8.02/10 rating (347 votes)

Pickle Jar Variations what's this?

8.21/10 rating (168 votes)

7.00/10 rating (56 votes)

Member Comments

"One of my favorites..."
Dear Ryan,

I love this one as well. My only gripe with it is the two palm tree trunks (?) that extend out on the lower left region of the image. They seem out of place and should have leaves or be removed. Otherwise the sky color is astounding. Thank you sir.

Mon March 15, 2010 at 6:01 pm

I like this one!

Wed January 13, 2010 at 5:07 am

Just had FULL Knee replacement, the 26th of Aug, and have been away so I didn't see this one, when it first came out. When I did get the chance to check in, I saw it and it imeadiatly(sp?) became my latest favorite Wallpaper.

I LOVE IT!!!!!! :)

Wed September 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

"New phone resolution"
Ryan - would it be possible to add a new resolution to your "Mobile" list? I have a new Samsung Rogue and the display is 480x800.

Thanks for great art!

Wed September 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm

"Love it"
As someone that usually keeps too many icons on the desktop, I love your dark wallpapers that let them still stand out. Must admit, I really like this type of sky.

If playing with new features in Vue gets these kinds of results, please keep playing with them! :D

Fri September 4, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Is there any way to get just the middle section of the 7680 X 1600? I run a 2560 X 1600 next to a 1280 x 1024. So I need it in order to display "Afterglow (2009)" on my workstation, without seeing the tree line repeat itself =(

Fri September 4, 2009 at 7:32 am

"Looks goofy multi screen."
I know you know (Ryan) the trees are distorted, yet you keep on doing it? This is basically unattractive IMO and unusable. People who say it's awesome must not have a problem with scenery being at a 30+ degree angle off from the perpendicular.

I'd rather you not even try to do these in multi form in the first place and focus more on the father distance scenes for multiscreen.

Thu September 3, 2009 at 11:06 pm

"just stunned and dreaming again.."
First of all speed of your overall rendering is pretty satisfying and just leaves us enough time gap to concentrate on the spirit of your creations much more..in DB it's not quantity but quality matters.

This is a masterpiece over to the earlier version :)..heh just imagine the joy of seeing this whole peaceful scene in motion..wish there were dreamscene versions of your arts too.

Thu September 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Wow! The multiscreen versions look awesome! I love how there's so much sky to gaze at! Makes me wish I had more than one screen...

Thu September 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Ryan, I don't feel it necessary to explain how much I love your work. Everybody loves your work, and rightly so.

But, I feel I must be honest that in pictures like this, and Enshrouded, the experimentations of new features in Vue seem to take higher priority than making a meaningful image. The sky is certainly cool, but I've never thought your work's appeal to be the product of you having magnificently better 3d skills than other popular artists out there. What's always separated you from others are your ideas, and I hate to say this, but I feel creativity is continually less and less present in your work, and having fun with Vue's features more and more.

Obviously, that's just a stylistic opinion.

Thu September 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm

well as long as they are constructive critics..

Ryan needing a upgrade in near future perhaps?

rendering sure takes ages and it is with no doubt a very system resource "eating process.."

a lot of things going on on the gpu market in the next 6 months!

wait and see Ryan..

im sure the next gen of gpu's will give you a nice push!

Thu September 3, 2009 at 12:00 am

There are always going to be negative opinions. Go look up some of your favorite movies on Netflix or Amazon and then read some of the user reviews. There's always going to be some joker giving it 1 star and complaining about something. That's art. Nothing appeals universally. My wife wasn't even impressed with the Grand Canyon when we visited a few years ago.

As always, I read the opinions and if it is something I agree with then I may make a change to project. I would do the same if Jessie or one of the kids suggested it (though they do have a little more pull with me than a messageboard post).

Regarding "the moon". I may make one more slight change to the moon and then do a render at 4800 x 3000 for Zazzle. I'll scale down a copy to 2560 x 1600 (which will add a lot of smoothness to the image) and then use that for the final single-screen.

I will probably have to pause the "Enshrouded" multi-screen render to do this because I do not want to tie-up my work box right now and I still have no idea when "Enshrouded" will be finished (still weeks off).

Starting to think I might not be able to do that one with my current technology...

Thu September 3, 2009 at 10:38 am

Why do trees and such get distorted on all of the recent dual renders? Firstlight is an excellent example of this issue, as is this render.

