This year has been an amazing one in the fan art community; one aspect being the wallpaper community. There are now 200 wallpapers official and fan-made that have covered over the last full year since Diablo 3?s announcement.
So many artists came out to show their skills and their take on all things Diablo 3 that we knew and learned as time went on. From the days with tons of info and content and through the Diablo Drought that left the community quiet for a few weeks.
This is a collection of highlights from over the last year, please read on and enjoy!
We begin with artist Kracov who became the first wallpaper artist to post in this new gallery, a day after d3?s announcement in 2008 with his ?Barbarians in Tristram?. I chose this wall as the start instead of my own walls, because the significance of the first fan wallpaper needed to be know. Kracov started the fan wallpapers here. Since I didn’t start at diii.net at first.
I posted my first D3 wallpaper on July 6, on another Diablo 3 forum, where it received mostly negative comments. For that reason the first wallpaper I posted here was a different one, a remake of the Diablo cinematic shot. Mind you I don’t use a plasma LCD screen, nor do I view my desktop at 1920×1200. Believe it or not I view at 1024×768. Might amaze you how much I’ve learned over the past year huh.
On the 10th of July 2008 roughly 1 year ago I would post my first fiery runes series wallpaper with the Diablo 3 logo and the first rune circle around it. The work that went into these runes was extensive. I spent an hour or so each day, creating a few runes each time. I made sure when I redrew them that they would match as close as possible with the originals. When I did that I would recolor the runes red, do a motion blur, and then have the black rune copied again and turn it yellow. With that yellow color I would fade it a little and do an “add” effect on the image and that gave the runes their fiery glow. An Idea would click in my head I was doing something no one else had thought. Then fell in love with making the series.
In August I would have fun with my wallpapers and got a great idea. Why not try to make the infamous Diablo head-shot using the cinematic trailer. For two weeks I would painstakingly try my best to make as much of an accurate face shot as possible. The rumors were he was Diablo, and then some thought maybe Belial the Lord of Lies. I thought ok the first try on this head-shot brought a spooky looking view of the face. So I posted teaser screen caps while I was working on this thing to try and build up a hype. I blame Blizzard’s hype machine for the inspiration. I would post my first try at the head-shot and called it Belial, and later someone said he looked like a smiling demon, and so he got my nickname Smiley Belial Now while I was posting Belial I was fine tuning the other head-shot. It garnered more detail since it was the lightened up side of the face in the cinematic. It would turn out ten times better granted very fuzzy. But the amount of work done to it I was 90% certain I was that accurate. Later I would learn how close I was when Flux gave the fan art community the images from the Leipzig Press CD with Diablo’s face in sharper and greater detail.
Shortly after debuting the first wallpaper in the second fiery runes series, nEgativezEro would give us something different. His wall was the first to have Skovos, but the difference was the D3 logo. It was blue; rather than you standard burning red that were so use to. Flux would poke a joke about the logo tint in the Diablo III Weekly Wallpaper #6. He would later comment, ?…the remark was me joking about the color scheme. The guy turned the d3 logo blue to match the sea image, and I suggested, with slightly picturesque language, that he might have turned the image red to match the logo.? I also thought I was a nice change from the standard red color of the logo, and that is why I chose to add it here.
In late August VioletJoker would post his wallpaper called Des Systema; the alchemy circle behind and in the heart of the Diablo 3 logo. Before he posted this I had talked with him over PM?s and IM?s about the logo. The Leipzig Press CD had a rather large version of the Diablo 3 logo in a .tiff format, which my old graphics program couldn’t read properly. VJ was able to, and he was able to extract the different layers that made up the image. A few weeks later I acquired a copy of Photoshop CS3, and broke the logo apart myself and eventually learned how to dissect the layers. The fruits of that labor would show up in future walls. I will always give credit to VJ first for breaking the Alchemy out for all of us to see, and for the wallpapers I used that image in. I eventually learned a technique to reproduce that Alchemy in a sharper form.
