Aqua Crystal Ball

Example icon

Aqua Crystal Ball is a plugin script for the Gimp. It can be used to create Mac OS X icons with a (surprise!) "Aqua Crystal Ball" effect. The 128 x 128 image on the right demonstrates the result of the script with only the "circle color" parameter value changed from the script's default settings.


The effect that the script tries to achieve has been taken from the "Crystal Ball" effect tutorial written by Craig Marshall. This tutorial, along with other Gimp resources, is available from the website of the Gimp User Group (GUG).

Update: The GUG website apparently has been shut down sometime during 2008. So far I have been unable to locate a copy (besides googling I have also tried the Wayback Machine), so it looks as if the tutorial is permanently gone.

Download & License

You can download the latest version of Aqua Crystal Ball from here.

Aqua Crystal Ball is released under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).

Installation instructions

The following instructions used to work for me on a Mac with the Gimp 2.6, but I haven't used Aqua Crystal Ball for a long time now, so things may have changed.

  1. Copy the .scm script file to ~/Library/Application Support/Gimp/scripts
  2. Launch the Gimp application. Alternatively, if the application is already running, select the menu item "Filters->Script-Fu->Refresh Scripts"
  3. The script should now appear in the "File->Create->Misc" sub-menu, from where you can select it to create your first Aqua Crystal Ball icon


It's really simple:

  • Select "File->Create->Misc->Aqua Crystal Ball..."
  • Change parameter values to your liking
  • Click the "OK" button
  • If you don't like the result, go back to the beginning and fiddle around with parameter values some more
  • Select the text layer and the text tool and change the text to something you like, or replace the text layer with some graphical component, or ...
  • Save the image in the Gimp .xcf format so that you may come back later and do some more changes
  • Scale the entire image down to the size you want
  • Save the image as .png or some other format that can handle transparency

Note: To get an icon for a Mac application I usually create several scaled-down versions of the image: 128x128, 48x48, 32x32 and 16x16. I save each of these versions as .png for later reference and then place each version into an .icns file which I can then use as the application icon.

Bugs and source code

If you want to report a bug, please email me directly. You may also hop over to the Bugzilla page to have a look at issues that have already been reported. Please note that although anonymous users may freely browse the bugs database, they may not enter new bugs, nor is it currently possible to register a new account.

If you are interested in looking at the script's history, feel free to browse the Git repository.