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Regenerating Nostalgia - Atari Wallpaper Hd

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This is the second in the series that started with the old Apple logo wallpaper but I decided to give this one a whole different look cause the new Tron Legacy movie was in the theaters at the moment of creating the Apple wallpaper so I decided to give this one a color scheme and illumination somewhat similar to the movie theme. This is another wallpaper that I did as a tribute to the golden days of computing in the 80s when computers still had limited colors and sound and when they still had limited multimedia capabilities but they were starting to move very fast in that direction. Those were the days when personal computers were starting to move into the mainstream which led to their eventual acceptance in the 90s as another household item so the pretty logo may bring back some fond memories for some people.

It is also a tribute to the old Atari 2600 video games console which I had back there that gave me lots of hours of fun even with its small power and very limited graphics. In those times they were great graphics (imagine that) and it was the machine that popularized the idea of changing the games through the use of cartridges.

It's in many resolutions from 1024 x 768 all the way to 2560 x 1600 pixels in several different aspect ratios like 4:3, 16:10, 16:9, etc. and I also adapted it to 4:6 ratio IPhone format with 320 x 480 resolution and also 640 x 960 resolution. It has no compression cause it’s saved in .bmp format (it is compressed in the zip file but this is lossless compression). Any limitations will only come from the inherent limitations of 32 bits total color (24 bits + 8 bits alpha), if it wasn’t for that the color transitions would be far smoother (too bad) cause the original rendering was done in full 128 bits total colors (96 bits + 32 bits alpha) in Open EXR format. There is simply always a loss when downsampling to 32 bits total colors. The IPhone versions were cropped from the high res render so they are not as optimal but they still look a bit good and they also have the old Atari letters logo in them.

I wanted to do something in 3D with a pseudo sci-fi theme cause I like sci-fi a lot. It was started in Blender 2.49b and finished in Blender 2.5x (about the second half of the work) for the Apple version and the color changes to the Atari version were all done in the new Blender and one of the reasons that I moved it to the new Blender fast was because it had a much faster renderer and I was planing to use the internal Blender renderer only and see what it could do cause it has become quite capable and one can get pretty decent results with it with a little bit of effort.

It took quite a while to render (22 hours and 45 minutes) even on a i7 2.66 Ghz CPU using almost all threads (7 threads) cause I rendered it in very high resolution and it uses ambient occlusion and quite a few lights with many samples. It took less than the approximately 36 hours that the Apple logo version took due to optimizations that I did in the lighting. And just like the other it also has some post processing in Photoshop CS4 for some glow effects and a bit of correction of color and light in some areas.

So you may be wondering why I chose the .bmp format for this release instead. The reason for this is because of the limitations of the 32 bit image format (24 bit colors + 8 bit alpha transparency). When I did this version as a darker look I noticed that even when choosing 100 compression quality in .jpg files it was still too noisy and I didn’t like it so I decided to use the Windows native .bmp format to distribute them.

This increased the zip file size but you can then use the wallpaper with much better quality in Windows. Now when you try to set the image as a Set as Desktop Background function of Windows Vista and Windows 7 even if it is a .jpg, .png or .bmp it will save the image to a special folder as a .jpg and with a lot of bad compression.

To prevent this read the included tutorial titled:

HowToPreventWallpaperArtifactsInWinVista&Win7Ver1-0.pdf

So there it is, I hope that some people from the old school of computing, video games and/or sci-fi fans like me and others like it.

Recently updated: Final version 1-2 is slightly more illuminated because version 1-0 was a bit too dark. Also there are a few improvements in version 1-2 such as slight color adjustments in the gray areas because in some monitors they were displaying kinda bluish cause the tones (hues) were incorrect and I improved this. Also the computer display has been moved to its correct position cause it was wrong from the first wallpaper (the Apple version) and I finally decided to fix it. There are also some other minor improvements. All this required it to be re-rendered and reprocessed.

Download zip file at Deviantart:

My link

And also at Mediafire:

My link

In Deviantart if you want to see my other free things you just click on the View Gallery link at the right of the page.

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