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Animation Software Review: Cool Flash Maker

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating

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Animation Software Review: Cool Flash Maker

The Bottom Line

While this may be an inexpensive alternative to Flash, even $49.95 is too much for this hokey collection of cheesy 80s-style animations.

Pros

  • ...it outputs to Flash?

Cons

  • Badly designed interface.
  • Premade content libraries, which should be the main selling point, are sloppy and garish.
  • Unfriendly to novice users.
  • Overpriced for what little it offers.
  • Laggy and glitchy in Windows 7.

Description

  • Flash animation and website design application with a plethora of premade and customizable content.
  • Allows creation of animated text and objects.
  • Outputs to SWF format, but not FLV.

Guide Review - Animation Software Review: Cool Flash Maker

Cool Flash Maker definitely met with a cool reception during a trial run. The interface is clunky, poorly organized, and looks to be a badly-done repackage of Flash Effect SiteBuilder with all of the usefulness stripped out to leave a disorganized mess.

The interface lags horribly, and every new area clicked requires you to wait for it to load - complete with a loading screen that, for a version updated in 2010, still says Macromedia Flash when most of us have forgotten who Macromedia ever was. Navigating through the multi-frame mess is a headache and a half, with zero attention paid to a natural workflow or basic organization of functions. Classifying templates does not count as organization.

The premade templates themselves are a mess of stock art, ear-rending sound effects and music, clipart, and gradients in colors that border on radioactive. If you're looking for something with premade content that's stylish, classy, or even easy to customize, look elsewhere.

Unearthing something positive in the overall mess, the software does allow you to custom-build your own templates based on point-and-click tools...tools that unfortunately make simple tasks more complicated than they need to be. The kind of novice users who'd purchase this for easy premade content likely won't have the Flash and ActionScripting knowledge needed to decipher the customization options for each feature.

Bottom line? A garish mess that doesn't offer enough useful functionality or quality content to justify the $49.95 price tag. For that price, you could get Anime Studio Debut and actually learn about animation as you go.

Steer clear of this one.

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