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8.16/10 rating
(215 Members Voted)

My first project designed and rendered entirely on my new workstation (Bucephalus). Thanks to all the Members and people who pitched in (over $3000) so I could work on such an insane tower of technology!

After the Chaiten volcano in Patagonia erupted a lot of people sent me pictures of lightning in the ash cloud and asked if I could do something similar. . I received more photos last year after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. At long last the new version of "Vue d'Esprit" (9.5) adds the ability to limit clouds to a certain area, freeing me to make all sorts of "cloud sculptures".

This one started as a thunderstorm but as I was working on it I was reminded of the volcano and decided to go in that direction.

My son Ian drew me a picture of this scene and suggested that I call it "Death Mountain". I suppose that works too. In the end I decided to call this one "Dødenfell" because it is a Norse(-ish) word meaning "Death Mountain".

Quick 5:

Member Comments

"LOVE this one."
I've had this as my home screen wallpaper on two phones now and it is just so damned gorgeous. It actually showed me the wallpaper motion effect on my Galaxy S6 Edge. This background uses that to amazing effect to look more 3D.

All in all, just ridiculously awesome.

Fri September 18, 2015 at 11:47 pm

Hannah Joy
I came across this piece today in an article on volcanos - - as if it was a photograph!

Tue February 25, 2014 at 7:49 am

"Dodenfell (2011)"
Hey look it's December 2012. :)

Sat January 21, 2012 at 12:32 am

I truly like the idea of this one, but I find the colors to be far too muted and pastel compared to "real" volcano pics. I'd love to see a version with the colors intensified. As an example, look at the NASA Earth Observatory photos of the Tungurahura volcano in Ecuador.

Wed December 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I always felt like this image was really cool but for some reason didn't pop. Might be my monitor settings, but I decided to fool with the image in photoshop. All I did was make a duplicate layer and set it to "soft light" (opacity 100%) and the colors in the image stand out so much better. I did this to cosmic shoals and last throes too.

Just a little tip for anyone else who felt like the colors were coming off a bit dead or washed out.

Mon September 19, 2011 at 0:25 am

Alex C
Wow.. That one is really nice. I like the lighting above the clouds. This scene is very very sweet (current wallpaper).

Tue July 26, 2011 at 9:00 am

only noticed it today - Damn its way better than your final - I wish you would turn this one into a triple image! I'm surprised I didn't see this earlier! Love this!!!!

Sat July 16, 2011 at 2:33 am

i like predodenfell the best out of all of them. you should make a dual screen one of it :D

Wed July 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

"Thanks for tri-screen split files"
Thank you for continuing to post tri-screen spit files for us Mac users. Unless I am wrong the only way to have your images over many monitors on a mac is with split-files.

Someday I hope you do a QUAD-screen image. I have 3 on my desk and one huge flatscreen on the wall behind. I work in film post-production music.


Fri June 24, 2011 at 10:23 pm

I've uploaded the 480 x 800. Thanks for the heads up!

Thu June 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm

"480 x 800!"
The 480 x 800 (WP7) link is missing, would like this as my phone background!

Thu June 23, 2011 at 12:41 am

That was the idea I had from the start, but as I added the lightning I remembered the requests for a volcano and took a different path. I promise to return to outer space soon!

Wed June 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm

"Jupiter ?"
The version "pre-dodenfell" looks very much like the cloud covers on Jupiter (probably by accident). I mean - look at the brown-ish cloud formations and the gigantic discharges. If something in this magnitude happens somewhere, then on big gas giants like Jupiter ... Good work ! :)

Wed June 22, 2011 at 7:57 pm

"@JK & Karl"
Thanks for the heads up JK. It should be working now

Karl: I modeled the lightning in Lightwave using a handy little app called "Vertilectric" that I've had for about 10 years now. Don't even think you could buy it anymore...

Wed June 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

"Dødenfell Mobile Link"
The "mobile" link for this has been broken all along.

Wed June 22, 2011 at 7:46 am

"Dødenfell Mobile Link"
The "mobile" link for this has been broken all along.

Wed June 22, 2011 at 7:45 am

How do you do the lightning in vue? I have been using it but I cant figure out how to do lightning.

Wed June 22, 2011 at 0:44 am

Thank you very much for the link.

Best wishes.

Tue June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for extending the image out into the multiple-screen sizes.

