Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on May 6, 2021 By Frogboy In Stardock Blog

DeskScapes is a program designed to make it easy to have really cool Windows desktop backgrounds.  It doesn’t just manage wallpapers - it integrates native animated wallpaper support into Windows. 

Version 11 includes a bunch of cool new things that make it pretty compelling for every PC user.  Here is a quick tour of some of those features.

Part 1: The interface

Once installed, you access DeskScapes by right-clicking on your desktop.

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The interface is designed to make it easy for you to access wallpapers that are already on your computer, as well as ones in the cloud.  DeskScapes 11 seamlessly integrates into the cloud, giving users access to hundreds of thousands of desktop backgrounds, both traditional and animated.

Part 2: The Cloud

I am generally a minimalist.  That’s why I use Fences to keep my desktop as clean as possible.  In my case, I stare at a lot of different monitors but even on a laptop, I like to occasionally switch my background.  The problem is that I can never remember where I put cool backgrounds I found.  That’s where the cloud helps.

I’d be the first to agree that this should be part of Windows.  But it’s not, so here we are.

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I can type a word in and it goes out and finds desktop backgrounds I want.  I can pick between normal (static) or animated ones. 

But more commonly, I’ll see what the current most popular ones are.

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While DeskScapes is often thought of as an “animated desktop” program, the Stardock team looks at it as a background is a background is a background.  So it makes both easily available.

Part 3: Clever backgrounds

A bunch of really clever backgrounds are already installed with DeskScapes 11.  Not just pretty pictures, but backgrounds that you could imagine being their own apps.  Let’s take a look:

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Colored lights is one of my favorites.  It just changes throughout the day.  It’s like having a mood ring as a a background. 

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Blurry blobs is another background that you could imagine being its own app.  It is kind of like having a lava lamp.  It’s super subtle and interesting.

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Desktop Earth is one I always run on one of my machines.  Except I don’t have the earth rotating.  Here’s why:

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It slowly changes over the course of the day.  Based on your Windows settings, it shows where you are in the world and you can slowly see when nighttime comes. 

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Desktop Collage is one of my favorites.  Basically, it just places pictures from target folders onto the background.  Here at work I have pictures of my daughter from ages 0 to 14 that are placed on my desktop.

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Moving wallpaper is pretty neat.  That said, I have it move very, very slowly. I don’t want to be distracted.  So it takes images and such and gradually rotates through them in a kind of Ken Burns type effect.

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Photo Dream is similar to moving wallpaper, but it treats the backgrounds at 3D images.  I usually have this one running on on my my monitors, as it’s one of my favorites.

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Stars is one I often run. I typically have the stars running very, very slowly. Like, you can barely tell they’re moving.  These work via DirectX, so unlike, say, a video of stars running, these basically use no resources.  At night I will run these on all my monitors at times.

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Part 4: Playlists

Depending on the day and the time of year and other considerations, I will run a given playlist.

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Playlists are super easy to make and once you make one, it’s basically the same as it is with music. 

Part 5: Customizing

So you’ve got a normal desktop background.  As I write this, it’s Spring.  So I have applied a normal background.

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But look at the buttons in the upper left.  The first one down lets you customize the background.

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There are a lot choices to apply, which would require an entire article just to go over them.  The one I find myself using the most is “porthole".  It makes the edges of a background dark.

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Should this be part of Windows? Probably.  But it’s not.  This feature makes almost any desktop background useful.  But there are lots of other ones too that are very interesting and helpful.

Part 6: Universal Resolution Support

Windows has a few fit options for backgrounds.  But not nearly enough.  If you’re someone who runs a monitor with an unusual aspect ratio (or have a rotating monitor), you already know how limited the options are.

DeskScapes has a lot of options.

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And this is super useful if you get a background that doesn’t support your desktop’s resolution, but still looks cool.

Part 7: Colorization

Apple, Microsoft and others make some great default wallpapers.  Unfortunately, they tend to be a particular color, which is fine - until it’s not.

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These are great wallpapers, to be sure. But I tend to like my backgrounds a little less saturated.

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You could also make it a totally different color.

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You can also mix it with the customizations to get something totally different.

Part 8: Creation

DeskScapes 11 includes DreamMaker Pro, a full-on animated wallpaper maker.

Now, personally, I lack the artistic skills to make something cool.  But I’ve used Adobe After Effects enough to know I can take create something from something else that’s cool.

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If you’ve ever used an art program of any kind, you already know how to use DreamMaker Pro.

When you’re done, just Export it as a DeskScapes file and voila.

