This is a companion piece to my "Niflheim" ice scape. Where Niflheim was the Norse realm of ice and fog, Muspelheim was the realm of fire.

The sun here was rendered in Lightwave using a mix of 3D geometry and 2D plane's with Apophysis fractals. I this the two combine to create some very "organic" looking energy effects.

7.30/10 rating (247 votes)

Pickle Jar Variations what's this?

7.50/10 rating (4 votes)

6.21/10 rating (196 votes)

Member Comments

Chris S
Adding my vote for dual/multi-screen versions :)

Sun May 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

"A view from Krypton, perhaps?"
- just before Rao (the primary) exploded?

Sat November 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

Holly Smit
"Reminds me of Crematoria from Chronicles of Riddick"
I don't know whether or not you're a Chronicles of Riddick fan, but the one with the lava flow reminds me of the prison planet Crematoria from that movie. Every time I watch that movie, I think how cool it would be to have a wallpaper showing the rising sun, and accompanying lava/fire, from those scenes on Crematoria. Well done, and thank you for sharing.

Sun June 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

I love the way the sun looks in this, definitely one of my favorites

Wed May 25, 2011 at 7:21 am

Please make a dualscreen version of this!

Fri October 8, 2010 at 11:07 am

"Little details"
That's one of the reasons I love your shots so much, there is always something more if you look close enough, i.e. the man.

Wed April 7, 2010 at 5:14 am

I am still patiently waiting the dualscreen version of this

Mon March 15, 2010 at 10:28 pm

S. Scavere
"@ sleeper"
I agree. will we be seeing a dualscreen of Muspelheim?

Tue February 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

I'd love to see some.

Tue February 9, 2010 at 12:52 am

S. Scavere
I agree. This would be a wonderful scene to be expanded for Multiscreen users.

Fri February 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I'm liking it very much, but I really want a multi-screen version for the desktop. Using DisplayFusion to merge it with another picture just isn't the same.

Fri February 5, 2010 at 4:11 pm

"Norse Myths"
Very nice. A close up of the fire giant Surt guarding his domain would be a really nice feature.

Wed February 3, 2010 at 4:14 pm

"Much Nicer!"
This updated version looks alot more realistic. Why do people ask for different resolutions? Just download the appropriate size(so as no to lose to much detail), then crop and size to fit your needs. Simple!

Mon February 1, 2010 at 0:27 am

"Dual Screen Coming soon?"
Just checking, a multi-screen version of this one is in the oven, Yes?

Wed January 27, 2010 at 7:01 am

"Wishes and Fishs"
Sure wish this one was downloadable in 3840X1200 dual widescreen. It's beautiful - but doesn't work for me in any other resolution.

Tue January 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm

"Much better"
I like what you did with it. Putting the rocks in the background was a great idea. The Cave entrance was also a nice touch. It looks like there are more particles around the star. It is a really nice touch up Ryan :)

Sun January 24, 2010 at 11:51 am

"IPhone Download?"
Thanx for the info, Ryan. That did the trick. Sorry to be a burden in this matter; I'm a bit of a novice regarding IPhones. I hope to learn more with continued use. I believe this might have been excellent info in the Help webpage.

Anyway, thanx again for the good info. :)

Sat January 23, 2010 at 12:27 am

"iPhone Download"
It's actually pretty simple Karkus. Let the image load in your phone's browser then put your finger on the picture and hold it there until the menu pops up asking if you want to Save or Copy the image. Save it to your phone and then select it from your photos to set it as your wallpaper.

Hope this helps!

Sat January 23, 2010 at 11:40 am

"IPhone download?"
I'm a little lost here. Can someone please share with me the procedure for downloading a wallpaper directly to an IPhone? At present, I can only download it to my PC and email the file to myself. Thanx in advance.

Sat January 23, 2010 at 7:54 am

"Muspelheim - Nice Change of Colour"
Hi Ryan

Great Wallpaper again mate !

As others have mentioned would be great to see a 3rd version combining the best parts of each !!

I like the fiery sun & rocks in the first version but the man is clearer & stands out better in the 2nd version :)

Personally I dont like the idea of Free mobile wallpapers as it devalues the membership ... I understand you need to still make a profitable business so you could increase the membership price a bit ... As a regular then life-time member I would prefer an increase rather than the "free" angle.

What about a periodic rotating free image for both mobiles & desktops ? This way you could like still pique interest on both platforms.

You could also do a poll to gauge other members views :)

Just a few of my thoughts as like others I value my DB membership!!

Thanks as always for the great artwork !


Fri January 22, 2010 at 7:24 pm

"for iPhone, the older version was better"
The core of the Star was brighter than it is now - it looks like a dying red giant kinda now. Would like to see a bit brighter yellow in the sun itself (love the reddish, darker coriolis though)

Otherwise love this one, thanks! This is my first comment, have been a lifetime member for many years.

Fri January 22, 2010 at 12:20 am

I too have been a member for many years. I will be a member no matter what is free, its worth it to me to keep all the fine work coming.

Now, every time I look at this with the guy standing on the shore I feel that his ship has just sank. Maybe it was from the chaos in the skies.

Wed January 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I've been a member of this site for years and I've never ever considered making a public negative comment about any of the wallpapers, even if they weren't my thing.

Ryan, I think you are amazingly talented and my only request is that you keep doing your thing.

