Flash-Based Galleries For Your Images

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In many situations web designers should avoid Flash and prefer usual text-based presentation. For instance, in most tasks related to pure text presentation Flash is neither necessary nor user-friendly, and it also has some serious accessibility problems: in fact, “pure” text is easier to maintain and easier to copy and paste.

However, if you’d like to present some multimedia-content, particularly images, Flash can often be a feasible solution, with flexible image management for web designers and impressive visual presentation for users. Used moderately, Flash-based galleries can give the presentation a fresh spark and create a rich visual experience you might want to offer your visitors.

In this post we present some of the free, attractive and flexible Flash-based galleries you can use to present your images more effectively. You might find some useful references to further galleries in our article 30 Best Solutions For Image Galleries, Slideshows and Lightboxes.

Flash-based Galleries: An Overview

Polaroid Gallery offers a quite unusual way of presenting a bunch of photos online. The script loads images and image titles dynamically from an external XML file. Then the script processes the data and creates an interactive flash gallery in which all images are presented as Polaroid-photos.

The images are kind of thrown on the the table randomly and create a beautiful mess — the idea resembles BumpTop, physics-driven 3D-desktop with draggable folders and files. You can move the polaroids around with the mouse, and you can double click a Polaroid picture to zoom in.

Polaroid Flash Gallery

To use the gallery you simply need to define your images and your galleries by modifying the XML-file accordingly. You can also define the legend to describe the content of the images. Besides, you can specify your Flickr ID and the gallery will automatically load the latest pictures from your Flickr RSS-feed. The loaded pictures are automatically scaled, centred and smoothed.

The script is free and open-source, and the .zip-package includes a .fla-file you can modify to improve the script. To ensure an optimal presentation your images should have a square format; otherwise the Polaroids don’t look particularly pretty.

The Flash XML Gallery offers a flexible solution for integration of multiple albums into one single gallery. The script can integrate popular photo sharing communities such as Flickr and Picasa. You can use a wide range of transition effects.

The Flash XML Gallery

The images can be read from RSS or added manually. To add the images you have to upload them to the specified directory and define them in the XML-file. The only usability issues of The Flash XML Gallery are the facts that you a) can’t navigate through the gallery by clicking on the images and b) you can’t get back from the fullscreen to the overview simply clicking on the image. In both cases you have to use the navigation slider below the displayed image. The slider informs the user whether the next image is already loaded.

The Flash XML Gallery

dfGallery is probably one of the most powerful Flash-based gallery solutions out there. It supports the instant integration of Flickr, Picasa , Fotki and Photobucket; of course, you can add your custom images as well or add an RSS-feed from which the images should be taken.

The gallery is easily customizable, meaning that you can e.g. define the time duration of the slideshow, hide menu system and scale the images from RSS feeds. dfGallery also enables you to switch between the single view mode, full screen mode and the print screen mode.

dfGallery

dfGallery

Apart from wide language support, the gallery makes use of a liquid layout and therefore fits to any size you specify. And it’s also possible to define the background mp3 music for your galleries. The full manual for dfGallery including examples and necessary code snippets for customization is available in the dfGallery Reference Documentation.

Flash Page Flip is a Picasa template based on the free version of the FlashPageFlip flash engine on Flashpageflip.com. It lacks the advanced functions of the commercial versions but still makes a very nice photo album on your website. You can see and hear the pages flip.

Flash Page Flip

The download offers two templates: one for a landscape oriented album, the other for a portrait oriented album. Sizes can be changed by editing the header.xml file in the template folder.

Picasa Flash Photo Stack Gallery is a simple Flash template that enables you to click through a stack of your favourite photographs. Unfortunately available only as plug-in for Picasa.

Flash Photo Stack Gallery

You can find more plugin for Picasa users in the overview Crear galerías de imágenes profesionales con Picasa (Spanish).

Carousel is another interesting approach for showcasing images. The script reads the data from a HTML- or XML-file and displays the images in a circle. Similar to iPhone, visitors can browse through the gallery sliding the mouse along the screen; alternatively also the keyboard can be used.

Flash Page Flip

You can define an automatic rotation of the images (max rotation set to 90°/sec counterclockwise). New modified versions are coming soon – as well as a detailed documentation on how the XML-files should be structured.

