Default Wallpapers
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Description

Our approach to wallpapers since Ken stopped doing them was either keeping the current one or throwing a way-too-late contest depending on our current mood. So let's change that - let's discuss properly how we should handle wallpapers.

On one hand, I think that both contests worked really well overall. They had more than 150 and 80 total submission, and at least 5/6 absolutely great wallpapers each. That said, I think it is not necessary to do a contest for each wallpaper but we can pick some good ones from both and do a new contest when we are out of wallpapers. Also, in both cases judges decided for a wallpaper that kept the overall look and feel of the wallpapers - also something that should be considered when picking them.

So, here's some good wallpapers that maintains the Plasma 5 style - feel free to add to this list:

Crystalline:


Grand Canyon:

Vera:

Beach:

Flow (light version):

Flow (darker version):

Altai:

Milky Way:

Rainy Morning:

Slant:

Kay:

Iridescent Shell:

There's some great selection. How many versions do we roughly have until Plasma 6? Do we want to change the style? Do we want to throw a Plasma 6 contest?

Is there anybody who wants to work for plasma wallpapers, e.g.: previous winners Santiago and Nikita?

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes
ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 19 2020, 7:00 PM
ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)

Looking at the schedule (https://community.kde.org/Schedules/Plasma_5), I see 5.19 due in June and 5.20 in October. As far as I am aware, Qt 6 is planned for November, and the release page mentions the last Plasma 5 LTS at the same time as the first Plasma 6 release. All together, that means that we will probably still have at least 3, more likely 4 or 5 Plasma 5 releases. If we continue updating the wallpaper with every second release, we would probably need 2 wallpapers for the Plasma 5 cycle.

Personally, I think the selection you are showing offers some real gems, and I don't consider another wallpaper contest to be necessary for these remaining two wallpapers.

I for one would be in favor of mixing up the style a bit for Plasma 6. The current style looks good, but major releases like Plasma 6.0 don't happen too often at all, and are a great point in time to make more fundamental design decisions which involve the wallpaper style as well. Making a contest for that could work well from a Promo standpoint as well.

Since the amount of good wallpapers we have, I think it would be a good idea to change it every version, for promotion purposes as well. New wallpapers get quite a bit of attention. +1 for changing 6 style with a contest - we might want get a big jury and lot of time for submission for that one.

Since the amount of good wallpapers we have, I think it would be a good idea to change it every version, for promotion purposes as well. New wallpapers get quite a bit of attention. +1 for changing 6 style with a contest - we might want get a big jury and lot of time for submission for that one.

I agree with all of that.

If we use some of these other wallpapers for future Plasma 5 releases, should we do anything for their authors? I know that by the letter of the contest rules they're not owed anything, but it might be nice to send something their way anyway as an acknowledgement of their fantastic work. Otherwise it could feel kind of bittersweet to submit an amazing entry, lose the contest, and get your work used later anyway with no prize.

mart added a subscriber: mart.Feb 20 2020, 3:27 PM

since there are many good wallpapers there, iff, those will be the ones used in the new releases i retire my reservation of changing it every release.

Even tough is a whole another topic, a big -100 for changing the whole style for 6 with a contest. It should not be a big departure and a concerted effort: to properly implement a style of everything, *years* of work are needed. (and then some things like the qstyle there are like 2-3 people capable doing it, so that pretty much chains to incremental improvements)

mart added a comment.Feb 20 2020, 3:28 PM

especially Vera, Flow light, Milky way and Kay are gooorgeous

In T12724#221366, @mart wrote:

Even tough is a whole another topic, a big -100 for changing the whole style for 6 with a contest. It should not be a big departure and a concerted effort: to properly implement a style of everything, *years* of work are needed. (and then some things like the qstyle there are like 2-3 people capable doing it, so that pretty much chains to incremental improvements)

With style, I meant wallpaper style, not everything's style :-)

For non-controversial, in-style and nice wallpapers, I'd use Crystaline for .19 and Vera for .20.

Those two are finalists, so they did get a package of goodies. Not great, but better than nothing.

ognarb added a subscriber: ognarb.Feb 20 2020, 7:49 PM

I don't think we need a new contest for wallpaper, an implicit goal for the contests was to get new contributors on board. Either we succeeded and have now new contributor who can create wallpapers for us when our pool of Plasma wallpapers is empty or we failed at this task and I don't think a new wallpaper contest will resolve things long term.

