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 Military Icon Set

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Image sizes: 256x256, 128x128, 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 16x16, 512x512
File formats: BMP, GIF, PNG, ICO

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Making Icon Images with Aqua Effect

Drawing a fresh new icon featuring the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you have proper tools. You can design an image from scratch by only using a free, small and lightweight icon editor.

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

For an instance, let us make an aqua-style icon to represent "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign inside. First, you’ll need to draw a circle of a chosen color. Select the color from the Color properties menu. Just so you know, you can always save a color by adding it to Custom Colors; this comes really handy if you need to draw a matching set of icons.

With the Transparency bar or with one of the Transparency presets, set your new icon’s opacity. For this tutorial, the ball has to be fully opaque. In the same way, you can specify background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave the background transparent for now.

To make a circle of your chosen 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 and shape as you move the mouse. To create a perfectly round circle, hold Shift while drawing. That’s it, you have just created a circle!

To add volume and dimension to the flat circle, we’ll need to add some special effects. There are tons of those built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency channels, and of course, the famous ‘glass reflection’ look employed by the aqua effect.

To draw an icon matching Apple’s Aqua style, you’ll need to draw a reflection and a shadow to the circle. This can be managed quite easily altogether by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Keep all sliders and values at their defaults 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 settings. There are multiple values available to tweak, allowing you to design 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 dimension to your newly created icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks like a button rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by throwing 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 move the settings around by getting a flat button, a lens, or a ball. The effect depends on the size of the shadow, its distance from the subject, and the angle at which it falls to the ground.

To add 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 ticked. This box means that your text will not be transparent, only the area around it will be. Changing the "Use semi-transparency" setting assigns your text the same level of transparency your primary color has. Type "+", and you’ll get the ‘plus’ sign embedded into the ball.

That’s it! You’ve just created a crystal ball that appears to be in the famous Aqua style! All you needed was a professional icon editor, IconLover 5, a few mouse clicks and a few minutes of your time. Easy!

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