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Co-Founder of Smashing Magazine. Former writer, web designer, freelancer and webworker. Sven is now writing Science Fiction Stories.

  1. 1

    nice article guys! i was looking for something like this for a long time… :)
    keep it up!!!

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  2. 2

    Nice list – although I’m surprised you’ve left off Todd Dominey’s SlideShowPro – it’s great, so customizable and lovely to look at! Similar in appearance to the dfGallery you have above.

    Thanks for the list.

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  3. 3

    Yeah I am surprised as well to not find Slideshow Pro listed, I use it frequently for my clients in web design and it is extremely easy to modify and use.

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  4. 4

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    October 12, 2007 10:55 pm

    @David Horn, Dustin Brewer: we’ve listed only free solutions. Slideshow Pro, definitely a highly customizable Flash-based solution, costs $29 for a single-user license. Please read the introduction carefully.

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  5. 5

    what would be the best alternative to slideshowpro that is free?

    like just a basic crossfade slideshow that is xml driven?

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  6. 6

    There is one more great flash gallery that we should not forget:

    -1
  7. 7

    This is a good start on decent gallery solutions but SlideShowPro should definitely be on this list. Even taking into consideration the 29 dollar fee, you cannot beat the quality and features included in SlideShowPro and SSP Director. Another slightly cheaper product you should consider is MonoSlideShow which can be found at monoslideshow.com.

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  8. 8

    Hm, I don’t see why this is necessary, since flash really is the spawn of satan when it comes to the web. Really, all flashpages should be banned since it forces users to have 3rd party software on their computer to even view the content, and peoples with os’es like FreeBSD are completely lost, since flash isnt available for the bsd-platform.

    So everyone that looks at this and thinks “Oh, how cool isnt that, i’ve gotta use that on my site”, think again and look for an equivalent javascript-based solution (almost every browser handles javascript more or less).

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  9. 9

    Please don’t leave out BananAlbum in this list.
    It’s a great (and free) flash image gallery.

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  10. 10

    oh.. and if you guys want to create your own flash image galleries i think this might be a good start (for beginners):
    http://www.kirupa.com/developer/mx2004/xml_flash_photogallery.htm
    http://www.kirupa.com/developer/mx/photogallery.htm

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  11. 11

    Vitaly, what do you think about this?
    http://www.airtightinteractive.com/simpleviewer/

    oh.. and pls tell me if i’m contributing too much.. lol

    1
  12. 12

    Mainly for Flickr Gallery, but always flash-based and very impressive:
    Flickr | FlashApis.com

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  13. 13

    @chris: If you just want a simple cross-fading gallery, you may want to skip flash altogether and go with a javascript solution. One method I’ve used a few times for this is the clickable slideshow example that Nathan Smith set up which takes advantage of the Slayer Office Cross Fader Redux script.

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  14. 14

    thank you jason, ill check it out!

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  15. 15

    this will come in handy, but how would i make it work to have more than just 1 slideshow on same page? i tried changing the div to class and edit the css, but didn’t work, any suggestions?

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  16. 16

    @ Gustav:
    Your logic (replace all Flash with Javascript) would make no sense according to my server logs. 99% of my users (academic library site) are using an OS that can support Flash. Only 78% have Javascript turned on.

    Additionally, 98% of computer ship with the Flash player.

    Personally, I hate Flash and use Firefox Flashblocker. But I also keep JavaSript turned off most of the time, so AFAIC, neither method works for me. But for the vast majority of my users, Flash is better.

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  17. 17

    Fotolog is amazing, i’m just uploading some images and it’s really awsome.

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  18. 18

    yep, i agree. it’s very similar to the dfGallery, but it does have a one-time cost of $25. it’s very to customize and has almost every feature you could want or need.

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  19. 19
  20. 20

    Hello every body … and excuse my English
    First I want to thanks Smashingmag for the great work that they do for us … it realy help users to increase there knowledges of evereting concern web application, design or everything and more, you cover a lot of domains … so thank you for sharing all that with us …

    smashingmag is the first site that I visit every morning but this is my first post and not the last … for this post I want just to add a link to a flash galery that I know and use for my personal galery.