~ Wolfe

Tue June 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I need to link to all of the Pickle Jar files. Sorry. It's in here.

Tue June 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Somehow one of my favorite pieces. Any chance at a Iphone/Pre (320 X 480) resolution?

Tue June 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Strange, it seems to download fine for me. Could you try this link?

Tue June 21, 2011 at 10:58 am

"Error in 3200x1200?"
When I try to download the 3200x1200 dual screen version from the dropdown menu on the dualscreen page I get a message saying the file has errors.

Tue June 21, 2011 at 10:47 am

That was great. Felt like I was flying through the clouds and came upon that. Really like it for even being that early of a render. thanks.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Just saw your new addition to the pickle jar. Wow! I like it so much, I'll be using that one for awhile on my desktop.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

@caleb705 Thanks for the tip. I used to use Ultramon to set my wallpaper, until I started developing my own - that's how I knew how to properly set wallpapers, since I first encountered this problem when testing my own software.

The username '@Aurrion' was supposed to be 'jlpilkin'. Sorry for the confusion. Apparently I can't read forms properly.

@Ryan Nice work on the pickle jar version of Dodenfell.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 4:58 pm

@Aurrion A easier way of working with multimonitor backgrounds and screensavers, is displayfusion. I've used it for a long time. It will resize and offset images automatically for you, if you choose. You can also have it randomly change background every so often, which I really like, because every time I turn on my computer it's a different background.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I've added an early version of this scene to my Pickle Jar.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

"@Aurrion & Caleb"
Thanks so much for posting these tips. As someone who (still) only uses 1 monitor I am at a loss when folks ask me how to fix their multiscreen issues.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

"Another Monitor Fix"
If you don't want to change your monitor layout, another way to fix the problem is to open the image in Photoshop or another photo editing program that has the 'offset' capability, and offset the picture by 1680 px in the 'X' or 'horizontal' direction. This step is required since your primary monitor is not the left-most monitor. Windows tiles backgrounds starting at the primary monitor.

Mon June 20, 2011 at 9:14 am

"Highland Storm"
Some of my favourites is anything in the Highland Series, and seeing this one made me think it would be cool if there was a stormy one to go in the series. Just a thought

Mon June 20, 2011 at 6:27 am

"Monitor Fix"
@Aurrion Right click on your desktop and choose "Screen Resolution." From there, drag the two (or more) screens around in the little diagram until they are how you want them. Let me know if that fixes your problem.

Sun June 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm

"All Pix"
I love this pic as I do most of the others. But I have a problem. I run dual 16:10 screens (3360x1050) and Win7. I right-click on the pic to save it, then again to make it my desktop. It saves properly, but as a desktop pic the screens are always reversed. I have switched hardware ports, and I have switched the identity of the screens. Regardless of what I do, left is always on the right and right on the left. Anyone have a thought on how I might correct this?

Sun June 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I have one Picklejar version of this to add shortly!

Sun June 19, 2011 at 10:06 am

"Love it -- and a suggestion: Flip it!"
As always, I love your work Ryan... and here I go replacing the wallpaper I thought I was going to keep forever (Tropic of Thetis).

But I have a suggestion, one which might be especially useful for us dual screen users, but also some of the triples: Provide a vertically-flipped version. My main screen is in front of me, but my secondary is to the right, and only that one is usually not obscured with all of my open applications and windows -- so I flipped the image myself and put it the volcano on the right.

True, I know anybody can do this, but then your watermark is backwards. ;-) Anyway, just a notion.

Fri June 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm

"Missing resolution(?)"
I think the 480x800(WP7) image resolution is missing =(

Fri June 17, 2011 at 12:59 am

"Dødenfell (2011)"
uau! what a gloomy scenario! o.O

im sure a pickle jar version of this one WITH the beautiful sky all over would be nice...

a serene night mountain-sky scenario... cool! ^^

hope something cheerful comes in your next work Ryan!

can't wait for it! =)

Cheers to all from Oporto - Portugal

Thu June 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Thanks! That is why I shouldn't upload files right before I go to bed. Here you go!

Thu June 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

"Missing dual 2560x1600?"
WTB a 5120x1600 link...

Thu June 16, 2011 at 2:22 am

The link should be showing up now. No wonder it all uploaded so fast.

I would call this one a winter scene if I had to choose from those options.

