products. Zoomin ultimately allows their members to connect with family and friends, sharing love, laughter, and life - online and offline!

Zoomin's latest initiative, Zoomin Postcards, is a Facebook app that allows you to upload and send any of your Facebook photos as REAL postcards! Send them to your friends, your family, who knows, maybe even your dog! Currently, these real-life postcards are limited to being sent only in India, but Zoomin plans to offer digital postcards soon, allowing any user across the world to benefit from their app.

The best part? They've just integrated Aviary's Effects API, adding a variety of effects for their users to have fun with, including First Camera, Old Newspaper, and more! This is a great example of how our API can be used to enhance your already awesome app or platform. We're more than excited to be a part of Zoomin's fun and creative project!

If you're interested in testing, integrating, or learning more about the features of our Server API, email us at api[at]aviary.com or visit the Effects API documentation!

Getting started with Zoomin Postcards is easy. Visit Facebook.com/Zoomin and 'like' their page. Then click on Zoomin Postcards in the sidebar, located on the left-hand side (or you can just go straight to apps.facebook.com/zoominpostcard).

Select your favorite Facebook photos and albums, and choose up to 3 photos...

Then customize your postcard! You can choose from 4 different filter effects, located underneath the photo.

Flip the photo over to add a message and address, and you're good to go!

Here's a video tutorial to help you get started!

If you've integrated our Server API onto your site, let us know at api@aviary.com. If you're a developer and would like to try it out, get an API key, read the technical documentation, or use it on your site, check out the Effects API documentation!

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