For non-controversial, in-style and nice wallpapers, I'd use Crystaline for .19 and Vera for .20.

Those two are finalists, so they did get a package of goodies. Not great, but better than nothing.

Heh, those are some of my least favorite ones. They both look kind of like knock-offs of Ice Cold IMO.

I would go for Altai, Milky Way, Kay, or Rainy Morning.

I don't think we need a new contest for wallpaper, an implicit goal for the contests was to get new contributors on board. Either we succeeded and have now new contributor who can create wallpapers for us when our pool of Plasma wallpapers is empty or we failed at this task and I don't think a new wallpaper contest will resolve things long term.

I agree with this regarding the point releases, but keep in mind that A) a contest is also a great way to get user interest and advertisement regarding the new version, so it could make sense from a promotion point of view B) although we can get wallpapers from our current contributors, the amount of submission in a contest generally results in a better wallpaper - you can see it with the last contest: we could have just used Vera, but with the contest we got a better option. It is especially important to get the best wallpaper we can get on a big release, in my opinion C) this is even more important if we consider that's the first time we'd like to actually change wallpaper style; we have contributors that are able to do the current style, but a Plasma 6 contest would see who is able to create a new style that can become a Plasma 6 branding element

Heh, those are some of my least favorite ones. They both look kind of like knock-offs of Ice Cold IMO.

I would go for Altai, Milky Way, Kay, or Rainy Morning.

I think we should maintain the Plasma 5 kind of style for the last versions, and I personally feel like these wallpapers do not really fit with the previous ones. Elements I look for generally are:

  • Repeated pattern of triangles
  • Slightly abstract, but representing a 3D scene
  • Generally represent nature
  • Point of view from top to bottom, sky is not visible

All these elements, imo, are present in Volna (beach), Ice Cold (antartica), Opal, Cascade, Canopée, Kokkini (it's a beach), Cluster (those were originally clouds). Before 5.10, the style is a bit more astract.

Since wallpapers are very subjective, and we should probably decide the next one before feature freeze in ~10 days if we want to have a new wallpaper in .19, can more people leave in their opinions here so that we can get a better idea of which ones we should consider?

GB_2 added a subscriber: GB_2.Apr 20 2020, 3:20 PM

I really like Grand Canyon, Vera, Rainy Morning. Kay would also be ok, but I don't like the colors. Crystalline looks rather dull, Beach is too similar to the current one, and the others are too dark or don't really have the Plasma 5 style.

I could live with Grand Canyon, Vera, or Rainy Morning. I agree with your assessment of all the others (though I will never stop loving Flow and Slant, and I think Altai or Milky Way are so pretty that they need to be *somewhere*).

mart added a comment.Apr 21 2020, 12:33 PM

I agree on crystalline to have dull colors...
however, as shapes go, is probably the best of the bunch. Would be possible to contact the author for a differently colored version?

There are a ton of alternate versions of Crysatlline in its forum thread, including some with green areas at the corners.

mart added a comment.EditedApr 21 2020, 12:51 PM

for 5.19, personal preference would be:

  • Vera
  • Flow light
  • altai/rainy morning

(grand canyon is a lot "in style" but i just don't like brown in wallpapers, which is also what makes the 5.18 one my least favorite of the whole 5.x series)

filipf added a subscriber: filipf.Apr 21 2020, 1:57 PM

I also quite light flow light, and I think it fits the plasma style (see cluster).

+1 for Flow Light.

I'm still a fan of Milky Way, it doesn't follow the style of the other wallpapers but I don't think this is a problem. The Breeze theme evolves and so do the wallpapers.

GB_2 added a comment.EditedApr 22 2020, 9:12 AM

I read all messages and it seems like these are the most popular wallpapers (in not particular order): Vera, Flow Light, Milky Way, Rainy Morning
In my opinion they all look good, although Milky Way is quite dark. It also looks a bit different from the traditional style and it's the only wallpaper with this style. I think it would make more sense to change the style with Plasma 6 (if at all).

I'd go with Vera for 5.19 and Altai for 5.20. Fits seasonal patterns for release periods for the northern hemisphere while being subversive for the southern one.