The distortion seems to be at the left side.

Thu September 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

"Moon is good"

This one looks great. The moon size is perfect, not too large. It looks like it would in a photograph. Someone said that it doesn't look artistic, sometimes it is nice for it to look realistic as it does here.

Good job!!

Thu September 3, 2009 at 8:46 am

"Double screen"
Single screen: awesome, triple screen: awesome.

Double screen? Why do I feel like I'm being chopped off the awesome bit...

Do you think that the double screen could be rerendered with foliage on each side please?

Thu September 3, 2009 at 5:30 am

Wow - I really love this one! The colors are just beautiful! I put it on my desktop as soon as I saw it, replacing Lucky Charm, which was my favorite for so long :)

Wed September 2, 2009 at 11:01 pm

"One person write bad moon all people think the moon looks bad "
The moon looks good, its just that ive one person tells its shit evryone thinks its shit, again the moon looks not so bad @ all.

Wed September 2, 2009 at 11:08 am

Reminds me of my time in Australia - happy times :)


Wed September 2, 2009 at 3:48 am

"the moon (afterglow)"

like i said that moon does not look so natural but overwall the image had a pretty good revision!

i have the feeling it is darker then the previous one?

still i think just giving the moon a bit of fix and lighten the overall scene a tiny bit it will make this wallpaper awesome! :)

Wed September 2, 2009 at 1:47 am

I like the pic. its been my background for a few days. but I have to agree with David below. I think the moon looks bad. it just doesnt look right. but overall the pic is good work.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm

So I'm guessing your software can't take advantage of the parallel processing power provided by the multi GPU setup of those servers? Also, those use the latest 1366 socket QuadCore Xeons with DDR3-1333 RAM which are quite a bit faster than the previous gen Xeon platform.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Awesome wallpaper i dream away everytime look @ it, full colors in this one,this wallpaper is stunning! The moon and all the other elements looks very good.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

My workstation has dual Quad-core Xeons just like the supermicro. It won't be until I can get quad Octo-cores that I will be able to render at 4800 x 3000 without waiting.

Even if I had such as setup I'm sure I would find a way to make it grind.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 12:29 am

"New watermark"
I'm using 1152 x 864 on win xp sp3. Seems to sit a little under the task bar such that gpy are all chopped off. Worse if I unlock the task bar.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 12:07 am


If you could get one of those working on your renders you could do them all at 4800 x 3000 without waiting days for results.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

"Original is better"
I like the lighting and the stars in the original. The new one is more realistic, bu the original is more artistic, IMHO.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 10:33 am

Chris B
"I don't know..."
The new one looks good but i loved the stars in the first one. People say there are too many, but if you've ever been in a remote area where there aren't any lights for miles that's what the stars look like (maybe not at sunset but that's the awesome thing about art!).

We have a camp in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania up in the "mountains" not really mtns but you know... But the stars there are amazing! It's hard to pick out the most common constellations because you can see so many stars. Soooo... I like the one with more stars.

Tue September 1, 2009 at 0:24 am

"Moon looks bad"
Just chiming in with the below poster, at 2560 the moon looks really out of place due to the aliasing. The rest looks nice.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm

"no improvement at all"
I think the first version is a lot better. Again. A lot of 'improvements' lately, but i.m.h.o. you spoiled the water / shore - again. I don't understand why so many people like the new, unnatural colorreflections in the water. Like someone did put a container of paint in it. So i definitely stick to the pickle jar version.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 7:48 pm

"Revison *thumbs up*"
Yay, thank you for the revision!! You changed nearly everything I was unsatisfied with, even those issues I didn't mention :-)

Now I like the scene much more. It's a bit darker now, but that fits better, I think. Great work!

Off topic: BTW, It would be cool to see a new abstract picture somewhen. I have the feeling you laid aside this topic. Is there a certain reason for it?

Mon August 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm

"starry night"
I like the stars better in this version. I think the light from the sunset is still strong enough to make seeing stars, esp. fainter stars, difficult, and the smaller starfield in theis version just 'feels' better when I compare it with the original.

