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Making Icons with Aqua Effect

Designing a fresh new image having the famous "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 easy icon editor.

Creating a fresh new icon having the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. To draw an icon 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 draw an aqua-style icon to represent "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign inside. To start, 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 images.

With the Transparency bar or one of the Transparency presets, define your new image’s opacity. For this tutorial, the ball will 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 cursor within the drawing area to create an ellipse. The ellipse changes its size as you move the mouse. To create an ideal circle, hold Shift while drawing. That’s it, you have just painted 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 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. Keep all sliders and values 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 carefull look at the properties. There are multiple properties available to tweak, allowing you to design something never seen before. Go ahead and move 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 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 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 embed the ‘plus’ sign into the image, click on the Text tool icon in the left Tools menu or press "T" to get 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 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 drawn a crystal ball that matches the famous Aqua style! All you needed was a professional icon editor, IconLover 5, a few mouse clicks and a couple of minutes of your time. Easy!

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Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons represent 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 mobile devices. The biggest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily affordable and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest quality.

Basic Icons for Vista Basic Icons for Vista is a collection of sleek and polished icons crafted in the same manner as the original Vista icons. The icons come in two versions: with or without shadows.

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

Space Icons Design scientific or space-related software with readily available images. Space Icons pack contain over 60 icons dedicated to astronomy, such as Sun, Astronaut, all planets of the solar system and Spacesuit.

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.