[Design-team] [F12 Artwork] Final Wallpaper Concept

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Thu Aug 6 15:51:02 UTC 2009

Thanks for starting this off, Martin!

On Thu, 2009-08-06 at 16:46 +0200, Martin Sourada wrote:
> Now to get the ball rolling. I'm sort of tired of photo-manip and
> rathercomplex backgrounds that extensively use various patterns,
> brushes, etc. so while I like Jayme's design, and don't have any sound
> reason for not making it default, I'd rather go with one of the other
> two. Perhaps the main concern I have is that it is too concrete to my
> taste and that it has some sort of religious feel -- all the clouds
> (or are they waves?) and Constantine sitting in midst of that... Also
> the wallpaper seems too busy to me, like composed from two different
> themes (like if the statue was implanted into the design after it has
> been already done), the statue steals to much attention.

It's a very beautifully-rendered wallpaper. My main concern about it is
conceptually, it is a very literal interpretation of the codename. I was
hoping we could allude to the codename in a little more subtle manner,
to leave room for people's personal interpretations. The whole codename
process is a bit of a fun game ('how did you get from there to THERE?')
and having the artwork allude to it in a less literal manner could also
make for some fun discussion/interpretation post-release. And in case
you're not sure why I take this position - because I think we made the
mistake in the past of trying a literal interpretation (remember the
sulphur artwork with pieces of sulphur? :) ) 

Even being a literal interpretation, I am not sure that the image of
Constantine (of which, in history, there were several) is going to be
readily recognized by most people. I think people will think 'statue'
instead. Metaphorically, a statue is frozen in time, solid, stable...
but we're a progressive, innovative distribution. Perhaps the notion
that the statue is in fact Constantine could be supported with some
flourishes/designs/textures affiliated with the culture associated with
him. You said that you used Gustave Doré woodblock prints, and while
they are beautiful, I'm not sure they are related to or evoke the
culture of Constantine. (Although I know he's not Japanese, the texture
actually reminds me of Japanese woodblock prints, eg, 'Great Wave off
the coast of Kanagawa' [1])

I'd feel more comfortable choosing a wallpaper that is
conceptually-strong but needs rendering work, than a wallpaper that is
rendered perfectly but is conceptually weak. This is simply because the
later has more potential for things to go wrong and for requiring more
time & effort than the former. This is not to say that the concept of
this design couldn't be improved upon in the time left, but there is not
much time before our decision. What John has suggested - that this
conceptually be about calmness in a turbulent sea - is for example, a
better concept than just a statue of Constantine as it can be much more
metaphorical and very much related to Constantine's rule as I believe
historically he brought a lot of order to chaos. If you wanted to push
this concept further, there's a lot of things you could do - eg drop the
very literal statue and work in some other calming object to contrast
with the turbulence of Gustave Doré's sea. 

Another concern that was brought up in IRC today is that it includes a
weapon, which in the past with proposals has sparked quite a bit of
negative feedback. Perhaps the photo could be manipulated to exclude the
weapon, though, so maybe it's not as big a concern. 

> For the underwater mosaic. I think it very cool and awesome, but at the
> same time it still needs a lot of work. It kind of reminds me both of
> the DNA and waves themes that I rather liked. And while it's still a
> photomanip, it's abstract and I think the mosaic, water and glows work
> great together if used right. On the flip side, it's rather big in size,
> which we could probably optimize by using JPEG instead of PNG... I would
> really love to see the default theme in F12 to be based on this concept.
> And last but not least - mosaico. It's abstract, it's vector, it's
> simple, it perhaps has the most potential of these three, but still
> needs a hell lot of work. The perspective approach is an interesting
> take, I think perhaps it would be even better if we combined this with
> the underwater mosaic. Create a simple mosaic in this style, but with
> perspective, not as tiles -- it would be nice if it created some nice
> picture, e.g. the four foundations, or just one of the foundations per
> picture and it could circle between the four versions -- and add the
> underwater effect.

I wonder if we could vectorize the underwater mosaic, eg., take the
tiles María created, lay them out in a similar pattern to the underwater
photo manip, and tilt the perspective to be similar as well. 

I agree with all your points about the underwater mosaic. It needs a LOT
of work and has an unwieldy filesize. And of course, it is bitmap, which
makes it harder to work with. GeroldKa had one great idea for this
wallpaper though, that I think is a strong point that maybe we could use
if we vectorized it - you could do a time-of-day wallpaper of it by
changing the intensity and maybe even the color of the glow coming out
of the tiles. 



More information about the design-team mailing list