Eagle.cool Overview — Why It Is Worth It

This article will give you an overview of the amazing app Eagle that I use every day to sort through inspiration, rapidly bring up past projects, and build my own personal library of awesome.

I believe Eagle is an essential app for any visual artist or designer, even for 3D and motion graphics artists or photographers. It’s one of those essential Mac apps that just run so smoothly that I recommend it to everyone.

Over the years I’ve looked at many DAM-style solutions and I’m sure we all have slight PTSD from using Adobe Bridge which was just like having a virus installed voluntarily. Eagle is a breath of fresh air compared to these big and bloated solutions. Super fast even with large collections and industry-leading functionality like color filtering, tagging, and metadata.

Why use eagle.cool?

If you’re a visual artist you know first-hand the importance of being able to turn around a creative project fast. In the process of creating something from scratch the “gathering inspiration and finding visual reference phase” is theoretically infinite, there’s so much material out there that it’s impossible to sort through everything to find the best. And as a creative professional, you’re starting to compete with artificial intelligence, Canva, and other automated methods of creating what used to be your competitive advantage.

The way to get a head start is to cut this creative exploration phase to ten percent of what it used to be, and to gather inspiration whenever it strikes. Here is how I do that:

For example, I will be scrolling some random website when I suddenly find an interesting way of presenting the UI, or an awesome hero graphic or I see an image that has a great composition. Everything that creates a little spark of inspiration in me I save. That is how I over the years have built up a massive inspiration library of the best of the best which allows me to get a head-start on virtually any kind of project.

I make sure to take advantage of the spark of inspiration and save it for later when it’s relevant.

This library becomes my competitive advantage and comes in super handy when creating mood boards and starting new projects: fifty to eighty percent of references are already collected, they just need to be collected in my personal library of awesome stuff, and for that, I use the Eagle app.

The Eagle App

The Eagle app UI is beautiful, minimalistic, and runs buttery smooth. The app is built around a library structure that is like a database where the files are stored alongside metadata. You still have access to dragging and dropping files in and out of the app so don’t worry about getting locked into some proprietary format. The library structure is necessary for some of the more advanced functionality like color filtering.

I have two libraries, one for motion graphics and videos and one for still images.

You add assets to eagle by either dragging and dropping or, the better way is by utilizing the chrome plugin. Utilizing the chrome plugin has a couple of advantages: first off you retain the metadata, and second, you can drag the asset directly into the corresponding folder for quick organization.

Everything you manually import into eagle ends up in the uncategorized category, to begin with. From here I usually assign a folder with the hotkey F, and if I’m feeling fancy the hotkey T to assign a tag. Every kind of asset, and eagle supports almost any format under the sun, can be both tagged and assigned multiple folders and tags.

There are four main views in eagle:

  • Waterfall: Your typical masonry structure
  • Justified: My Preferred view as it maximizes the size of the individual asset while retaining a nice layout.
  • Grid: A traditional grid view that does leave some wasted space
  • List: Makes it easy to sort by metadata

Specific use cases

Reutilizing past assets

When starting a new project I often think of old projects that I’ve created or been a part of. Often there are whole concepts or at least elements that can be reused. In the past searching through various design tools, Figma, and old hard drives meant that almost wasn’t feasible. But now at the end of every project, I take a screenshot of the assets that have been created to be able to reference them in the next project. As I build on past assets this becomes a flywheel that spins faster and faster and allows me to deliver better and better work. Everything is centralized, searchable, and awesome.

Saving mockups for easy access

If you’re anything like me you end up with a nice collection of mockups to use in projects. These are oftentimes PSDs that are huge and unwieldy, by saving the hero image from the individual mockup collection I can quickly filter down to the actual mockup that I want and then go through the painful process of actually opening this up in photoshop.

Stock photography quick access

Unsplash and other stock sides offer affordable or free stock photography. Sometimes you just want a nice image of a specific situation or you find yourself reusing the same images over and over again. Instead of going to Unsplash to search for that one image that’s nice, I’ve just taken to at the end of any project saving the best stock imagery to Eagle so can drag and drop it into the project that I’m working on.

Finding the right color

Sometimes I get the need for a nice shade of green, but there are so many greens, how to pick one? Because of Eagle’s library structure, I’m able to filter my entire inspiration library for greens. I can even adjust the range so can maybe get a little wider of a spectrum from green. This has in effect solved my color selection problems.

And more

Wherever you look, Eagle provides functionality to make your life easier: Duplicate detection to never add the same image or video file twice, Scrubbing videos and Gifs, and font previews to quickly visualize your fonts (I recommend RightFont for this too.). The list goes on.

Get the Eagle App with a discount:

As you might have guessed I am a massive fan of Eagle. I believe the functionality it offers for the price is amazing and the fact that you get updates for life is wonderful in this world of “subscription everything”.

Eagle has a free trial here: https://rareviz.com/go/eagle/ (Affiliate link) and can be had for a one-time purchase of 29,99 (includes free updates for life)

If you are a student or a teacher you can get the app with a discount of -30%.
Once again the free trial link for thirty days is here: https://rareviz.com/go/eagle/