WEB SITE REVIEW
Divine Blasphemy: Digital Wallpapers
3-D Rendered Images for Your DesktopBy Kevin Der
ASSOCIATE ARTS EDITOR
Created by Ryan Bliss
90-day membership: $12
Tired of tooling on Athena with the same blue background? Participating in a 6.170 marathon and want a wallpaper that makes you believe it’s not six in the morning? Allow me to introduce you to Digital Blasphemy, one of the top Web sites anywhere for 3-D rendered desktop wallpapers.
You’ve probably seen it before: a torsion of ghost-like, fluorescent-blue mushrooms jutting out from the ground. This is just one of hundreds of high-resolution images offered at the site, and the fact that they are completely computer generated is pretty remarkable. People have found some wallpapers so realistic they have mistaken them for photographs.
On the site, you can find them grouped into various categories, including day and night scenery, interiors, planetscapes, and abstracts. There are renderings of everything from canyons to ponds, arboretums to castles, dragons to sorcerers.
In my view, what make these images so beautiful is not only their incredible realism but also the creativity and perspective of the scene. One interior, entitled “Gardener,” depicts a hooded figure standing in a circular stone atrium with a massive tree in the center and a beam of sunlight shining straight down upon it. “Nimbus” has the viewer looking down through a sieve of clouds at a castle situated in a valley. Gorgeous images such as these are offered at resolutions as high as 1600x1200.
The creator of Digital Blasphemy, Ryan Bliss, offers these and every other rendered wallpaper he has ever made in the members section of the site, access to which costs a small fee of $12 for three months of access.
There are many other features available to members, such as the Picklejar, which is a collection of the same scenes captured in different ways. There might be different renderings of the scene during the day and at night, or different arrangements of the figures and objects within the scene. For instance, the picklejar for “Fluorescence” includes the mushrooms in different colors such as red, and taken at different angles with varying terrain.
You can also sample widescreen or dual monitor versions of images, which reveal more of a scene than those with a normal 4:3 size ratio. “Alpine,” for example, looks far better in widescreen, as the viewer can see more of the snowy mountain range that it depicts. And I want to get dual monitors set up just so I can see how it will look to have these images stretched across two screens. It was a lot of fun getting to browse through these collections.
For those who haven’t yet gotten a membership, Bliss offers 30 wallpapers for free, of varying types. But these are only a taste of what lies in the members’ vault. I’m sure you will be tempted to shell out the $12 so that you can explore the vast remainder of the site.
In terms of software, Bliss uses a variety of professional graphics tools to create his 3-D wallpapers. Of these, there is Lightwave, a modeling tool commonly used for visual effects in television and film. He also regularly employs World Builder to create and manipulate terrain, and to paint flora and vegetation onto the environment to craft fields and forests. Others you may have heard of are Poser and Vue d’Espirit.
But, as they say, in the end it’s the artist that matters, not the brush. There are other computer generated wallpaper sites out there, but I haven’t come close to finding any as good as Digital Blasphemy. I consider it the best digital art anywhere. So next time you’re on Athena, check it out, if you’re not too hosed.