Wed June 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

"Missing dual 16:10"
Where is the 3840 x 1200 dual screen version???

On another note, I'm not sure how to categorize this one. I keep all of the Digital Blasphemy images in organized folders. With Windows 7 I can select a folder and turn on the shuffle mode. I LOVE this one but I don't know which folder to put it in. It's not an abstract, planetscape or holiday image. If I put it into a seasonal folder which season would it go in? It looks like there is snow on those hills. Winter maybe???

Wed June 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

No problem. I could have gone either way either way with the aurora and I may bring it back in another image down the line. I added the dual and triple-screen versions this evening. Hope you all enjoy them!

Wed June 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm

"RE: Aurora (Duh)"
I guess I should have read down a little bit, disregard that lol.

Wed June 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

"RE: Aurora"
I do not believe the Aurora is distracting at all. This wallpaper is quickly becoming my favorite. Any thoughts on a Multi-Screen of this one?

Wed June 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm

"Bucephalus the Powerful"
Now that you have the power of Bucephalus, what about finishing the render on Enshrouded (2009)? We didn't get the muliscreen on that one, and it's a favorite, one of your best.

Wed June 15, 2011 at 3:10 pm

"Even Nicer!"
I liked the original idea quite a lot, but this one just fits together a lot nicer as a whole image. One of my favourites now!

The 480 x 800 size is missing though, would really love this on my phone! Thanks!

Wed June 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

"@Dennis M."
I also agree about the fires, it was a nice touch and realistic. That aside I gotta say I love this version, the sky looks cool and the updated water reflection looks nice as well.

Wed June 15, 2011 at 1:02 pm

The mountain itself looks much better in this latest version. I coudn't quite decide whether to download the image or not with the earlier versions, but now I've definately downloaded it and will use it. Great!

Wed June 15, 2011 at 5:03 am

this is surely one of the best images you've ever created... there's so much story that could be read into dodenfell; like a good sci-fi space opera; or a early man kind struggle for survival kind of story...

thanks Ryan, love your work!

Wed June 15, 2011 at 2:38 am

Dennis M.
I would think that there would be a few fires here and there. Maybe not neatly on the coast, but spotted where hot ash had hit dry timber.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Ross H.
"Even better!"
Like others here, I like this version a lot better!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Ross H.
"Even better!"
Like others here, I like this version a lot better!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

"3rd is better"
I prefer the sky background of the **3rd** version.

I had seen the previous aurora too many times in previous projects.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

"3rd is better"
I prefer the sky background of the 2rd version.

I had seen the previous aurora too many times in previous projects.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

"3rd version"
This third version looks better. The pull-back did it much good. I actually don't miss the aurora even though I generally like them very much.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 5:41 pm

"Very Nice"
Consistent look throughout the image. No more hodge podge.

Great work!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Love this new sky where the Aurora use to be!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Just wanted you all to know that the Multiscreen version is rendering now on Bucephalus.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Of the three this one is my favorite! It portrays much more of the angry mountain feeling.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I love this version. The sky is far less obnoxious when trying to view the main focus of this piece. I love it.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

"New Version"
LOVE IT. All changes are for the better! Dual & Triple versions please!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 12:02 am

"Few Comments"
Things I liked about prev versions:

-Darker mountain

-Fires around the mountain

-Not as far back

Things I'd love to see:

-Fire's back somewhere

-The magma and area looks a little to pinkish for my taste, I'd expect a dark deep red or something slightly orange

-Agree with the other poster about pixelation.. its harming realism

-Have you considered moving the PoV to being much closer? I could imagine a PoV almost near the base of the mountain looking up where it could look very realistic and the angry sky would be right in your face.. has the possibility of being pretty epic I think.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

"angry sky"
i like the distant vantage, hope that revisions includes doing some mountain work... they still stand out as fake to my eye.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

"480 x 320"
I'm not using this resolution myself but it occurs to me that the images presented under this resolution are not really at 480 x 320 but at 480 x 450 for a while now. Thought I'd let you know.

I love this new version of Dødenfell by the way. Great work as always!

Tue June 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

I like the concept, but feel it is a bit too grainy for my desktop's taste. Maybe it's right on for the subject matter; 'just seems pixelated. Keep up the great work.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

"Dødenfell 3"
Wow, this new render is amazing, love the pull back as well as the trees not burning. Very very nice.