Milky Way is a great wallpaper, just doesn't fit as much as others though.

GB_2 added a comment.EditedApr 23 2020, 9:14 AM

I'd go with Vera for 5.19 and Altai for 5.20. Fits seasonal patterns for release periods for the northern hemisphere while being subversive for the southern one.

Milky Way is a great wallpaper, just doesn't fit as much as others though.

+1 for Vera as 5.19 wallpaper. Altai is sadly rather flat and doesn't look so much like previous wallpapers, but we still have a lot of time to agree on a 5.20 wallpaper.

To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Vera. I don't think it's terrible, but something about it feels off to me. The composition seems too right-heavy, and the huge area of blue on the left feels boring and makes selected icons hard to distinguish. I think I would prefer better-colored versions of Crystalline (less monochromatic) or Grand Canyon (less brown) if we want to use one of the very traditional options.

But I think we should do Flow Light. :) I see it as a more interesting exploration of the traditional style than Vera, Crystalline, or Grand Canyon--which are fairly conservative in design--and a safer choice than Altai, Rainy Morning, or Milky Way--which are trying to be an evolution of the current style.

+1 to flow light
@filipf and @GB_2, would you be fine with flow light, or do you strongly prefer Vera?

GB_2 added a comment.Apr 25 2020, 10:18 PM

Let's use Flow Light :-)

+1 to flow light
@filipf and @GB_2, would you be fine with flow light, or do you strongly prefer Vera?

I would consider Flow Light the worst default wallpaper in a long time. I don't see the visual appeal and it lacks not one but both things its predecesors has going for them: nuance in attempting to be (at least somewhat) photorealistic and (at least some) complexity in execution.

The more abstract wallpapers we've had looked interesting in technical execution and as if quite a lot of time had been spent on making and perfecting them. The more scenic ones had the quality of the viewer being able to imagine a real world based on them (e.g. water was always blue).

I do feel Vera could stand to be improved some but it's at least more scenic.

+1 for Flow light. Different enough to not look like we got stuck in a rut and ran out of ideas, while still looking like it belongs in the longer term series of plasma wallpapers.

Personally I don't see Flow Light as un-complex in execution. I think it has a lot of nice little details. Also I think that it does a decent job of continuing the "based on nature, but in an abstract and stylized manner" thing that we've had going since Ice Cold. Flow Light is clearly a river of some sort, but it's abstract and stylized and made of polygons, just like Ice Cold and Volna. So I think you could say it fits that pattern better then earlier wallpapers like Opal and Kokkini, which were much more abstract and difficult to connect with a real-world phenomenon.

filipf added a subscriber: abetts.Apr 28 2020, 8:45 AM

It's a river structurally, but the colors are completely random. That's not case with Ice Cold, Volna, or Ken's older work like Canopee for instance. Just not my cup of tea and I don't see it as continuation of what we've had.

It seems the rest of you like it though so go for it.

If time allows it or next time it's also possible to run a quick survey and then the users could pick the wallpaper.

And I mentioned this in the chat already, but I'd nominate @abetts 's wallpaper for future consideration.

https://forum.kde.org/viewtopic.php?f=313&t=163943

It's clean and tranquil, sporting a color scheme we've not really explored so far.

All right, Flow (light) it is. I'll contact the author and move forward with that. Sorry @filipf, no hard feelings. :)

As for the mountain wallpaper that you like, I like its composition and color palette, but IMO the details need work, especially those very tall triangular polygons at the base of the mountain. I don't like those at all. However if @anditosan wanted to revise this image, I think we could consider it.

People really liked Flow Light. My suggestion is to switch to Flow Dark for 5.20.

ngraham reopened this task as Open.Aug 20 2020, 8:14 PM

(Re-opening since we'll just mine this for default wallpapers until Plasma 6, barring a change in plans)

Much as it sadly didn't get cameo'd in this task until now, my suggestion would be to take THE ORIGINAL version of Iridescent Shell, aka this: https://postimg.cc/8JgGKw5T

...and darken it a bit and use that as the Plasma 5.20 wallpaper. It seems like VDG members are already giving this wallpaper hearts in the Telegram chat, too, so I don't think I'm the only one with that sort of opinion.

