DeskScapes: Customize your desktop wallpaper with unique animations and effects

OS developers are usually trying to give their users the best in terms of functionality. Even if design is important, usually the available customization is limited. Those that want to turn their desktop background into a truly unique visual experience should give DeskScapes a try. This amazing application offers a huge collection of wallpapers and effects so users will find the right combination to add a personal touch to their screensaver and desktop wallpaper.

Installation & Requirements

The 56 MB installer offers a quick and painless setup that will get DeskScapes up and running in no time. At first launch a Welcome screen will pop-up offering options for enabling the trial version, purchasing or activating the application.

The application is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, and since it includes various animations and other graphic effects it requires a minimum screen resolution of 1024×768, DirectX9 graphics with WDDM driver, a video card with 128 MB of RAM and a Windows Experience Index Graphics score of 2.0 or higher.

Interface

DeskScapes has a stylish, intuitive interface that shows all of the available wallpapers and dreams (animated wallpapers) on the left side of the screen and the currently selected image or animation with its options on the right side. All wallpapers have an info tab, but there are some different options available for static and dynamic (animated) images.

Static wallpapers have Adjust and Color options. The Adjust menu lets users choose between various placement options for the wallpaper, such as Stretch, Tile, Fill and Center. If unsure, let the default Auto-Detect option enabled. The Color pane offers a simple method of recoloring the image using handles. DeskScape lets users recolor only specific colors in the image or the entire image. The program also allows you to remove all colors except the selected one.

Animated wallpapers, known as Dreams in DeskScape lack Adjust and Color options but they do have a Settings tab. The available settings vary from one dream to another depending on the elements it includes. For example, a Dream called Spring 2013, has the option to show or hide the ants that are a part of this animated image. Another Dream called Expanding Shapes, has a more complex Settings menu that lets you choose the shapes’ type, size, animation speed among other options.

Entering the Effects menu opens a wide range of possibilities for changing the style of the wallpaper, from simple options such as various types of blur and color filters to complex recoloring methods like Alien World and Pop Art. All effects show a small preview of the image and choosing one will be instantly displayed in the large preview. You can even combine two or more effects in a dedicated window and save it as a preset.

Once you’re satisfied with the modifications you’ve made you can apply the resulted image/dream as your desktop wallpaper or screensaver from the bottom-right corner of the screen.
The program’s menu allows you to filter available wallpapers by type and/or size, show large thumbnails add or remove image folders and download more backgrounds from WinCustomize (note that some are not free).

DeskScapes has a tabbed Settings panel with four categories. The Performance tab includes a slider where you can choose the quality/performance level for the backgrounds, and a pause option for notebooks running in battery mode. In the Folders tab you can view the folders from where backgrounds are available, remove them or add new ones. Advanced options include support for multiple graphics cards, correct aspect ratio on secondary monitors, pause dream when windows are maximized and changing the transparency of desktop icons. The last tab is dedicated to supported languages, although currently only English and English US are available.

Pros

– Quick installation with very few user settings.
– Clean, intuitive interface offering previews for all available backgrounds.
– The live preview shows any performed modifications before applying them.
– Users can choose from a multitude of backgrounds and effects.
– Dreams have dedicated Settings that lets users change various aspects of the animation such as removing certain objects, changing the animation speed, recoloring elements and others.
– Search function lets users manually search backgrounds.

Cons

– None worth mentioning.

Conclusion

DeskScapes is one of the most capable tools in terms of wallpaper customization. Users get plenty of static and animated backgrounds to choose from, but they can also use their own images and recolor it or apply one of the many available effects to turn it into a completely different thing.