Magic Non Stop – Dioxaz’s wallpapers

What the hell is this will some of you ask? I’ll answer this is what happens when you mix 80s, Kraftwerk and Touhou together.

Obviously, it takes its inspiration from the music video for one of Kraftwerk’s hit singles, Musique Non Stop, released in 1986. The video was directed by Rebecca Allen (work originally started in 1983 but due to how slowly work on the album was progressing at the time, the video was only ready for 1986!). However, this is not a mere copycat or a screenshot of one of the video frames. What I did is recreating some of elements that struck me the most when watching the video, by memory. And I came up with this…

To my knowledge, no normally constituted MMDer would use wireframes in his works… yet I’m doing it, to great effect I think. Types I used are NimbusSanP, NimbusSanT (both URW’s take on Neue Haas Grotesk, respectively “poster”/”display” and “text” variants) and a Japanese font called NKD02 14-segment Hematitic. My only gripe is that it looks pretty busy, possibly making your icons a bit drown out if you plan to actually use it as a wallpaper. Also, I did the composition with widescreen-only in mind, so I had to improvise a bit for older squared aspect ratios.

Anyway, here’s the beast (click on thumbnails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_2560

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_1920

– SXGA and WXGA+ formats (1440×1024)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_1440

– HD format (1366×800)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_1366

– SVGA format (1024×600)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_sd

– VGA format (720×512)
wallpaper_magicnonstop_sd

Note: there’s an odd one out in this picture, will you be able to find it?

Alice Manufacture – Dioxaz’s wallpapers

I told you I’d use an argyle pattern for this one (and self-made, in totally vector form). Again, an idea I had for a little while. Now here it is materialized.

The particularity of this wallpaper is how it gets away only very basic elements. All models (by nya) were rendered using MMD stock settings with no effects whatsoever. The processing you see is made with Photoshop. Some inexperienced viewer might think I used an MME effect where in fact it’s not the case. I also reintroduced my usual play with typography (Univers Condensed and Ultra Condensed are used here). I think it’s a tiny little more inspired than the previous one with Reimu. Anyway, you’ll be the only judge. Even if people end up not interested in them, my wallpapers remain a hobby, and I like making them. So I’ll keep on anyway.

Now here’s the beast (click on thumbnails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_alice_manufacture_2560

The 2K one is actually 2650×1600 in size instead of 2560×1600! I only typed a wrong number when beginning the project. It’s my mistake. Anyway, it shouldn’t make any difference when cropping.

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_alice_manufacture_1920

– SXGA and WXGA+ formats (1440×1024)
wallpaper_alice_manufacture_1440

– HD format (1366×800)
wallpaper_alice_manufacture_1366

– SVGA and VGA format (1024×640)
wallpaper_alice_manufacture_sd

Not offering a VGA variant this time because the contents of the SVGA one fit the entire VGA resolution when cropped, without suffering too much… in case any retrogamer and old 14′ CRT PC monitor user might stumble across this page. 😛

Someone on Reddit suggested the idea of a mobile resolution, too. Definitely something to think about for later attempts (which would require producing in portrait, too).

Sad Reimu – Dioxaz’s wallpapers, the return!

Ten years after… ten years my friend! This should probably show that I’m older than you think. This is basically what happens when you download MMD, fiddle with a couple of things inside it and let inspiration flow again. I was a little greedy for this one. I had that idea of a sad Reimu for so long. In fact, I barely know how to manipulate bones in MMD at this point, so don’t panic if the pose doesn’t look very natural. I also tried to minimize the damage by carefully choosing an appropriate viewing angle. For my next attempts I’ll not be as greedy.

The typeface I used is Plantin (from a *ahem* pirated Linotype typo CD) and the final result is not so bad… I mean for a come back. I know I saw more inspired days but I’ll do my best to bring them back. All in all, that trip within the working of MMD was pretty fun and it made me able to produce something again… after 10 years of what one could call “hibernation”. Now here’s the beast (click on thumbnails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_2560

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_1920

– For older small widescreen and standard monitors (1440×1024)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_1440

– HD format (1366×854)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_1366

– SVGA format (1024×640)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_sd

– VGA format (864×540)
wallpaper_sad_reimu_sd

Ah, one major mistake on this one!! I forgot the credits!! I’m posting them here:
Touhou Project © Team Shanghai Alice
Model by ISAO, Stage by nya, Effects by 針金P (HgPointLight), そぼろ (SvSSAO and Diffusion7)
Wallpaper made by Dioxaz © 2016

I’ll probably fix that later. I’m too lazy for now.

Monochrome Sonic – Dioxaz’s wallpapers, 2016 remake edition

Oh noes! Another one! And one of my favourite pieces on top of that. This reminds me of the days when I was called the “maniac of PNG”. Again, another sign of the times as almost everybody uses it now. This format almost replaced GIF in all the situations where GIF was used before. I think we call that a victory (in fact, I think it’s due to Internet Explorer 6 successors increasing market share starting from 2007 and the release of IE7 which finally introduced full alpha transparency support with PNG, without using any DX transformation plug-in).

