SKU: niflheim1 Category: Tags: , ,


Niflheim refers to the Norse Mythological realm of cold or fog was the opposite of “Muspelheim” (the realm of fire). The planet and asteroids were rendered in Lightwave and then used as a “planet” object in Vue d’Esprit. I applied sub-surface scattering to the mountains so a little light would shine though. Brrrr.

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114 reviews for Niflheim

  1. Anonymouse

    …”A View From Triton”. This is what you might see if you were standing on Triton’s surface; the planet certainly reminds me of the superb pictures Voyager 2 took of Neptune.

  2. Joel

    So you have created “Niflheim” and “Muspelheim”, are you thinking about making “Manna-heim”?

  3. Ryan

    If you are able to post that means you are a Member and should be able to download this (and every other) image. Images are only retired from my free gallery, never my Members gallery. Let me know if you are having trouble finding the download links (they are between the preview image above and the first comment).

  4. rabarr

    I want to download this picture.

  5. Elliott

    Your wallpapers are figgen’ amazing man, keep up the good work!

  6. Greg

    This one is shockingly brilliant and realistic! lovin it! probably gonna be my wallpaper for the next few years!

  7. Psycrow

    This picture rocks for my eyefinty setup Thx alot

    Bring more of these kind

  8. Gemini

    This picture is stunning. i have it as the wallpaper on all my devices. it’s almost overwhelming when you see it… its that detailed and fantastic. keep up the good work.

  9. Gemini

    This picture is stunning. i have it as the wallpaper on all my devices. it’s almost overwhelming when you see it… its that detailed and fantastic. keep up the good work.

  10. nickaix

    This is the one that made me sign up πŸ™‚

    I love “cold” wallpapers in winter, and this one captures some things that make winter so fascinating: the Cold, the Silence, the stark Contrast of light and darkness…

  11. Xippy

    This Scene is incredible!

  12. HI!

    Weren’t you gunna do a lava version??!!

  13. buckwheat

    Each time you complete a project, the image looks very good. I continue to be impressed with your skill and talent. But sometimes it loses its impact when the original image is adjusted for 3840 x 1024 resolution. However, with Niflheim, you out did yourself! The resulting wallpaper for triple monitors was fantastic. My oldest daughter liked it. And she is hard to please.

  14. DrD

    I’ve been grabbing DB wallpapers for at least 10 years. I consider this the best of the best. Amazing vibrancy, rich colors, and a jaw dropping sense of scale that isn’t easy to accomplish.

  15. Dustin

    I Am a Big fan of this site and i was wondering if you could Create a new Pyre from the 2000 series.



  16. SethEden

    I definately give a 10 for this one! My new favorite!!! My girl friends favorite also!

    Nice job with the cloud textures!!! Fully worthy of being my new standard background.

    Any chance we can get a re-worked multi-monitor “Aftermath”?



  17. Daniel

    Ryan, i think this has to be one of your best planetscapes ever. the level of detail is stunning, and the colours are just sublime!

  18. Walo

    I didn’t see it yesterday, maybe my ps3 wasn’t loading the page correctly, but I can see it now. Thanks anyway Ryan. xD

  19. Walo

    I had used the zune version of your wallpapers for my razr cel because their aspect ratios are very much the same. Can you put the zune versions back or make a motorola version please?

  20. Ryan

    The Zune version is there Walo, look under the “Mobile Resolutions”.


    … cannot explain how much I ABSOLUTELYLOVE THIS PIECE!!!! ):^O DAHHHH!!!! IM GOING INSANE FROM LOOKING AT IT!!!!!…*suffering from multiple spasms*… YAAAAAHHHH!!!! 100 OUTTT OF 10!!!!!



  23. Corbey

    Wonderful work! Looks a little like a reworking of Titan Blue from 2002, I think. Maybe you’ve gotten bored with the subject matter, but I’d love to see you update more of the early planetscape and sci-fi images.

    Hope you’re feeling better and recovering from your surgery. All the best to you and your family.

  24. Collossus

    This is even better than the original!!! I love the duel screen image. you need to keep making a few more like this before you move on.

  25. Labanimal

    Been checking every few hours to see if its available CAN’T Wait!!!!!!! πŸ˜‰ This is one MEAN wallpaper!

  26. Michelle

    I love the idea of a “Muspelheim” and hope you’ll do a companion piece on this one in the future. I love your Halloween desktops, so I hope you’ll do another one as you’ve already given us a gorgeous fall wallpaper. Keep up the great work Ryan!

  27. Kriz

    Love it cold, shows power, simply amazin

  28. Melissa

    Love the blues, and whites in this one!!!

    Details are awesome!!

    As always your art RAWKS!!!!!

    Thanks Ryan

  29. Gabe

    Love it, instant wallpaper material and kind of shows the depth that a moon or asteroid might have in orbit near a plant.

    Almost reminds me of a distant planetary disaster, almost!

