Sakura (Night)

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9.15/10 rating
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It was my original intention to create a night scene for "Sakura" that used some of the same "bio-luminescence" from "Satori". I played around with quite a few different textures on the petals (see the blue Pickle Jar version here).

The results, however, were underwhelming. The idea struck me as I was falling asleep one night to light the scene from beneath and that's when I thought up the floating lanterns.

Fortunately I remembered my idea the next morning. I modeled the lanterns in Lightwave, imported them to my scene and set up the lights. I have to admit that my first test renders really took my breath away.

I hope you like the results! I almost prefer this one to the day version...

BTW: The character on the lanterns translates to "cherry blossom".

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Rick (Horseman)
"Sakura (Night)"
This artwork speaks volumes for 'peace', 'tranquility', and 'balance'.

Wed January 3, 2018 at 7:57 am

I don't know how I missed this beautiful piece. How tranquil...

Thu June 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

You nailed this one, pal.... Excellent...!

Tue March 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Mario Carini
"Sakura Night"
The colors are so beautiful. The scene so tranquil. Imagine swimming among these lights.

Thu September 24, 2015 at 2:26 am

The depth and nuance draw me back to this piece again and again. The ephemeral nature of the lanterns as they float away, the fleeting beauty of the cherry blossoms: all is held for an eternal moment in this canvas.

Wed August 26, 2015 at 1:01 am

I keep coming back to this one. The best "reach out and touch it" renderings. After all the many years I've been here, this is my favorite.

Tue November 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

"Pure Sweetness"
I've been a fan for a long time (lifer for several years now) and this is one of my favorite scenes. It's uncanny how the petals in the trees pick up the light from the lanterns. Fantastic. Keep up the great work!

Tue June 18, 2013 at 9:35 am

Absolutely amazing.

Fri May 10, 2013 at 7:24 am

I've been a lifer for about 3 years and this is perhaps my favorite all around piece in your collection thus far!

However, I have a bit of a background in plant science. Cherries are in the Rose family and one of the most distinctive family characteristics is that the flowers almost always have 5 petals. Perhaps this was modeled after one of the odd species where that's not the case?

Regardless...amazing work!

Thu May 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

I love your night landscapes and this one is one of the best! The flower colors are so much prettier with the dark background and floating lanterns. In general I like the night papers, as they suit my working environment better.


Wed May 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

The 2560x1080 resolution seems to be missing, too.

Wed May 8, 2013 at 11:42 am

The lighting on the trees is breathtaking, but the grainy water reflections really ruin it. The water in the day version is much smoother.

Wed May 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

"Thanks John"
The 3360 x 1050 is available now!

Wed May 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

3360x1050 resolution is missing.

Tue May 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm

The trees and lighting are absolutely fantastic! It is so realistic. This is my favorite version of this image and one of my favorites of all time.

Only extremely minor thing is if the water could be a little less grainy and more fluid or smooth looking with reflections of the amazing trees.

Tue May 7, 2013 at 0:39 am

This has got to be one of my new favorite pieces from you , Ryan. Its replaced the "Worlds Edge" series as my Windows login screen, which no wallpaper has done as of yet(until now). The lanterns just make the whole thing come together beautifully!

Mon May 6, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Beautiful. Hope dual screen versions are coming.

Mon May 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

Mark J.
Rate this as one of your best, Ryan. And that's saying a lot. Well done. And a great idea.

Sun May 5, 2013 at 11:02 am

absolutely gorgeous. I agree, I like this even more than the daytime version.

@Tom - these lanterns look like they don't have tops to them, so the light would be going up and out as well as in a circle around their bases, and we can't necessarily see if they have dark backs to block light shining backwards. So the illumination seems to work. Granted, if this stream had current, they might not all be facing uniformly in one direction, but who needs to nit-pick that badly? :)

Sat May 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

"New top-rated wallpaper"
Wow, a rating of 9.35 for Sakura Night. Amazing -- knocked Highland Spring out of its coveted all-time number one spot! That's going to be hard to beat -- but if anyone can do it, Ryan can. ;-)

Sat May 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm

The only thing to possibly complain about is the water. It looks like shiny oatmeal and the reflections are off but it's totally beautiful regardless. thank you!

Sat May 4, 2013 at 11:01 am

I really love this piece, but I have a question. It seems to me that a lantern would reflect off the water in a circle all around it, not just in one direction as these do. Am I missing something? Anyway, it doesn't at all detract from the beauty of the work.

Sat May 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

Utterly deiightful

Fri May 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I love the look. I personally think the lanterns look fine at that size. Smaller would cause issues with the one further back. I know with the nature scenes you like to to seasonal renders.Can we expect one with the flossoms falling in the wind? Any chance on widescreens versions.

