Created in July 2007 using Zbrush and Vue d’Esprit. I wasn’t consciously thinking of climate change when I was creating this but many have mentioned that this render (with a melting iceberg) evokes that theme. Really though, I was simply trying to create a translucent ice material that would let some of the sunlight through. I think the effect is rather pleasing, if unintentionally ominous.
It’s been a fan favorite and a personal favorite render of mine for many years.
I’ve known Digital Blasphemy for at least two decades. This remains one of my favourite backgrounds – the composition, colour, and render quality is brilliant, and it inspires peace and happiness in me. Just beautiful!
i found this image uploaded here: http://wallbase.cc/wallpaper/1738508
just subscribed to your site. thought my comment would be new and profound; i see that many members have already discovered “circumpolar.” fantastic.
This clearly shows your skill at this line of work. Great job! And give us many more to come.
I’ve just hooked up dual monitors at work and was looking for somthing that had lots of detail and wasn’t too dark…and there it was, Circumpolar from last year. Of all the different pics that have grazed my single screen desktop, this one, by far, has spent the most time in front of my eyes. Now it will inspire me again with the dual screen version. Thankyou for creating such beautiful artwork and sharing it with the world.
To put it into one sentence, this image is the sole reason why I subscribed. I drooled over it for months until my wife broke down and bought me the subscription for Christmas.
I think I like it because it is real enough to convince me (opposed to the others which are hard to submerse into the reality because they are too obviously fabricated). I do wish Ryan would add a non-moon version to the pickle jar which I’d swear people would think it is a photograph.
Anyways, great job!
Did any one else notice the face in the middle of the hole on the multimonitor versions? Good pic, though.
i love Ryan’s work and all but i don’t see why people are so upsesed with this picture, iv seen better work of Ryan’s than this
This is my very first post as I have just now joined.
I send to you a collective inhalation of breaths as I went from one astonishing dual-screen work of art after another.
I knew your images were good and I’ve always provided lots of word-of-mouth praise to my colleagues which commented on your awesome wallpapers (which were of course always the free ones). But little did I know the breadth and extent of the wonders that awaited members.
All I can say is your imagination and skills are a GOLDMINE of fantastic art!
I know that there is so much more to discover but for now:
THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU !!!
BRAVO! (Applause) (Cheers)
A lovely image, I can’t help wondering what it would look like with the sun shining through the hole. Love the whales.
this is an awsome image! keep up the good work!
This is so breath-taking i love looking at it =) thank you.
I’ve already visited your site since 1999 and became a member about years ago (I can’t remember that.)
This is the probably best one you’ve ever created.
This arc beats any rainbow
I have to agree with Panos, this looks great with the Zune XP theme and looks amazing on my 24 inch widescreen at 1920 X 1200
In a way i hope you don’t produce anything better too soon or else i’ll have a real problem deciding what to put on my desktop!
I regret the drift away from 3200×1200 – that format works perfectly for a pair of 1600×1200 screens.
I love the cloud effects and the light shining through the ice arch. Very realistic.. and adding the whales in there adds a nice touch as well.
Ryan this is my first comment and this pic is well worth it. i have been with ur site for about a year and a half and i love every pic i have seen so far. this one being the best ive seen so far!! thanks ryan and keep up the GREAT work!!.
James,The bergs in the back are not clones of the central object. They are distinct, though similar, objects left over from earlier revisions.
There is something about this image that makes one feel as if a grand adventure has just come to an end or is just about to start. It’s the feeling of being just on the edge of something amazing. One can almost feel the cool air brushing the skin. The atmosphere is so charged with potential and yet at the same time a deep feeling of peace is present.
A wonder of contrasts.
This one is amazing….It has so many lovely things going for it. The translucency of the glacier, the setting sun…the rising moon and the whales…awesome…GREAT JOB!!
I always enjoy your work Ryan and have been a lifetime subscriber for years.
