Wallpaper-palooza

Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 11:49 AM

I'm an arty sort. Kind of. Well, people think I am. I just bugger about clumsily until something starts to come together. It's not very efficient or a display of a particular amount of talent, really.

So what I like to do is dress my computer monitor with a nice desktop wallpaper background, and change them regularly every week or so. I troll around online for either ready-made wallpapers from movies or comic books or video games or just nice photography, or just cool images that I can adapt into wallpaper-sized images.

My desktop is fairly high-res, at 1680x1050 pixels. It's a common ratio, so most newer wallpapers are available at that scale, but the older ones are still at maximum 1280x960, or more likely 1024x768. These can often be wonderful images, but you can't scale them up without distorting them, Standard Def ratio doesn't work for a Widescreen monitor.

The other problem with a lot of amateur made wallpapers is the very low quality work that's gone into them; either the original image is poorly matched to its background, or there is horrible "artefacting" (speckling caused by high compression), or it's just an ugly mess of styles and bad composition.

As I am very grateful for the work others have put into some of my favourite wallpapers, I thought it was past time for me to put up my own work, all adaptations of images, with a lot of effort gone in to make them look sharp and nicely composed.

This bunch is an eclectic collection, with no specific theme. Except maybe attractive women, which, in my experience, is quite a popular subject amongst a certain crowd.

And as I say, these are all at 1680x1050.


First up is a pic of actress Sandra Bullock. I didn't do too much to this pic - I straightened it, rescaled it to fit, then added a bit of white space to follow the rule of thirds. It's also a good idea to put the main image slightly to one side to make way for the crazy way people stack their icons.



Next up is Selma Blair, as her character Liz Sherman in the Hellboy films. This is a promotional photo, used in posters and the like, but the only one I could find even closely resembling a wallpaper sized pic was badly cropped and with messy artefacting. So I found a larger scale of the original pic, and made my own.



Anne Hathaway, who is something of a star du jour recently, is next up. This image was already used on somebody else's wallpaer in full scale, but it was badly blended into their white background, and I also didn't like the composition they chose. So I moved her over to the right, and then tidied up the ragged edge of where the photo met the background. Then I added in her name, just to fill in the blank space.



The most recent one I made is of Josie Davis. Who's that, then? She was an actress who started out as a kid in the show Charles in Charge back in the 80s, and has worked steadily into adult life. And though she played the nerdy character in that sitcom, she sure didn't maintain that image into adulthood. I was looking through her images after she appeared on my favourite TV show, Chuck.

The original picture was taken in a room with a dirty wall and floor, so I eliminated most of that and gave her a new white background. I added her name, because otherwise you wouldn't have a clue who she was. I really like the colours in this pic, especially her blue top, so I maintained that colour with the gradient and text.



Beginning to move away from the hot chicks motif, but following on tangentially from the previous pic, is a promo pic of Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi from Chuck that I adapted into a wallpaper. I decided to add the red strip behind the characters, which I think works well. I may have overdone the saturation, though; they look like they've just come out of a tanning salon.



One of my favourite video games series is Myst. It started out so uniquely and cleverly, then as the series went on just got better, then it tailed off disappointingly. I couldn't play the last game at all, my computer wasn't powerful enough to handle even the lowest settings.

In Myst IV, which was made by a different team to the other games, the opening of the story occurs in Atrus's home, which is a fantastic steampunk-like series of buildings, clinging to rocks surrounding a pool and waterfall. This image, which I found available online in a huuuuge resolution, has just been scaled and cropped to fit the desktop.



Last up is an adaptation of an Alex Ross painting of the Joker and Harley Quinn, from Batman. I didn't do much, apart from sweetening of the image and adding enough black background to fit the screen. That's the beauty of working with astonishing artwork like that of Alex Ross. I experience similar perfection with Adam Hughes's work.

I was sure I had more than this to upload, but I think I must have lost some of them over the years in various crashes. But I'll put up some more in a few months time, once I have gathered them together.

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1 Reasoned Responses:

Anonymous said...

Great Josie Davis wallpaper. Thank you!

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