Tue June 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

"Love Dodenfell"
Always the best. Can't wait for the dual screen. Keep it up, peeps always ask where I get my wallpaper, and I send them to your site.

Sat June 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I posted this just before heading out on a family trip that we'd been planning for a while now. I got back yesterday and I am making some revisions right now. There will be another version of "Dødenfell" before I am through with it.

Sat June 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Not that i don't love this version of "Dødenfell" but could you say if this is the final version, or if there will be an update?

Btw, 100th comment! ;D

Sat June 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm

"Stunning as usual."
Amazing! I love the contrast of the different lightning bolts and their glow effect on the clouds. Beautifully done!

Fri June 10, 2011 at 6:22 pm

"Hodge Podge"
It looks like a mix of this and that, maybe trying out the capabilities of the new machine. I can appreciate that, but it's not on par with some of your better stuff as of late. Every once in awhile, you produce something that speaks (or screams) to me, which is why I've been a member for over 10 years. This one felt like a bit of a whisper.

Fri June 10, 2011 at 6:06 am

"I love the Aurora!"
I thought the aurora was a great touch. It reminded me of some of the past DB works which had the aurora too, and I enjoyed imagining this taking place on that same world somewhere.

Thu June 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Ross H.
"Love it!"
Very nice! I especially love the fire on the shore line!

Thu June 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm

"YES = +Aurora!"
I've posted on this topic early on and having lived in a country that experiences auroras and volcanoes, I must vote YES! In Icelancic it would be "Dauða Fjall" and I've experienced lightning and auroras along with ground shaking during volcanic activity!

Super awesome work Ryan!

Thu June 9, 2011 at 9:17 pm

"Aurora <--Yes"
I really like the Aurora and the color it brings. I vote keep it!

Thu June 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

"Quite realistic!"
I just came across this from the AP wire:

Amazing how photorealistic you get, Ryan! Keep up the great work!

Thu June 9, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I like the aurora - it makes the render more interesting and colorful IMHO. But if the consensus is against it, what would go in its place? Black sky? More smoke, ash, and lightning that would seem to be going against the direction of the current smoke and ash? In any case, I'm putting in my humble vote for keeping the aurora.

Thu June 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

"Re: Aurora"
I would lose the aurora. It's definitely one of those things that sounds cool, but ends up being too much. This scene is very busy even without it. I would also lose the orange fiery streaks coming out of the top of the volcano. There was something about this scene that just wasn't siting well with me and I think it is those orange fiery streaks. They don't look particularly realistic. The smoke plum with lightening is very cool on its own. I think less is more in this instance.

I love your work, Ryan. I think it's awesome that you interact with your fans as much as you do. Keep up the great work!

Thu June 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Definitely a cool photo but I think in the wallpaper's case it detracts from the lightning. I feel like the sky the lightning is set against should be darker/blacker to make the lightning pop out more.

Secondly in the photo the contrast between the green aurora and the dominating orange is really eye popping, but in the wallpaper there is not enough of one dominating color in the volcano/plume to contrast the green aurora.

Just my two sense though. Still loving the plume and lightning itself though.

Thu June 9, 2011 at 2:24 am

Do you guys think the Aurora is too distracting? I was thinking of this awesome photo when I added it.

Thu June 9, 2011 at 1:39 am

Daniel B
"Chilean Volcano Shot"
There was a few pictures taken of the Cordon Caulle volcano that had the ash plume lit up an intense orange color by the setting sun. maybe ditching the aurora, and changing it to a sunset shot with the cloud lit up.

Volcanos are such a dynamic event, it could be a series of pictures in of itself, either taken from different angles around the volcano or during different times of day. Or a before/during/after series.

Wed June 8, 2011 at 7:47 pm

"Too Awesome but needs more and a tad less"
I think it needs some more lightning bolts like the actual photographs (still in aweee about those) and more smoke with less aurora. But other than that I think it's amazing work and IS exactly why I've been a member for years.

Wed June 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

I like this a lot for the most part. However I feel like the green/blue aurora doesn't fit. There is too much going on and the aurora distracts from the volcano/lightning.

Tue June 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I enjoy this image very much. Sorta reminds me of Mount Vesuvius. I would really enjoy seeing a Multiscreen version of this. I wonder what you would change to do that, very cool! :-)

Tue June 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

"seems washed out"
Seems like contrast is I'm looking it on comic book paper.