When I saw this I was awestruck by the detail and the simplicity of it – and I think it is a beautiful piece of artwork – but I have one slight concern that prompted me to comment.
The repetition of the feature iceberg in the background, rotated slightly around the y-axis, takes away a little from the overall realism. I know it’s supposed to be otherworldly, but for it to have a feeling of “this could happen” any nearby icebergs would be unlikely to be identical.
Do you understand what I mean?
It’s gorgeous, but this just slightly detracts from the overall effect – so I voted 7/10.
Cheers Ryan and thanks again for the hard work over the years – when thinking of the gift for the person who has everything, I still can’t go past either a lifetime membership or one of your calendars / mousepads / posters.
Keep up the good work.
I’ve been going to your site since 1999, and this is one of the best I have ever seen. I still have my personal favorites, but this is now the background for my work PC, home PC, laptop, AND my Xbox 360.
this is awesome awesome work
“Circumpolar” very quickly became my desktop photo. As soon as I saw it I changed my desktop.
Some really good work. Has to be one of the best yet. Thanks
I have been a customer for a few months now and this is the first time I am commenting on an image and what an image it is. This image is by far my favorite. This image is soft and smooth. I love it. Great Job
Just breathtaking, this image has brightened my day. Your work seems to get better and better.
I have always enjoyed most your otherworldly environmental renders. This one is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.
Along with the Zune theme on XP is just AMAZING.
Simply Relaxing to look at. Thanks!
The arch looks like it is made of ice – not natural looking at all. What is int he foreground? Is that 3 sharks?
My least favorite picture in some time.
I love this image, it (in my humble opinion) is your best work so far.
Would you consider making it into a Pocket PC Theme please!!!
This is really awesome work.
Amazing work, breathtaking. Everyone who sees it asks where they can get it.
This is a beautiful image! As always, your work is awesome Ryan!
My 11 yr old daughter took one look at your new artwork and said, WOW this represents hope for the polar bears. You see she knows about global warming and is concerned by it and it’s impact on the polar bears. I explained to her that this was not real and only an artist’s rendering. She said it did not matter, it still repesented hope for the future.
Thanks for such great artwork and for giving me and my daughter hope for our planet.
I just used the new PS3 feature for setting desktop backgrounds to display this and it looks excellent on a 1080p LCD panel and still leaves the pale PS3 icons visible over the top.
I cropped it to 1920×1080 myself though – any chance of making that resolution as standard for users with 16:9 displays as monitors?
I really like this one. The orcas are a great addition. Reminds the viewer that this kind of thing is on OUR planet.
I love this new image. I was anxious for you to get it done but I sure am glad you took your time to make it “perfect.” Great job!
It’s absolutely beautiful!
Another stunning feat! It’s one of those backgrounds that makes you forget you are looking at a monitor (or monitors). I can almost feel the sun! I just renewed my membership again and will continue to do so.
It was well worth the wait Ryan, great job man! This looks terrific. The lighting really does add a sense of realism to the entire picture, and I must say that in the last year or so i’ve noticed huge improvements on the images you’ve rendered.
Truly spectacular. I am continually amazed and impressed, but this piece takes generous chuck of the cake.
Hated it, but now I love it.
Well worth the wait.
Ryan has out done himself this time. That thing looks awesome.
But one general question: why is the main detail of dual monitor versions always on the right-hand side, i.e. on the secondary monitor? I don’t always use 2 monitors, and when I don’t I still want the “pretty” side to be visible.
It’s no pain to flip the image for me, so I was just wondering.
The multiscreens are amazgin Ryan, I wish I had the imagination you do as I would struggle coming up with ideas like this. For the first time I have no suggestions, this is perfect… night version? 🙂
one of the most realistic renders to date, and certainly in the top 5 images all-time, IMO – the sunset is gorgeous, the shadows look fluid and realistic on the water, the arch catches the light just so, and the hint of a large moon (with near photo-realistic clouds in the sky) rounds out the image perfectly. Very nicely done, Ryan.
