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Making Images with Aqua Effect

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

Drawing a brand-new icon featuring the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. To create an icon from scratch, a professional, small and easy icon editor such as IconLover 5 (aha-soft.com) is all you really need.

For example, 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 certain color. Pick the color you want from the Color properties menu. By the way, you can always memorize a color by adding it to Custom Colors; this comes really handy if you need to draw a matching set of icons.

Using the Transparency bar or by using one of the Transparency presets, define your new icon’s transparency. For this tutorial, the ball will be fully opaque. Similarly, you can specify background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave 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. Holding the left mouse button down, move the mouse cursor 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 drawn a circle!

To add volume and dimension to the flat circle, we’ll need to add some special effects. There are tons 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 add a reflection and a shadow to the circle. This can be done quite easily altogether by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Keep all sliders at their current positions for now, and you’ll get a beautiful shiny sphere as a result.

Now let’s add an artist’s touch and make your icon truly unique. Go back to that Aqua dialog and have a carefull look at the properties. There are plenty of values 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 new icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks like a lens rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by adding a drop-down shadow! To apply a shadow effect to your icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can stick to defaults, or tweak the settings around to get 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 surface.

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 box means that your text will not be transparent, only the area around it will be. Tweaking 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.

That’s it! You’ve just created 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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Download Windows Toolbar Icons
Basic Icons for Vista Make your software look as nice as Vista with icons crafted in the same style

Business Icon Set Business Icon Set. A collection of all-purpose icons with various symbols for the business environment for use with your software or on your website.

Financial Icon Library for Vista Vista Financial Icon Library is a collection of money and purchase related icons in Windows Vista style. The collection is distributed as PNG, GIF, BMP and ICO file formats.

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

Professional Icon Set Professional Icon Set enables you to spice up your application or websites with stylish icons. Various jobs and occupations are depicted in a broad range of sizes, from 16x16 to 256x265 pixels.