I like both versions, but I think I like the final one (shown above) the best.

Wed January 20, 2010 at 10:09 am

"" REALM of FIRE ""
at a lower resolution i feel as tho im in a cavern looking out.. at higher up that sensation is replaced by a sense that there is, as suggested by others ,a "halo" effect around the sun. ok here the 64 k question----- is the debris flying towards or away from the sun? hmmmmm....

Wed January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

I'm sorry you feel that way Scott. The simple fact is that if you want my artwork to continue then I have to provide an incentive for non-members to come to my site. I'm not really giving away anything that someone with rudimentary image editing knowledge could have made themselves using the thumbnails and preview images I already have available.

I do appreciate your support and I hope to continue making these wallpapers for as long as I can. Unfortunately the economy is going through a tough stretch right now and, like every other business owner out there, I have to do what I can to make it through.

Tue January 19, 2010 at 7:54 pm

scott wray
"still a little chapped~"
I signed up for a life time membership with you ryan and im still a little shocked and not feeling as privileged now that you can download some of the coolest stuff for free. For instance, the cell phone backgrounds! anyway..

/rant off

very cool background im always a fan of the outspace type stuff!

Tue January 19, 2010 at 7:42 pm

John N.
"Not my Favorite"
I never thought I would be saying this, but neither version of Muspelheim is up to par. This rendering lacks detail, especially in the foreground. The "halo" around the sun looks very fake (seems like it should fade the further it spreads away from the sun. The halo and the sun look as one, if that makes any sense.) Some other people have mentioned as well the lava looks like "water", not molten lava. The arches in the background look alright and I would understand the lack of detail there, but the "cave like opening" in the foreground lacks needed detail and looks like a "cutout opening". The larger flowing rocks around the sun I think also lack some needed detail so they look like rocks and not "ink blotches". As someone else mentioned, it looks like a earlier rendering from 1999-2000.

This is too bad, I'm usually a big fan of the planetscapes that Ryan usually does, so I am a bit disappointed by this rendering. I'm hoping its just Ryan getting used to a new rendering software and that he get better with it as time goes on.

Tue January 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I agree with Xyverz. I love the coloring on the rock formations on the first one. I hope the triple screen version shows that detail as well.

Tue January 19, 2010 at 12:24 am

"Torn between this and the first"
I really like the coloring on the rock formations of the first one. In this one it seems as though you're trying too hard to focus on the red giant than the rest of the scene. The little man is a good touch though. :-)

Tue January 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

"Much improved"
I definitely prefer version two with the cave surround and the more distant rocks.

Tue January 19, 2010 at 3:25 am

"The Little Man Stays"
"The little man stays, because I like him..." This makes me smile. Hold your ground, artist! And again, thanks for all you do.

Tue January 19, 2010 at 0:34 am

"Prefer first version"
While I like the idea of perspective the cave adds, this second version seems flat like your very early efforts seem to me now (but were oh-so-cool way back when!). Essentially (in my opinion) this seems very much lacking the 3D "vividness" and depth that your more recent ones have had. Maybe because it's not blue? ;o)

Anyway, first version has my vote... Thank you!

Mon January 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm

"So much better!"
Great Job Ryan... thanks!

Mon January 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I love the second render. And the "little dude" is cool :)

Mon January 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

"Good job"
I like everything about the 2nd version better except that cave point of view. Otherwise, great work!

Mon January 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I will look into it. Thanks for the heads up!

Mon January 18, 2010 at 12:40 am

"RSS feed"
Hey Ryan - I am using your newest RSS feed and the last few updates have not come through. I'm using Bloglines - could just be wonky, but I still have your old Members feed on my list as well, and that one has been updating. Just thought I'd check anyway. :)

Mon January 18, 2010 at 11:33 am

Dear Ryan,

Excellent theme choice here! I'm definitively torn on this project because I like elements of both picklejar and revision. I believe if you combined all of the best parts from both of these you would have a near masterpiece in Muspelheim. However, we understand you eventually have to move along. I like the sun much better on the picklejar (why did you change it?), but the picklejar is missing the planetary scale (panoramic view) of the final. I hate the cave... I will keep the pickle up to be honest. Not your best work my friend. Like I said though, the concept was brilliant. "Beginning of the End" which is similar to this is far superior, and I believe got more TLC.

Mon January 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

I like the new render much more, mainly because of the strange textures in the first one.

Mon January 18, 2010 at 8:34 am

"Muspelheim v. 2"
I think I preferred the original. I'm glad the little guy and the sun stayed, but I'm not a fan of the cave. I'd much prefer an open sky.

Mon January 18, 2010 at 8:14 am

"Much better"
The changes are a big improvement - there's more of a sense of scale with the expanded FOV.

I'm also a fan of the little bod in the corner (Buck Rogers shoulder pads and all) and it's nice that he's clearer in this version.

I'd have prefered a clear view of the sky instead of the cave roof...but it's a minor point.

Well done, and thanks Ryan!

Mon January 18, 2010 at 8:07 am

"You can't make everyone happy :-)"
I do like the modifications but I thought the original was better. I liked the sparks coming off the lava and the in your face view. Anyway Ryan it seems like everyones is a critic but I have always loved your work, I will keep this new one as a replacement for next week.



Mon January 18, 2010 at 7:51 am

"Little Man"
Usually, I'm not too worried about having people in the picture but, in this case, I really like him. I think it's a mixture of his shoulder pads and glowing backpack that make it look like he's some sort of sci-fi explorer and that really fits, for me.