This is just so beautiful. It is just great to have another crazy good wallpaper. Thanks
Recalls the awesome natural beauty of delicate arch in Moab (one of my favorite places on this planet). Very nice touch. Despite the software problems, you have created a masterpiece. Keep up the good work!
Wow, this is nice! I gave it a 10.
One question: Are those dolphins in the foreground? Or whales? Or chunks of ice? They kinda distract the eye.
Keep up the good work!
I love this one. The transparency on the ice is just amazing.
Gosh, the cloud effects are beautiful!
This is breathtaking. I never thought you’d top Tropical Moon, then you remade it, and now this. Perfectly Marvelous. These are your finest works EVER. Your on a roll. Please keep it up.
This is why I will continue to pay you the big bucks! LOVE IT! (now I just need to pack my kayak into a spaceship and figure out where this planet is!)
I like water …
I like clouds …
I like unreal motifes …
I like not too dark backgrounds …
Seems like this one has it all in a single picture. Straight 10 points!
Reminds me of sitting at the beach waiting for the sunrise.
The clouds in the center of the arc look quite artificial.
Well, 5 days was worth it for this. This is great.
This was well worth the wait!! Keep up the /great/ work! =D
I’ve really liked most of your works, but the one thing that has always irked me a little bit is that the water seems to be so artificial.
The water doesn’t seem to be affected by things such as beaches or large objects in the water.
I absolutely love the dolphins, the water, the sky, and the planet. Looks fantastic, the colors really work nicely.
The only thing that doesn’t really work for me is the ice structure…to me, I think that it would look MUCH better if, instead of a “ring,” it was an “arch” …in other words, remove the connection between the two ice masses at the bottom so the horizon and sky/sunset is visible through a small part in the lower center. I keep getting the feeling that the bottom connection between the ice masses is blocking something and I can’t see through or around it….almost feel like taking a photo with the sun on the wrong side, with too much shadow.
Let the ice open a bit and allow some light to shine through the center so it’s not as dark (especially on the water’s reflection to the left of the dolphins….but the dolphins look fine in their current lighting).
Otherwise, great job (again!). I REALLY enjoy my lifetime membership, and constantly blowing people away with your creations. And to all those who say “You paid $100 for what?!” I say, “Fine, you go and enjoy the Windows XP logo on your desktop while I go and see what new artwork Ryan’s got on his site.”
Brilliant, Ryan! This is a Masterpiece.
And I pray this becomes a poster in your Zazzle offerings.
Absolutely incredible, sends shivers up my spine.
I add my voice to Frank’s – a nighttime version, please?
Stunning, yet again. Thank you.
the cloud work is excellent, this will be one of my backgrounds for a while
This one was well worth the wait!!!!!
Great rendering, very peaceful – this is one of my top favorites!
It’s just sad that the polar caps are melting so quickly, images like this and photographs will be all that remains within our lifetime.
When it comes to the “dolphins” everyone refers to, Orcas would be my guess, was it intentional to have one of the three facing the opposite direction? At least that’s the impression I get based on the direction of the dorsal fins. I guess in my head I just pictured them all going the same was as a pack, and that just threw off my little world. Ha Ha… who knows. Anyway, great picture, I love the lighting, and the clouds look superb.
Hi Ryan. When i got the Dual Version, i quickly placed it as my desktop, but i notice the clouds didnt render as nicely as the single screen version – What happened?
Otherwise, Fantastic Work!!!
Well worth the wait!! Gorgeous!! How could anyone possibly criticize??
Justin – It looks to me the orcas are indeed traveling together. Not all dorsal fins are swept back as expected, that’s all. And I appreciate Ryan’s effort to not create everything in its ideal form.
Gabe – You can always head to the Antarctic cap where the ice is expanding and thickening! It probably won’t be too long before the earth’s natural cycle reverses and the Arctic caps begin to expand, again.
