May 2006

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Just Under Two-Dozen Low Cost Flash Animation Tools

By Howard Berenbon

If you’re a Website designer, either for fun or profit, and want to add same pizzazz to your pages, then take a look at this list of low cost shareware Flash graphics animation tools.  They’ll help you create some great text and graphics special effects to spice up any dull Website.  I list a little under two-dozen Flash utilities selling from $19 to $99 (most range from $29 to $49), with various functions: some with lots of features, and others a little less.  The tools are free to download from several Internet software directories.  However, I use and recommend, SnapFiles®.com (formally Webattack®.com) when I’m looking for the latest and greatest freeware or shareware titles.  Any of the following shareware Flash utilities will require payment and registration after the free trial period ends.

KoolMoves--3610KB, v5.3, $49

This is an excellent Web animation design studio for creating Flash movies and animated GIFs.  It’s a complete Flash studio with drawing tools and text effects.  KoolMoves includes a library of clip art, Web interfaces, animation buttons and more.

CoffeeCup Firestarter--6341KB, v6.7, $49

Firestarter offers a fast and easy way to design Flash effects for your Website. Use it to design Flash navigation systems, intro pages, logos and more.  Includes more than 50 built-in effects like Assemble, Explode, Fade and more, plus a collection of mp3 sounds and a sound editor.

CoffeeCup Button Factory--5252KB, v7.1, $34

CoffeeCup Button Factory allows you to create Flash image and navigation menu buttons for your Website. Includes a collection of button designs you can drop in text and graphics, animation, add sound and link to a URL.

Sothink SWF Quicker--13126KB, v2.2, $69

Sothink SWF Quicker will help you create flash banners with its easy to use user interface with lots of features.  It includes 80 customizable animation effects.  It can also import SWF files so you can modify and save to a new SWF file. 

Selteco Flash Designer--1628KB, v5.0.23.7, $39

Selteco Flash Designer allows you to create interactive Flash animations with images, text and sounds.  It offers 130 built-in animation effects including Fade, Zoom, Rotate, Fly and more.  Basic editing tools allow you to modify and image.

Flash Video Studio--4110KB, v1.5, $49.95

This utility allows you to convert most video files into Flash SWF format.  Includes video editing features for adding special effects (like sepia, motion blur) and text or image watermarks.  Once converted, Flash Video Studio creates the Flash file and HTML code for publishing on the Internet. 

Banner Maker Pro for Flash--3035KB, v1.03, $29.99

Create Flash banner ads with a step-by-step interface and real-time preview as you design your ad.  Add text, shapes and graphics, and animate your banner from a selection pre-defined effects. It will save the banner in the SWF format and generate the required HTML code. 

Amara Flash Photo Animation—4653KB, v1.0, $49.95

Create virtual tours using photos and a combination of panning and zooming effects. Features include an easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface, 360 panning and background sounds.

Amara Flash Intro and Banner Builder—4342KB, v2.0, $39.95

Create text based flash banners with an easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface and built in preview.  Includes pre-designed effects with adjustable parameters.

SWFText—2019KB, v1.2, $39.95

SWFText is a basic text Flash animation utility offering over 150 text and background effects, and includes a real-time preview.

Anim-FX—1419KB, v3.0, $27

This utility lets you create animated text effects, splash screens and banners.  Includes a number of animated templates for quickly creating effects.  Allows up to 5 lines of text with customizable text and background colors.

1 Cool Flash Banner Tool—2902KB, v1.0, $39.95

The 1 Cool Flash Banner Tool lets you create animated Flash banners with their step-by-step wizard using your images, text and basic shapes.

Softhink Glanda--18914KB, v2005, $35

Softhink Glanda allows you to easily create Flash effects including Flash animations, buttons, mouseover sounds, navigation panels, logos and splash pages.  Includes a WYSIWYG interface with built-in Flash player and pre-made customizable effects—up to 199 ready-to-use buttons, shapes, images and sounds.

Flashation--2259KB, v1.34, $29.95

Flashation lets you create animated Flash buttons and menus with their WYSIWYG interface and modifiable templates in different style categories.  It includes 50 template designs with free regular updates.

In A Flash Pro--11044KB, v3.1, $99.95

In A Flash Pro allows you to easily create animated Flash banners, greeting cards, logos and more, and sent via e-mail using the NetGUI online service.  It includes a simple wizard for creating and customizing your animations, or choose the detailed interface to create new animations using your own images and sounds.

FlashPoint--2460KB, v1.5, $44.95

FlashPoint lets you create multi-page Flash presentations with their WYSIWYG drop and drag object interface for placing shapes, sounds and images.  Allows you to apply colors and pre-made motion effects to animate your objects. 

3D Flash Animator--4034KB, v4.0.5, $40

Create Web page animations.  Includes vector painting and feathering, textures, text effects, 3D effects, shadows, bitmaps, sound, morphing and more.

SWiSH--4531KB, v2.0.1, $49.95

SWISH will allow you to create complex Flash animations with text, graphics and sound, fast and easy.  Includes more than 150 built-in effects like Explode, Vortex, 3D Spin, Wave and more.  It will let you create lines, rectangles, ellipses, Bezier curves, motion paths, sprites and rollover buttons, all exporting in Flash. 

Kibisis--5855KB, v1.0, $59.95

Kibisis allows you to encode standard video and audio files into low bit rate Flash movies for Internet streaming.  It can convert AVI, MPEG, MPG, MP3 and WAV to Flash 5 and Flash MX or stand alone .EXE files.

iMB Flare SWFlets--2636KB, v1.02, $19

iMB Flare SWFlets lets you to create animations, banners or text effects in Flash format.  Includes built-in templates; or you can create your own designs.  Add text and graphics, select the affects and then save as an swf Flash file.  May also be published to an HTML page or saved as a project. 

Wild FX Pro—7240KB, $99

Wild FX Pro is so easy to use it will let you create Flash text animations and video titles in minutes.  It includes over 400 animated text effects, with more than 40 customizable.  Allows output to Flash SWF format, MOV, AVI, DV and MP4 video formats.