Fri May 3, 2013 at 11:49 am

"So Beautiful!!"
A much needed piece after the brown dry winter we've had! I even like the blue version, but the final is exquisite!!

Fri May 3, 2013 at 11:22 am

Absolutely beautiful

Fri May 3, 2013 at 10:38 am

utterly beautiful

Fri May 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

Fantastic. Must have dual 16:9!!! Great work on this Ryan

Fri May 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

Fantastic -- most excellent -- now can we get a 16:9 dual screen version, pretty please !?!?!? I want this on my desktop and will be sad until it is there. :-)

Fri May 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

Definitely the greatest piece you ever made! Great work, Ryan.

Fri May 3, 2013 at 9:06 am

Love this version, clever touch with the lanterns (now that I know their meaning), plus they make for great lighting throughout the piece. Fantastic!

Fri May 3, 2013 at 9:06 am


Fri May 3, 2013 at 8:48 am

"@Amanda and Dave"
I should have mentioned it in the notes. The character on the lanterns means "cherry blossoms".

Fri May 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

Gorgeous, as always. I'm curious as to what the character on the lanterns means.

Fri May 3, 2013 at 7:15 am


Fri May 3, 2013 at 6:02 am

My usual preferences with your art are the blues and purples, but I couldn't pass this one up. I love the orange close to the lanterns then fading to pink in the background, very nice!

Fri May 3, 2013 at 2:05 am

Ryan, can you tell us the meaning of the Japanese character on the lanterns?

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:51 pm

This is one of my new all-time favorites, certainly my top spring choice. My students at school want to know where you took this picture. Absolutely beautiful work, Ryan.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

This is very nice! I agree that it's better than the day version.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

"5000/10 and Blue Trees"
I think it would not be fair to have a blue and pink at day

But just pink for night variation and not blue. What do think?

By the way this picture is Stunning and your other pictures are still to this day. Sometimes I wonder what your artwork would look in 2015-16

Thu May 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I have a few minor quibbles, but overall I love the night render even more than I love the day version. The idea of lighting the trees from lanterns in the river is genius, but I think the lanterns are a bit too bright or too large or something -- they're just a little too prominent. Also, the blossoms closest to the lanterns have an orangish appearance that isn't as attractive as it might be. Other than that, it's great -- another winner, Ryan!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm


Thu May 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I usually don't say much, as I am a long time fan of all your work, but this one stood out for me to comment and say what a beautiful job you did with this. It reminds me of some of the little hole in the wall parks that dotted Tokyo, while I was stationed in Japan.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm

"Blue Blooms"
Here is a quick and dirty render of the blue blooms at night.

I think I prefer the pink...

Thu May 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

OMG!! This is stunning! What a great idea to add the lanterns too :D

Thu May 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm

"Re: The Lanterns"
I think if I was going to do another render of this (remember this one took 66 hrs) I would probably do more smaller lanterns. Something about them doesn't look perfect to me either.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Gorgeous! I also am limiting to 9 only for the geometric appearance of the layout for the lanterns.

On the other hand...if you ever decide to light up your pickle jar blue version, I will probably have to order it as a print.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Because it's all kinds of beautiful. The only reason it didn't get a 10, strange as this sounds, is due to the organization of the floating lanterns. It seems too grid-like or something.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm

This is just awesome looking. the idea for the lanterns was genius! have you tought about doing a night version of the Blue Sakura? I bet that would be cool, too!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

OH WOW! The only thing I would change is the small cluster of lamps in the left background. In larger images they seem... out of place. Otherwise this a gorgeous use of lighting!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Loving this. Love the floating candles. Can't wait for the mutli-monitor ones.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 1:48 pm

My first thought when seeing this was "Oh, Wow!" A very nice piece, and I wouldn't change a thing. As soon as the multi-monitor renders are available, it'll be my wallpaper.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Now we're cookin' with oil! The blue version would also be great at night. Thanks again.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm

"Too bright"
I think the title is a little harsh... the whole scene is fantastic, I really like the two day versions. The idea with the floating lanterns is great as well, but personally, I think that for lit candles they shine a little too bright. It's hard to make out the inscriptions... would it be possible to turn down the brightness of the lanterns a little bit and maybe try to keep some of the light by illuminating the trees from above by the moon? I know you explicitly mentioned the intention to illuminate the scene from beneath, but I think the trees could do with a little silver light from above. ;) Thank you for these lovely images!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

Awesome piece. I know have this set to the lock screen wallpaper on my Galaxy S4 and the day time version as the background of the home screen after it's unlocked. It makes for a nice transition.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:53 am

Ross H.
You took an already amazing piece of artwork and made it even better!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:43 am

Thank you for this. I was born and raised in Japan, and this really hit home (more so than the other two). Fantastic.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

Night makes everything better!

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:34 am

Doug B.
Oh my goodness....Ryan outdoes himself yet again.

Thu May 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

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