Tue June 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm

"Rediscovered db"
Yesterday I turned to the "Mac side" by getting a MacBook Pro. I was surprised at how cheap is my "old" laptop display compared to the one on the mac. I browsed the db collection and saw a lot of stuff I didn't notice before with my laptop display which has a resolution of "1366x768". I rediscovered why Ryan is the best lol.

Tue June 7, 2011 at 9:57 am

"Chile volcano pictures"
When I saw Ryan's first picture of this volcano, I was astounded. The second one is even better. Love it!!!!

Here are pictures from the volcano in Chile.

Tue June 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

I like the new one more, and can we get some multiscreen renders? I think there are like 3 outstanding new images without multiscreens :|

Tue June 7, 2011 at 3:22 am

I heard a news story tonight about a Volcano in Chile that is creating it's own lightning! When I saw the pictures of the TV, I was thought, wow, Ryan can predict the future! :)

Mon June 6, 2011 at 8:31 pm

+1 vote for current version

Mon June 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

That's a really nice one!

I'm really waiting for a multiscreen version of this.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

"Reminds me of...."
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

If you didn't see the movie, you probably don't know what I'm talking about.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

"I definitely prefer this version"
No idea why the other one is rated higher. My best guess would be this one has been up longer than the original one, so it has more votes with some people rating it a bit lower and bringing down the average. I suspect had you kept the original version up longer, it would have gotten more votes too and the voting average would have brought it down similar to where this one is now.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I've taken a look at both versions and I think they're both fantastic. The only difference I can see between the two is that the newest version has spewing lava and the subsequent brush fires that erupted as a result. I give them both a thumbs-up!

Ryan, I think the latest version is just fine. My own personal comment is to lighten the scene just a bit to bring out more of the background detail but other than that... keep it!

Mon June 6, 2011 at 11:59 am

"RE: Ratings"
The original was up for less than a day, so only the most "hardcore" users would have even noticed it. I sure didn't. The ratings gap could be explained by the facts that a wider audience would have seen this version vs. the original, which could bring the score down.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 11:02 am

I see that more people are preferring the original version (according to the ratings). I'm wondering which elements of the revision people would prefer I keep and which I should ditch.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 9:40 am

Ah, I see it now. I'll try to get a new version up shortly. Probably didn't notice it on my desktop because the Windows taskbar covers it up. Thanks for the heads up!

Mon June 6, 2011 at 9:12 am

"Image Glitch"
Hi Ryan,

I have tried a forced refresh (Shift-Ctrl-R) of the 1920*1200 image and still get a partial pixel shift (but not as bad as the first) in the bottom left had corner, in addition it look like there is something across the entire bottom ~15 pixels of the image.

I even downloaded the image file to my desktop and see it.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

"Multi Screen"
I really enjoy your work! Check you site every day to see whats new. I'm waiting on some multi screens as well! :-)

Mon June 6, 2011 at 7:35 am

"Multi Screen"
Ryan - are there going to be multi screens of this and Riverbend? I have been keeping an eye on them and not seem them as of yet.

Mon June 6, 2011 at 6:15 am

"Nod to Norway"
Technically it should be "Dødens fjell" in Norwegian, but close enough. Very nice!

Mon June 6, 2011 at 4:32 am

Ryan, I love this wallpaper and I think that it is a technical masterpiece, but I feel that it falls short of some of your better works because there are too many different things going on. It takes away from the sense of awe that accompanies many volcanic eruptions

Sun June 5, 2011 at 6:30 pm

"Norse Knowledge"
Ryan, you know a lot about Norse things. You've done Norse mythology in the past, and now a Norwegian title. Do you have some Norwegian ancestry?

Sun June 5, 2011 at 1:23 am

"Looks great"
Thank you for another excellent wallpaper. This is looking very good in my upcoming wallpaper software (mentioned about a month ago - I have to speed things up to get this finished before Windows 8 comes out).

One thing I would change is perhaps add a bit of color saturation to the landscape (and perhaps the entire picture as a whole).

Speaking of Windows 8, I didn't even see the ability to set a background when I was looking at the recently released video. If they don't have that functionality, that would definitely be a deal-breaker for me, as I wouldn't even be able to use your images at all.

