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DeskScapes allows you to apply static and animated wallpaper (called "Dreams") to your Windows 7, Vista or XP desktop. Dreams use your computers video card to display the animated wallpaper, greatly reducing the CPU usage of your computer. When you run an application full screen (maximized), DeskScapes stops the dream to save on system resources (since you cannot see the dream). When you minimize or downsize the application DeskScapes resumes playing the dream. Like static wallpaper, animated wallpaper is behind any desktop icons you have.

DeskScapes includes five dreams, which consist of three dynamic (i.e. Desktop Earth, Water Dream. Winter Snow), one video based (i.e. Planktonic), and one hybrid (i.e. Vintage Dream). DeskScapes also comes with Desktop Slideshow which cycles through selected static (non-animated) wallpaper. Apply any one of up to 25 different effects to alter a dream. DeskScapes 3 now looks like the same on Windows 7, Vista or XP, with minor differences. All features are the same, with a few exceptions for Windows XP.

Features not available in Windows XP:

  • No static "Wallpaper" or "Wallpaper" Filter. Although you can view static wallpaper using the Desktop Slideshow.
  • Effects not in XP: Edges, Flip Horizontal, Mirror, Motion Blur (Extreme), Motion Blur, Pop Art, Snow, Textured, and Tile.
  • Under "Settings", on the "Performance" tab, the "Quality Setting" is disabled.

The initial screen in DeskScapes (Windows 7) looks like this:

Running DeskScapes for the first time in Windows 7.

DeskScapes consists of the following:

  • Top Menu - running along the top of the application window. This includes options to: Apply changes, Background Options, Settings, About DeskScapes, Get More Backgrounds, and (Help) Help which displays this manual.
  • Preview area - is below the top menu. When you click to select a thumbnail the preview area will change to that background so you can see a larger view of it. If the background is an animated dream, the preview will be animated as well. This allows you to preview before applying to your desktop.
  • Filters - below the preview area are a number of filters that allow you to easily find backgrounds in the thumbnails. You can filter by rating (number of stars), type of background (i.e. Videos (dreams), Dynamic (dreams), Hybrid (dreams), or Search for backgrounds by Title, Author or Filename (for static Wallpapers only). By default, all boxes are checked, except "Wallpapers".
  • Thumbnails - appear along the bottom, under the filters and above the bottom menu. Each thumbnail shows a small picture of what the background looks like, the title (or filename for static wallpaper), author, and rating. You can change the rating by clicking on the number of stars you want to assign it. When you click on a thumbnail, a larger version will appear in the preview area and the thumbnail will be highlighted to show it is selected. To scroll through the horizontal thumbnails, either left click anywhere on the strip & hold the mouse button down (drag) and drag the strip to the left or right. Or move your mouse over the thumbnails & a light gray scroll bar will appear near the bottom, then click on it and use it to move through the list.
  • Bottom menu - as you click on different types of backgrounds in the thumbnails, the bottom menu will change to reflect the options available to you for that type. For instance, clicking on Vintage Dream displays three tabs: Backgrounds (the list of thumbnails), Background Settings (animated elements you can hide), and Effects (that can alter how the dream is displayed).

When you start DeskScapes for the first time, "Disable DeskScapes" in the lower, left corner is selected. This means no dream or wallpaper has been applied to your desktop yet.

How to Apply a Background

To apply your first dream to the desktop, click on "Planktonic" by ChaNinja. You will see the preview display an animated version of the dream background. Now click "Apply changes" in the upper, left corner of the top menu and you will see Planktonic appear on your desktop. Minimize DeskScapes to see the whole desktop. As you can see, you now have an animated wallpaper. You can move desktop icons around as normal.

How to Modify a Background

Now restore DeskScapes and let's try altering how DeskScapes displays that dream. Click on the "Background Settings" tab on the bottom menu and try clicking each of the different settings. Depending on the resolution of your monitor, you may find you like one of these better than "Auto detect". After picking one, click "Apply changes" again and look at your desktop.

How to Add or Change an Effect

Click on the "Effects" tab (bottom menu) and select "Invert". The Preview area updates with your selected effect. Click "Apply changes" to have your chosen effect applied to your desktop.

If you ever want to change your desktop back to normal, click "Disable DeskScapes" (first thumbnail on far left) and it will change your desktop back to the Windows background you had before you applied a DeskScapes background.

How to Get More Dreams

Many more dreams and static wallpapers are available from the web site. Most of the dreams are free, no charge for downloading from the site. Some of the best dreams are known as Master Skins and have a small fee to help support the creators. Clicking either the "Background Options" (top, left) or "Get More Backgrounds!" menu option (top, right) gives you links to the WinCustomize site to browse and download.

How to Create a Dream

DreamMaker allows you to package your own video based dreams into .dream files that DeskScapes can apply to your Windows desktop or static images into a new hybrid dream.

Following WinCustomize guidelines, you can also share your dreams with the skinning community.

DreamMaker - use to create your own dreams.

Video Dream Support

MPEG/WMV video dreams (as opposed to dynamic dreams) require a compatible video codec to be installed to playback their content. Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate include a compatible video codec.

NVIDIA Driver Support

Please note that updated video drivers are very important for the best performance of dreams. In addition, if you are using a NVIDIA graphics card, we suggest keeping the performance settings for DeskScapes set to 100% for optimal visual quality.