That being said, I much prefer the original over its future variants as the future variants looks like someone took the vibrancy setting for the colours and cranked it up way too much (no offence). If we darken the original variant a bit, I think we have a perfectly suitable Plasma 5.20 wallpaper right here.

ngraham updated the task description. (Show Details)Aug 20 2020, 8:25 PM

I like the idea of Flow Dark or Iridescent Shell. I also would like to plug Milky Way. :)

+1 for Darker Flow in 5.20.

Beach would look good by summer next year.

ndavis added a subscriber: ndavis.Aug 21 2020, 5:39 PM

I kinda prefer Altai, but all the proposals look pretty good.

cblack added a subscriber: cblack.Aug 21 2020, 5:39 PM

-1 for Darker Flow. It's so dark that the colours and default light panel visually vibrate, which doesn't look too hot.

I think Iridescent Shell or Kay would look better with the default light panel.

rikmills added a comment.EditedAug 21 2020, 5:52 PM

+1 for darker Flow or Milky Way.

Here they both look good with light OR dark Breeze plasma theme.

+1 for Milky Way and -1 for Darker Flow

I honestly think we should reserve Milky Way for Plasma 6 to make it a release that's 'out of this world'. ;)

I honestly think we should reserve Milky Way for Plasma 6 to make it a release that's 'out of this world'. ;)

Breeze refresh + Space themed wallpaper? Awesome.

Given how gray Breeze will be it sort of reminds me of the late 00s and early 10s Mac OS X releases.

I'd strongly strongly suggest doing a contest for plasma 6. It would result surely in a new beautiful wallpaper and it would help promotion greatly.

I can see Milky Way being one of the best wallpapers that never gets used. :(

Even though I'm not a fan of Milky Way, I guess we should find compromises, so I'm ok with it being used in 5.19 if it's preferred over darker flow

I'm quite sure that we'll use Milky Way eventually. :)

FWIW I'm personally leaning slightly towards Flow Dark for 5.20. If we're ever going to use it, the time is now. If not Flow Dark, then I'd go for Milky Way.

What about: 5.20 darker flow, 5.21 milky way? That could be a good compromise

I'd be good with that.

How do others feel? I know there were some reservations about Flow Dark. Personally I think it looks great with the new default panel though:

FWIW here's the workflow:

  1. Get multiple size versions versions from author (Sandra Smukaste <pewmuffin@gmail.com>)
  2. Submit MR for breeze repo to replace the images in Next
  3. Submit MR for plasma-workspace-wallpapers add largest size of old wallpaper
  4. Submit MR to plasma-workspace with updated screenshots for Breeze Global Theme and SDDM theme

Not a great fan of darker flow, because it doesn't change enough from the last wallpaper and because unlike Flow all the colors are in the middle of the screen and the border are just black.

Also since I was planning to make the Plasma 5.20 announcement, a lot more visual, I can see a lot more opportunity with Milky way to do something fancy.

I'd strongly suggest holding Milky Way from being the default wallpaper until we have a known release that brings about the official Breeze Theme Redesign.

If we had it in any random Plasma release, it'd honestly be a HUGE missed opportunity for the release that debuts the Breeze Redesign. The boldness of such a wallpaper change would SERIOUSLY complement the changes brought about by this huge redesign of Breeze.

That being said: My idea for a proposal right now personally would be:
5.20: Darker Flow
5.21 (if the Breeze Redesign is ready to debut with this Plasma release): Milky Way
5.21 (if the Breeze Redesign isn't ready yet): Iridescent Shell?

I agree that Milky Way would be best saved for the release that gets the Breeze redesign. At this point, that's 5.21 or later (though hopefully 5.21).

ognarb added a comment.EditedSun, Sep 6, 3:03 PM

I would still sugest to not use darker flow, we already had flow and darker flow has not enough colors. Kai or Iridescent Shell would be a lot better.

Also note that Milky Way doesn't go along with the current proposed skeuomorphism change proposed to breeze.

I'd be good with that.

How do others feel? I know there were some reservations about Flow Dark. Personally I think it looks great with the new default panel though:

Yes, it does look great!

ndavis added a comment.Sun, Sep 6, 3:58 PM

How about we try a point based voting system?