Sun June 5, 2011 at 0:16 am

David W.
"Holy Cow!"
Looks like the mother of all natural disasters! Death Mountain is right!

Sat June 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Phillip D
Wow this is amazing, great lighting effects.. I have to get Vue 9 sometime to try out some new things (Currently I have Vue 8 Complete)..The lighting effects is like a WOW..well I live a few hours from Yellowstone so I imagine that is what it will look once it is erupted, LOL...

I have an idea for you is to create a new album of your son's renders if he does them (as I read somewhere on your site he did a few) to see how interesting is to see your son abilities as he gets older..... My daughter is 8 and she does some Vue work her self (although the quality is as of a child's level but I think she did good). I wont let her use Poser yet until she gets older though.

Sat June 4, 2011 at 2:02 pm

"cannot display 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600 renders"
Firefox says "cannot be displayed because it contains errors" for both the 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600 renders.

Sat June 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

"Re:Image Glitch"
There was a glitch in the first files I uploaded yesterday, but I've reuploaded the files this morning however and the glitch should be fixed. You may need to re-download the file to get the newest version though. Load it in your browser window and hit Shift-Ctrl-R to force your browser to fetch the latest file.

Sat June 4, 2011 at 11:40 am

"Image Glitch"
There's a definite layer shift (seen when switching back & forth between Eldritch and Dodenfell). There's also line running up the right edge of the image.

Nitpicking aside, it is still a great debut image for Bucephalus.

Sat June 4, 2011 at 11:22 am

"detail error"
theres a detail error at the bottom left of the image

Sat June 4, 2011 at 6:55 am

This. Is. So. Awesome. I love your abstracts the most (though all of your work is excellent), but THIS tops everything. The concept is great, and it's so well-executed and interesting.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I love the updated lights and reflections!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm

"v v"
Nice update!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Yes, I see it. I've uploaded a new file and it should be fixed now. You may have to load the image and hit CTRL-R to see the new file in your browser. Thanks for the heads up!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

"image glitch"
At least on the 1920x1080, the bottom quarter of the screen, starting "an inch" from the left looks like it had a layer shifted up and over a bit. There's a definite vertical line through the water in the bottom left.

Aside from that, fantastic image. The aurora's a nice touch.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm

"Love it."
Love the whole thing. Just hope that you are planning on tri screens of it because this would be my WP for a LONG time.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm

"lights in the water"
Might I suggest something slightly different than the fire in the foreground? You have an erupting volcano - why not a lava flow that grows bigger as it hits the water and you get some steam coming up from the water. this would make some fire along the shore more realistic. an example here:

Just a thought.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Very cool graphic! I still say,"Watch it! Yer Son's a comin to take your place!" :-)

Fri June 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

It too just under 24 hrs to render at 3360 x 2100 on my new machine. Given my benchmarks it probably would have taken around 3 days on my old box.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

"Render time"
Just out of curiosity, how long did this take to render?

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm

"O_O *Applause*"
Gorgeous work Ryan! I love the update, and can't wait to see if there are more after this. Also eagerly waiting on the dual-screen render.

Thanks again!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:24 pm

"Love it"
This will be my wallpaper for quite a spell...

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:06 pm

"And the hits just keep on comin."
Ryan...BRAVO! Love it and Bucephalus seems to be doing you well. I've been downloading your free stuff for at least 2 years and I finally decided to get a membership this year. Love your work. Keep it up.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm

"Cool - I would add one more thig"
OK, so I'm a Geology geek, so take this as you will. I think you're new render is cool, but it needs one more thing - pyroclastic flow (think a burning hot avalanche of superheated gas mixed with dust, lava, and superheated boulders the size of a house)...

Fri June 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm

"Excellent kick-off for new machine!"
Wow! Congratulations on the new work station set-up! What a way to kick it off, with fireworks!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 2:03 pm

"Benchmarks for drow"
Here are some SiSoft Sandra Benchmarks for Bucephalus (with numbers for my old box in parenthesis):

Aggregate Arithmetic Performance: 266.31 GOPS (93.69)

Dhrystone ALU: 317 GIPS (126.28)

Whetstone iSSE3: 223.67 GFLOPS (69.5) 62.13 MFLOPS/MHz (23.22)

Aggregate Memory Bandwidth: 32.36 GBs (5.73)

Windows Experience Index 7.8 (7.7)

Any others you would like to see?