I wonder.. do you use the rendering system to keep your feet warm in the winter? ;)

Mon August 31, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I was wondering if anyone would notice this. The first version I posted was rendered originally at 4800 x 3000 and then scaled down to 2560 x 1600 in Photoshop. This has the effect of adding a second dose of anti-aliasing. Some renderers have this built in (it's called oversampling I believe).

The revision was rendered at 2560 x 1600 with the "Ultra" anti-aliasing setting. It doesn't have the refinement of the original because it was not oversampled, though the effect probably only noticeable at the higher resolutions.

I will most likely do a version for Zazzle sometime in the future and I will generate new hi-res files then.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 9:35 am

"Revision a little pixelated?"

Just curious... when comparing the latest revision to it's closest match in the picklejar: do you think the antialiasing is a little off?

The top curved edge of the crescent moon is jagged and the brighter clouds along the horizon suffer similar artifacts. Also note the edges of the palm fronds.

Hopefully you can tweak the antialiasing for the widescreen efforts... although I know this is at the expense of render time. We don't mind waiting at all!

Keep up the great work!

Mon August 31, 2009 at 6:43 am

"Great revision"
Great job on reviewing the picture. I didn't mind the two flying pelicans in the original version, but the stars were too numerous, now it's perfect. Love it!

Thanks Ryan.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 3:08 am

"Nice moon btw"
oh yeah, and I like the fact that you realise that the hidden part of crescent moons is not transparent, unlike the people who designed this game: http://tinyurl.com/nxzlr2

Mon August 31, 2009 at 0:52 am

Very nice.

I don't think there is a single thing in this picture that I don't like.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 0:27 am

"Nice one"
Reminds me of Florida.

Mon August 31, 2009 at 0:25 am

I continue to be amazed with your incredible talents. Please keep up the wonderful imaginative works!

Sun August 30, 2009 at 11:09 pm

"Love it"
Looks great and the watermark sits just in the right spot above the task bar with just the right amount of transparency


Sun August 30, 2009 at 10:34 pm

"Watermark and Stars"
The water mark looks good now. It is not so "in your face" but it is still there. Also the stars are more realistic.

Sun August 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

"like the improvement!"
Now the stars look far more believable, I'm sorry to see the pelicans go but that's just a minor gripe.

Sun August 30, 2009 at 4:33 pm

"Old vs. New"
Have to admit, I like the old one better, just went back to it. I like the flying pelicans and the watermark is of no significance to me.

Sun August 30, 2009 at 3:19 pm

"Heaps of pelicans"
I don't care if it's unrealistic to have just one pelican. Heaps of them would overpower and ruin the image. Ryan's work doesn't have to be realistic in every detail to be fabulous. What next? Make the unicorn into a deer in "Lord of the Forest" because unicorns don't exist? Please!

Yeoman says, "Suggestion, Ryan, is to add more Pelicans, heaps of them, in a picklejar version."

Sun August 30, 2009 at 2:37 pm

"New Watermark"
Hello Ryan,

Regarding your new watermark, may I suggest scaling it down a little bit? It somehow seems a little big (for me of course)...

And the transparency is causing it to look like worn out or something in this particular wallpaper (because of the background elements).

Excellent wallpaper, by the way

Sun August 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm

Phillip D
"moon texture"
Nice work...I suggest add a tint of moon texture on the moon....

I cant believe the sky if it is fully rendered in Vue without photos, it looks so real, hats off to you on this one!

Sun August 30, 2009 at 12:09 am

The link to the picklejar seems to be not there?

Sun August 30, 2009 at 10:01 am

"afterglow ( new sky))"
and the old sky was much more colorful...

i like the old one better =P

Sun August 30, 2009 at 8:12 am

"afterglow ( no pelicans)"
well.. in terms of stars..

i liked the old one better..

i think Ryan should have just removed the pelicans and added the new transparency level to the watermark..

messing with the stars was not a good idea :)

less stars now and the edges of the moon are not so "soft" looking now..

the moon seems more "squarish" now!

still perfection is only achieved by practice!

im sure Ryan will give it another go!

Sun August 30, 2009 at 8:08 am

"Watermark 2"
I like the old water mark better. The tighter text and higher opacity gave it a much cleaner look. When it comes to Mac OS X, you can't let that affect placement -- everyone has a different size dock. I personally like a small dock with few items, so I've always seen the watermark. Some people have a larger dock, so the watermark might get blocked. If you're going to "re-standardize" you should just adjust for Windows 7. For me (RC w/ 1920x1200), the watermark got cut off. The old placements always looked perfect in XP (and my Macs). Like I said before, in OS X visibility is completely dependent on the user, so don't bother worrying about it (though my guess is you already know this).