I really like the concept and the single display renderings are excellent!
But, what happened during the dual screen rendering? The clouds became flat and blotchy, not wispy like in the original. (plus that cloud in the middle of the arch now looks like an angry face looking down)
Its also too bad the dual screen looses the water reflections; they are very good in the single screen. I realize you have to give up something though.
Single display: 9 out of 10
Dual screen: 7 out of 10
I too think the clouds need more work on the Dual-screen; but that probably reflects general learning about the cloud software — and the capabilities of the cloud tool itself. I’m sure this will improve over time.
But I don’t think there’s actually a difference between the clouds in the single vs. dual screen versions. It’s just that the dual-screen version features the clouds much more prominently, so that you notice their smoothness (“low fractality”?)
much more. Actually, I think the clouds in the previous “Thetis” image also had something of an issue with this.
Otherwise, this is a very nice image, and I hope you find more applications for the subsurface scattering feature! The clouds were the only thing bringing this one down to a 9 instead of 10 for me.
Wow! Great. Fantastic. I love it.
I’m not sure why the clouds look different in the multi-screen version. I did use a different render setting in hopes of getting a higher quality render, but perhaps it smoothed out the clouds too much.
I’ll go back and see if I can re-render the sky and post a version with better looking clouds.
I really love the clouds on this wallpaper.
For iPhone animations:
Those are THE best animated wallpapers I have ever seen in my life. ::insert many praise adjectives and phrases here::
Seriously, I am throughly in awe of your beautiful work. I would honestly consider getting an iPhone for using those images alone. They’re just that amazing.
And by iPhone, I meant the Animations gallery. ^.^;; sorry. Must have read the wrong thing there.
Ryan, you’ve done it yet again. This picture is stunning — one of my favorites to date… then again, it seems that lately *every* scene you do is “one of my favorites to date!”
Keep up the great work!
Simply beautiful. Original, fantastic and lifelike. Great composition.
Sorry to hear about the bug. But on the other hand, isn’t it good that it wasn’t something YOU were doing? 🙂
i was losing faith in this site for the past few months with the lack of images posted
but if you keep posting images like this im going to be mad at you because your going to cost me 15 more bucks to renew my membership
this is the best image on digital blasphemy yet, please please please make more space images those are the best, these are awesome too
also can we get a night time version of this with stars and the moon lighting up the water, that would look so cool
btw thanks for the iphone wallpapers, i got mine last week WOOHOO
I rated this is 10, I really dont know what to say, and words rarely fail me , it is a stunning image, thanks for sharing this one with us
This one is gorgeous! From the standpoint of just working out a blend of lights and darks, reflectiive surfaces, colors and composition, it is without question one fo the most interesting things you’ve done. I run dual monitors, and would really enjoy seeing this rendered into that format. Thanks for this one!
This image transports you to another world, a dreamlike landscape that incorporates so many different visual elements you could stare at it for hours. What an awesome image! Great concept and great job, keep it up!
I love the way the light glows through the ice on this one – it was well worth the wait for the render!
I have to agree with the above praise. You have really outdone yourself this time. I am looking forward to the tri-monitor version.
I have to agree with the criticism about the planet in the background, while it doesn’t detract from the picture I think the glacier could have stood on its own without it. I also agree with the above comment that a night render might be really cool as well.
The dolphins are so subtle that I didn’t see them at first. All and all just an outstanding job!
I like the luminescence of the ice and the wispy clouds. A little more definition of the land masses on the distant planet might be an improvement. I have been favoring the darker images my wallpaper as of late, but this one is a nice change of pace.
im using my friends account so i rarely comment but i have to ask for a night time version of this with the stars and moon, it would look great, what do you say guys night time version !!!!
I can’t even wait to see what is next. I already love this new software.