Fri June 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

"so, come on..."
how fast is it? benchmarks, or it didn't happen.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Render looks awesome.I'm looking forward for the updates to this render.

Nice to see you gave a name to your workstation. I also gave a name to my new PC, before the buildup I called it "Project Alpha", and after I finished building it I named it "Aldebaran"(from Alpha Tauri).

Fri June 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

scott wray
"way to roll out the new box!"
I was waiting to see what you'd drop as your first render on your new machine...and BAM! soon as i saw this image go up it went on my background immediately. everyone at work stops by my desk to look at it.

This new box you built is going to bring amazing results for us all!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 12:41 am

"Title change..."
The night before I first posted this, I showed it to my son Ian and asked him what I should call it. I'd been struggling with a title for the past couple of days and was ready for some fresh ideas. He immediately said "Death Mountain" and even drew a nice picture of his own to illustrate the concept which I posted on my Facebook page as a teaser on Wednesday.

Well, I posted my first version yesterday with the title "Night on Eldritch Mountain". "Death Mountain", which cool, held "Zelda" connotations that I did not wish to evoke.

After sleeping on it I have settled on the title "Dødenfell", which is a mangling of the Norwegian "Døden Fjell".

I am also trying another idea that I took from his drawing and hope to see the results from the render soon. Stay tuned.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 11:23 am

Sweet, Can't wait for the multiscreen versions. This one is going on the monitors for sure.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 9:46 am


Fri June 3, 2011 at 9:41 am

Mark J.
"Nice one, Ryan."
I think the Aurora Borealis lights are out of place, though.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 9:21 am

Henry V.
"Spectacular! But..."
This is a terrific photo. However, I feel that there are a few elements really missing... Lava. Someone else already mentioned reflections in the water and another pointed out what I would call some distracting elements. Perhaps add more lightning shooting outwards into the sky (i.e. to the left in the main cluster)?

Fri June 3, 2011 at 9:08 am

I absolutely love this image. The mixing of hot and cold colors is great!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Ever since Eyjafjallajökull, i was looking forward to seeing this render. Looks amazing, well done. good way to start out my friday morning.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 8:12 am

I love it - dark, but also lots of color. What a perfect blend. :)

Fri June 3, 2011 at 7:52 am

"Awsome Clouds"
I love the mountain, smoke, clouds and the lightning, but as with some others I feel the foreground to be missing something.

I think perhaps it's just that the water is just too placid and serene and doesn't fit with the turmoil going on above. I can imagine that an erupting volcano is going to affect the sea around it.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 7:20 am

"Freakn' Amazing!!!!"
Nuff said :)

Fri June 3, 2011 at 7:16 am

Having lived in Iceland, the land of Fire and Ice, this can be a very close representation of volcanic activity there. I remember the eruption of Hekla in 2000 where it was accompanied with lightning and northern lights.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 5:16 am

"Ummmm - not sure"
I adore your work, all of it but this is probably the first image I'm not so sure about. Northern Lights, volcanic eruption with lightning storm on a tropical looking island... Maybe just too many concepts in one image? Of course I maybe just not understanding it first (it happened before with other works of art, but not yours;)

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:58 am

"That's remarkable"
Love the contrast in this picture!

Fri June 3, 2011 at 3:54 am

"'' Amazing ''"
When I first saw this image it just comes at you from the top half. I scarcely paid any attention to the bottom half of this image but if you need to tweak it so be it, but I am delighted with just what I see and not what I think is missing.

Fri June 3, 2011 at 0:40 am

This one really has an impact. The more you look at it you can say this could be better or that but it's very dramatic and I'm sure anything you do will just be the icing on an already great cake.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Thanks guys! I actually spent all of yesterday trying to get more of the top part of the image reflected in the water. I think the angle is just too shallow for it to appear.

Looking at the picture Ian drew for me, however, gave me an idea. I am doing a test render tonight and if it looks like an improvement I should have a new version up tomorrow.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I am seriously digging this picture. I love the serene waters and it's a great contrast to the turbulent skies above. The only thing this one *might* need, imho, is some colorful, but still soft, watery reflection. After that? Perfect.

Love, love, love this.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm

"Fishy Fishy"
This is a fantastic picture. I agree with most of the critical comments below regarding the reflection and the necessity for something to happen in the foreground to improve the picture.