That said, I like both versions of this. Arches in the foreground felt like a good change from the "view from a cave" but both work.

Mon January 18, 2010 at 7:02 am

The Guru
"Much better!"
This one definately has that 'WOW' factor that the previous render lacked. Kudos man. For some reason, the man with the glowsticks on his back fits in much better than before. I think the dark frame makes him more of a focal point than a distraction. Can't wait to see what's next.

Mon January 18, 2010 at 0:08 am

"Why Mess"
I liked the old version better personally...

Mon January 18, 2010 at 0:05 am

"Very Good"
I really like this version. Amazing how a few changes can totally change a scene.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 10:14 pm

<3 both versions but the new one seems simpler overall, easier to take it all in.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Chris B
we have green pastures in the next one?

Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Really like the changes you made to it.

Here's a thought, have you considered doing a reverse view from the same scene? i.e. looking down on the same planet from the light source as this one with the rocks flying past?

That thought has always sprung to mind with some of your planetscapes like this as an interesting alternative.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

"I Still Love It!"
Great job Ryan. As alwaye A+ quality work.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm

"Way better!"
Now I love it.

I agree that you can always tinker more, perhaps improve it more but I'm happy with this. Is anything ever perfect?

Thanks for this!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm

"Prefer the original"
Seems so restricted with the looking out from a cave no, sorry.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

I felt the arching cavern opening fit with the arches in the distance. I played with some vertical structures in the foreground but felt they cluttered the scene and disrupted the flow. Could I make this one better? Probably. I would rather not dwell on it too long and move on to greener pastures. Thanks everyone for the feedback!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I like this one even better! Has a distinct apocalyptic feel to it. Would be cool to mess with the posture of that little man. He really tells the viewer how to feel about all this.

I'm not sure why you added the cave that's now partially blocking this jaw-dropping sky. It's almost like you were just trying to provide something familiar and friendly (New Dawn, Sunset Cove, etc.) to those who didn't like the original. Perhaps I'm looking to deeply into it, but it just looks to me like something out of a different image.

Still, my favorite wallpaper in a long time definitely just got better. Thanks for the update!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Dan M
I like the revision better. I like how you put the cave entrance in, sets the image up nicely. I also really like how you set the rocks back by the horizon, that really makes this wallpaper. And with putting the little guy on the rocks a little closer, it really shows depth and size of the scene. Great improvement!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Jason B
"Both look great"
keep up the good work!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

It may not be my favorite piece, but I agree that the revision is much better than the first version.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 1:46 pm

"Animate this beauty!"
I believe that the lava combined with the sun would make for an excellent animated wallpaper, and that gallery has not seen any love for a VERY long time.

Come on Ryan, lets see that gallery get some love!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 12:20 am

"Vastly improved"
Huge improvement over the original. Every bit I had to complain about was addressed.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

mmh... i like this one better...

the far out rocks on the horizon... the cave...

i like this one!! good MOD Ryan!

this seems something more "2010" stuff! ;)

Sun January 17, 2010 at 10:29 am

Chris B
"Combo of the 2"
I like both and unfortunately there's not really a way to combine what I like about both of them into one image lol.

Like others have said the rock textures on the first one did look dated. It would have been cool to make it look more like outer edge of the last version of prismatic pool. I love the lava, the sparks flying up from the lava & the sun looks amazing (not real, but amazing... and it's from mythology so... lol) I wonder if it would look cool with the heat wave distortion, but that would probably take a lot of the detail away.

I like the scale of the 2nd one. It makes it look a lot more vast but it doesn't have the reach out and scorch you that the first one did. I think it's because everything is silhouetted and further away from the heat. The metiers definitely look better in the 2nd one. The little man looks better in the 2nd one too, he blended in a little too well the the first one.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

Moving the rocks back looks much better. Gives more depth to the image. Is the blue guy missing his right arm? Would still love to see the sun in an update of your old Stellar image.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

"A vast improvement..."
A lot better Ryan! I was a little sad that the blue man stayed, but the more I look at it, he is kinda growing on me. :)

The only thing that is a bit of a sore thumb is the watermark. I do understand the need for your watermarks and certainly am not asking you to remove them. I just wish you didn't change them to the cheesy look and feel that they have now. I liked the old watermarks; they were simple, didn't stand out, and matched the theme of your site. The new watermarks just make me download a higher resolution than what is meant for my monitor thus chopping it off and leaving out some of the wallpaper. :(

Sun January 17, 2010 at 9:25 am

"Much better!"
Looks a lot like a fiery version of "A New Dawn" now instead!

But that's not a bad thing. This version is a clear improvement over the first. It's still not one of my favourites, and a few things could be improved and tweaked still, but it's now quite useable. The only thing that still looks a little weird is the lava, but nothing is ever perfect, as i'm sure you know (clouds in vue 6?)!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 8:56 am

"Now its perfect ! "
It looks 10x better without the rocks in the front and I like how you put them in the background. The spaceman looks in place now and the cavern border is excellent. Well done, perfect fix !

