On the plane back from Rustycon I had an idea to improve 2009's lowest rated render. It's always bugged me that I wasn't able to make that one work. As soon as I got back to Bucephalus I fired up my trusty copy of Vue 11 and set about making a few improvements.

Here's the version I am most pleased with at the moment. I've raised the water level a bit, added some snow the surrounding rocks (inspired by snowy vistas I recently flew over) and about a thousand other tweaks. I also have a more "fantastic" version that I may add to the Pickle Jar later which was certainly inspired by my time at Rustycon...

Let me know what you think!

8.03/10 rating (151 votes)

Pickle Jar Variations what's this?

8.36/10 rating (25 votes)

8.14/10 rating (7 votes)

Member Comments

Actually, the 2009 version is one of my all time favorites. It has been the background I use on most of my laptops since you released it. The remake is fun though I prefer the rich blue hues in the original. Keep up the great work!

Fri April 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm

"9 or 10"
One word: Yellowstone -- potential supereruption evoked by both the title and the scene.

Fri April 25, 2014 at 4:54 pm

"New Beginnings"
It looks great with the dragon. New life coming out of the depths.

Tue March 4, 2014 at 6:11 am

"With Dragon"
I like the dragon - I too see it as a baby dragon, a mom or dad watching from the air or nearby would be cool too.

Mon February 24, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I actually like the dragon. I see it as a baby dragon, which would make it a playful AND a colorful and very nice piece. (Living near Yellowstone, I see the pool as 10-12 feet across). I wasn't a fan of the eye...

Mon February 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

"Without eye or dragon"
Although I do really like the "eye" version. The one with the dragon is third place in MHO list. But I still gave it an "8." All of them are pretty nifty. :)

Sat February 22, 2014 at 9:09 am

I prefer the one without the eye or dragon.

Sat February 22, 2014 at 8:03 am

i like the one without the dragon

Fri February 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Love the update to the Prismatic Pool. This one looks much more realistic. However, I don't really like the eye. I would much rather see the one with the dragon coming out of the pool. Of course I'd also like to have the multiscreen with just the pool too.

Fri February 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm

One vote for "The Eye".

Fri February 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

I'd really like to to see a triple screen "eyeless" version. It doesn't look right to me.

Wed February 12, 2014 at 6:02 am

6/10 is the lowest rating I would give any of your work, Ryan. I will confess and go against what seems like the majority here. I don't like the eye. I find it creepy. Blunt statement, yes? It anthropomorphizes a piece which had an ethereal beauty of its own. One could look into its depths and colors to find . . . well, different things each time. The eye may be a suitable symbol but it's so limiting.

Sun February 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

The "Primordial Pool" with the "Watchers" is how I interpreted this piece. Think the beginning of Prometheus (2012 Movie by Ridley Scott) people is where I draw my views for this. Nice work Ryan.

Tue February 4, 2014 at 6:40 am

Ep...wait for it...ic. Epic. I am biased toward dragons, but my first thought was influenced by Dean Koontz' book "77 Shadow Street." I wondered what dark oblong shape was rising from the unknown depths of the volcanic pool.

Mon February 3, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hey, you can always count on me to have an opinion. Costs nothing and it's worth the price. :)

Sun February 2, 2014 at 7:44 am

Water, snow, rocks? You mean it's not the eye of a giant beast? That's how I see it.

Fri January 31, 2014 at 4:56 pm

The snow was difficult. I didn't want to put too much because I didn't think it would pile up around a hot spring. I always appreciate your critiques though!

Fri January 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm

If it looked more like snow, it would look less like plain old gray rock. If, say, the top had a few snow drifts or piles of snow? Of course, the closer it is to the steaming pool, the more the snow would melt and run into the pool. Maybe a few veins of colored rock in the gray stone to give contrast? But no one else said anything about being bothered by the gray background, so this is just MHO.

Fri January 31, 2014 at 11:55 am

Perhaps if I perfected the snow?

Fri January 31, 2014 at 11:37 am

Love the eye! But still dislike the gray rocks in back.

Fri January 31, 2014 at 11:19 am

I love the '09 version, but this has a fantastic appeal to me although I can't really articulate why. I love both versions, with and without the iris, and the colors are stunning! I fell in love with this on sight! Thanks for the new render, Ryan!

Thu January 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Small world. One of my best friends was the vice-chair of Rustycon this year. I work with him on a different on that he founded.

Thu January 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

I see where you're trying to go but you lost the spectacular 3D effect from the 2009 render. The added detail and additional colors in the rocks are a nice update. I think I prefer without the iris too.

Thu January 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Maria B
Love the eye.

Thu January 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

I really like it. Makes you wonder if the eye is a trick of the light, a crack in the pool wall or ?

Thu January 30, 2014 at 3:13 pm

"Re: The Eye"
I realize the decision to make this render a bit more "fantastic" will not meet with universal approval. Rest assured that a Pickle Jar option without the eye will remain available!

Thu January 30, 2014 at 9:22 am

I really loved the old prismatic pool and I was really looking forward to this re-vamp. The old perspective was probably better, but this one is ok. However, the "iris" in the pool is not appealing to me and makes this one very unlikely to ever be on my desktop. *Please* do multi-screens with the "no eye" version in the pickle jar. That version is closer to a 9 for me. The old perspective with a new, updated render would probably be a 10.

Thu January 30, 2014 at 8:51 am

Very nice! Has a real "Sauron" feel to it! I think it looks better than the original!

Thu January 30, 2014 at 7:45 am

I'm not a big fan of either version of this render, although the update looks better and has no birds to confuse with which to confuse people. Sorry, but it's just kind of a bland subject to me.

However, when I first noticed the "iris" object in the middle of the pool, my first thought was the eye of Sauron... my brain immediately blended that with Prismatic to come up with the eye of Pyron. (Don't ask how or why, that's just what it does.) Then I saw someone called it Smaug. Either way, this one's more interesting.

Wed January 29, 2014 at 9:52 pm


Wed January 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

Love the texture and the color variation, it looks great. In my mind that water is nice and warm, I'd love to take a dip in it right about now.

Wed January 29, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Maria B
Very nice. I like the steam and the snowy background.

Wed January 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I loved the original, unlike, I guess, so many others. I like the improvements in this version although I do like the original better. My main problem is that the gray rocks in the back don't look snow dusted to me -- I didn't know that's what they were supposed to be until I read your notes. As it is, the change from colorful to gray seems sudden; I thought the back half hadn't loaded correctly. With some tweaking I'm sure I'll love this one as much as the first version.

Wed January 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I, too, love the colors and the snow. It makes me want to visit the hot springs in Yellowstone again.

There is an issue with the 1920x1080 size I use, however. Almost the whole image is covered with horizontal green/pink/purple lines starting about 2" down. Would you please take a look? Thanks!

Wed January 29, 2014 at 1:10 pm

"Much better"
Definitely an improvement! The light is better, shadows are softer, colors are richter, details are higher...

There is one small flaw which caught my eye, though: In the lower left, one red ring is cut off on the bottom by a perfectly horizontal line. This just doesn't fit in somehow. Overall, a very nice piece.

Wed January 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I just love the color and texture in this one. The dusting of snow really accentuates the warmth (color & temp) of the pool. Beautifully done!

Wed January 29, 2014 at 12:02 pm

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