The Grand Design


SKU: granddesign2 Category: Tags: , ,


I’ve always thought galaxies were the most incredible structures in existence. The title here, of course, is in homage to Professor Stephen Hawking.
The second render has some added nebula, star clusters, and other “irregularities” as suggested by some of my Members.

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52 reviews for The Grand Design

  1. Dan [liferplus]

    One of my all time favorites, wish it would get an update to 4k or 3440×1440 šŸ™‚

    Keep up the excellent work

  2. Titancom [basicmemberlifer]

    Hi Ryan wou,d love to see The Grand Design done in a 4k picture for my new screen would look fantastic like every other picture does.

  3. Melchior aka Joseph [lifer]

    I download this one via the Digital Blasphemy Android APP!

    for my wallpaper šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

  4. Ted

    I love that there are many features from our own galaxy in this piece. That provides in a more familiar feel. It gives me a little jolt of excitement when I see another nebula that I recognize, and this keeps me looking at it.

  5. Jenanne

    The gallery render of The Grand Design is corrected, but the Pickle Jar Alternate Version is still incorrect. It says 5120×1600, but it’s really 5120×1440.

  6. Peter

    5120×1600 wrong link once again

  7. Mars

    I Dont know if they have the rights…i just wanted let you know, its similar do this

  8. Dave T

    One of the things I love so much about your work is the sense of motion that they have. Looking at this image, I can almost see the spiral swirling majestically in space.

    I don’t know if you’re considering any other animation projects in or in the future (like your cooperation with the guy doing the mobile backgrounds), but this would be a fantastic candidate for an animated wallpaper. Especially at 1080p (well, a guy can dream, can’t he? šŸ˜‰ ).

  9. Becca

    Damn, that’s gorgeous. That’ll go on our PS3 as soon as I can get to it.

  10. Ted

    That’ll be my wallpaper for a while

  11. 0beron

    Love the new framing in the v2 image. The 5120×1600 dual 16:10 image is only 1440 pixels high it seems…

  12. will

    incredible ryan

  13. Jeff

    This is going on my iMac, right now! Fantastic design.

  14. Pete

    Love the edits, glad I could help! The new clusters really add to the view! A few other minor edits that I might suggest would be to reduce the size of the nebulae and add some brighter variations on the reds and blues in the nebulae. Here’s a pretty good example, though it’s a little more edge-on: Maybe a few more background galaxies as well? Just a few thoughts on it.

    Overall, as I said before, I am a huge fan of your work, and your spacescapes have always been wonderful. This one is certainly no exception. Well worth every cent of my lifetime membership.

  15. James

    Those were some good suggestions. This one looks even better.

  16. kbleft

    The multi-screen thumbnail shown on the home page is AWESOME. You should keep that framing for all of the multi-screen versions and add a Pickle-Jar single screen version framed in exactly the same way. It is magnificent.

  17. Ryan

    I’ve posted a second render this afternoon has some added nebula, star clusters, and other “irregularities” as suggested by Pete (thanks!). I am rendering a new multiscreen as well but it isn’t quite finished yet…

  18. cmmnoble

    I’m probably in the minority, but I like the zoomed in / cropped versions that you put in the multi-screen images. It reduces the negative space, and adds more interest (for me) in the whole image. Kind of seems more dramatic.

    On the other hand, I like the subtle nebulae (wash of colors) in the space background behind the galaxy in the single screen version. The non-flat-black quality of space in your images has always been one of the things that drew me to your space images. It adds a neat extra layer of depth.

    Thanks for another beautiful set of pictures. And happy Halloween to you and yours!

  19. DC

    Love the book and now your rendering, beautiful.

  20. Labanimal

    Re the cropping issue. I for one prefer all images expanded with more detail/info added to the left and right so that you can see more… all about more! – So, zooming in for me is a bit of a cheat, but do understand that you’re trying to enhance the detail!… still a fantastic design imo!

  21. Ryan

    It was my hope that zooming in would show more detail than what is available in the single-screen version. It didn’t turn out like I had hoped, but since the render took so long to finish I figured I would post what I had and work on an update.

  22. JK

    Love the single monitor version, hate the cropped multi-screen versions. The beam of light shooting out is the coolest part. Seems like the multi’s don’t even need a render when they appear to simply be cropped versions of the single monitor masterpiece.

  23. Chris B

    tempt me away from your Halloween images!? I Have a hard enough time deciding which one to use and then you throw in a space image! lol

    I like it and I think that Pete had some good ideas. If you get board you could also do 2 galaxies passing through/crashing into each other. You’d have the “perfect symmetrical” galaxy in this one, and then the deformed little brother in the next.

  24. Mike

    I love the single-screen version of this, but feel I’m losing some of it’s impact in the multi-screen by being so zoomed in.

  25. Master_Dex

    I liked the radiation jets the most on the main image so for the dual screen I’d love to see those more rather than a close up personally.