Keep up the great work! (I agree with your move to take out the pelicans in the distance. :)

Sat August 29, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Glenn H.
"Still Nice: Now for a Suggestion"
Hi Ryan,

I see lots of sunsets here in Pacifica. The color tones you set for this sunset is after the ones the I particularly love; the golden tones that later eventually fade to reds. I actually do not know how you would create this result but maybe for your pickle jar? It would brighten the entire sunset scene with a golden tint that would reflect differently off the water and cause more clouds to tinge gold too--lessening the heavy grays of the main cloud masses that predominate your picture.

Still: I am not complaining at all. You are still a master of illusion for me. Keep up the great work.

Sat August 29, 2009 at 11:07 pm

"Afterglow - fauna"
Both versions have great merit and look fine as a desktop, or as part of screensaver slideshow come to that. No problems with the colours, the darker picklejar version, detail or the style of the image, the smooth rocks or lack of movement in the water. Well up to your usual standard. There is one issue though. When did you ever see ONE Pelican? Or even just three? They are like ants. Never just one, they are always in a mob, or a flock, to be more accurate, even in regional Queensland where I live (top right hand corner of Australia for you Americans). Within a few days of a flood event in the outback, a thousand kilometres or more from the coast, you count them, by the hundreds.

Suggestion, Ryan, is to add more Pelicans, heaps of them, in a picklejar version.

Sat August 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Hi Ryan,

I just noticed, since you drew our attention to it, that your watermarks hide behind the dock on Mac OSX. I don't think it depends on the screen resolution (mine is 1920x1200) and frankly I haven't been bothered by that so far, but this is just FYI. I can email you a screenshot if you care..

Sat August 29, 2009 at 9:54 pm

This is awesome. I didnt like the flying birds. Im glad you got rid of them. The sky is awesome and I love the stars. You mention moss? I never saw any. If you hadnt mentioned you changed the watermark I would probably never have noticed. LOL Keep up the great work!

Sat August 29, 2009 at 9:11 pm

"Huge Improvement, IMO"
I'm pretty oblivious to the watermark, because I hide the taskbar (or the Mac equivalent, the "dock") on my machine. I wasn't concerned about the flying birds either. However, I'm really happy you decided to reduce the number of stars in the piece. It seems so much more believable now. I think the rocks look much more convincing as well, now they are darker.

Sat August 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm

"Pickle Jar"
I did not like that early version with the red sky in the pickle jar very much. I definitely like the way it turned out much better than what it started out as. I did notice, tough, that the link to the pickle jar for Afterglow is missing from the New Images page.

Sat August 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

"Flying Palmtrees :D"

Sat August 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm

I am a huge fan of the sky, the higher clouds, and the sunset. That's why I don't like the lower, darker clouds blocking my view! ;)

A great work though

Sat August 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

"afterglow 2009"

those are not palm trees but 2 birds flying over the water with their wing wide open.


Sat August 29, 2009 at 1:35 pm

"Awesome Colors but..."
Awesome Wallpaper original and full of colors which i like, but there hang 2 strange palmtrees in the middle just aboe the water whats up whit that?

Sat August 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

"Afterglow (2009)"
this is a little dark indeed but is beautifull!

is a perfect wallpaper for a night pc usage!

the night is dark =)

so many awesome wallpapers i just can't decide witch one to put on my desktop background!!

just cant make up my mind!!

decisions decisions!!

Sat August 29, 2009 at 8:29 am

Josh V.
"A little dark..."
I love your dark wallpapers which still have color, but this seems a little too dark. Maybe a little more shine from the moon?

Sat August 29, 2009 at 1:29 am

ryan such an amazing job on this one. absolutely a 10 for this one and it was well worth the wait. just a suggestion for a picklejar image on this one along the original one, it would be cool to get one without the clouds in the fore ground, just the distant horizon so the sun stays the same so that the stars could be seen more, like a bigger galaxy/ whats out there pondering picture.

