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Wallpaper Quality?


18 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello, I'm not the one who usually makes threads, but I'm just installing Windows 8 onto my Virtual Machine, and I noticed the default wallpaper is very low quality. I have OCD (I know, pftt), and I just can't imagine them shipping Windows 8 with a wallpaper like this. I'm just wondering, is it just me? I even looked up the default wallpaper online and saw it's the same quality (thinking it was virtual machines problem, but I was wrong).

If you look closely around the edges of the flower, you'll see the degradation. I know it's supposed to be some kind of blue that makes the effect that there's a breeze in the picture, but it really doesn't do it's justice.

Other than that, I love the OS. I'm just being nit picky, but the fact this made it into the RTM, I'm not very happy at. I worry about every little detail, I know I can just change the wallpaper, but this default wallpaper will be rolled to millions/billions of PC's...

I'm not complaining, I'm just shocked.. other than that, I love the new OS.

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Posted

I don't really notice much in the way of compression artifacts, that looks like an intentional artistic choice based on the focal point of the image...

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Posted

You don't know much about photography, huh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

This is completely normal and not a quality issue.

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Posted

If it's intentional, then I wish they didn't do it :(, here's a 4 x zone of the most worrying part for me:

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You don't know much about photography, huh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

This is completely normal and not a quality issue.

Yes, I know a little. I've seen Bokeh in the past, but I haven't seen such intention in past images of Bokeh applied photos. I might add that the other flower and parts are fine, it's just this area.

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Posted

Quick question.

For how long will you be looking at this image? Surely when working/using your PC you don't see your wallpaper for 90-95% of the time.

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Posted

Quick question.

For how long will you be looking at this image? Surely when working/using your PC you don't see your wallpaper for 90-95% of the time.

Depends, I know I can just change the wallpaper. I was just glancing at it yesterday and thought it looked a little off. I'm very nit picky :p

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Posted

I'll agree, the quality is dumbed down for sure from the source image.

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Posted

Depends, I know I can just change the wallpaper. I was just glancing at it yesterday and thought it looked a little off. I'm very nit picky :p

Well, I suggest you stop picking at your nits and get some work done :D

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Posted

I'll agree, the quality is dumbed down for sure from the source image.

How so? It looks to make like an intentional use of single focus photography.

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Posted

I agree, the default wallpapers for Windows 8 are low quality. For starters they're all 1920x1200 (or the corresponding multi-monitor equivalent), so they look even worse when stretched to 2560x1600; they're also JPG rather than a lossless format like PNG. More importantly, they're all overly artistic and utilise excessive amounts of blur.

Personally I have a membership with Vladstudio because I love the wallpapers he has there - everything from cartoons to photos. I know wallpapers are very subjective but the problem with Windows 8 is that the included wallpapers are all very similar in style and objectively bad quality due being low-resolution JPG files.

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Posted

How so? It looks to make like an intentional use of single focus photography.

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That image clearly shows color replacement around the edges of the changes in color, as you would see then choosing a "Save for Web" in Photoshop and choosing a quality lower then 100% which then replaces/removes colors in the palette.

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Posted

content

That image clearly shows color replacement around the edges of the changes in color, as you would see then choosing a "Save for Web" in Photoshop and choosing a quality lower then 100% which then replaces/removes colors in the palette.

I've just noticed that, depending on how well your monitor reproduces colour it depends how much degradation you'll see. I've just plugged in another Samsung Monitor in, and it looks pleasant. The monitor on my Air which is also Samsung, shows the flaw more clearly, but I'd say colour on the Air is a lot better then this monitor :s. Think I'm going to calibrate to see what I can do.

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Posted

content

That image clearly shows color replacement around the edges of the changes in color, as you would see then choosing a "Save for Web" in Photoshop and choosing a quality lower then 100% which then replaces/removes colors in the palette.

Correct there is image compression. I never claimed otherwise. I was referring to the 'blur'. That's obviously an artistic choice regarding the focus used while shooting the image.

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Posted

Correct there is image compression. I never claimed otherwise. I was referring to the 'blur'. That's obviously an artistic choice regarding the focus used while shooting the image.

I beg to differ. The diagonal lines across the flower are consistent with a Tilt-Shift blur done in PS CS6.

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Posted

Correct there is image compression. I never claimed otherwise. I was referring to the 'blur'. That's obviously an artistic choice regarding the focus used while shooting the image.

It's a combination of the two - there's the excessive blur and post-processing (which is artistic); and there's the compression artifacts (which stem from the low resolution and lossy format). The end result? Wallpapers that are objectively low quality and stylistically objectionable.

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Posted

I beg to differ. The diagonal lines across the flower are consistent with a Tilt-Shift blur done in PS CS6.

Diagonal lines? I see standard image compression, but I don't see those, and I'm on a professionally calibrated monitor. Normally I'm the person who tears these images apart if I spot poorly handled PS work.

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Posted

So people are surprised that Microsoft didn't include 2560x1440 wallpapers when it's going to be a tiny market share and are surprised to see artifacts when they're blowing up an image 4 times? :huh:

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Posted

I actually discovered this just the other day. The OP is right - Windows automatically compresses your wallpapers when you set them. At least it does when you use custom wallpapers - I'm not entirely sure how Microsoft does it for the default ones. It stores the compressed file in C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Themes - you'll notice that "Transcoded wallpaper" is significantly smaller than whatever the actual image is.

Through some trial and error I've found a way around it though. Assuming your wallpaper is a .jpg, you first have to convert it to a .png (I use the Gimp or probably even Paint works). If it's a jpeg then Windows will always compress it. How you need to set the background so that it's lossless seems to depend on your OS:

For Windows 8: Once it's a png you can just use File Explorer and right click -> set as desktop background. You can also use the Personalization menu from the desktop.

For Windows 7: The only way I could get it to not compress was to open the png in Firefox and right click -> set as desktop background. This works in 7 but creates artifacts in 8 - it's weird. I primarily use 8 so I haven't tested 7 as much.

The jpeg artifacts are particularly noticeable with vector art. I use this image is a test: http://fwallpapers.c...-background.png

You can see it for yourself - save it and set it via Windows Photo viewer - you'll notice the orangish curve in the middle has noticeable jpeg artifacting (even though the source is a png). Then try setting it via File Explorer (assuming Windows 8) - it's completely lossless. The artifacts usually aren't that noticeable - especially with nature photos and stuff; I'm just pedantic about my desktop backgrounds.

Edit: Huh, I thought using File Explorer caused compression for PNGs in Win8, but apparently it doesn't. I think it still does in Windows 7 though. The important part is converting it to PNG. Then just play around with different methods of setting it until the artifacts disappear.

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