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Painting Icon Images with Aqua Effect

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

Designing a brand-new icon featuring the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. To create an image 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 for "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign inside. To start, you’ll need to draw a circle of a chosen color. Pick 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 images.

With the Transparency bar or with one of the Transparency presets, set your new image’s transparency. For this tutorial, the ball has to be fully opaque. Similarly, you can specify background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep the background transparent for now.

To draw 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. Holding your 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 an ideal 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 apply some special effects. There are many of those built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency channels, and of course, the renowned ‘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 by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Just 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 carefull look at the properties. There are plenty of settings 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 new icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks like a button rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by adding a drop-down shadow! To add a shadow effect to your icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can stick to defaults, or adjust the values around to get a flat button, a lens, or a ball. It all 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 image, 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 means that your text will not be transparent, only the area around it will be. Changing 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 embedded into the ball.

Voila! 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 clicks and a few minutes of your time. Easy!

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Military Icon Set Plenty of military icons from our Military Icon Set will make all your applications appear more current and attractive. The images are delivered in PNG, GIF, BMP and ICO file formats.

Basic Icons for Vista Basic Icons for Vista is a set of smooth and polished icons designed in the same manner as the original Vista icons. The images come in two versions: with or without shadows.

Messenger Icons for Vista The Vista Messenger icon set is an excellent set of icons that will bring new life to your communications with friends across the world! The set is Vista-ready with up to 256x256 sizes!

Standard Chess Icons Design chess games and Web sites easier with Standard Chess Icons! All white and black figures are provided as 2D and 3D images, the graphics for timer and chess board are also present.

Folder Icon Set Make your OS look more current and stylish with our Folder Icon Set. The images are available in sizes 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and 256x256.