Creating 7-bubbles mouse cursor - video tutorial

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rsrc/7bub.png image

Creating the 7-bubbles animated cursor

November 13th 2008

This tutorial shows you how to create an animated cursor for Windows. The only tool used to make the cursor is RealWorld Cursor Editor 2007.1 with 3D module installed.

This guide is intended for people with basic knowledge about RealWorld Cursor Editor. Before watching this video, it is recommended get familiar with the basic functionality of the application.

Video on making the cursor

This video show the entire process from creating a 3D models, adding a parameter, defining snapshots, converting the 3D model to and animated cursor and adding effects to the cursor and setting hot spot.

The video might be fast, but remember that you have the Pause button and can you watch problematic parts multiple times.

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Download 7bubbles.ani

Tips for designers

  • Download the reference files from the Resources section below and compare your work with the original one if something does not fit.
  • Remember to add a Complex object to the 3D model and add the individual spheres into that object. Without the complex object, you will have troubles rotating the whole 3D object using the Angle parameter.
  • Setting grid to 0.05 units can help you set sphere diameters from 3D view easily.
  • When positioning the spheres, 2 simple transformations are combined: a translation upwards by 1 unit and a rotation around the Z axis. The order of transformation matters, hence you need to manually insert the first translation. It would be possible to simply move the spheres to the position in 3D view, but you'll be unable to position them with needed accuracy (unless you turn on your calculator and get started with sinuses and cosines of n*2*PI/7).
  • Rotation angles in RealWorld Cursor Editor must be in range -180 to 180 degrees. Hence instead of using for example 270 degrees, 270-360 = -90 must be used.
  • When converting snapshots to cursor, I am using non-standard size of 37x37 pixels. An odd number is used because I want to have the center of the rotation exactly in center of a pixel (not on a boundary between pixels) and that is because the hot spot (the place that actually counts when you click) is a single pixel. I also use this larger size, because there are empty borders around the actual bubbles and by removing these pixels later I remove the empty space and make the cursor relatively bigger.
  • It is possible to affect all frames of an animated cursor at once if they are selected and I use operation from the toolbar above the list of frames.
  • The reference 3D model contains one more parameter - the color of the bubbles. This step is skipped in the video tutorial, but it should not be hard to figure it out yourself if you are interested.


  • RealWorld Cursor Editor 2007.1 download page - 3D module must be enabled during installation to make the 3D functions used in this tutorial available.
  • Parameterized 3D model: 7bubbles.u3d (RWCE 2007.1 needed)
  • Rendered image 10 snapshots: 7bubbles.r3i (RWCE 2007.1 needed)
  • The resulting cursor: 7bubbles.ani


Creating cursors is not a hard thing and while positioning 3D objects in space by specifying coordinates manually could be boring, it is an accurate method and that was needed in this case. The use of 3D has one big advantage: we got a nice and realistic gradients on the spheres for free and it is possible to create similar cursors by choosing different camera angle or lights.

Recent comments

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user icon Anonymous on October 26th 2011

so how are u supposed to do the 3d edit thing?

user icon Vlasta site administrator on October 26th 2011

The 3D used to be in version 2007.1, but was removed.

user icon Anonymous on November 7th 2011

You also did the arrow drop cursor now i have the arrow drop cursur so thanks man!!! :-) ;-)

user icon Anonymous on December 4th 2011

can you also make a tutorial for cursor that has trails behind please? tnx

user icon Anonymous on December 30th 2011

Coool.I have an old version and i made it!
Thanks man :-D

user icon Anonymous on January 23rd 2012

eu consigo entender nada

user icon Anonymous on February 5th 2012

where I put the help aplication

user icon Noah Bear registered user on July 11th 2014

is it for busy cursor

user icon Anonymous on May 28th 2017

is ok but don't have the 3d Editor. |-) |-) |-)

user icon yourcomputerhasdied registered user on February 10th

You could use bevel on circles to make it look 3d
cursor-view/150627.png.png image

user icon Anonymous
I wish there were...
What about ICL files?