    Great work dude, love it when you stray from your “Norm”. πŸ˜‰

  30. Sly V.

    I love it. Great work. Couldn’t help but read your previous comment about creating a companion piece ‘Muspelheim’ I’m holding you to that Ryan lol. I love your planetscapes. Keep it up.

    And about your debate on your next piece being a fall theme or Halloween theme I would much prefer the Halloween theme. As someone else stated, we just had a Fall theme πŸ™‚ Whatever you do though I’m sure, as always, it will be great.

  31. Mark

    Really really cool, but it screws with my sense of scale, sorry. It also has that ‘overworked’ look to it. Nice thought though.

  32. Evan

    Great! The details and the many different objects look like they are moving, or have recently moved. This image has life, it stirs the imagination.

  33. icansee

    How great is this? The blueness. The whiteness. The awesomeness.

  34. Tyro

    I really like this one. Can’t wait till the dual screen render is out!

  35. kasper

    this one is fantastis.

    it would be awsome, if you added some more pics with northic mytologi as th theme.

    fx muspelheim or some of the gods, or maybe asgaard.

  36. chiops

    I love blue! I’m a sucker for ANY image in blue!

    Can’t wait to feast my eyes on the double and triple versions.

  37. prdiver1

    great job amaizing sharpness looks awsome.

  38. Mike

    WOW – I really like this one!! I especially like all the blue color in the scene.

  39. gerry

    Very cool blues, loving it thanks

  40. Pager

    I love it – this is now my current wallpaper.


  41. Toffstier

    Great Image!

    If you start with nordic mythology, how ’bout a Muspelheim-image, same setting, but a red gas giant, exchange the debris with glowing blobs of lava, and the comet we’re riding features some vulcanoes.

  42. Ryan`

    You read my mind. Not sure if I will do it right away, but I would like to do a companion piece someday.

  43. asterismW

    Love it. I don’t have any problems with the scale, and I really like the ice “bubbles”. In fact, I thought the ice turned out really, really well. I’m not a huge fan of monochromatic pictures, but I quite like this one.

    Also, Halloween render ftw. (Besides, you’ve already given us an autumn scene…)

  44. john

    This is great work, just amazing, thanks.

  45. John

    “Niflheim” is without a doubt the best planetary scene you’ve ever done. Please, please, please put it out as a poster! I’ve told all my friends about your work and they’ve never regretted getting a membership.

  46. Greg

    Just one more reason why I renew my membership every year (though I’m still unable to convince the wife that the lifetime membership is a good idea, lol…)

  47. Marvin

    I feel like I’m hitching a ride in Saturn’s rings. I love it!

    And I actually kind of like the speckly bits in the ice. It makes it look like there’s been upheaval and some kind of “contamination” in the geologic history of the place.

  48. Brett

    Any plans to add a tri-monitor?

  49. Ryan

    It’s rendering now, hope to have it up something this weekend probably.

  50. wyldsyde


    I think that your art is incredible. I just stumbled across your site one day and I was hooked. I want to know what I have to do to get the animations to work on my desktop. I have win XP and I don’t want to have to purchase some expensive software to hook that up. What do I do?I especially love the Singularity. I’m crazy about anything having to do with space. Can you help me?


  51. bej

    became my new wallpaper soon as it was up!

  52. Nate F

    well i must say that i enjoy this space image more than others that you have done, normally i like nature scenes the best; but i do quite like this one, im not entirely sure what it is about it that i like though,

    possibly because there is so much happening with the astroids and the icefield

  53. Leanna

    I really like the details in the asteroid belt. Well either that or they are chunks floating up from the planet itself. Either way its awesome!

    Also the texture of the ice itself is amazing! I feel like i could go snowmobiling through here if I wasn’t afraid of being hit by giant rocks.

  54. Anne

    Amazing, amazing piece! Quite a departure from your other planetscapes actually. This one has an element of edge and reality that the rest don’t. I particularly like the bottom right hand corner. I imagine that our view is from one of the rocks in the asteroid belt? Anyhow, it’s wonderful.

  55. Novacron

    This one is definitely in my top 5 space pieces from you. Everything here has great quality and detail and the asteroids really pop out at you with that angle. It reminds me a lot of ‘Roche Limit’. Great work Ryan πŸ™‚

  56. FabioZak

    One of your best!!!

  57. Theo

    Wow…definetely gorgeous

  58. Erick

    I love, love, LOVE planetscapes and I absolutely LOVE this one too!! Great work!

  59. Scot

    Sadly the smaller the better i think. I put it on my 20″ background and i think the asteroids are just a little bright. I love the foreground and the plant and most of the asteroids but some of the bigger ones just seem like they are too bright to be there when the picture is enlarged. maybe that one big one in front just seems too big or something idono. Something just seems off when i blow it up.

    Sorry to be the one downer at the moment lol

  60. Dan S.


  61. GMaster7

    This is absolutely amazing. I was enjoying the landscapes, but I prefer stuff like this and your abstracts. This just blew me away. Thanks for going back to it and giving us something truly awesome.

  62. Manuel

    can’t wait for the dual-screen / tri-screen versions! I have a feeling those will be even more amazing.