    The name of the galery is PicsEngine, and it’s a flash based web galery interface. The admin panel use AJAX. Here is somme fetures (this is the translation ofthe french vesrion of the official website):
    1- Diffrent level of albums (galery)
    2- Name and description of each photo
    3- Creation of Thumb for each photo
    4- Editing photo on line (Crop, resize)
    5- Posibility to transfer a batch of photo by FTP
    6- Manage photo and albums (with drag and drop)
    7- RSS
    8- Include an Ajax admin Panel
    9- Possibility add Comments for each image (with enabe/desable options)
    10- Show hinde comments
    11- Possibility Download (with enabe/desable options)

    The application require Flash 8 plugin
    I think, that this is one of the best web galery application that I’v seen

    This is the link to the official website :
    PicsEngine(In French Only)
    This is the démo page of the frontoffice gaery :
    Gelery Demo
    And this is the link to the Admin panel (Username : demo, Password : demo)
    Admin panel

    Hope that it can help ! know that all of the site is in french, but if you need help you can ask your questions here on smashing mag. and once again excuse my english.

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  21. 21

    Excellent as usual. Gosh, I love this website. Create t-shirts or any item, I’ll buy it.

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  22. 22

    LOL @ gustav the token Flash Nazi. For the 98% of us who use the regular old operating systems, these galleries rock.

    I’m using the DFgallery for my father’s website. It’s splendid.

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  23. 23

    I’ve used ImageVuex for my photography website and have been quite pleased with the results.

    It’s quite inexpensive IMHO and easy to implement and work with after the install.

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  24. 24

    I love how the comments thread is creating a nice compilation of other free image viewers :-)

    Anyways, you guys should do a mini list as well of Image Viewers from tutorial sites and others that include the actual FLA for learning purposes. Someone already mentioned the Kirupa ones.

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  25. 25

    planning on having an english version of the softwarE??

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  26. 26

    sorry, the post above

    but an english version for PicsEngine??

    Are there any other flash galleries that can be linked to iPhoto??

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  27. 27

    chris and jason:
    another javascript slideshow that is very powerful/customizable/ graceful:
    http://dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex14/fadeinslideshow.htm

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  28. 28

    Thanks for this incredible list. I’ve been researching for months and have not found anything. Now all of my questions are answered!

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  29. 29
  30. 30

    http://www.stegmann.dk/mikkel/porta/ porta using the simpleviewer is the BEST

    1
  31. 31

    Also check out the Photo Shoot effect.

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  32. 32
  33. 33

    Mehmet Günce Akkoyun

    October 14, 2007 11:43 pm

    hi all,
    this topic is greath :)
    i made my web side with poleroid style but i made it with css and js

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  34. 34

    excellent article, as usual. Just when I needed it!

    I’ve downloaded the SonSpring Slideshow Alternative (a javascript gallery) and it works great, very easy to customize.

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  35. 35

    The designer in my wants something much less obtrusive, much less “designy” and I hate those small thumbnails that ruin the impression of “large” images. That is why I made imgStack: http://tint.de/web-design/imgstack-0-5

    1
  36. 36

    The user can also turn off Javascript altogether. You have to draw a line somewhere…

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  37. 37

    When will you guys write a similar article on Flash-Based Galleries for our Videos?

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  38. 38

    There’s also a nice photo viewer from effectscode.com – I particularly like their second example, here.

    What’s really nice about effectscode.com is that you dont need a separate XML file – you can embed the XML in your webpage. Plus it’s backwards compatible and displays alternative text if your viewer doesnt have Flash, rather than forcing them to install it!

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  39. 39

    PicsEngine really rocks but an English version (and other languages) would be great.

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  40. 40

    Maxwell Herbert N.

    October 17, 2007 10:08 pm

    Just Excellent Work guys, I learn a lotttttttt from you, thx for all, i just wanna say keep it up, and your fruits are rise if me english its bad sorry i speak spanish from: Dominica Republic, God Bless you all, and His words be on you. to give the wisdow he want

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  41. 41

    Is there anything like this that would give these effects (of polaroids drops, or flipping pages for output to DVD and Flash (as I’m building a slideshow for the wedding – i’d like something just as cool for the flash)

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  42. 42

    Great list. I would also add SlideshowPro and the super-cool Dreamweaver plugin from DWUser “XML Flash Slideshow V3″ http://www.dwuser.com/flashslideshow/v3/ .