Sun January 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

Rick Weber
This is a great picture and I've enjoyed all of your different space pictures as well. You have done a number of different objects such as Black Holes, Comets, Meteors, Moons, and many others. What I would really like to see you try your hand at would be to do a Neutron Star. For decades I've been reading about these fascinating objects in both Science Fiction and Science magazines and although I have a picture of what one would look like, if a person could ever get close enough to really see one, I would love to see how someone of your talent would visualize such an interesting stellar object. Thanks for all of your fantastic works!


Sun January 17, 2010 at 7:47 am

"ooh nice"
The only thing that I now find a little weird is the liquid - in my mind it's lava, yet it looks like water, so the reflections seem all weird!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 6:46 am

"ooh nice"
The only thing that I now find a little weird is the liquid - in my mind it's lava, yet it looks like water, so the reflections seem all weird!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 6:45 am

"Thanks for listening"
Ryan - I think it says a lot about you that you listen and make changes when your fanbase is unhappy. That's VERY rare these days.

This is a definite improvement, but still not one of my favorites, as many others have said.

While the sun looks great, the "glow" around it looks so artificial and "painted on" - maybe that's what you were going for, but it just doesn't work for me. Also, the shape of the rocks, even in the revision, look very artifical. I'm not sure how to put a finger on it, but they look like they're melting. I realize that there is lava in the image, but rocks should look sharp and angled... the top of the cave looks like it's about to drip into the lava pool...

Sun January 17, 2010 at 6:45 am

I really like this version more.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 4:12 am

this revision is much better imho. nice job, thanks for listening to your fans! :)

Sun January 17, 2010 at 3:38 am

"Significantly Improved"
I like this version much, MUCH more than the original. However, it's still not one of my favorites. I'll attempt to give some constructive feedback:

I think the major issue with this piece, both in the original and update version, is finding something to put into the foreground. The sun and asteroids make a compelling background, but any good composition needs a foreground as well. In the original version, you had the arching rocks in the foreground, which didn't work out so well. This version pushes those into the background (where I think they work quite well), and overlays a cave on the foreground (which I'm not such a fan of).

Looking back at Niflheim (which is one of my favorites, and what this is supposed to be a counterpart to), I think the significant different that made its composition work is that its elements _cross_ the background/foreground lines. The three mountains move forward from background to foreground as they move right, and the asteroids have a similar shift. I think this what gives that scene such a dynamic feeling, as if the asteroids are careening right at the viewer.

In contrast, the elements of Muspelheim are quite strictly delineated into foreground vs. background, which robs it of that sense of motion. Personally, I think a similar (perhaps mirrored?) arrangement with the arching rocks and asteroids cross from background into foreground from one side to the other would add a LOT to this image.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:59 am

Brandi U.
As someone who liked the first version, I think I like this one even more. I especially like how much larger the lava pool is. Nice job!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:52 am

I like the changes, though I feel like the sun could be moved a bit to the left to give it more focus in the frame. Overall, I just feel like this image isn't as genuine as some of your past images. Something about it just prevents me from "being there." Though I whole-heartedly appreciate you taking a second crack at it!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:46 am

"Much Better!"
I like this revision faaaaaaaaaar better. The artificial rock texture is gone, and I like the curtain effect from a New Dawn. It fits this one as well. And I like the little blue man, glad he stayed as well =)

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:39 am

"Muspelheim 2"
I love the revision - so much better, but I must admit, I don't like the enclosed cavern feel you've added - It would look way better without it! It will also compliment and expand on the vastness with the triple monitor render!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:36 am

"Muspelheim 2"
I love the revision - so much better, but I must admit, I don't like the enclosed cavern feel you've added - It would look way better without it! It will also compliment and expand on the vastness with the triple monitor render!

Sun January 17, 2010 at 2:36 am

"Like the revision a lot"
I liked the first one pretty well, but I think the revision keeps what was best about it (the sun, the little blue dude, and the asteroids) and gives it better scale ... or something; I'm not an art person. Either way, I really like the rocks in the distance.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 0:42 am

"Do what you will"
Although it's great that you listen to your users, remember not to listen to them too much. Your art is your art, it's not designed by committee.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 0:42 am

"Do what you will"
Although it's great that you listen to your users, remember not to listen to them too much. Your art is your art, it's not designed by committee.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 0:41 am

Much better but the lava looks bad on the larger sizes. If it was displaced with waves or something it would look much more realistic, and pop more.

Sun January 17, 2010 at 0:25 am

"Comparison "
Actually, I think one of the main reasons this doesn't really click for me is that it's in sort of the same realm as "Beginning of the End" and that was just such a spectacular piece. This is pretty good, but "Beginning of the End" was just something special and this one just seems to bring that one and how good it was to mind when I look at it.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm

"Pow! "
It's look like an eruption - no, it is an eruption! Thank's Ryan!

Sat January 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

"Better "
I like it a lot better, but apart from the Lava, the textures just don't seem very detailed. The rocks in the foreground could certainly have been made much more intricate, and the asteroids and even the rock sculptures on the horizon would have been better with a little more detail I think.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Wow, what a change! Looks amazing now, so much better. Thank you so much Ryan, this is a great piece.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

"Love it!"
So much better than the first version. Fantastic job!

Sat January 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

I don't know what to say about this, I just really dislike it.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 9:58 pm

"Much much better"
I don't know why specifically but this version is MUCH better than the one before. I cant put my finger on it, but I love the new changes!!!

Sat January 16, 2010 at 9:30 pm

As you can see, I've posted a new version. I know I won't please everyone with this one because everyone had stuff they liked about the first version and stuff they didn't. I'm happy with this rework though and I hope you guys enjoy it!