Fri August 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

"Not Sure What To Think"
I have been a big fan for years. Just not lately. It appears your running out of ideas to me. Good work, just not great like I'm used to seeing. Plus, it is taking longer to get the new images that are not modified old images. You're always getting such good feedback, just thought I would balance that out a little. Really looking forward to next piece.

Fri August 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

"Afterglow pickle jar..."
Usually I like the "official" version of the desktops the best, but this time, I really like the pickle jar better. Not that I *don't* like the official one, but I definitely prefer pickles this time. (dill, not sweet, thanks) ;)

Fri August 28, 2009 at 12:40 am

"Follow up opinion. "
Call me crazy but I'd almost like to see something that was just a little improbable.

Fri August 28, 2009 at 10:32 am

"I don't like it..."
Actually it looks very well crafted. I don't have any gripes about the quality of the piece it just reminds me too much of an actual photograph. It's like it's too good/real and my imagination isn't engaged. This isn't really a gripe I thought I'd just state my opinion

Fri August 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

I will just repeat Justin - same here, people keep asking where did I take that photo?

Fri August 28, 2009 at 9:17 am

"What are those? Birds?"
Gorgeous work

You continue to push the envelope for pictures that are both unique and something you can look at for a long time to see all the details.

My only question is what the heck are those two + shaped objects in the sky. Pelicans? Plants? They look like they are in the sky but they also look perfectly reflected top to bottom. and its the knobs on the end that are throwing me.

Fri August 28, 2009 at 8:18 am

How do you manage it.

I always have one of you wallpapers up on the screen at work.

People ask me where the "photo" was taken these are so real.

Congratulation you have done it again!

Fri August 28, 2009 at 6:15 am

"Love It!"
The clouds are awesome and the colors beautiful!!!

Well worth the wait, keep up the great work Ryan!!

Fri August 28, 2009 at 2:06 am

"Clouds covering the stars?"
Maybe, but in this case I think Ryan meant it as more of a hazy cloud, through which you'd be able to see some of the stars behind...

Fri August 28, 2009 at 0:27 am

"Simply one of the best cloudscapes you have done"

This is simply fantastic. You are getting to the point of blurring reality with your tremendous art.

You've clearly mastered the art of the clouds! This is the one area that I really see great improvements in. When I compare it to the clouds in one of my all-time favorites Circumpolar, you have really gotten the look of natural clouds down now. I don't know if it is because of different software or because you have gotten more precise control of the medium.

If you ever wanted to redo the Circumpolar sky with these kinds of clouds, I that would raise it to my favorite of your wallpapers.

Well done and THANK YOU!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

"I like it.. but"

The star pattern in the upper middle of the screen seemed odd.. and after looking closely, it actually looks like there are stars on top of clouds.. clouds should be covering the stars

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:11 pm

"Looking Great"
Can't wait for the dual widescreen ;)

Thu August 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Very beautiful scene! I love the sunset. I find this to be a very soothing image.

And I don't mind your long explanations; I find it interesting to read bits and pieces of the technical details of how you create your images.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 9:05 pm

The Guru
"Fantastic work!"
The subject sums it up, but I would agree with Nelson on the nitpicks that he had. The rocks poking out of the water doesn't look very real.

Still excellent though. Keep up the good work.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:32 pm

"don't change a thing!!!"
Please don't change a thing, especially don't change the water! Changing the serenity would spoil the whole picture.

It's perfect as it is, and instantly one of my alltime DB-favorites. I love it!!


Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:32 pm

"Water and rocks"
This wallpaper is good, yeah. The sky is beautiful and the trees look good. But there are some things that destroy the picture in my eyes...

First, it's the water. It looks too... silent, too unbrilliant, somehow dull. Something is also missing near the stones, small waves, foam or something like that. I know, there is not much light for big reflexions or so, but this water seems like a step backwards after your other great water renderings.

Then the rocks, as already mentioned: They look a bit too even, too green. I believe it would be no big deal for you to give them some nice textures ;-)

The flying birds also disturbed me at the beginning; I couldn't recognize them. Now, as I know it's birds, they are OK.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Jason B
I love it! Definitely worth the wait. And I think the birds flying in the background are great, you can tell exactly what they are. Can't wait for the Dual Screen.

