DeskScapes Product Page
This chapter explains how to use DeskScapes with Windows XP.
After installing DeskScapes, locate the icon on the Start Menu. Click on Start, then All Programs, Stardock folder, and click on the Object Desktop folder to open it. You will see two programs, one is DeskScapes (for viewing / adding / deleting dreams) and DreamMaker (for assembling a video-based .dream file) from your content.
Tip: The alternate way to reach the DeskScapes tab in Windows Display Properties is to right-click on the open desktop, and select "Properties".
Click on the DeskScapes icon to view the "DeskScapes" tab on the Windows Display Properties dialog box.
Below the row of tabs are thumbnails (small screenshots) of each installed dream. Under each is the name of the dream (i.e. Desktop Earth). When a dream has been selected (i.e. click on it), detailed information will be displayed near the bottom of the dialog box (under all of the thumbnails). This may include a description, author (i.e. Stardock Design) and web site (i.e. http://dream.wincustomize.com) where you can get more information about this dream or others. The author may include a web address if they have a site related to skinning (i.e. changing the graphic skin of Windows).
An alternate way to view the description of a dream is to pause your cursor over a dream, which will display a pop-up box with the description. No need to click on the dream.
Some dreams may allow you to make changes on how it operates. Dynamic dreams may include a button (under the list of thumbnails). While video-based dreams may include options for positioning the dream on the desktop (i.e. Center, Tile, Stretch, Maintain Aspect Ratio, Crop). Most free dreams are video-based, while Stardock Design sells dynamic-based dreams.
In the lower right corner (if Impulse is installed) is an button. Clicking will open Impulse, forcing it to check for any updates for DeskScapes or other Impulse software. An exclamation point next to each application in Impulse indicates an update is available for download or you can check the "Updates" tab. If Impulse is not installed, the button will not be visible. (For more information on how to use Impulse, please refer to the Impulse Guide.)
Also in the lower right-hand corner is a button that opens a Windows Explorer like dialog box. This allows you to locate additional dreams that are not in the Dreams folder and manage files (i.e. add, delete). All Dreams have the file type (or extension) of ".Dream" (without quotes). After locating a new dream, click . (Click or to abort.)
To apply a dream to your desktop, locate the desired dream and click on it (blue border shows it has been selected). You can click on to change your desktop background to the dream, but keep the Display Properties dialog box open. This is nice if you want to check out different dreams. If you click , it will apply the selected dream and close the Display Properties dialog box. (Click or to abort.)
After a dream has been applied, you may notice the "Desktop" tab has a new "Background" called "deskwall" at the bottom of the list. This is a part of DeskScapes and is normal. If you change to a non-animated wallpaper, "deskwall" will disappear.
To change to a non-animated wallpaper, open the Display Properties and click on the "Desktop" tab. Then select the desired wallpaper from the list under "Background". Click to apply. (Click or to abort.)
Of the five dreams included with DeskScapes, four are dynamic dreams (i.e. Bouncing Box Sample, Desktop Earth, Water Dream, Watercolor Dream) with the fifth dream (i.e. Grassy Field) being a video-based dream. You will notice if there are options to change the dream settings, they will differ if the dream is dynamic or video based. For dynamic dreams, you may see the button near the lower left side of the DeskScapes dialog box. Not all dreams will give you the option to make changes. You must first select the dream you want to make changes too.
For video-based dreams, the option may include "Positioning" with standard Windows options for wallpaper. Simply click the pull-down menu and select the desired position and the image will change your desktop immediately. The options include:
For dynamic dreams, the settings (if available) will differ depending on the dream. The following table lists the settings available for the included dreams.
By design, when an application is maximized DeskScapes will stop the dream animation until you un-maximize the application so you can see the desktop and the animation will resume. The idea is to free up video resources, since you can not see the desktop anyway. For instance, starting a full-screen game will disable DeskScapes until you are finished. If you play a game or use other graphic intensive software in a window, you can pause & resume the animation as desired.
To pause a dream animation, right-click on the open desktop (away from any icons or application windows) and select "Pause Deskscapes". This will stop the animation until you either restore it or restart the computer.
To un-pause the animation, right-click on the open desktop and select "Resume Deskscapes" which will start the animation.
Stardock includes five dreams with DeskScapes to get you started with animated wallpaper. However, you can download hundreds more at WinCustomuze.com that were created by people like you. Clicking the "Get More Dreams" thumbnail will open your web browser and display the WinCustomize web site Gallery for Dreams. Most dreams are free, with high-quality "Master Skins" charging a small fee. (You must be connected to the Internet to view this web site.)
The dreams available on WinCustomize include Master Skins which include work from some of the best master skinners (video-based), as well as Stardock Design (dynamic). Dynamic dreams are created using computer programming. Video-based dreams are created by a number of methods, but basically involve playing a video sequence over and over endlessly (called "looping). You can assemble your own video-based dreams with DreamMaker, included with DeskScapes.