Banner Snack is a free online banner generator that allows you to easily create animated banner ads and flash animations without flash programming. All you need is a little bit of creativity and the rest you can leave it to this tool.
Banner Snack supports all the standard banner sizes as well as a couple of non-standard sizes. The ability to use custom sizes, however, is available only on premium accounts which starts at $9/month.
Here are some of the features that impressed me:
- Like any decent graphics application, Banner Snack supports layers which can be moved around and upon which various effects applied. The lack of transparencies is bit of a bother but it can be worked around by adjusting transparency levels of individual elements.
- Banner Snack has quite a handful of effects or filters that can be applied to texts as well as images. The most impressive feature is that it allows you to fine tune these effects by adjusting various parameters. If you didn’t like the shadow, you can change it by adjusting the distance, colors, blurring etc. Almost every effects can be refined with these parameters. Curiously though, I didn’t notice any difference when I applied some of these filters.
- Banner Snack has even more transition effect and some of them are really fabulous. These effects are available under build in and build out that allows you to apply separate effects once during the appearance of an element and once when it leaves. Like filters, the various build in and out effects can be adjusted by the user.
- Then there are slide transition effects. These effects can be applied in between slide transition and are different from build-in and out effects.
Banner Snack does have it’s share of disappointments
- Fonts are limited and there is no Italics, which is both annoying and ridiculous. Also the font sizes don’t accept in-between values. For example, font sizes are in even numbers – 12, 14, 16 etc. You can't give it a value of 13 or 15.
- The position of various elements on the canvas are shown with X-Y values. But it’s impossible to adjust these values manually – they simply don’t take it. So if you want to move some element to a particular location on the canvas you must have do it with the mouse. A steady hand and precise mouse control is required.
- It has no inbuilt image editor or drawing module. So any image you upload to this tool has to be created with a separate image editor.
- There is no option to download the banner to your hard disk, though you can easily get the location URL from the embedded code.
- There are no pre-made templates.
- You can’t embed hyperlinks on the flash banner
- It leaves a watermark on the final product which can be removed only in the premium edition.
A banner I made using Banner Snack for free magazines
Despite some of these drawbacks, Banner Snack is still a pretty useful tool to create flash banners. You also get 25 MB of free storage.