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Thread: Tips on making a good wallpaper

  1. #1
    Senior Member Foxxer will become famous soon enough Foxxer's Avatar
    Gil
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    Default Tips on making a good wallpaper

    Okay, I admit, I have no right to complain. I have no skill with Photoshop, I can't make a wallpaper to save my life. But I see so many wallpapers around here that are *almost* good.

    I'd like to dump out my thoughts about the kind of stuff that *I* am looking for when I want to find a wallpaper to use on my desktop.

    Is this the right place for me to post my ideas?

  2. #2
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    http://animeforum.com/showthread.php?t=29262

    There. Some tutorials. Maybe it'll help? A few of the links (provided they're still viable links) helped me out.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Foxxer will become famous soon enough Foxxer's Avatar
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    You misunderstood me - I'm not looking for tips on how to make a better wallpaper; I want to *provide* tips on how *other people* can make a better wallpaper.

    I'll go ahead and dump out my brain right here. If this isn't the appropriate place for something like this, I apologize.

    -- Foxxer's tips on how you can make a wallpaper that Foxxer will like --

    In composing your wallpaper's layout, use the "1/3 rule" that photographers use. Think of the space as divided into thirds, not halves; align your subjects a third of the way into the image, not perfectly centered. Centered = boring.

    Remember that some people are going to put your wallpaper onto a widescreen display, so the top and bottom will be cropped. Don't put a border around your wallpaper, and try to keep anything important (especially text) away from the top and the bottom of the wallpaper; otherwise your character will have the top of his head chopped off and only the top or bottom half of your words will be visible.

    Also keep important detail away from the right and left edges of the wallpaper, or it'll have icons in front of it. (Windows puts icons on the left, Mac puts 'em on the right.) You don't want to lose your icons in front of a busy wallpaper, or have icons cover up your characters or text.

    Focus on one or two characters in your wallpaper. Don't put a pile of copies of the same character all over the place, it looks like you cloned him. This is even worse if your copies are of slightly different sizes or color tones; that makes it look like you're doing a scrapbook.

    The characters in your wallpaper shouldn't "float in space" over a patterned background. If you have to show their feet, at least give them a hint of a floor to stand on.

    No "jaggies". Especially in text. If your graphic editor won't smooth text, use a different graphic editor.

    Use an interesting font. Stay away from Arial and Chancery, because they're overdone. It's better if the text is of the same softness as the rest of the image, so it doesn't stand out - don't let the text be too sharp.

    And, for god's sake, don't use Comic Sans. Just ... don't.

    If you've got to put text onto your wallpaper at all, keep it to a short phrase. No poems or quotations, unless they're in the background and blurred/faded to prevent them from making the wallpaper too visually busy. This is a wallpaper, it's supposed to be pretty but not overwhelming.

    Your wallpaper can't be too vivid or it'll be a pain to stare at while you're working at your computer. Keep the colors somewhat muted, keep the palette limited, keep the edges somewhat soft. Less is more.

    Leave out the name of the anime and the character. When you put "FULL METAL ALCHEMIST - EDWARD ELRIC" on the wallpaper, it looks like an advertisement. It's more subtle and elegant if you don't announce the anime/character names.

    If you have a complex drawing of a character, you can't have a plain one-color background. It'll look like you were lazy and just pasted clip art.

    Look for unusual character art to use. Don't just use standard canned poses. The character's pose and the wallpaper's composition should express an idea; the viewer should know what the char is thinking just by looking at him.

    There, that's my three cents (adjusted for inflation).

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    Senior Member naruto_207 will become famous soon enough naruto_207's Avatar
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    yes you can find go wallpapers here
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  5. #5
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    Ah, Foxxer if you want to provide tutorials, then go to that link I showed you. That's the thread for this.
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  6. #6
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    I think he is just offering suggestions and opinions. So... let's open up a debate!

    Debate: what makes a good wallpaper?

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    Senior Member Foxxer will become famous soon enough Foxxer's Avatar
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    Yup - all I'm offering are suggestions and opinions!

    Because there are so many great images around here, but so many of 'em just don't work well as wallpapers! Like maybe they stick text right behind the icons or they chop off the character's head or feet on my widescreen display or they look like a bunch of images thrown into a blender (why is there a hand growing out of the pig's head?) or they have to remind you what anime they're from or they quote song lyrics at you (which, on my widescreen Mac, get covered by icons *and* cropped at the top and bottom) or they float a character in midair or they're too busy for a desktop.

    A good picture of your favorite anime character does not automatically make a good desktop wallpaper. I guess I'm just trying to bring some attention to the need for good composition (arrangement, color scheme, etc.) and the need to remember you're making a wallpaper to go on a computer desktop (stay away from widescreen cropped areas and from right/left icon areas, don't make the picture too busy, etc).

    There are so many wallpapers on this site that, with a couple of small tweaks, could be really good ones - but in their current forms I don't want 'em on my desktop.

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    i think you have to consider a lot of wallpapers where done way before widescreen displays came into "broad" use...(or even into being)



    i personally wont go for a widescreen display...looks weird to me...
    and i cannot really see the advantages when being a "normal" user...

    (thus, i dont make widescreen compatible walls)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxxer
    In composing your wallpaper's layout, use the "1/3 rule" that photographers use. Think of the space as divided into thirds, not halves; align your subjects a third of the way into the image, not perfectly centered. Centered = boring.
    But if everyone used the 1/3 rule, that would eventually get boring. It depends on the render you use and the overall wallpaper that determines the best location to place the render.