Sat January 16, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I like..the scorched planet, space, expanding universe action . I don't like..the figure in this picture. with all the action going on he/she should be running for cover.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 6:55 pm

"Sense of scale."
The person adds character to the picture, its as if he stumbled into this crazy world that makes him look so puny. You can probably write an entire story about this person from this single picture.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

"Don't like it"
I really don't like this, looks too fake.

At first I thought it was an oleo painting

This is the first time in years I don't like a work from you. I didn't download this wallpaper.

Maybe it's not my kind of work, I hope this comment don't bother you. I'll wait for the next one, hope it will be an underwater world "full of color" (not blue)

Thanks for everything else

Sat January 16, 2010 at 12:39 am

"I like it for the most part..."
... but I am not a fan of the person down front. I think the blue on his (space?) suit stands out too much and detracts from the overall very awesome scene. I like what you did with the lose rocks around the sun. To me, the rocks overhanging the lava pool don't look dated; I see them as being a bit glassified, like obsidian, from the heat.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 12:33 am

Personally I really like this one. I can understand some of the comments about the rocks looking dated but in my mind they look how they should if they'd been scorched - the whole scene conjures an image of the star recently expanding or undergoing a tremendous outburst that shredded a nearby moon (rocks in sky) and blasted the surface of the world. The person could be a scientist studying the after effects of the explosion, but that's just me. As always fine work Ryan.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 12:31 am

"I Like It !"
Please do not remove the person in this... To me, the people in your pictures make the scene.

Not a bad job.

Sat January 16, 2010 at 5:52 am

"Is that a person"
Do I see a person standing next to the lake with something blue on him. Something for scale?

I love the rendering. It has a power to it and the rock give me the impression of movement. I like it.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 10:50 pm

"Love the sun"
The sun and the rocks covering it are totally sweet.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

I love your 'firey' wallpapers.

I think a lot of the responses regarding the texture on the rocks deals with the fact that in years past that type of look was used on less powerful renders to simulate craggy rock. Kind of how old video games used the 'fog' effect to hide their inability to draw long distances.

I would think smoothing it out, in a way, so its not as craggy would help. The main fault appears that it is almost too pixalated which can 'date' the image if that makes any sense.

Something else that may help would be craters due to the rocks in the background. You could designed them as filled in craters similar to what you see on the moon as a result of the lava in the foreground. Just to give it a bit more of varying look.

The lava is freakin' spectacular though. Big props on that.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm

"pretty good"
That last one sure was hard to follow up, but Let me start off by saying I love the sun and the debris around it , it looks great. The rocks just look really dated to me, rocks look like they came out of a piece of yours from the 90's. Nonetheless I'm looking forward to the revision of this. Id day the rocks and the little man are the only thing you need to change for this to be a 9/10 from me. i give it a 6/10 as is. Looking forward to the Revision!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Ryan, every time I think you can't possibly create a better work of art, you do. Absolutely amazing. Great job! Keep it up!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 6:18 pm

"Love it"
Nice warm tones. Nice change from the blues, as always GREAT WORK!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm

"Whether non-plants always look dated"
You said in your last post that you "wonder if I can do any image without millions of ecosystem objects (plants/trees/etc) and not have it look "dated"." I think this is definitely not true and you'd disproved it yourself with Subterra (it's here for other readers wondering what I'm talking about: Even though it was way back in 2005, I think the quality and detail of the rocks would place it comfortably on the level of your current works.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Nice job, Ryan. I love the unorthodox space images, and your fantasy/abstracts have always been by far my favorite. I think this one has elements of all of those.

I really do wish I had a bigger monitor :(. Lately it seems like even on a 1280x1024 I'm still missing out on a ton of detail.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 3:29 pm

"Sun Rework"
I think the upcoming changes sound good, but one more suggestion that might have already been mentioned but I'm a bit short on time to read through all the comments, but I think there is too much of a homogenious coronal halo. I think it should be thinned out and a few more specific arches that stand out put in. Just my two cents.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 2:39 pm

"Nice!!! but have some suggestions"
Overall good job Ryan! I always love your work when you incorporate planets/suns but there are a few things that are a little off to me. The sun's debris lacks dimension/detail. It just doesn't have that realistic feeling to me. But the sun it rocks! And lastly the ground seems to have too much red from the reflecting lava pool. Maybe adding a mountain or something large in the background may help reduce the light of the rocks there now? Or maybe the lava pool needs to be toned down some? Overall it's still a incredible job. I'm glad I signed up again. Thanks agian Ryan!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Earlier, I logged in, downloaded, then when I used the dropdown list to rate it it didn't really give me any feedback that I had cast my vote. Just returned (not logged in yet) and voted again after the login dialogue popped up. It told me I could only vote once, which, so far, is the only way I knew I had voted.

Please add some sort of feedback or response from the vote so people actually know they voted?

Fri January 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm

"What did you expect??????"
Ryan, your last piece was so great, that it was tough to follow up on. So even though the rating on this new piece is bad, its probably not as bad as people are making out to be. Its an......average piece. Not bad, not good. Just your average piece. Reminds me alot of your very early work back in the 1990's. You're still the man.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Jonathan L
I'm a huge fan of that sun, I would love to see it alone in space, maybe surrounded by space matter and the like... it's absolutely gorgeous, with the space debris around it and the rings...