Very glad to see this stunning piece. The waiting never bothers me, I just go back into your archives if I need to. And YES, please learn all you can about all your tools and software, take your time, as long as the quality of your work keeps improving like it so clearly does!
This is a great image. Last November I went to Norway and snorkelled with wild orcas in the fjords, and this image brought many happy memories back! Well done, Ryan.
is the part that just makes this image perfect wtihout the planet i would have voted a 6 or 7 not a 10 keep the planet if your going to change anything / pickle jar make a moon / night version
but whatever you do keep the planet
Wow. I think I just got a new favorite. You really raised the bar with this one.
Keep it up 😉
Ive been a member for a little while now, and i’ve never commented on a picture before now. This one is simply awsome. I love everything about this one. Keep up the great work.
Ryan, can you make the “name” field a few characters longer in the comments. I tried to put in my normal “VisualdreamZ”, but it cut out the “amZ”. Sniff sniff!
Ok – nuff grousing about the code. The picture is GLORIOUS! Simply and absolutely stunning, and I would have been happy waiting for it even if it had taken another week.
I just have one question – Can I have a copy of the moon??? =)
Actually, I am curious how you do the moons when rendering in Vue, since there’s never been a decent way to add planets to a Vue scene except to use Vue’s pre-packaged solar system approximations. So I’m very curious about your techniques. My guess would be the scene was assembled in LW and imported to Vue for render?
Of course I have no expectation that you will share trade secrets, but I’m always interested in learning from a master =) Just in case I ever find time to really get back into my own scenes.
Thanks for all the fabulous images!
Feel free to fiddle, but this render is … WOW!
If I kept giving you ten out oten you would never know which images are better lol. Really like this especially how the light is coming through the ice. I’m trying to learn Vue albeit I’m a very long way behind you but as always you are an inspriation. The sky looks so warm yet obviously it is cold, its very effective. As for suggestions, I can’t think of any other than to keep experiementing and ocming up with stuff like this. I’ll be renewing my subscription when its due next month.
this one nice pic great work
Excellent work, Ryan! This is a great treatment of light and a gorgeous pic to boot. Everytime I see one of your works like this, I pat myself on the back for getting a membership. Keep it up!
I know some have complained about the amount of digital art you have produced this year, but I personally would rather take more quality over quantity any day. The art you have produced this year has abounded in quality, which should be evident from anyone looking at the culmalative Top 10 list. At the moment I type this, 5 out of 10 of the “Top 10 Rated Images of All Time” are from 2007, and they currently sit on the top 5 spots. Keep up the great work Ryan. I’m proud to be a lifetime member.
Outstanding. It makes me happy I bought a lifetime membership.
Nothing bad to say about this. Would you do one without the whales? Please? Again, nothing wrong with them, huge things in the water just creep me out. It a personal issue. 🙂
I really like it.
Whoa… that was definitely worth the wait.. 🙂 Looks like Smokey quartz the way the light goes through it.
Fabbalus work, Ryan!
This one was well worth the wait. I love love love orangey-peach sunsets and the way the light comes outt from behind the clouds is breathtaking.
This one is worth the wait, Ryan, although your frustration level must’ve been off the chart. The translucence renders very well on my ViewSonic flat screen (running Ubuntu Linux).
My favorite categories of your work are the landscapes and the planetscapes. I’ll look forward t more good images from the new (& newly patched) software.
Well worth the wait!
I had to comment on this one. The way the light works on the underside of the ice is great! The coloring and the texture of the clouds at sunset is also remarkable. The orcas are a nice touch as they bring a sense of scale to the whole. I am a big fan of your landscapes. Thanks for all the effort you put in learning the new tools, as they improve so does your use of them and the results speak for themselves!!!
I’m usually the one who leaves the one negative comment while everyone else is in awe. I’m all about the constructive criticism, but this time, WOW! The detail is extraordinary. I really just can’t stop looking at this one.
DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT!!!
That is really nice!
