Create Your Own Orbicon Icons.
I have made over 100 icons in the past 2 days. They all have the same idea in mind; glass orbs with an image referring to a program inside of the orb. For some reason I cannot stop making these little orbs. Now, I know that some of you are saying - "Orbs are very old..." or "We are tired of seeing orbs..." - but I say, "MAN! I wish I could stop making these things!"
This is where this article gets interesting: I am going to share with you just how I made these orb icons, so that you too might try and see whether or not you can stop making them. Yes, this is a tutorial for making Orbicon icons using Photoshop and Icon Developer. I hope it comes in handy for someone.
Step one: Open Photoshop and Icon Developer.
Step two: Find some image or logo that you would like to use for your icon. If you want to Google search images for the logo that will work as well. I like to use http://www.brandsoftheworld.com to find high resolution EPS (encapsulated post script) images for download. So I am going to use this site to find a logo for www.mozilla.org - the giant red dinosaur ( found here ) - and I am going to download the EPS of it and save it to disk.
Step three: Open the EPS file using Photoshop.
Should look something like this:
Just click OK on this dialog box.
|Step Four: The next step will be to make the EPS file background transparent. The wonderful Magic Wand in the toolbar of Photoshop.
Notice that I have selected the Magic Wand and set the tolerance to (5) and chosen anti-alias and contiguous.
Then choose the white area around the mozilla.org dinosaur, and go to select and choose inverse. Push [ ctrl + X ] or go to Edit --> Cut and that will remove the dinosaur from the EPS file.
Next go to File --> New and set the background to transparent, click ok to the default size then go to Edit--> Paste and a new image with the red dinosaur will appear, with a transparent background.
Step Five: Now to begin making the Orb'd dinosaur. The easiest way I found to do this was to reduce the image size to 128x<128... meaning go to Image-->Image Size - and change the smaller number to 128 (constrain proportions selected)... this case being the height. Your dinosaur dimensions should be 146x128. Now go to Image--> Canvas Size and change that to 2 by 2 inches. The blank area around the dinosaur should be a lot bigger now. Now we will go to Filter--> Distort--> and Spherize. We will increase the slider to 100% and Press OK... then apply it 2 more times, by pressing [ ctrl + F ]. the dinosaur should look somewhat larger and kind of Orb'd. Go to Image--> Trim choose transparent pixels check all of the sides (top, bottom, left, right) and Press OK. Leave that image alone.
|Step Seven: Add the mozilla.org dinosaur to the icon. Go back to your dinosaur and Press [ ctrl + A ] and then [ ctrl + C] to Copy the dinosaur... then go to your orb and press [ ctrl + P ] to Paste the dinosaur there. Then Free Transform the dinosaur, by Pressing [ ctrl + T ] - set the horizontal and vertical scale to 25% and center the dinosaur in the orb. (Figure6) - Then right click the dinosaur Layer and go to Blending Options - choose Drop Shadow and Press OK. Choose the Dinosaur Layer and set it to 80% Opacity. (Figure7)|
Figure6 - click to zoom
Figure7 - click to zoom
|Step Eight: Create the Icon. Now go to Image-->Trim... this will make the image back to a smaller size. Then go to File-->Save For Web and choose PNG-24 Then select the Image Size tab and uncheck Constrain Proportions and set the size to 128x128.(Figure8) Then Click Save.|
Figure8 - click to zoom
Now We Have Our 128x128 PNG
|Step Nine (Optional): Open Icon Developer and choose Convert Image to Icon. Choose ONLY XP Icons and click OK(Figure9). Then go to File-->Save As and name your Icon.|
Now We Have Our 128x128 Icon
Step Ten (Optional): Zip your *.ICO and *.PNG file together and Upload it to the Misc Icons Section at Wincustomize.com.
You can see examples of my Orbicons over at http://wstaylor.wincustomize.com - ENJOY !!!
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