Not a fan of the planet's surface though. :(


Fri January 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

When you said you were going to work on a warmer wallpaper, I didn't think it would be to such an extreme. This image looks uncomfortably hot; it makes me think of hell.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

"Muspelheim Blues"
I'm not crying too much (~sniff~). Seriously though, I can see where a lot of the negative reviews are coming from. I probably should have used an image based texture on the rocks rather than a procedural and now that I think about it the arches don't really work with the rocks in the background.

I like the sun however and the rocks in the sky so they will be staying in the new version. I'm trying some different things out for the foreground because I do want to make a companion to Niflheim (rather than just a straight space picture).

I wonder if I can do any image without millions of ecosystem objects (plants/trees/etc) and not have it look "dated". Obviously I couldn't add any plants to this scene.

Anyway, back to rendering now. Jason's been very sick the past few days (vomiting, fever, etc) so things have been a little crazy around the Bliss household. He's asleep now so I have a few hours to work.

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Positive or negative, as long as it is constructive I am happy to accept it!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

This reminds me of the end of resident evil 5. Love it!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 12:51 am

This reminds me of the end of resident evil 5. Love it!

Fri January 15, 2010 at 12:50 am

"I like it, but.."
Normally my reviews are glowing as I rarely see a piece that has put me off and have never seen a piece that I hate. I like this......however I feel like there is something missing. I am not sure if it's in the rocks...or the sky...or the lava itself. For me I guess the way things looked in the sky and the lava that originally put me off. Than again I am still not totally sure exactly what it is. I think many people would agree. This piece is quite a nice piece and a fine edition to the DB collection. I just get the feeling like more could be done to it.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 12:24 am

Agreed Ryan has always had confidence. ;] That's one thing he has never lacked her at, or at least he has never shown it. That's why were reviewing and commenting right now. He creates art for our computers, that we all throughly enjoy, at the highest level so I don't think he would back down or cry from members opinion. It is what it is.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

"Commenting on Comments"
The rocks are lava rocks. They are supposed to look like that. He has done an excellent job with creating that kind of rock. I don't it, but that's my personal preference. It's not a rendering or artistic error. That's just what those rocks look like.

That said- to the guy who said comments "might end up taking some of the enjoyment out of Ryan's work," I think Ryan is a better artist than to go cry in a corner because of some thoughtful criticism.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 11:55 am

Like everyone else was saying, although I think I can see that to foreground rocks are nicely pitted and textured, zoomed out they just look like a painted on texture. That may just be an accident of technology, but it does make the picture look dated. Also the lava is a bit suspiciously flat. I'd like to see some more turbulence, which would add another layer of realism

Fri January 15, 2010 at 11:54 am

The colors in this render are good, but the layered sun really doesn't do anything for me, to me it is disjointed from the rest of the picture to me it just doesn't quite fit in, same with the bigger meters floating in front of the sun. I do however love the way the rocks above the lava look, as well as the lava the lava spray looks realistic which is cool. The person to the left is cool too. So over all I think it's an ok picture. Just not one that is as polished as your usual renders. Keep trying though, your renders rock. :)

Fri January 15, 2010 at 11:17 am

Thank you for a non-blue one! Really needed something warm today. I really like the concept but I agree this really doesn't look as polished as your usual stuff. Lighting or texture or whatever but the last one was in a totally different league than this one.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 10:39 am

I like it. I like the little guy (especially his backpack) and the lava. I love the sun. I'm not a fan of monochrome images, but I think it contrasts nicely with Niflheim.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

"Blue spot"
Is that a person standing in the lower left?

Fri January 15, 2010 at 7:54 am

"I think know what the problem is"
Everyone is probably not happy with the lighting on the rocks above the lava. To me, that's what looks dated. The top part is pretty damn cool with the layered sun and rocks. Anyway, this is about as warm as it gets! Keep up the good work.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 7:42 am

"A little in the opposite direction, technology wise."
The design is amazing, the way everything is presented to you in a sort of "frame"... but the final peice is a little weak, it's an image I would expect to root through the archives of images from a few years ago and come across. Compared to every other image that has been made in the last 3 years, this doesn't have the same quality.

Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty good, but I don't really want my desktop wallpaper looking like something from the past, I want it to be something that makes people go "WOAH! Where is that?!" rather than say "Nice computer generated wallpaper!"

Fri January 15, 2010 at 6:20 am

"Mmm...warm...but I need convincing"
I love light and warmth....

But I am *so* not struck on big "blobs" of light in the middle of my wallpaper. Light-good. Big-ball-of-light...bad. Does all kinds of weird stuff to my eyes.

That said, I do like the subtlety of the of the lava. Good effect there!! Having seen some lava in real life, it really does seem authentic. The only thing to make it better would be to see pockets of cooling/cold lava floating on top... :) And something done about that bright ball of light in the sky... :D

Fri January 15, 2010 at 5:36 am

"Without the rocks..."
...i would totally love this picture ;)

Fri January 15, 2010 at 4:37 am

The Guru
"Good, but..."
It's good, but I think it needs some work. The rocks look a little fake to me. The texture is pitted but the profile is smooth. I found that the blue glow is a little distracting too. Other than that, it looks fantastic. An excellent switch of mood.