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  43. 43

    Here is another Flash based Photo Album Sharing. It is still in Alpha.

    It lets you create you own layout, which is unique in this space, and you can zoom to the full resolution of pictures, which is also unique.

    Here is an example : http://www.zoomomail.com/91c23b24934ef884938f27b16340ff17

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  44. 44

    PicsEngine really rocks but an Turkish version (and other languages) would be great

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  45. 45

    Carousel been moved on http://www.flshow.net.
    Thanks for linking.

    1
  46. 46

    Very Nice and Inspiring Article!!
    Keep it up guys!

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  47. 47

    Bali Web Designer

    February 21, 2008 6:49 am

    Hmm nice article, theres a more complex sample and free download on sephiroth.it by Allessandro Crugnola :) but this one pretty simple and easy to understand

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  48. 48

    Nice Article!!

    Keep it up guys!

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  49. 49

    Free and easy flash gallery
    It’s simple to understand and powerfull to use ;)

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  50. 50

    Georgios…..i checked out the link to oxylus ur right some really hot stuff there

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  51. 51

    aow thanks for gallery . how to change Lang ?

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  52. 52

    i need free download flash Mx tutorial (Flash Page Flip )
    How?
    thanks

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  53. 53

    Hello ,

    I bought a template with its flash gallery , I need someone to make changes and upload it.
    I dont have host/domain , I will pay by paypal , Help me please : blue_shay@hotmail.com

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  54. 54

    Viewbook looks nice but their privacy policy sounds very bad, for free accounts that may be fine since nothing is free but for paid account I would never accept such privacy policy where they would share your information with so called 3rd parties for better viewbook experience which is plain garbage

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  55. 55

    This is a great, free alternative to Slideshowpro.

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  56. 56

    I don’t think flash galleries are all that bad. They also a have a decent traffic ranking for a young art site. You are right though, the downside is that if someone has a computer that is not updated or is simply out of date they may not be able to run flash galleries well. My guess is at some point google or yahoo will figure out how to track the use of flash better.

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  57. 57

    One of the best page flip gallery
    http://page-flip.com

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  58. 58

    good and expected much more for better evalution

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  59. 59

    i like this site too much.this is a good site

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  60. 60

    It need crazy flash skills.

    I prefer making flash gallery with 3rd software such as proshow gold or Flash Gallery Factory.

    No complicated skills needed and no need to sit down in front of the computer for hours.

    Here I share tutorials using 3rd party flash software that I have found on

    http://www.ourpix.com/tutorial/3d-flash-photo-gallery.html#106

    Hope it helps.

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  61. 61

    maximum overdrive

    April 19, 2009 4:47 pm

    very customizable gallery software
    photo-graffix.com
    no flash skills needed

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  62. 62

    Can anyone better explain how to install/use dfgallery. The .txt file is of no use and the how-to video doesn’t work. Thanks.

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  63. 63

    there’s another great flash gallery – Origramy gallery http://origramy.com/gallery/
    It has free version

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  64. 64

    hi good

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  65. 65

    Hi Smashing and all Smashing Magazine readers.
    I’m Chris. Longtime reader first time commenter.

    Here goes, I used Carousel. I really liked the way it functioned (you can select any picture you see as it spins), but, I could not control how fast it spun on different browsers and operating systems. The comments I got back were either “too slow” or “too fast”.

    I know this is free slide show article and I’ll add my favorite at the bottom, but since Slide Show Pro was mentioned, I feel at liberty to add what I’ve learned. I think I paid about $70.00 for both pieces of software SSPro Director and SSP for Flash. After sorting out the set up on my host server, I can say that I SSPro Director (who will host your db if needed) gives you a slick interface to set up your albums and galleries in whatever design you want to create with Flash). SSPro for Flash, Dreamweaver and FlashCS3 working together provides a system of design that is the answer I’ve been looking for. In the past I’ve created a few websites that were well designed but updating was cumbersome. We all know if it’s not easy, only the best of us will actually “do”. With SSPro Director (on-demand publishing) I can log in and upload images from my ipod, change galleries, produce galleries base on key word search, randomize my galleries, it’s great when I’m on a trip. Granted it takes upfront work (tagging images mostly) but that’s just good form. Compared to updating carousel and my other websites, it’s no comparison. The solution one should be looking for is how to have a site / slide show that is easily kept fresh. The net is full of one shot wonders. If content is king, fresh content is the castle. or something like that that. It’s why you’re here at Smashing! check out sspro after you look at the features and then see the price, you’ll wonder if they left off a zero?