In the middle of September I decided to try something different in my Fiery Runes Series. The Locations sub-series; an idea that I thought up while working on a wall where I tried to put a part of the city of Caldeum in the center of the rune circle. All tries to make it look nice however ended badly. So I decided to use the Alchemy that VioletJoker made, and used a panoramic view of the city with the concept art off the D3 website. Since the runes were a standard I had to find a way to make them fit, and just using the old rune circle style from the first wall I made for the series fit best. When that succeed I continued on to plan ahead 4 more locations wallpapers. After I had posted these VJ posted his 4 World of Sanctuary wallpapers of Caldeum, Skovos, Tristram, and Ureh. He also used a neat style with the map and candle to light the spot where the location was. I personally thought it was really cool. When I did something different with my series, he made something different with his works.
At the end of September the only member in the Fan Wallpaper Community to create Calendars for wallpapers, Cowguin; would create his first calendar wallpaper for October, and a month later with November having the wizard in the background. I chose this wallpaper because it stood out. One reason it was a calendar wallpaper. Think about it for a moment; you would have a wallpaper to sate your craving for Diablo 3, and be able to keep track of the month too at the same time. Also something to point out earlier in September CG got a little recognition from a certain fan over his Diablo looking Tyrael fan art on the D3.com forums. Sadly the post is gone, but the news post about it is still here on diii.net.
In early October I had a revelation. While I was showing off my wallpaper art to my Father in his home. They had a 20 inch monitor so I was able to truly see how all my works looked. The one thing that concerned me was the blurriness of the very runes I have worked on over the last few months since my start. The Female Witch Doctor was the wall that garnered my attention. She was as sharp and clear as I had hoped but not the runes. The runes were so fuzzy and so cloudy I wished I had looked at them sooner. Perhaps it was meant then to be seen I don’t know. But before I had posted my Locations IV wallpaper; I rebuilt the runes. I made sure this time that they would be as clear as possible. Let’s just say the image size of the new rune circle was over 6 feet by 6 feet. It crashed my computer a couple times when i was rebuilding the circle formation. I was determined to have this right I wanted to have the best quality I could. I didn’t care how many times the computer crash I was going to have it done. After 2-3 hours of work it was done and blew away my expectations. You all have seen the labors of my work on the runes since then. So you know now how big these were. The Zod rune I’ll use as a perspective for you. You put the original Zod I used in one of my 2560×1600 images. You’ll see a very tiny rune. But If you put the rebuilt rune into the picture it almost cannot fit. I doubt I will ever need to remake the runes again unless I try something interesting again in the future.
The middle of October bode well for the community at large. Blizzard would reveal the 3rd class; the Wizard. Moves based on classic D&D moves like magic bolt and more. Some called the class the sorcerer and sorceress remade. I thought they were a great combination of both old classes and more. Offering stuff that hasn’t been seen in the Diablo universe. But with new content and information was also a goldmine for the Fan Wallpaper community and with Cowguin, Phoenix995, VioletJoker, Paalt, zore, and myself would post our own takes at the new class with new wallpapers.
Around the same time-frame as the Wizard wallpapers were being made Cowguin would recreate the Rainbow Diablo 3 logo that was on a white t-shirt worn by Leonard Boyarsky wore during Blizzcon 2008. The shirt design was obviously made to poke fun at the D3 art controversy. I thought it was pretty good and a great joke by blizzard. Also to point out CG’s wallpaper was the fastest viewed, with over 10000+ views before the month ran out. It is currently the most viewed wallpaper in the entire wallpaper gallery. That in itself is an awesome feat.
In late October Delowyn would burst onto the scene with his first wallpaper of the Male Witch Doctor that he built from the ground up from the program Hash Animation Master. Little was known about Delo at that time. Neither the community nor I would realize how much a big part he would become of the fan wallpaper community until a certain wallpaper would be worked on at the end of January the following year.
Around the time November and December rolled around the Diablo Drought was in full effect and so much lack of news would be coming in. The first of December my 3rd Fiery Runes Series was created and the first wallpaper was of the Mistress of Pain. This series I would try so hard to improve upon from the previous two series. With the new rune circle from Locations IV; I would recreate my angled rune circle. I would also add subtle teaks to the lighting of anything inside the middle of the circle. I loved adding small glowing highlights in past walls. In this series it was no different; just more seriously taken and applied. I also added a new faint glow to the runes further adding to the sharpness of the new runes. In the end this would be the start of a much larger and longer planned series. The nameplate was considered a masterpiece. I spent so much time over a couple weeks getting it set perfect. The end results exceeded my own and amazed others. That was only the beginning for that series.
