By Cyndy Cashman
Ingeniously easy to use, BannerZest Pro 2 from Aquafadas (http://www.aquafadas.com) is an easy way to add professional-looking, Flash-based slide shows to your website, blog, or social network pages. Creating your first slide show or banner is as simple as dragging-and-dropping images into BannerZest, selecting a preset theme, making a few tweaks, and publishing.
The BannerZest interface is well designed and includes integration with Aperture and Lightroom. Images can be cropped and scaled within BannerZest. The application preset themes can be customized using a variety of sliders. The Settings tab displays ten different settings that allow you to adjust among other properties the size, speed, bounce, color, animation, and reflection of the images. Additionally, you can add music or other sounds to your slide show.
Previewing a theme using your images is a snap. Select a theme in the Inspector tool and the preview will immediately update. The Media tab lets you arrange the order of your images, add titles, and attach hyperlinks. The Publish tab lets you automatically upload your files to your website or to your local machine. When publishing your slide show, you get a snippet of code for the webpage to display your banner. BannerZest provides you with an alternate banner for display on the iPhone as well.
BannerZest is an excellent program for non-Flash users and users alike. Even if you know how to use Flash, you’ll enjoy using BannerZest to cut down on development time. Even though there are a limited number of themes, the ability to tweak each theme gives designers the opportunity to create many different looks.
Given the affordability of the program and the ease of use, the only drawback to the program is it isn’t available for Windows. BannerZest is also available in a Standard version for US$49. The Pro version is $129.
Rating: 9 out of 10
(This review is brought to you courtesy of “Layers Magazine”: http://www.layersmagazine.com ).