    My favorite “free” slide show is not geared towards artists.
    It’s more than a slide show.

    http://en.calameo.com/

    Smashing Mag has sent me so many great places I feel the need to give back.

    I offer this. I’ve researched 24 tons of “build a free website” 2.0 sites (I work at home and have mucho time) bar none Jimdo comes out on top. East Germans with their thoroughly though out systems again! Love it.

    http://www.jimdo.com/index.php
    Pro hosting 5$ month (no bandwidth limit)? gtfo? I sent in an extra 20 because I felt like I was taking advantage of them. Just send a redirect from your local host and your content resides in East Germany and your web visitors only see an american server. Favicons work and everything.
    Use their temps or build your own.

    Here’s a simple site I did on jimdo.
    lansingasis.org

    $5.00 month + whatever it costs me to have my local host configuration.
    That’s it.

    Please someone show me something better.
    If Jimdo had a backup plan they would rule supreme.

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  66. 66

    The list of galleries is nice but too way small compared to photo gallery solutions that one can find online (even the free ones). I’ll add flash photo galleries by flashmint.com and readyphotosite.com

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  67. 67

    WOW!

    dfGallery is very nice! I found an alternative(promagallery.com) NON-flash application that looks allmost exactly to dfGallery! But when i look at dfGallery… it just looks so much better then the javascript look-alikes…

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  68. 68

    @Robert: Even though it’s in Javascript, Promagallery is a pure rip-off of domney designs slideshowpro. (slideshowpro.net)

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  69. 69
  70. 70

    Worthy material. Has taken into consideration a lot of the useful. I wish successes I Can tell with confidence that the blog will be will replenish
    - form

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  71. 71

    A great list of galleries here. Thank you all!

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  72. 72

    Found a pretty good list here as well, some of these do videos too
    http://www.dreamlinestudio.com/Flash_Image_Gallery.php

    Thank you very this great resource.

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  73. 73

    very nice collection!!

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  74. 74

    I think http://www.axmag.com is a good source for page flip and online PDF to Flash conversion. I’d rather to pay for the software that worth a shot

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  75. 75

    Try another good example of pageflip – pressmo.com. It’s allow one conversion for free.

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  76. 76

    hi, you can see another good flash gallery from here: photo-collage-maker.com/flash-gallery.html

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  77. 77

    Very good! Here is a interesting spherical gallery too:
    http://www.codeweb.fr/fotosphere.html

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  78. 78

    Very nice list of galleries, but there are many more on the web. With Flash and some images the imagination is the limmit. I found some beautiful galleries here: http://www.flashxml.net/ (and all are customizable). A site that i’ve collaborated in the past and they never let me down. And they have some of the most well made galleries on the web. Please put them in the list so everybody cand benefit from their work.
    Best regards,
    Kyle

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  79. 79

    You should try
    prezeka.com

    it is brand new tool (it’s a beta version for the moment)…you have a free account.
    Features are epageflip, Infinite ZOOMING.

    Looks very interesting for photos slideshow and presentations.

    Any feedback is welcome on prezeka @ gmail. com

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  80. 80

    Thank you for sharing this with us, but as Jessica said before, it need crazy flash skills to customize a galley by changing the source code.

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  81. 81

    Thank You! This was very helpful. It opened some ideas on how I can portray my portfolio content.

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  82. 82

    A great list of galleries here. Thank you all!

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  83. 83

    A very nice post. I love that page flipping photo album, I am trying to create a flipbook album and embed on my blog website, just as this wordpress site shows http://flipbookkvi.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/flip-book-flash-magazine-demo-made-by-page-flip-software/ Any suggestions?

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