When the New Year rolled around, and the drought slowly faded; Delowyn would post at the end of January his detailed wallpaper of the Durance of Pain, having two heroes of Sanctuary guarding the portal to heaven from the Mistress of Pain. Little did he know this would thrust him into the limelight of the wallpaper community. His popularity would rise, and he would be the second Fan Artist to get a wiki page. He would return to post his Thousand Pounder wallpaper also around the first week of April; after a week of building the 3-d model in high detail.
Later at the end of February I would create a new wallpaper series. I gave it a generic name; Diablo 3 Wallpaper Series. Since I had made concept art wallpapers, cinematic shots, and other miscellaneous aspects of the art content. I wanted to centralize all that into a new series of wallpapers. With that I would create a new wallpaper series with the start at the Demonic Invasion from the cinematic trailer. I tried to make it look a little different from the concept art wallpapers. But that wasn’t well received at the start so I remade it like the concept art wallpapers and it was appreciated more. I learned a valuable lesson in empty space could be a helpful part to a wallpaper.
In March I would post my Unburied and would have the Scavenger ready to be posted and then my Hard Drive would fail on me and I would be down for 3 weeks. No one would post a wallpaper during that downtime. I would return to remake my lost scavenger wallpaper and made one of the April Fools Day joke; the Archivist also as a wallpaper the day blizzard posted the fake class.
In late May Blizzard would give us another content rich set of information on Diablo 3. This time it was about the little demons we hate; The Fallen Ones. These little demons got a much needed update and look. From my view point they gave them more organization despite them being lesser demons. As always with content this rich Phoenix995, Muldric, VioletJoker and Myself would post our own variations of wallpapers for this little band of demons. I’m sure more will be posted in the future as I myself still have more walls for these little guys soon too.
In late June I would recreate my locations series with a new look. A look that would have the world map in the background faded in gray, the Des Systema Alchemy, and the rune circle with the location image in the middle of the circle. This wall would have a location no one really noticed much about until now, and that was Xiansai. I would worry as I created this new look. Maybe I was just thinking to much I don’t know. But it was such a big change that I didn’t know what to expect. I’m thankful now that I did the change. This new look fell in the lines of the series design much better while still keeping the difference in the sub-series allowing it to still stand out in the wallpaper series.
The One Year Anniversary
Then there was the day the anniversary of Diablo 3’s announcement came. I was planning for a week to try and get a wallpaper set for this such occasion but with lack of sleep all week all I could post was Diablo’s face in the Des Systema Alchemy circle with the date of the announcement in two forms. But where I failed to get a very detailed one year anniversary wallpaper, VioletJoker did everything I wanted to try and do for the anniversary wallpaper and more. I said to a couple friends the next day, “I guess I wasn’t meant to make that wallpaper.” I was glad to see the wallpaper done. A single image to show off the wallpaper community’s works throughout the year.
Lastly after this year of wallpaper artwork; one day after the D3 anniversary, I would post my own personal one year anniversary with the remake of the old MS Paint Diablo 3 wallpaper. I would remake it with a restored color look of the original image file and use it for my latest installment of the Diablo 3 Wallpaper Series. I would receive some comments towards the negative on this wallpaper. But it meant more for me as it was my personal one year anniversary in wallpaper artwork. Also two weeks later on July 10th, I would post the Anniversary of the Fiery Runes Series, with a collage of all my rune wallpapers in one big image. With the new rune circle in the front, and “Year One” on the left and right blank areas of the nameplate, and that would end a month of anniversaries.
What a year! So many artists and so many wallpapers over the last year. What a history. I would like to personally thank each and every wallpaper artist even if I didn?t mention you above. (In order from first wallpaper posts)
Kracov, Glaurung, vexing, Flobulon, necrotwosixzeroseven, MilligramSmile, Phoenix995, VioletJoker, Paalt, nEgativezEro, cowguin, mwille, Muldric, RegularJohn, zore, Delowyn, Romak, Yuudaimuhi, KLS, elvarsteinn, Sledge dnp, Chayan Khot, and GuardianHadriel
Thank you all for helping and contributing to the fan wallpaper community. We wouldn?t even be here without you guys!