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krita as Plasma Desktop art generator?

User avatar aseigo
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one of the guiding principles in plasma has been to try and make UIs embody more organic principles in terms of motion and presentation. obviously it's still a computer interface, and there's still much work to be done. but this is one of the ideas that persists with those of us working on it every day.

the wallpapers we have used for defaults have been beautiful, at least in my opinion, but they've also had a tinge of .. well .. constructedness. they aren't something i'd expect to see in my garden or in the forests i walk through or the ocean i am peering out into as i write this. they don't look like something a human animal would have made with their hands, moving about as hands do with sticks and brushes in them. they aren't, in a word, very organic. beautiful, yes. organic .. not so much.

so there is a(n admittedly subtle) disparity between an aspect of the philosophy that guides technical design in plasma and our default visual presentation.

looking at the increasingly impressive krita showcase page, a pondering occurred to me: they look very .. natural. some of them could easily be good quality scans of a piece of sketch paper someone worked on with real world materials. so, would it be possible to create an image that would work as a desktop wallpaper using krita?

if so, could we also make a splash screen background that matches it for the log in process that was more elegant than what we have right now?

i would love to ship a natural feeling wallpaper, but wallpapers are a bit of a unique art challenge. they need to withstand long viewing times, but they also need to recede into the background. they need to be visually interesting (otherwise we may as well just use a flat color or a simple gradient ;), but they shouldn't compete with content on the desktop.

i don't know if it is realistically possible, but if there are artists working with krita out there who would be interested in taking on this challenge and seeing what is (and, perhaps, isn't) possible, i'd like to explore this with you.

aaron, plasma lead developer and (technical) designer
User avatar cyrille
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Well personally, for while now, I have been using wallpapers made myself with Krita (currently I have this image http://blog.cberger.net/2010/08/15/biskopgarden-lake/). I have no idea how well it qualifies for a good wallpaper, I usually set the last image I like, and would want to look at when working as my wallpaper.

Maybe if the plasma team could come up with guidelines for wallpaper, like you have outlined in your post, we could start a "Plasma wallpaper made with Krita contest". And hopefully something good could come from this.


Cyrille Berger
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User avatar aseigo
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A contest could be a good idea, indeed. I'm also very open to working with artists to answer questions they may have as they go. (Contest or not. :)

The basic guidelines would be:

* a palette that either centers around or accentuates the KDE hallmark blues; also using other colors from the Oxygen color palette (http://www.oxygen-icons.org/?page_id=2#fig4) would be a nice bonus

* it needs to not fight for attention as it is a background, not a foreground, piece

* it needs to not become visually stressful nor visually boring after weeks of usage

* it needs to refrain from controversial imagery. while often at the heart of great art, we need to provide something "everyone" can live with in our global user community. so naked people, religious iconography or references, etc. probably don't work ;)

* it needs to fill the full screen, which means it needs to be at least 1920x1200 in size. bonus points for looking great when cropped to 1920x1080. larger (though with the same aspect ratios) is absolutely fine, of course.

Other than that, I'm very open to artistic interpretations. I think something dark works better than something light, but that might just be my own personal bias poking through.

If attempting something for the splash screen, then something that is visually very clean and uncluttered is key to people feeling that it is light and fast (rather than bloated and slow). Ah, human psychology. :)

Hopefully the above would be enough to get people started.

.. and to restate my own reservations: I have no idea if this is a plausible idea: fine art as default wallpaper material. I don't think any other desktop environment has done this, which could make us unique, but there may be a reason nobody has done it, too. Nature photography and cartonizations, whether of terrestrial or heavenly subjects, are apparently the safe approach, as are abstract constructions. I do remember the tiles that were all the fad 10+ years ago when Enlightenment 16 roamed the earth eating little CPUs in the ancient wetlands of prehistoric Linux, and those were a bit more towards "art" than what we have now .. but I really haven't seen a major environment do art for the default background. Maybe I just missed it? </babbling>


aseigo, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
User avatar aseigo
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Ah, one other guideline:

* If it can be modified using post-processing tools (e.g. gimp) to allow introduction of downstream branding (logo placement, perhaps color adjustments), that would be a huge bonus as well.

Yes, probably not easy. :/


aseigo, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
User avatar cyrille
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Well I can't answer to the question of why no one else did it, I am quiet certain that many people use fine art for wallpapers, as can be seen by the quantity of material on http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/wallpaper/ and to a lesser extent on kde-looks.org. Maybe there is a question of cost (and availability for open source projects), such a fine-art would become highly desirable, it is likely that the artist would ask for higher wage than the photograph that took the famous green hills with blue sky of a certain operating system. Maybe fine-art would be too distracting, or not generic enough. Maybe it is fashion. Maybe it is commodity, abstract art is easier to adjust to the different screen ratio and size than fine-art. Well, I guess we can find a gazillion more hypothesis.

However a suggestion I can make is to try to find one of such image in deviantart that would more or less fit your criterion and then give it away to guinea pigs. Then we can look for artist that would want to work on some for KDE.


Cyrille Berger
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slangkamp
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"KDE (new)" palette (which is oxygen I think) is available in Krita. Although I would not completely restrict the artists to use it.
User avatar cyrille
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The branding part would be the most difficult to get with fine-art, especially compared to SVG, where you can easily change the colors. Also inserting a SVG logo would most likely look out of place, so an artist would have to make the integration manually. But it could be made as an element of the image, we can think a logo on the clothes of a character, or a flag on top of a castle, or... But at the end of the day, it would not be as simple as "generate.sh favorite_distro_branding".


Cyrille Berger
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User avatar aseigo
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slangkamp wrote:"KDE (new)" palette (which is oxygen I think) is available in Krita. Although I would not completely restrict the artists to use it.


yes, since it's fine art, just using colors from that palette in interesting ways, as part of a central subject or even as highlight or detail coloring would be great. and straying outside that very constrained palette (designed for icons, really) would be completely fine!


aseigo, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.
User avatar aseigo
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examples.. oh my.. let's see.. here are some examples of the kinds of pieces that could work, imo, without saying anything about the desirability of the subject matter in each of the artworks.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/3rd- ... llips.html
http://loukeeya.deviantart.com/art/Daffodils-179258645
http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/ ... 2ypwlt.png
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage45.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage31.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage35.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... age29.html
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... age66.html
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage40.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage48.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage29.htm
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage85.htm
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-lo ... -ball.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/siwa ... arlow.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/red- ... -ball.html
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... age103.htm
http://www.art-wallpaper.com/11344/Hodl ... m+Chexbres
http://www.art-wallpaper.com/3844/C%C3% ... n+Provence
http://www.arts-wallpapers.com/gallerie ... mage86.htm

ok, perhaps quite a variety :) and there are probably elements of some of the piece above that would be difficult in a wallpaper. but hopefully the above gives some visual shape to the idea, keeping in mind that none of the above were done with "computer desktop wallpaper" in mind. it isn't an exhaustive list either, that's just what i pulled out of a 10 minute search online :)


aseigo, proud to be a member of KDE forums since 2008-Oct.

 
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