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Image sizes: 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 16x16
File formats: BMP, GIF, PNG, ICO

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Making Icon Images with Aqua Effect

Drawing a brand-new image having the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. You can create an icon from scratch by only using a free, small and lightweight icon editor.

Drawing a brand-new image having the famous "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you have proper tools. To draw an image from scratch, a professional, lightweight and simple icon editor such as IconLover 5 (aha-soft.com) is all you really need.

For example, let us make an aqua-style icon to represent "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign in it. First, you’ll need to draw a circle of a chosen color. Select the color you want from the Color properties menu. By the way, you can always save a color by adding it to Custom Colors; this comes very handy if you need to draw a matching set of images.

Using the Transparency bar or by using one of the Transparency presets, set your new image’s opacity. For this tutorial, the ball will be fully opaque. Similarly, you can set background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep the background transparent for now.

To make a circle of selected color, select the Filled Ellipse tool by clicking the Filled Ellipse button in the Tools menu, which is on the left of the drawing area. With the left mouse button down, move the mouse within the drawing area to create an ellipse. The ellipse changes its size as you move the mouse. To create a perfectly round circle, hold Shift while drawing. That’s it, you have just painted a circle!

In order for our flat circle to start looking like a crystal ball, we’ll need to apply some special effects. There are many of them built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency channels, and of course, the famous ‘glass reflection’ look employed by the aqua effect.

To make an icon matching Apple’s Aqua style, you’ll need to draw a reflection and a shadow to the circle. This can be done quite easily altogether by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Just keep all sliders at their current positions for now, and you’ll get a beautiful shiny sphere as a result.

Now let’s have some fun and make your icon truly unique. Go back to that Aqua dialog and have a look at the properties. There are plenty of settings available to adjust, allowing you to create something never seen before. Go ahead and tweak the sliders to see how your icon can look!

As a final touch, let’s add some volume to your newly created icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks more like a lens rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by adding a drop-down shadow! To add a shadow effect to the icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can stick to defaults, or tweak the values around by getting a flat button, a lens, or a ball. The look depends on the size of the shadow, its distance from the subject, and the angle at which it falls to the ground.

To embed the ‘plus’ sign into the icon, click on the Text tool icon in the left Tools menu or press "T" to invoke the text properties window. Make sure the "Image transparency" box is selected. This box means that your text will not be transparent, only the area around it will be. Adjusting the "Use semi-transparency" setting gets your text the same level of transparency your primary color has. Type "+", and you’ll get the ‘plus’ sign inserted into the ball.

Voila! You’ve just designed a crystal ball that matches the famous Aqua style! All you needed was a professional icon editor, IconLover 5, a few clicks and a few minutes of your time. Easy!

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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons depict a number of weather conditions that are common for software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The images are available in typical resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and other platforms. The largest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest resolution.

Database Icon Set Database Icon Set delivers you lots of bright and colorful icons for database software development. The images are available in all the common icon sizes and file formats include BMP, ICO, PNG and GIF.

Network Icon Library for Vista Vista Network Icon Library is a pack of network-related icons. All the icons are delivered in two versions, with and without shadow, a variety of sizes and formats is available.

Space Icons Develop scientific or space-oriented projects with instantly available graphics. Space Icons pack includes over 60 images focusing on astronomy, including Sun, all planets of the solar system, Astronaut and Spacesuit.

Large Icons for Vista Large Icons for Vista is a collection of smooth and polished icons created in similar manner as the standard Vista icons. The images come in two versions: with or without shadows.