I’m speechless.. it’s fantastic. I especially love the top part of the ice and the way the light shines through. this will remain on my desktop for a long time.
Thank you Ryan!!
I’d have to give this one two thumbs up!
I know it ws painful, but it was worth it. I’ve never seen light passing through a translucent material in a digital rendering look like that, it’s beautiful!
This is bound to quickly become one of your top 10 ever. Great work and worth the wait.
That is beautiful.
I’m very glad I’m a member! Thank you!
Wow – it’s just gorgeous. The colors are perfect and complement each other very well. Already my new background!
I love the addition of the whales 🙂
I love this one, it’s beautiful.
Did you make part of this with Zbrush? What do you think of it?
Truly a work of art. Very nicely done sir.
The subluminosity was developed for Shreck.
Obviously they didn’t use it to its fullest extent.
This is amazing!
I am VERY excited about your future renders. These two new tools will open many new roads for you to follow Ryan.
Why can’t there be settings like 9.5 or 9.9???
Its better then a straight 9 but I don’t like saying things are perfect! What do I do when you make a better render?
Ah well. 10 it is!
Wow. I really love this one. I can’t think of anything that I would really change. This is now on my desktop – pretty much as soon as I saw it!
This was worth waiting for.
You’ve outdone yourself yet again, Ryan. This one is truly breathtaking!
I love the sub-surface scattering
what else is there to say?
Much better that some of the others. I hope you will use this new program more often. This image and the last one are the only two I’ve liked this year. The clouds look real.
best image this year
Really, what more need be said?
Wow – this is pretty cool! I like the effect you got with the sky here – a beautiful blending of light and color – and I also like how that interesting sculpture in the center seems to be carved from ice (the way it “glows” in the light).
I definitely hope to see more wallpapers like this in the future 🙂
Truly magnificent and breathtaking – definitely worth the wait!
It’s fantastic art work like this that more than justifies a lifetime membership. It’s rare to find artwork that captures so many things that one loves, but this one has done that for me. The cold icy sea, stealer bodies, and the orcas. Truly one of your best images to date.
WOW!!! One of your most beautiful and creative ones yet… and that’s saying a lot!
My desktop immediately!!!
Fabulous piece of art! Definitely worth the long wait. Close to 100% photo-realism.
I absolutely love the sky, the water is just perfect, but the light… gives me the creeps, thát magic! Never seen anything like it before.
And if this is just the start of using new techniques, imagine what we can expect from you in the future!
Circumpolar may even set a new standard in 3d-artworld, and justifies only the highest rating available.
Beautiful and unusual. I love the gradation of color, and the clouds are really well rendered.
The use of light is especially good compared to your other renders. I expect this one will stay on my desktop for awhile. The way sunlight illuminates the arch cheers me up just looking at it.
Something jars a bit about the jutting left corner, not sure why. It looks unnatural.
I guess my only other suggestion, not so much a criticism, is that it would be nice to have a more realistic version without the planet. The sky is beautiful enough by itself! But I wouldn’t change much else. The colors are perfect, the light is perfect, the dolphins are perfect (if they were leaping or playing, it would take away from the peacefulness of the scene).
I gave this a 9 at first, but after having it on my desktop for the last fifteen minutes I would up that to 10. Can’t revote. Oh well!
VERY NICE! Really cool desktop. I look forward to the triscreen version.
Wonderful!! Fabulous!! Definitely worth the wait. On my desk to immediately.
I love all of your work, when rating things I am pretty stingy with giving “10s”. This was an instant 10 for me 🙂
This wallpaper might have taken you long, but it is absolutely beautiful! You just get better and better with every new skill you learn and every new wallpaper you create.
I can’t add anything to all of the praises already left, other than to say in the years I’ve been a member, this is by far the best I’ve seen from your imagination.
A score of 10 without question.
This has gotta be one of the best one’s I’ve seen so far. I love the colors.