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Creating Pictures with Aqua Effect

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

Creating a brand-new image featuring the renowned "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use 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 draw 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. Pick the color from the Color properties menu. Just so you know, 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.

With the Transparency bar or one of the Transparency presets, set your new icon’s opacity. 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 icon 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 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 add some special effects. There are tons 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 done quite easily altogether by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Keep all sliders at their defaults 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 look at the properties. There are plenty of settings available to tweak, 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 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 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. It all depends on the size of the shadow, its distance from the subject, and the angle at which it falls to the surface.

To embed 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 selected. 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.

Voila! 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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Basic Icons for Vista Basic Icons for Vista is a collection of sleek and professionally finished icons created/ crafted in the same manner as the original Vista icons. The images come in two versions: with or without shadows.

Business Icon Set Business Icon Set is a pack of fine-looking stock icons for use in software and on Web projects. They are delivered in a variety of formats, sizes and color schemes.

Network Icon Library for Vista Vista Network Icon Library is a collection of network-related icons. All the graphics are delivered in two versions, with and without shadow, a number of sizes and formats is provided.

Standard Admin Icons Releasing a software for system administrators, creating a network utility or developing a Web-based log file analyzer? Enhance any software with a pack of Standard Admin Icons by Aha-Soft!

Messenger Icons for Vista The Vista Messenger icon pack is an excellent pack of icons that will breathe new life into your digital communications! The set is Vista-ready with up to 256x256 sizes!