With the amiga dead - why do it?
Well firstly (and most importantly) I draw for myself & I draw
for pleasure. I really enjoy it, it relaxes me. I dont care how
few (or many) people use or like them. If you dont like them,
thats fine - use another set. If you do like them then it would
be nice to get an email to encourage me to improve them. If
you have any suggestions, I normally take them on board (if
I agree) so mail me with comments.
Why Another Icon Set?
Well I am a big fan of NewIcons, its was one of the best icon
sets available for the amiga. However it has many flaws which
this set aims to correct.
I wasnt as impressed with release 4 of AES's icons as I felt
they could have been better, they were backward compatible which
meant that the palette was restricted (PC's suffer from having to
be backward compatible!). The icons still looked like stick drawings
and some of them looked rushed.
My philosophy: To draw the best icons I could, and not release
the set until I was 100% happy with EACH icon. This meant it
has taken ages! I would sometimes change just one pixel as I
feel that every one counts and you should make the most out
of each one. Realism was important, for the printer icon I cut
out pictures from a magazine of the Epson Stylus Photo 750 and
drew it as best as I could from this picture. A lot of the art
work is thanks to me discovering great lighting effects. This
is shown on the KeyShow, FixFonts and HardDrive icons. The
lighting effect shows corners without black lines (Look at
your computer, there are corners but no black lines!). Another
effect was to avoid white (on the top and left) and black (on
the bottom and right) on objects. A much better effect is to
use lighter and darker colours around the object (see disk
icons). Finally soft gradient fills improve 3D objects, see
Drawers, Text, Palette and clock icons.
What is wrong with current sets? All sets mentioned here show
great artwork, however they are not what I want (so dont get
offended :-) or to my taste. I am sure my set isnt for everyone
and that some people will prefer other sets. The following is
my opinion based on my taste:
MagicWB: Very good art work, but only 8 colours and mostly grey.
Great if you dont have a graphics board or a fast Amiga.
GloIcons: This shows potential, but the icons look bad when they
are clicked on. Who really cares which icons are selected
The artwork looks cartoony with the hard gradient fills
looking far too obvious. Some dont have the `glo' selection
(Hack, TrapDoor and more), and the shadows drawn directly
onto the backdrop looks terrible unless you have a grey
NI4: Best set available. However there are many flaws:
1. OverAnimation: The pointer and sound icons animate too
much and confuse the eye.
2. External Antialiasing: The serial and classact icons
appear horrible with a dark background. Light pixels
can be seen around each icon.
3. Bad artwork: The trash and calculator icons look like
they were drawn in a few minutes. They let the set down.
4. Stick drawings: The pointer and FixFont icons use black
lines which look like a child drew them.
5. Inconsistency: The drawer icons have incorrect lighting,
the side on the left is dark, the light is suppose to
hit this side of the drawer. The default tool
icon has a hammer which, when selected, suddenly has a
black outline around it. Some of the prefs icons have
the logo in a different place which is unnecessary. And
the printer icon in Devs is different to the printer
drawn in prefs.
I looked at many sets for inspiration (NI4, Glo, MagicWB, IconGraphics,
Aristicons amongst others) and considered in depth each feature.
The reasons for my decisions are as follows:
Platforms: Shadows make the image look more 3d, shadows drawn
directly to the screen look very bad. Platforms enhance the
image by allowing shadows which look good on any background. The
platforms were improved to make them look more three dimensional
Isometric: I hate flat images, 3d icons look so much better
and more modern. Dont email me asking for flat icons, if you
want some - draw them yourselves.
Colours: 64 colours didnt appear to increase the speed of drawing
the icons too much - I may even do a 128 colour set. The palette
was decided as I drew each icon, this way the most was made out
of all available colours.
Drawers: All drawers should have a picture on them when
selected and unselected.
Animation: All drawer icons should have their image animate when
it is clicked on. All icons should animate, but not too much
External Antialiasing: No icon have antialiasing on the
Outlining: For most icons a black outline looks best, however
if an outline can be avoided it will have been.
Professional: The icons should look like time and care has been
taken to make them as good as possible.
Please do not change this archive or use parts of the artwork
without my permission.
Sadly, this set is unfinished. I havent done any work on it for
over a year now (last touched June '99, it is now July '00).
I dont have time to draw anymore, my new passion is in programming
c++ for the PC and Windows. I hardly use my Amiga anymore - believe
me I wish that wasnt the case. I am releasing these in their
'as is' state because I hope someone enjoys them (they are doing
nothing on my hard drive)