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Icon sizes: 256x256, 48x48, 32x32, 24x24, 20x20, 16x16
File formats: ICO, GIF, PNG, BMP

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Creating Images with Aqua Effect

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

Drawing a fresh new image having the famous "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. To create an image 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 certain color. Pick the color you want 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.

Using the Transparency bar or with one of the Transparency presets, set your new icon’s opacity. For this tutorial, the ball will be fully opaque. Similarly, you can set background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep 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. Holding the left mouse button down, move the mouse within the drawing area to draw 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 drawn 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 many of them built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency masks, 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 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 look at the properties. There are plenty of properties available to adjust, 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 button rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by throwing a drop-down shadow! To apply a shadow effect to your icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can use the defaults, or adjust 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 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 checked. 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 drawn 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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Download Standard Hand Icons
People Icons for Vista People Icons for Vista depict people of various occupations, social and family roles. They are crafted in Vista style and come with or without shadows. Icons are provided in various formats and sizes.

Food Icon Library Your project will look more current and attractive with Food Icon Library. Color formats include Windows XP and 8-bit formats. provided sizes are 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48.

Large Icons for Vista Large Icons for Vista is a collection of sleek and polished icons created in the same manner as the standard Vista icons. The images come in two versions: with or without shadows.

Free Large Business Icons Free Large Business Icons represent a free icon pack well suited for websites and programs associated with all sorts of business activities. The icon set is available for instant and totally free download.

Security Icon Set Security Icon Set presents you a pack of attractive button and menu icons for security related software. The icons have a bright color palette, smooth and well-rounded edges.