+2 for stuff you strongly support
+1 for stuff you're ok with
-1 for stuff you somewhat oppose
-2 for stuff you strongly oppose

No 0 points. If you're lukewarm on something, pick +1 or -1.

ngraham added a comment.EditedSun, Sep 6, 3:59 PM

Crystalline: -1
Grand Canyon: -1
Vera: -1
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: +2
Altai: +2
Milky Way: +2
Rainy Morning: +1
Slant: +1
Kay: -1
Iridescent Shell: -1

cblack added a comment.Sun, Sep 6, 4:01 PM

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: +2
Vera: +1
Beach: -1
Flow Dark: -2
Altai: -1
Milky Way: +2
Rainy Morning: -1
Slant: -1
Iridescent Shell: +1

ndavis added a comment.Sun, Sep 6, 4:11 PM

Crystalline: -2
Grand Canyon: +1
Vera: -1
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: -1
Altai: +2
Milky Way: +1
Rainy Morning: +1
Slant: -2
Kay: +1
Iridescent Shell: +1

The-Feren-OS-Dev added a comment.EditedSun, Sep 6, 4:21 PM

Crystalline: -2
Grand Canyon: +1
Vera: +2
Beach: +1
Flow Dark: -2
Altai: -1
Milky Way: -2
Rainy Morning: -1
Slant: -2
Kay: -2 (Kay feels like it belongs more in Material Design IMHO)
Iridescent Shell: +2 (in its originally submitted form, even if it has a slight change of hues for its actual usage, but NOT THE V2s' oversaturation and/or over-flattening of V1)

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: -2
Vera: -2
Beach: +1
Flow Dark: +1
Altai: +1
Milky Way: +2
Rainy Morning: +2
Slant: -1
Kay: -2
Iridescent Shell: +1

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: -2
Vera: -2
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: +2
Altai: +1
Milky Way: +2
Rainy Morning: +1
Slant: -1
Kay: -1
Iridescent Shell: -2

EspiDev added a subscriber: EspiDev.EditedSun, Sep 6, 4:48 PM

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: +1
Vera: +2
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: -2
Altai: +1
Milky Way: -1
Rainy Morning: +1
Slant: -1
Kay: +2
Iridescent Shell: +2

ognarb added a comment.Sun, Sep 6, 4:51 PM

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: +1
Vera: +2
Beach: -1
Flow Dark: -2
Altai: -1
Milky Way: +2
Rainy Morning: +1
Slant: -1
Kay: +2
Iridescent Shell: +2

Crystalline: -2
Grand Canyon: -2
Vera: -1
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: +1
Altai:+2
Milky Way: -2
Rainy Morning: -1
Slant: +2
Kay: +2
Iridescent Shell: +2

Crystalline: +1
Grand Canyon: +1
Vera: +1
Beach: +1
Flow Dark: -1
Altai: -1
Milky Way: -1
Rainy Morning: -1
Slant: -2
Kay: -2
Iridescent Shell: +2

Crystaline: +2
Grand Canyon: -1
Vera: +1
Beach: +1
Flow Dark: +2
Altai: -2
Milky Way: -1
Rainy morning: -2
Slant: +1
Kay: -2
Shell: +1

Unless I counted wrong, the results currently are:

Iridescent Shell11
Milky Way3
Altai3
Vera2
Crystaline1
Rainy Morning0
Canyon-1
Flow Dark-2
Kay-2
Beach-8
Slant-9

Given that it's quite hard at this point for any wallpaper to get more votes compared to Shell, I think we can safely say it's the most popular one by far.

Just for fun: FerenOSdev was the most harsh when giving votes (their personal sum is -6), while Carl was the kindest (with 6).
The Shell wallpaper author was contacted.

ognarb added a comment.Sun, Sep 6, 9:44 PM

Just for fun: FerenOSdev was the most harsh when giving votes (their personal sum is -6), while Carl was the kindest (with 6).
The Shell wallpaper author was contacted.

And people said I was against everything :)

clel added a subscriber: clel.Mon, Sep 7, 12:05 AM

Interesting Slant was voted so badly. I'd have preferred that, since the color scheme is similar to the old one and it looks a bit like a revolution to me. But design really seems to be subjective :)

Crystaline: +1
Grand Canyon: -1
Vera: +1
Beach: -2
Flow Dark: +1
Altai: +2
Milky Way: -1
Rainy morning: -1
Slant: +1
Kay: -1
Iridescent Shell: +2