I'm trying to achieve a liquid effect for a logo which consists on a small encased orange cube, but don't really know how to do this (I've tried adding bubbles, but it doesn't seem to work on a shrinked version of the logo).

Any suggestions on techniques that can help achieve this?. Here is a big version of the logo symbol:

enter image description here

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    are you looking for software-agnostic solutions or specific instructions? I see you've tagged the question both inkscape and adobe-illustrator, and while they're both vector drawing programs, the needed steps might be drastically distinct. It would help the answers if you told us which is your primary platform (if you really are looking for software usage help). Apr 26, 2011 at 18:29

3 Answers 3


Find a good water texture, put it over the layers, change the blending mode to overlay. This is a quick result:

glass cube quick test

Btw: i also removed the saturation of the water texture befor aplying it.

Hope this helps? If not, be more clear and i will try to help


You can use Gradient Meshes to create some glass effect. It takes a while to figure out how to put things on the vector, but take a while and experiment with it.

Glass Cube: http://www.pearlsflowers.com/images/products/cubevase.JPG

Gradient Mesh Tutorials: http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/articles/20-tutorials-to-help-master-illustrators-gradient-mesh

  • +1 Gradient meshes are excellent for adding depth & surface effects.
    – Farray
    Apr 26, 2011 at 16:49
  • while a list of 20 tutorials is a nice list to look at, could you provide a distilled solution what steps you would take — or you think are the best — to make a "liquid effect"? Sites disappear from time to time and stackexchange sites are meant to last; so that even if the sources disappear, one could get the most useful answer in just this site alone. Apr 26, 2011 at 18:40

You could distort the cube, either rippling the edges, or skewing the perspective as light passing through water would do. You could also add caustics to the surface of the cube. enter image description here and enter image description here

  • I think I get the idea now, perhaps I could make the logo in 3D first to calculate the actual reflections and refractions and then work on it on an illustration program (such as inkscape or illustrator). I'm not really trying to achieve lots of realism though, any advices for non-realistic way of doing this? Apr 26, 2011 at 14:09
  • creating a reference in 3d might not be a bad idea, but you shouldn't be constrained by reality. A few things to think about: 1. in most illustrations, water=blue, so making it grey is making it harder for the audience. 2.the cube is entirely in the water and there is no background, so there's no context. if there was a bacground color (that changed when it was behind the water) or a pattern (that distorted when it was behind the water) or if the cube was partly out of the water. 3. the distortions in the water cause the caustics, so the wiggles and the light lines should align.
    – Sam
    Apr 26, 2011 at 14:49
  • Indeed, the way one renders completely clear objects is by their impact on appearance of things viewed through them. For a logo or icon this might not be possible, but in the gray images provided (above), a salient feature is the transmitted light's impact upon the cast shadow. This can be incorporated into a logo, along with some white reflections.
    – horatio
    Apr 26, 2011 at 19:12
  • photo reference: marble( 2.bp.blogspot.com/_Xo_I3nFVvfY/SlfWg92FSeI/AAAAAAAAAIs/… ), prism: ( arsmachina.com/images/wenham_prism3.jpg )
    – horatio
    Apr 26, 2011 at 19:15

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