Another very easy case because almost everything was in vector form (I had to convert only a few things). The tricky part was more the restricted composition by itself, which didn’t allow playing much when having headroom. Hence my decision to offer one more resolution, targeted for both SXGA (1280×1024) and WXGA+ displays (1440×900).

About the wallpaper, it just looks so great it’s unbelievable. I could almost have made it now. I can’t remember what inspired me to do it at the time. All I can say is that I was doing a two-year technical degree in IT at the time (yes, I’m way older than you think).

And now, the beast (click on thumbnails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_sonic_04_2560

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_sonic_04_1920

– For older small widescreen and standard monitors (1440×1024)
wallpaper_sonic_04_1440

– HD format (1366×800)
wallpaper_sonic_04_1366

– SD format (1024×600)
wallpaper_sonic_04_sd

In case you didn’t notice it, there’s a good reason why it’s monochrome. This way it can compress as efficiently as it was greyscale, but instead uses a 256-colour palette made of shades of one colour. I think nobody other than me can produce such PNGs without messing up (palette must be kept in order and compression must be made with filter 5, using Ken Silverman’s pngout for example).

Adventure DX Sonic – Dioxaz’s wallpapers, 2016 remake edition

Yay, another one! Originally made in 2004. I’ll probably do one or two more and stop there. As you can see, another relatively easy case with lots of vector graphics (title bands at the bottom) and text. The trickiest part were the repeated “SONIC” patterns at the background (both the straight and rotated one), as they were already bitmapped (Photoshop doesn’t let you fill with a vector pattern yet, to my knowledge). I obviously had to recreate those parts with a higher resolution source (thank you http://info.sonicretro.org/). Then you have the artwork itself and the logo. You may remember how it was not the best quality (getting art assets was very hard back then and you often had to scan or extract them yourself, let alone getting them in professional quality!). Now I stumbled across this wonderful resource which is Sonic Scanf. Its official art gallery (http://en.sonicscanf.org/gallery/official-art/) can be easily designated as a true spiritual successor to my now abandoned Sonic Art Archive (Sonic Retro also has worthwhile pieces of art in high resolution). Sure it still has some uncredited and unauthorized reprints from my old website but I don’t really care now. In fact, its webmaster made the correct decision IMHO. This gallery “saved my life” as it provided huge resolution PNGs of both the artwork and the SADX logo. Its webmaster earns good points for maintaining his gallery the same way I maintained mine ten years ago (it has the latest pieces available). This is an indicator of how times have changed in ten years.

About the wallpaper, this is one of those pieces that still look great when I look at it, even a decade later. The same cannot be said about countless attempts made by inexperienced fans back in the day.

Here it is for your greatest pleasure (click on thubnmails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_sonic_03b_1920

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_sonic_03b_1920

– HD format (1366×800)
wallpaper_sonic_03b_1366

– SD format (1024×600)
wallpaper_sonic_03b_sd

Did this piece really stand the test of time? You are the judge. It sure has a retro vibe now anyway.

Amy at the races – Dioxaz’s wallpapers, 2016 remake edition

Prefiguring what I’m planning to do with wallpaper-making, I decided to remake an old piece I did in 2003 (13 years ago!) but in widescreen and 2K format, instead of the completely obsolete 1024×768. As I want to cover as many resolutions I can, I decided I’ll go with crop-only wallpapers, but with several sizes. This way you can pick up the closest size to your monitor resolution and crop it to fill your screen.

Probably one of the easiest to remake, as only simple elements are featured (text, which remained in vector form and a chequered pattern, easy to resize). The only tricky part is the Amy artwork, as I only have it in low resolution. To upscale it, I used nnedi3_rpow both on the RGB part of the picture and the alpha channel separately (nnedi3 doesn’t support the RGB32 colorspace). The Amy artwork is a part of Sonic Screensaver, a goody accompanying the PC port of Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Sonic 3 & Knuckles Collection).

Here’s the result (click on thubnmails for original size):

– 2K format (2560×1600)
wallpaper_amy_race_2560

– FHD format (1920×1200)
wallpaper_amy_race_1920

– HD format (1366×800)
wallpaper_amy_race_1366

– SD format (1024×600)
wallpaper_amy_race_netbook

This is how, folks, I plan to do my future wallpapers if I ever feel like doing it again. Also, I’m definitely not one of those artists who constantly spit on their old works and are too afraid to see or show them again, not feeling any hint of nostalgia. My old works are a full part of me and still reflect my own personality to this day. Besides, I still love watching them again (saying to myself “I can’t believe I did that when I was young. It looks so great even now!”)