On a side note - I wish you would post your pickle jar images in 1440x900, I like some of the pickle jar images, just wish they fit my screen.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Tim H
"New Favorite"
Definitely worth the wait, this is amazing ! You have really outdone yourself this time ryan !!!!!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 5:57 pm

"Afterglow (2009)"
This wallpaper is just outstanding!! The gals in the office have been swooning over this one seen I downloaded it this morning. Absolutly gorgeous! Can't wait to see the dual-screen render if Vue can take the strain!!.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Nate F
just wanted to say that this is probably the most realistic image that you have produced yet; it is not my favourite but i do very much like it. great work!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Joy Barton
"Afterglow (2009)"

Love the color of the sky.

Thank you!


Thu August 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Joy Barton
"Afterglow (2009)"

Love the color of the sky.

Thank you!


Thu August 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm

"Oh yes!"
All I need now is to be there, on a lounger, with a Corona in my hand!!

Oh yeah, also the dual-screen render, but I'm patient.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm

90% of this is really amazing. I love the sky and the clouds and even the one pelican. But I feel like the other 10% just kills it a bit. The rocks just don't look right. I don't know if it's the shade/glow (they look more like broccoli than rocks =P) or what but they stand out in a bad way. I also think the transition from sky to water could use some work. It literally took me 5 minutes to realize those 2 birds were supposed to be flying. The one section with the glimmering light on the water is great, but the rest seems a bit unfinished.

Just my opinion of course.

Keep up the good work, I love the possibilities with this stuff!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I voted "10"!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm

"Almost there..."
Hey Ryan,

The Spy is absolutely perfect, without a doubt the most realistic element I've seen you create. Trees look wonderful too.

Only thing that lets this picture down are the rocks at the bottom. For me they look a little too blurry / boring. Perhaps if it were to be replaced with sand as seen below the trees, specifically on the left hand side - I reckon that'd look much better. Also the animals in this one...just don't work.

Also not a fan of the watermark bevelled / embossed.

Sorry =[

Thu August 27, 2009 at 11:56 am

"Love the Sky"
I really love how the sky turned out in this one. It really makes me feel like I am there.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 11:43 am

Been waiting a long time for your new render, And this picture is pretty, but it doesn't have the oh my gosh I just love this guys work. But because it is pretty it will go into my always growing wallpaper collection. I do like the pink in the cloud, and has a very sunset feel to it. Keep up the good work

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:46 am

First of all, I want to know where this picture was taken, because it is too perfect to be a digital render. Second of all, this is absolutely breathtaking. Phenomenal work, Ryan! Please, please keep it up!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:39 am

That is actually what I have done here. Vue didn't like me working directly on the planet sphere. The scale was all screwy.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:33 am

"Re: The Birds"
I love the picture. The clouds look great, the colors look great, and the birds simply work. I know many of the comments regarding the birds have been negative, because they're hard to make out. How many of you have ever seen birds fly by at any distance when the sun is almost completely gone? Can you always make out exactly what they are? I can't. Then again, the contrast of a dark sky with just a touch of light tends to make it hard to focus on much of anything, especially if it's in motion.

Anyway, glad to hear you were able to take some time away, Ryan. I'm getting out of Illinois myself this weekend to do some fishing in Arkansas. Hope we have as good a time as you two did in Texas!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:26 am

I don't know anything about making digital art, so this may not be useful. But, you never know.

You mentioned how it is impossible to put the light source below an infinite plane and so you had to try this planetary mode. How hard would it be to use the infinite plane, but build a portion of the planet above it- sort of like a bowl setting upside-down on a table. Then you could place the sun just out of view, but still above the plane.

Like I said, I don't know anything about the software so I may be overlooking something incredibly obvious, but based on what you said in your post, it seems like this might work.

I love the picture- the colors and lighting are just right. Keep it up!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

Maybe your best sky so far. I love cloud layers you created and the coloring you got them to take on. The transition to the starry portion of the sky is well done.

You said you use infinite plains...so do you always choose a procedural terrain over a standard terrain in vue?

