Going from this to
Note: This is just a guideline, use your imagination.
1. Make a 96x96 image, or whatever size you want to use. Get your picture, crop it.
2. Now, duplicate your base two times. Set the first duplicate (closest to the base) and set it to screen, then set the other duplicate to soft light. (Note: If the icon is too bright, you can lower the screen opacity down a tad.) Merge visible.
3. Duplicate your base again, and desaturate (Image > Adjustments > Desaturate) it. Keep it on normal, but lower the opacity to 53%.
4. Take this texture, and move it over to the right. Or left. Or not at all. Depends on where the main subject of your picture is. Set it to screen at 53%.
5. Make a new layer and get up your gradient tool, and click on "Foreground to Transparent", make sure the color is white (#FFFFFF). Go to one corner, and make a little..white spot (I don't know how to explain this part.), keep it on Normal and set it to 31%.
6. Take this texture, and move it over also. I rotated it. Set it to Lighten at 31%.
7. Take this texture. Set it to Lighten at 15%.
8. Make a new layer and repeat step 5 here. But this time set it to Normal, 10%.
9. Take your last texture and move it over. I rotated this one, to the right. Set it to Screen, 33%.
10. Make a new layer, floodfill it with #1E4B7E and set it to Exclusion, 36%.
11. Take this gradient and set it to Lighten, 100%.
12. Now, you can add whatever you want. I took the rectangular marquee tool, and made a little cross type thing. I rotated it, and moved it all the way to the right. I set the layer to Overlay, 15%. Then, I duplicated that layer, and went to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and added a motion blur to it. I set that layer to Normal, 24%.
And in the end you get - .
Other icons using this effect, with different textures.
Sorry for the lack of pictures. I'm in a hurry.
All textures and the gradient are by ___hidethefact, except for the one used in step 4, which is by colorfilter, I'm almost sure.
If you've got any questions, then I'd love to hear them. And..I'd like to see what you make with this too.