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Making Icons with Aqua Effect

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

Drawing a fresh new image featuring the renowned "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you have 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 example, let us make 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 you want from the Color properties menu. By the way, you can always save a color by adding it to Custom Colors; this comes very handy if you need to draw a matching set of images.

With the Transparency bar or one of the Transparency presets, define your new icon’s opacity. 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 draw 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. With 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!

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 those 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 managed quite easily altogether by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Just 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 settings. There are multiple values 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 new icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks like a lens 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 adjust the values 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 embed the ‘plus’ sign into the icon, click on the Text tool icon in the left Tools menu or press "T" to open the text properties window. Make sure the "Image transparency" box is selected. This 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.

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 couple of minutes of your time. Easy!

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Download Standard Portfolio Icons
Basic Icons for Vista Basic Icons for Vista is a pack of sleek and polished icons created in the same style as the original Vista icons. The icons come in two variants: with or without shadows.

Large Icons for Vista Large Icons for Vista is a pack of smooth and polished icons created in similar manner as the original Vista icons. The images come in two variants: with or without shadows.

Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons represent a number of weather conditions typical in software, weather Web sites, and mobile gadgets. The icons are available in typical resolutions standard to Windows, Mac OS, and other platforms. The biggest versions are huge 512x512 pixel icons with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily available and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest resolution.

Health Care Icons Health Care Icons is a library of wonderfully crafted icons associated with the sphere of health service. The icons are provided in various formats and resolutions.

Transport Icon Set Transport Icon Set. A collection of colorful and distinctive icons depicting all transport types for the transport and tourist industries.