Thu August 27, 2009 at 10:12 am

"really nice"
I think it was worth the wait as well. Love the stars. I'd like to see a bit more variation in the color from the sunset but that's minor nit to pick. It's a great one...again.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:57 am

"for the most part a thumbs up!"
I really like most of the piece, the colors, the mood, the pelican in the foreground. But I'm afraid I have to agree with the others about the background pelicans in flight. At first, when I downloaded my resolution (1440x900) I had no clue what those 'black' spots were (I was almost wondering if they were two islands with really weird reflections or something). It wasn't until I read the suggestion by Getwired here in the comments to look at the 2560x1600 that I saw that they were in fact pelicans. The pelicans in flight loose their detail and recognizablility (I know that's not a word) in the lower resolutions. I'd maybe get rid of them as the confusion about what they are and their placement is a bit distracting

(just my personal opinion though)

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

Doug M
"Those birds..."
GREAT image, it's one of your best IMO. I was also pleasantly surprised by the stars as I couldn't see them in the thumbnail and when I opened the full version I was like "Whoa..." Anyways, my only gripe is the 2 birds...because of the lighting it's to tell what they are at first and, to me at least, they end up looking more like ship silhouettes that are somehow floating above the surface of the water...

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:52 am

"like it"
I really like the sunset effect. It's a very realistic tropical sunset(I live in PR so I know it). But one thing bothers me, there's way too many stars considering the light conditions, it kills somewhat the immersion effect of the sunset. As for the birds I don't really see anything wrong with those I've seen those exact flying habits on pelicans when I'm at a beach at sunset.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:22 am

Ken W
The details in this picture are amazing. I can see why you have wanted to do this for so long...it was definitely worth the wait. Thanks for sharing with us.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:05 am

"Sun color"
i love it! the stars appearing through the clouds is a really nice contrast. my only wish is that you change the colors of the sun on the clouds. when was the last time you saw a violet sunset? intense orange is the way to go with streaks of violet and burnt orange :)

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:03 am

"Technical Details"
I love hearing about the technical details that make a render go smoothly/take a long time. Feel free to keep sharing them in the future. I think it appeals to my engineering side or something.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 8:01 am

"Afterglow not worth the 50+ Hours"
Sorry Ryan this one just did not do it for me, reminds me of those luminescent coloring markers we had as a kid. The "scene" was nice but the colors were not my cup of tea. I like 99% of your work!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:52 am

Ryan, great render. Most of it is the amazing stuff I've come to expect, but my favorite part of this image is the starts coming out at the top of the image. Setting them against the fading daylight really makes this work complete. Great stuff!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:12 am

Love it Ryan. It is a tad dark to use as a background in a bright office, but at home, just fantastic.

My question is, you mentioned this was somehow autobiographical. Can you elaborate on that or is it personal? No big deal either way, just curious.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 7:01 am

"my favorite yet"
This is absolutely my favorite image of yours so far. I love the sky with the stars, I love the sunlight, I love the darkness of it and the colors, and I even love the birds (though I may be in the minority on that point). I think it's perfect.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 6:45 am

well ryan.... i absolutely 110% believe this render was completely worth the wait.... its astonishing. love it!

Thu August 27, 2009 at 5:54 am

Looks mighty fine to me.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 4:51 am

"I like the cloud colours!"
Dear Ryan,

I like this new version of Afterglow, it has a depth and 3d feeling not quite visible in the original version. The cloud colours, the way they pick up on the setting sun is fabulous. My only suggestion for the image would be that there are too many stars in the sky to my liking, and the foreground with the pelican and palm trees could be a tad bit lighter.

Great work! Thanks,


Thu August 27, 2009 at 2:38 am

"Wonderful Work"
Although I do agree that the flying Pelicans seem odd, both from an artistic sense and that there's no reason I can think of regarding why Pelicans would be flying in low-light conditions at a time where there'd be a minimum of updraughts.

In my opinion if you could have them roosting like the one in the foreground, but off to the side(s), half-hidden in the foliage, it'd keep the amazing sense of peace about the...uhh...'piece' without them being in front of it, as it were.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 2:02 am

"The birds are weird"
I don't think the birds fit very well into this image.

Its also a little bit too dark to use it as a desktop wallpaper (in my opinion).

Apart from that, the image looks pretty good.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 1:39 am

"Loose the flying things!"
The two flying birds look wrong. Brilliant can only describe the rest of it though. Thanks Ryan.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 1:25 am

I absolutely love the stars hovering in the sky above the clouds. And the moon just the right size and shape not to drown out the light from the sun, or to overwhelm the sky/stars.

The pelicans in the horizon are a little...distracting, though. They take away from the drama and majesty of the sky, which is, for me, the point of the piece. Although I did, for once, like the added touch of the pelican in the foreground -- because he tends to blend in.