My own personal input would be this: If you cover the right 2/3rds of the screen, leaving only the aurora area, it almost looks like an underwater scene. This is particularly true because one of the clouds? I believe it is? Looks a lot like a fish. Maybe change the shape of the silhouetted figure?

The first quadrant is phenomenal though. Amazing skyworks.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I love your lighting in the ash.

Personally I like the dim reflection of the trees and lower volcano, it brings more attention to the lightning w/o being barren of detail.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Thats exactly what i was about to say :P Might mess up the depth a little though...depending on what's being reflected.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

"Night on Eldritch Mountain"
The sky looks quite interesting, but everything under the sky could use some work; I agree with Alex H that the bottom is reminiscent of your earlier work.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Alex H
"awesome but unfinished"
top half is easily one of the best looking things you've done, bottem half somehow reminds me of your 1998\9 pictures :P The terrain looks somehow wrong.

as for a human element, someone watching the awesome from afar is something I see in a lot of db wallpapers. In case it becomes a db cliche, why not try something else? A little fleet of rowing boats trying to escape the chaos would be cool, or even something as simple as a wooden hut somewhere on the shoreline.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm

"Water reflections?"
I like it - but maybe some of the sky pyrotechnics could be reflected in the water?

Thu June 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm

"Great imagery"
The colours in the lightning and the added touch of the aurora lights make this pretty special.

As it's in a volcanic area, perhaps some rocks protruding out of the water to break it up a bit? Cheers

Thu June 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm

"I Love It!"
I could stare at this for hours. I think the northern-lights-type phenomenon in the top left gives the image some sort of poetic contrast.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm

"Setting the bar!"
Once again you have set the bar for everyone else to aspire to. If "Bucephalus" has inspired you this much on his first run out, I can't imagine where you 2 might end up together! Please keep them coming!

Thu June 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm

This is a really good render, and the colors are amazing! its edgy and rough, but at the same time it displays an etherial-ness that i love about your style. good job!

Thu June 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Daniel B
"Foreground needs something..."
Maybe needs a human element... like a bit of land in the foreground with someone observing the erruption?

Thu June 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

zoo maven
"great picture"
I really love this picture. I think it would be really cool if the water could be made to reflect the erupting volcano. Maybe even the ligtening bolt as well. If not, it is still an awesome picture. Great job Ryan!!

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

"Love it"
Ryan, it's fantastic as usual. Just one thought... I see reflections in the water but not any of the "lights" (lightning and such). Just a thought.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

"@Jason re: expression"
I wouldn't presume to speak for Ryan, but what I get out all of his non-abstract works is a feeling that I'm seeing part of a story. In Dolmen it's a story about an ancient civilization. In Night on Eldritch Mountain it's about what appears to be an active volcano which may actually be something far more sinister and fantastic.

I'm usually struck by the impression that what I'm not seeing is even more fascinating than what I am seeing. It gives me a pleasant feeling of anticipation which is of course never requited.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm

The colors on this one are stunning! I love it. :D Should you change the bottom, I think that will just make it look even better.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

"Bottom Half"
I agree that the bottom half could see some improvement. An idea that is immediately present given the whole "volcano" thing is raining flaming lava / forest fires. All in all, still a stellar image and one of my favorites.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm

This is majorly EPIC I think. I'm SO exicted that Ryan finally got upgraded. Don't be afraid to add some color to the bottom half of this. I have a feeling the final render could be a personal fave of mine ;)

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

"Cool, but..."
Your work is amazing, and I can fully appreciate the cool pics. But pics like this and "Dolmen", while good, leave me wondering what you were trying to express as an artist. Works like "Interopposite" and "Highland Spring" impact me (personally) much more. But then... I never studied art so maybe it's just my layman's eyes that can't see what you're trying to say. ;)

Thu June 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I've reuploaded that the 1280 x 800 file. Let me know if you are still having trouble!

Thu June 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I immediately downloaded it and put it on my phone... great on the Thunderbolt!!!

Thu June 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

"Xoom version corrupted?"
I like! But FYI, the Xoom resolution is corrupted--the bottom of the picture is messed up.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 12:57 am

That is simply amazing, I can hardly wait for the dual screen.

Thu June 2, 2011 at 12:45 am

Multiscreen Downloads (Members Only)

DB Recommends DisplayFusion



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