    Still great pic though!

  26. Silver

    This would be the image that made me renew for another 2yrs. Great stuff … now only if it was animated over my three screens. šŸ™‚

  27. Labanimal

    Absolutely love this image, and agree on less zoom! Love Pete’s suggestions!

  28. Dan

    I have to say, while all of your work is stunning, I truly joined for these spacescapes/planetscapes … primarily the former. I second Pete’s suggestions and anxiously look forward to any revisions- I’m sure I’ll just cycle through them all anyway.

    Reminds me of accretion plus coalescence with a final dash of hiddenforces – which is to say, awesome.

  29. Lucas

    Grand Indeed…

  30. Ryan

    Those are some fantastic suggestions! I think some small “irregularities” here and there would improve this greatly and they don’t sound that difficult to implement. I think an update may be in order, but I think I will wait until the multiscreen version finishes rendering (and post that) before I make any changes.

  31. Pete

    This looks quite wonderful, Ryan! In your quest for the perfect galaxy, I hope I’m not overstepping to make a few suggestions. I worked in a planetarium for about five years.

    There are a few things that you can add to this galaxy that will really make it stand out. One is nebulae. There are kind of three types of nebulae: reflection nebulae (mostly blues and dust,) diffuse HII regions (ionized gases, mostly hydrogen, usually reddish and bluish,) and supernova remnants (can be all sorts of colors and fun shapes.) Check out the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, and you’ll find some great photos of these.

    The next thing I’d tell you to add would be clusters of stars. There are two main types of star clusters: open clusters and globular clusters. Open clusters are usually about 100 or fewer stars, usually in/around nebulae, and are not as densely packed. Globular clusters, on the other hand, are densely packed and generally consist of a few dozen thousand stars. An open cluster might be within about a half-dozen light years, while a globular might be only 1-2 light years across. Again, the NASA APOD is a great place to look for some examples.

    Lastly, I’d also make the dust lanes perhaps just a little bit more pronounced. This is entirely personal opinion.

    On the whole, this looks just lovely, and I certainly want to thank you! I’ve been a longtime follower of your work, and the lifetime subscription I purchased is, in my opinion, one of the best things I have ever spent money on in my entire life.

  32. PI

    Beautiful work!

  33. Manu

    I want a print of this! šŸ™‚

  34. James

    The Grand Design. A good read, an even better wallpaper!

  35. Robin

    Yes, THIS is why I keep coming back. Love it.

  36. Terry

    Images like this or space photography in general always amaze me at how insignificant our problems are in the grand scheme of it all. Nice work.


  37. Mike

    First thing that poped in my head was Newborn 2002 also. Newborn is one of my farvorite old school images. This one looks similar but different enough to give it a different feal.

    Great but yet simple image would be easyer to animated. I wounder if this image will end up as an Andriod Live Wallpaper… *hint* *hint*

  38. William

    This is one of my favorites of all your space wallpapers. It’s simple, elegant, and definitely easy on the eyes (a big plus for a space scene with lots of stars and such).

  39. Chuck

    Is this a remake of Newborn from ’02? I love this galaxy. I agree with chiops about the animated wallpaper.

  40. chiops

    Very grand indeed. Would make a really cool animated wallpaper.

  41. Littlemom

    Great space picture Ryan!!!

  42. The Guru

    It looks nice, don’t get me wrong, but I find this one to be a little bland. It seems to be lacking that certain “wow” factor that I often find in your work.

  43. Angelique

    btw… yes Dracul is my current desktop and has been since I downloaded it. I liked the final version with the orangey moon. My boyfriend loved it too šŸ™‚ I showed him many of your artworks when I first met him and now he looks forward to viewing the latest when he comes over to see what awesome new stuff you’ve come up with

  44. Angelique

    *jaw drop* Spectacular – I love it!

  45. Jenanne

    I love it. Thank you, Ryan, and thank you for the homage to Professor Stephen Hawking!

  46. Lidia

    …not particularly impressed with this one…

  47. Benke

    Very nice image! šŸ™‚ I love the star detail – very crisp like sugar. The rays are maybe not fitting completely. Seems a little flat and blurry to the rest of the image. Maybe adding some turbulence to them?

  48. B0bb1ns

    I think this image is superb, but I almost missed it because there was nothing about it in the RSS feed. The last entry in the RSS feed was Dracul

  49. jlpilkin

    Very cool. Can’t wait for the multiscreens. The only thing that bothers me is the sharp difference in blackness where it looks like a “boundary” of the galaxy is. Perfect otherwise.

  50. Eric

    Awesome as always. It goes up November 1st. Gotta give Dracul its due season šŸ™‚

  51. Utoxin

    Love this. I expect it to rapidly climb to the top of my favorites list. šŸ™‚

  52. Scarr

    That design is grand.

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