For me, a perfect render would have it without the ones in the background. Even so, I still wish I could pull up a deckchair, sit back, and watch the sun set, the moon rise, and all the stars come out for the night.

In other words, a job well done. :)

Thu August 27, 2009 at 1:13 am

Chris B
"Now I know where I want to"
... go on vacation to!

It's awesome, Love it. Esp how you can tell that the sun's light is hitting the moon from somewhere below/behind the plant.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 0:46 am

"Dig It!"
I really enjoy the darker themes. This one I like. I cannot wait until we see a dual monitor version for my work computer.

Amazing, per usual.

Thu August 27, 2009 at 0:42 am

Very nice! Can we have a daylight-version aswell? :)

Thu August 27, 2009 at 0:38 am

"mixed about the pelicans"
I love the scene, and the lighting is very cool. I vastly prefer night scenery to day scenery, so this is right up my alley. If I had to pick anything I'm not wild about, it's the pelicans in flight....they just seem to stick out a bit too much.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 11:45 pm

I absolutely love the colors and the stars in this wallpaper. The rocks in the foreground, however, are strangely green, and I wonder if the sky/space were a bit darker if the stars and clouds wouldn't provide a more interesting contrast?

Wed August 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm

"Worth The Wait.. Id like to see a Day version"
well worth the wait! This picture kind of reminds me of "cancer" one of the older wallpapers you did. I like the birds and the purple sky. I would LOVE to see a day version of this with crystal clear water and green palm trees kind of like "endless blue" would anyone else like to see a day version of this ?

Wed August 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm

"This is cool."
I hope to see more like this. Sunsets are beautiful. I think I've said it before, but I love people commenting on my wallpapers at work, and I tell them, "That's not a 'real' picture -- it's a digital render," and seeing their amazement. My only suggestion is that you throw in a quick abstract or two during these big projects. I love them and it helps keep us pacified. :) Keep the great wallpapers coming!

Wed August 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm

This is simply stunning! There is that something I feel is not right, but difficult to say as this image is just so breathtaking!

I've flipped through some images and looked at "First light" and "New Dawn". There's definitely that something lacking with the water! The sky and foliage should be left untouched!

Before I vote, I'm taking this to work so I can take in this image's beauty!

Simply stunning!

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm

"Best Night Wallpaper!"
I really love this one! Bravo! The mood it sets is great and reminds you of a vacation on a tropical island somewhere. Also reminds me of the movie Cast Away. I am a huge fan of your nighttime wallpapers, keep 'em coming!

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm

"1440 x 900 Version"
I've uploaded a new 1440 x 900 file. Please try it now.

Yes I did change the watermark and it may not be in the same place as a lot of you are used to. If it isn't looking right for your screen resolution feel free to post here and I can fix the process to they all work in the future.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm

"1440 x 900 Version"
I'm not sure what's different here, but the "digitalblasphemy.com" mark in the lower right of this picture doesn't fit my task bar. All the other 1440x900 pics fit properly, but it's about half covered in this one. Have you made the mark lower or am I just losing my elite windows skills?

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:34 pm

"Very Nice!"
Looks really nice. I'd bring out the sky a bit more and take out the birds in the sky in the middle. While they add detail they distract from the sky.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:08 pm

"Very Pretty"
Makes me think of a sunset in Maui. Very well done, Ryan. Yet another feather in your (already full) cap.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Peter S
"Definitely worth the wait!"
You were definitely right, great, great desktop! The detail that you put in was exactly what I look for in a desktop picture. Thanks!

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Dude, those are more pelicans (in flight) -- download the 2560x1600 version and zoom in -- you'll see! ;-)

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

"Black things on horizon"
What are the black objects that appear to be above the horizon in the center?

Love the pelican and the stars.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:44 pm

This is in my favorite top 10.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Nice, very nice! Totally agreed, this was worth the wait.

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:39 pm

"This was worth the wait!"
Is the triple screen of "Enshrouded" STILL rendering?

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:38 pm

"Better than NICE"
Man, this is AWESOME -- the sky, stars, moon and clouds are completely realistic. Thumbs up Ryan!

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Glad to see lightning didn't strike the 'pooter! ;-)

Wed August 26, 2009 at 9:30 pm

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