Fri January 15, 2010 at 0:09 am

"Like it Excellent"
Ryan: I find this new peace to be exhilarating in that it reminds me at first of a t-tauri star just befor or after one of its red giant phase, But then I noticed the being in the what must be some extreme environment suit, so could it be a star of much age waiting to become red giant, never the less I like it excellent render!!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 10:32 pm

"Nice idea, flawed execution"
I'm afraid I have to lend my voice to the people saying that they don't like the foreground rocks. Having said that, the asteroid/star image has, I think, enough merit to stand on its own. Perhaps you could use that as a basis for a separate wallpaper in its own right?

Thu January 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm

"Not my favorite"
I agree with the other posters, something about this seems off. It does remind me a lot of some of your older work in that it makes my brain think, oh yeah, that's totally computer generated. Which is something I haven't gotten from your work in a while. Either way, can't hit a home-run every time. Keep up the beautiful artwork.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Greg in CA
"OK, looked at it at home on my big monitor and..."
I like it more than I did at work. Now I can tell that there is an entire band of asteroids nearer to the planet instead of clumped in front of the star. That said, I do agree with some people that the lava looks a little off, at least toward the bottom center, where it looks more like water.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm

"Too darn hot"
I'm not really a fan of your "hot" images. I agree with other users about the rock structures looking fake, like they came out of a video game. I normally hate when people are in the images but that's actually my favorite part of this one!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Ok, to be honest the rocks do have a different looking texture than normal, but to me they just look like lava rocks, which have lots of little holes in them and are gritty. Also, maybe in Ryan's eyes this is exactly what this world is supposed to look like. I mean, it is his idea and his painting, or CG or whatever you like to call it, of what he envisioned this world to look like. Ya I know that we all pay for a membership etc, but if we start to nit-pick over every little thing that might end up taking some of the enjoyment out of Ryan's work. If he doesn't enjoy it as much he used to because of all of our picking over every little thing, then we all know that if you do not enjoy what you do then you probably wont do as good as you could at it. Anyways, this is just my opinion out of several thousand so take it as you will.

Oh, and def. keep up the GREAT work Ryan!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I appreciate that we've shifted from blue for a spell, but the quality of this wallpaper feels like a throwback to the 90's. It just doesn't feel "real" to me for some reason. The lighting, the lines? It just feels like one of the way older wallpapers.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I agree with Laura, some thing about the rock texture isn't right.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I really like everything about this one except for the rock arches. I agree that the texture is a bit off, or maybe it's the way it's lit by the lava. The sun is freaking awesome though!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm

"Totally agree with Tim"
A black hole would be awesome!!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 5:45 pm

"Not a big fan of this one, turn the sun into a black hole instead."
I agree with a lot of other peoples comments, it just looks too fake. There's too much going on in the middle, I think moving the sun to the right corner and spreading out the debris field would look much better. Another idea is to turn the sun into a black hole, that would be a far better fit.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 5:42 pm

"A few Suggestions... "
I agree with other comments, it does look a bit to fake. It just does not have that "wow" factor as with Beginning of the End. The rocks and the sun just dont do it. I would give things more textures and more vibrant colors, (the lava looks pretty good though.) Give the sky more interest or make the sun really out of this world looking. Or somewhat of a different perspective? I dont get that feel of endless depth I do when looking at Niflheim. Food for thought. I do like the color scheme though and these space images are some of my favorites. keep it up!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

"I looked at it somemore."
Maybe this will teach me to look closer before I make a comment. Just my quick opinion. I'm looking at in on a 21" screen 1680 x 1050. So I download the largest size scale, you have now, 2650 x 1600 to just look at it closer. This made me realize it looks better the bigger it is. But I like the sky on the left of the screen. I think you need more of it in the picture, because its really pretty colors and that small moon kicks butt. So I think that would maybe lead to tweaking the sun a bit. The abstract spirals radiating from it need to be scaled back or something. There is need for improvement on the Texturing of the rocks. Maybe more solid colors. Just one mans opinion who couldn't do this myself. So I think this could be something awesome! I always wait for the dual-screens so I'm sure I'll get my sky with that.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 5:05 pm

"Good but..."
It doesn't look as realistic as previous work. I always enjoy it when people have to look twice to see if it's a photo.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Pete L.
"Ahhhhhh, winter relief"
Excellent! Just what I need on a cold winter night. Thanks, Ryan!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

"Not sure about the blue guy :-|"
Hey Ryan, I like the concept but I don't really like the little blue man. It almost makes it seem like the monitor has a few bad pixels. I'd rather not have it then to give the image a sense of scale. I love you work, so keep it up!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:43 pm

John S.
"You read my mind!"
I agree that the textures don't look as realistic, but I was actually starting to want a retro style picture. For example, one of my favorite works of yours is Sanctuary. No, not the 1999 one, the REALLY OLD one. I saw it for the first time only a year ago, but the reason I like it so much is because of the really old textures. Theres something about those old pictures that evoke a different feeling than the more realistic ones. Maybe others will agree, and maybe I'm just crazy :P. Anyways, I know you weren't trying to make something that looked dated, but this was a great blast from the past.

