Create icons from image objects

Image objects

Image objects are premade images that you can use to create icons. You can make icons simply by combining the image objects.

Image Objects
Combining Image Objects

IcoFX comes with a lot of preinstalled image objects. The image objects are located in the "Objects" subfolder of the IcoFX installation folder. You can quickly access the image objects using the Explorer panel. Pressing the home icon on the Explorer's panel toolbar will take you to the folder with the image objects.

Explorer Panel
The Explorer Panel Showing The Image Objects

The image objects contain background images, borders, shadows, reflections, textures and symbols for easier icon creation. The image objects are ordered in the following sub folders:

  • Circle - Contains circular image objects for creating icon backgrounds
  • Rectangle - Contains rectangular image objects for creating icon backgrounds
  • Symbols - Contains the symbol images

You can get additional image objects from here.

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Create the icon

IcoFX has a special workspace set up for easier handling of image objects. It is called "ImageMixer" and gives you quick access to the Explorer panel and the Layers panel. You can select it using the "Window/ Workspace/ ImageMixer" menu item.

You can create the image by combining the available image objects. To add new image objects to the image just drag the image object from the Explorer panel to the Layers panel or to the sidebar of the Canvas window. Each image object will become a new layer of the image. You can reorder the layers on the Layers panel by simply dragging them to the desired position.

Drag image objects
Drag the image objects to the Layers panel or the sidebar

Follow these steps to make your first icon using image objects. After this tutorial you will have a good knowledge about the usage of image objects.

1. Make sure that the "ImageMixer" workspace is selected. You can select it using the "Window/ Workspace/ ImageMixer" menu item.

2. Create a new 256x256 image. This image will be used to combine the image objects. To create the new image use the "File/ New/ New Image" menu item. On the "New Image" dialog select 256x256 as size and make sure that the background color is set to transparent.

New Image
New Image Dialog

3. On the Explorer panel press the Home toolbar button. This will select the "Objects" folder where the image objects are located. Select the "Circle" sub folder. You can see the available circle image objects in the Explorer panel.

Explorer
Select the Circle folder

4. In this step we will drag the image objects to composite the image. The screenshots will show the canvas window and also the Layers panel for easier overview.

Drag the "Shadow06.png" image to the Layers panel. This will be the shadow of the icon.

Shadow
The shadow of the icon

Drag the "Circle - Blue Radial.png" image to the Layers panel. This will be the background of the icon.

Background
The background of the icon

Drag the "Reflection09.png" image to the Layers panel. This will be the reflection effect on the icon.

Reflection
The reflection of the icon

Drag the "Border Silver2.png" image to the Layers panel. This will add a border around the icon.

Border
The border of the icon

5. In the Explorer panel select the "Symbols" folder. Drag a desired symbol image to the Layers panel. In this example we used "Card Spades.png". Your image should look now like this.

Symbol
The finished image

If you dragged the images in different order then you can reorder them by dragging them to the correct position in the Layers panel.

6. Create the icon from the image using the "Image/Create Windows Icon From Image" menu item. On this window press the Recommended button. This will select all the needed image formats for the icon. Press the Ok button. An icon is created with all the needed image formats.

Icon
Create the icon form the image

7. Your icon is ready. Save it using the "File/Save" menu item.

Finished Icon
The finished icon as displayed in Windows Explorer

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Tips and tricks

Using the following tips and tricks you can customize your icons even further. It will teach you how to customize individual image objects.

Change the background color

You can change the color of the background image object using the "Adjustments/ Hue and Saturation" menu item. This will open the Hue and Saturation window where you can change the color using the hue slider. Using the Brightness slider you can make the color lighter or darker. Before opening the window make sure that the correct layer (the one that contains the background) is selected in the Layers panel.

Change color
Change the color of the background

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Change the symbol color

The problem with the symbol image objects is that they are white so that the Hue and Saturation adjustment won't work on them. First use the "Effects/ Colors/ Red" menu item. This will change the color of the symbol to red. After that you can use the Hue and Saturation window to change its color like in the previous tip. Make sure that the correct layer is selected.

Change color
Change the color of the symbol

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Stronger/lighter texture

You can also add texture image objects to the background. Like "Texture08.png". The textures are semitransparent images. If you would like to make it more transparent/lighter then you can use the "Adjustments/ Opacity" menu item. Decreasing the opacity will make the texture lighter. Make sure that the correct layer is selected.

Lighter
Make the texture lighter

To make the texture stronger simply drag and drop it on the image more than once. The textures will overlap each other making them seem stronger. On this image there are three layers of "Texture08.png" over each other.

Stronger
Stronger texture by adding it three times

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Symbol with gradient

You can also have a symbol with a gradient. To do this create a new layer in the image and hold the Ctrl key while dragging the symbol from the Explorer panel to the Layers panel. This will not add the symbol in a new layer. It will create only a selection from the symbol.

Selection
The symbol as selection

Now you can use the Gradient tool to fill the selection with the desired gradient.

Gradient
The gradient applied to the selection

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Fadeout texture

Using the "Adjustments/ Fadeout" menu item you can fadeout layers. If you apply this to textures then you can fade out textures of the image. Make sure that the correct layer is selected.

Fadeout
Faded texture

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