    Remember that some people are going to put your wallpaper onto a widescreen display, so the top and bottom will be cropped. Don't put a border around your wallpaper, and try to keep anything important (especially text) away from the top and the bottom of the wallpaper; otherwise your character will have the top of his head chopped off and only the top or bottom half of your words will be visible.
    SOME people will have wide-screen displays. Most people however, have 1024x768 screen rez. For those who have widescreen,there are sites that make wallpapers for wider formats. Most people only make for use on 1024x768 or even 800x600. Wide screen monitors just aren't what everyone wants, especcially when on a gaming computer (a lot of PC games DEMAND the game be played on a 1024x768 res monitor) Widescreen is mostly used for graphic design (in which case, the graphic designer can just make their own wallpaper)Job related reasons, and things of that nature (or the person just wants wide screen for the sake of having it.)


    Also keep important detail away from the right and left edges of the wallpaper, or it'll have icons in front of it. (Windows puts icons on the left, Mac puts 'em on the right.) You don't want to lose your icons in front of a busy wallpaper, or have icons cover up your characters or text.
    Either i'm reading this wrong ot you contridicted yourself. You said right above to keep important details away from the right and left edges...Now, the render of the wallpaper is in most cases the most important part. You said above to break the wallpaper up into 1/3 sections as the center is boring. So, if not in the center...the left and right areas are the only areas left to put the render.
    Also, you can canfig your desktop to put the icons (and even the taskbar) where you want it. Right now, I have my taskbar at default postion (bottom of the screen) but my icons all line up on top of the screen. A lot of people do it.

    Focus on one or two characters in your wallpaper. Don't put a pile of copies of the same character all over the place, it looks like you cloned him. This is even worse if your copies are of slightly different sizes or color tones; that makes it look like you're doing a scrapbook.
    I agree with this. But on some occasions, it doesn't hurt to give it a try. It's mroe like a challange really..."How to fit five renders on one wallpaper without it sucking" But I do see where you are coming from with this. In most cases...it just looks clumsy.

    The characters in your wallpaper shouldn't "float in space" over a patterned background. If you have to show their feet, at least give them a hint of a floor to stand on.
    Again, I agree with this as well (unless it's a DBZ character....they can fly, they laugh at floors =)! )

    [qoute]No "jaggies". Especially in text. If your graphic editor won't smooth text, use a different graphic editor.[/quote]Thats difficult as most graphic editors cost a lot of money. Photoshop 7 is really the standard because it's easy to obtain without paying (you do realize that 90% of this forum most likely uses a pirated version of PS right?)

    Use an interesting font. Stay away from Arial and Chancery, because they're overdone. It's better if the text is of the same softness as the rest of the image, so it doesn't stand out - don't let the text be too sharp.
    www.1001freefonts.com

    I'll admit. Text is my weakest point. It's hard to find good fonts, and I suck at making my own. The link above is where I get all of mine >_>

    If you've got to put text onto your wallpaper at all, keep it to a short phrase. No poems or quotations, unless they're in the background and blurred/faded to prevent them from making the wallpaper too visually busy. This is a wallpaper, it's supposed to be pretty but not overwhelming.
    You know, some of your points aren't that good....But all of the font related ones make a lot of sense. You would probobly be good at making wallpapers if you started making them, just get some practice.

    Your wallpaper can't be too vivid or it'll be a pain to stare at while you're working at your computer. Keep the colors somewhat muted, keep the palette limited, keep the edges somewhat soft. Less is more.
    Not in all cases. Sometimes sharp and pointy work better. It really all depends. Use soft for say...a cute innocent hentai fodder Chi-chan. But if you were to say use...Gatsu from berserk, being the crazy Mother that he is, Soft wouldn't cut it. It's really all a matter of the render's emotions.

    Leave out the name of the anime and the character. When you put "FULL METAL ALCHEMIST - EDWARD ELRIC" on the wallpaper, it looks like an advertisement. It's more subtle and elegant if you don't announce the anime/character names.
    This is disagree with. Go to the official websites of anime and manga. Almost every wallpaper has the anime's name or a character name on them. And these wallpapers are made by professionals. Not just anime and manga either, it's EVERYTHING. Bands, movies, books, sports, ect. Everything.

    If you have a complex drawing of a character, you can't have a plain one-color background. It'll look like you were lazy and just pasted clip art.
    FINALY SOMEONE GETS IT. The only time i like a render on a plain color backgrounds...
    Sillouettes and iPod wallpapers.

    Look for unusual character art to use. Don't just use standard canned poses. The character's pose and the wallpaper's composition should express an idea; the viewer should know what the char is thinking just by looking at him.
    Define unusual. Sometimes "less is more" as you said earlier. Simplicity is king comes to mind. Plus, you won't always find unusual character are, and if you do it is most likely fan art...Which you can't use.


    You have some pretty good points, but some contradict eachother, and some are just too far out there. Your tops are much like the wallpapers you don't like. "If you tweak them a little...they could be good" Irony anyone?

    P.S. Normally i'm an *** to people for fun, but here I wasn't trying to be, So if it seemed that way, sorry. (thats right...Redfield...NOT being an ***, SOMEONE CALL A PRIEST IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redfield22
    Define unusual. Sometimes "less is more" as you said earlier. Simplicity is king comes to mind. Plus, you won't always find unusual character are, and if you do it is most likely fan art...Which you can't use.
    Well in that case, you can just draw your own fanart .
    (Ex. What I'm working on at the moment - http://members.shaw.ca/EternalBlue/Blue.jpg)
    That's what I generally do when I can't find a character I want for my wallpaper. Either that, or I draw the character, and I want to make a wally with her(I use her because I generally don't draw guys very often) afterwards XD. Of course that's not so easy since you have to do lineart and CGing, and I'll admit not everyone's great at that, but heck, practice makes better(perfect doesn't exist xD) so keep at it and you'll come out with something good eventually

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