P.S. PLEASE don't stop using little people in your artwork! They are great in pictures like this one where it is hard to tell what size everything is. Without the man in this one, this might as well be a just a puddle of lava. People who don't like this just don't realize the importance of this.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm

"Cool concept, but not up to your usual standards."
I like the concept, but the rock arches seem to be off somehow. It's like the edges and textures don't agree on how fine-grained it is. The line-filled corona around the star is cool, but together with the rocks, it breaks immersion more than your other pieces usually do.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

"I like it"
At first i was not sure. Then i pulled down a bigger version and looked at the smaller details. This is a very pretty back image.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm

"Like it!"
I am feeling it. Love the colors and I kind like your little blue man ;)

Thu January 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm

"i like it"
not my favorite, but i like it!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 3:57 pm

"not my favorite"
I like the concept, but I'm not thrilled with the execution. My favorite works of yours are things that I can truly feel like I could get lost in if I stepped through my monitor, but this one looks too "fake." I think the rocks are the thing that throw me off the most. I don't mind having a person in this one--it does add a sense of scale to the whole thing.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm

"Star, Rocks and the Person"
Hey Ryan, thanks for churning out a wallpaper so soon after Poseidon. However as the title goes, I think a few of us aren't big fans of those three items. We may not realise how much work goes into your art, but we're accustomed to your impeccable standards of 'virtual reality' that this seems a throwback to your much earlier works with less advanced software. The idea is definitely there though. Hope you take our criticism positively!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

"Hmm, I like but I don't like it..."
I think it's really cool, and while at first glance I wasn't sure if I liked it, once I actually looked at it I starting likeing it more.

Perhaps if the sun was shifted more towards one corner and you had some flaming asteroids incoming? Also I think the thing that's kinda turning off most people is the lava, it doesn't "feel" quite right.

Don't feel too bad about what people are saying, we hold you to a pretty high standard. ;)

Thu January 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Brandi U.
"Love that Sun!"
Like others have said, the rock texture seems to be lacking in some way (I'm not sure how, though. how would rocks look on a world such as this?).

I LOVE the other elements, though. The person adds great scale effect (and the spot of blue is great contrast to everything else). The sun is fantastic. I like the barely visible stars in the background. The lava is top-notch. I like the reddish haze color to the entire picture, really adds to the heat of the image.

The rocks in front of the sun make me wonder if they're a ring or from a recent explosion. Or just asteroids passing nearby?

Thu January 14, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Ryan i don't like this one! =)

either way art is art!

i am sure a better shadow and texture work on the rocks and sun light effect would make this a masterpiece!

either way Ryan this was not a waste of time or resources... taste in art differs a lot!

maybe you can do a much more realistic version of this? =)


Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm

The rocks floating infront of the star don't quite seem to fit. The star reminds me of an old image called Stellar. (The pickle jar version was orange.) Would love to see an update to that.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

I agree that this is similar to some of your earliar work I still think it's amazing. Nice flip from the recent stuff and the details are great.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Must agree with the growing trend in the comments, this looks to me a lot like something I'd expect to see in your work from the early 2000s. Not bad, but not up to your usual standards. Sticking with your Greek mythological scene for now.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Unlike Niflheim the floating rocks/asteroids/whatever don't seem to fit. In this image it looks like you just dotted them in front of the sun instead of them fitting as a natural part of the environment like in Niflheim.

I also agree that there is something about the rock formation, possibly the texture, that gives it a fake look.

On the bright side the lava looks absolutely amazing.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback. The people have always been controversial. Here (as with most of the times I've added them) I wanted something to give the scene sense of scale. Unfortunately I couldn't use a plant or animal given the inhospitable environment.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm

"You know I love ya Ryan! "
It a artistic way that is. :] But I have to agree with JBumgarner on the point of it looking like a image from a younger year. Early 2000s I suppose. Usually don't comment, just because I don't. It just wont be a piece I'll be using as my background is all. Love your stuff and will always be a member. So don't go anywhere and take care of yourself. Well I'm sure this offered no real constructive criticism , but nevertheless.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm

"Not a Fan"
I've never really liked your wallpapers with people in them, this one doesn't help change my opinion.

I like the star, although like another poster said the rest just looks lackluster.

Keep them coming though! :)

Thu January 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Not my favorite.

I like the lava area, like the star. Rocks look like something from a few years ago - not that realistic to me. Old-school CGI looking to me.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 1:54 pm

"BB Storm Image"
The right file is up now. I was posting the wrong res because I was mistakenly saving the image after cropping it for iPhone/Pre use.

Interesting ratings so far...

Thu January 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

"Warm and Toastaaay!!!"
Nice work -- I love the solar surface and corona / magentosphere around the star. Far out, man!

Thu January 14, 2010 at 1:48 pm

"Hot Stuff"
Very nice, the lava looks super hot, the sun is my favorite element in this render.

BTW, the BB Storm image is the wrong res again, 320x480 instead of 360x480.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Perhaps if you are doing something tropical, some sort of small tribute to Haiti might be something to consider in order to raise awareness, and perhaps even funds. Haitians could certainly use it.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

Greg in CA
Very nice, Ryan. One bit though... If it weren't for the blue lights on his pack, the guy at lower left would have been lost in the details. But then again, maybe that's just my crummy work computer. I'll get a better look at it when I get home tonight.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 12:33 am

"Very nice!"
I really like the layered style the star has.

Thu January 14, 2010 at 12:25 am

Chris H
Thanks a lot for the wallpaper. I'm currently stationed in Alaska and the low for this week was -46F. This should set my mind on warmer things :-)

Thu January 14, 2010 at 12:24 am

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