I tend to use this for games I play a lot and have those as my backgrounds.

Conclusions

So where can you get DeskScapes? Right here: Animated Wallpapers for Windows : Stardock's Deskscapes


Comments (Page 1)
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on May 06, 2021

"Part 8: Creation" really is nice.  There are a lot of features in there and "Even I can do something with it."     Seriously, it really surprised me.   

on May 06, 2021

DaveRI

"Part 8: Creation" really is nice.  There are a lot of features in there and "Even I can do something with it."     Seriously, it really surprised me.   

Let me know if you have any questions about the Creation Part ...

on May 06, 2021

AzDude

Let me know if you have any questions about the Creation Part ...

Thanks, I may do that... In another thread of course.   

on May 07, 2021

Uh oh! Looks like I may need to renew my subscription. Its been a while since Ive made a Deskscape but Ive been wanting to lately. This may be my motivation. 

on May 28, 2021

I'm confused!  The article says that Blurry Blobs and Colored Lights are installed with Deskscapes (and I have an active Object Desktop subscription) but when I search for these backgrounds it takes me to Wincustomize.com and asks me to pay for them... Do I need to do something else or is the article in error?

on May 28, 2021

randallmanaka

I'm confused!  The article says that Blurry Blobs and Colored Lights are installed with Deskscapes (and I have an active Object Desktop subscription) but when I search for these backgrounds it takes me to Wincustomize.com and asks me to pay for them... Do I need to do something else or is the article in error?

Hello,
Sorry to hear you are having issues. On my system the Blurry Blobs and Coloured Lights appear in my Installed listing. I did not download and install them.


Basj,
Stardock Community Assistant.

on May 29, 2021

All of this is very creative. But I wish you had more productive stuff like Fences (which is excellent). I would love to have a stock ticker live running thru my background, customizable to my stocks, streaming news, alerts feature, just to name a few. I have 4 monitors and making the wall paper useful would be fantastic. 

on May 29, 2021

Thanks for your screenshot!  Silly me, I had installed Desktops 10 from Object Desktop as I had forgotten to turn on the beta option in settings... Once I installed Desktops 11 Beta all is well!

Your assistance is much appreciated!

on May 29, 2021

Great, glad it resolved.

Thank you,

Basj,
Stardock Community Assistant

on May 30, 2021

I looked into the settings and yes, I can change the settings for a single picture, but only for the cloud ones, not for my own ones I have in my private picture collection.

So I tried to find the default settings for DeskScapes. I am using the DeskScapes 11 Beta.

on May 30, 2021

Loeffelmaster

I looked into the settings and yes, I can change the settings for a single picture, but only for the cloud ones, not for my own ones I have in my private picture collection.

So I tried to find the default settings for DeskScapes. I am using the DeskScapes 11 Beta.

What you can do in DS11 is open DS11 app and click on Playlist .

There you can add a Folder/Folders of the Walls you want to appear 

on your desktop and also set the times for their transition . ( see images ) 

 

 

on May 30, 2021

On the other hand if you just want to apply a single image but want to apply an effect to it then you can add the folder to the left hand list by selecting the settings button bottom left and picking Settings and then on the folders tab adding a folder.

on May 30, 2021

These settings I found, but I want to set how the background pictures are shown. Some wallpapers are bigger then the screen and so just a small portion is shown, others have a big border with nothing around. 

So I would like to set the default so the pictures are made bigger or smaller until one border hits the screen border.
It is possible to do that for those from the cloud and there is also an option DeskScapes Default, but such a setting is useless, if you can't define the default setting. (at least in my opinion)

Other settings would be cool too, but not necessarily need such as the option to say until which size the picture should be resized to the whole screen or if the program would tile the picture.

on May 30, 2021

Loeffelmaster

These settings I found, but I want to set how the background pictures are shown. Some wallpapers are bigger then the screen and so just a small portion is shown, others have a big border with nothing around. 

So I would like to set the default so the pictures are made bigger or smaller until one border hits the screen border.
It is possible to do that for those from the cloud and there is also an option DeskScapes Default, but such a setting is useless, if you can't define the default setting. (at least in my opinion)

Other settings would be cool too, but not necessarily need such as the option to say until which size the picture should be resized to the whole screen or if the program would tile the picture.

Hello,
Sorry to hear you are having issues. Please try the setting shown below select the one that work best for you.


Basj,
Stardock Community Assistant.

on May 31, 2021

Oh my, I really haven't seen that Settings Button. Sorry.

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