  63. Darren

    Very nice.

  64. Eyal

    I have always loved Space-Scenes, and this one here is one of the best.

    The colors are magnificent and the resolution is simply awsome!

  65. Hunter

    I really like this one, it really feels like you’re way out in deep space, something only a few other space wallpapers have accomplished.

    Exellent work Ryan, can’t wait for the dual-screen!

  66. Russ

    Quick question, what did you use Zbrush for in this design. What did you use it on I should say? Very good though!

  67. Labanimal

    I usually wait a few days before i give my vote… This one is an immediate 10! I live for these! Can’t wait for your multiscreen versions!

  68. UPseudonym

    As much as I like the other wallpapers, for me it’s always the abstracts and space scenes that keep coming back to my desktop.

    This one is absolutely fantastic. I’m glad you went back to it and persevered!

  69. Grahame

    love the colours and the texture on the foreground

  70. Matt Klem

    SWEET! Super Sweet!

  71. dujeon

    Dude, that is just unbelivable, it took my breath away when I first saw it, fantastic.

  72. Jon H

    That was what I actually said when I first saw this wallpaper. I love it! The icey chunks are great!

    I also like the holidays link and how you have links to your recent blog posts in the upper-right. It lets me see if you’ve posted there lately without having to go in and check.

    Very convenient!

  73. Kyle

    My initial reaction to seeing it was: “Holy Crap”. I scared the wife.

  74. Foz

    “*shhhh* Most Impressive *shhhh*”

  75. Paul

    Great wallpaper Ryan! The ice in the foreground looks amazing, and the colors go together beautifully. Congrats!

  76. Justin

    I would really love to see you pull off some sort of Haunted House for Halloween. Some of your other pieces that have architecture in them are quite good and I think you could do some awesome affects to make a killer haunted house. Thanks for making all these renders by the way. I recently bought a lifetime membership and I am very glad I did!

    All the best,


    Springfield, MA

  77. Dan Federm

    I’m blown away by this one. Now my all-time-favorite. The blues, the glow, the scale, just incredible. I can’t begin to describe how much I like this one.


  78. JeffK

    Its nice but thats about it. However I did seem to find two objects that seem to be identical. If they hadnt been next to each other I wouldnt have noticed.

  79. Benson

    It feels like you’re on one of the ring-herding satellites of an outer planet. There seems to be more light than expected in our solar system, but maybe this one has a larger, hotter sun. Or maybe my eyes have adjusted/been bioengineered for the low light.

    It’s beautiful out here, but I can feel the chill right through my suit.

    I’m so glad you pulled through on this one — it’s one of your best land/planet-scapes ever. Maybe the best. Can’t wait to see the multi-monitors.

  80. Brian

    Great idea making a separate Holiday gallery. I consistently use the Halloween and Christmas images at home and office. I assume I’m not the only one. I definitely look forward to a new Halloween image.

  81. Randy

    VERY nice. My rotating collection of wallpaper just keeps getting more awesome. Thanks

  82. alexM

    I don’t know where you get ideas like this. I never would’ve thought of looking at a planet from a rock floating around it in its ring. This one is very well done and looks really cool.


  83. Flaken2000

    The link for the PSP version is broken.

  84. Ryan

    Thanks for the heads up about the PSP version. It’s there now. That’s what I get for posting this right before going to bed instead of waiting until the morning…

  85. Jared

    Love the space images Ryan. The detail on this one is great. Can’t wait for the dual screen version so I can start using it πŸ™‚

  86. Dan

    very realistic and very beautiful

  87. RCD

    Amazing job! Thanks, I needed that. In this time of turmoil sometimes one needs to see that there is more out there than the stock market!

  88. brailsmt

    Incredible image. I never rate an image at 10 (if I rated everything a 10, then a 10 would have no meaning), but this one gets a 10. I have only a single minor nitpick, the speckles on the mountainsides look a tad cartoonish. I assume that they are supposed to be reflections of the ice debris. I’d love to see an image without those speckles.

  89. Greg in KC


    This is amazing work… I saw the thumbnail in the update email you sent out, and I knew it was going to be gorgeous. Full-Screen, it’s even better than I thought. I agree with those who can’t wait for the multi-monitor version!

    Keep up the great job!

    Greg in KC

  90. Collossus

    Awe inspiring….. can’t wait untill you have the duel screen format up.

  91. steffen

    What a great image. My only change would be to lessen the amount of debris field to show more of the planet.

    Also, maybe a some other colors in the planet to have some contrast would be nice.

  92. Owen Clark

    Created an awesome image that just makes me go “Wow!”, great work, makes me glad I finally plumped for a lifetime membership after 2 years of annaul renewals.

  93. David W

    I like it. I wouldnΒ’t ever be able to make something like this but…

    For your standards, I think you could have done better. This sort of reminds me of your olllllddderrr work but more detailed.

    You did a really great job on the planet, but the foreground landscape I think you could have done better. Maybe add a little more distance and rounding on the foreground landscape. Maybe even if the pic was made like… “100 ft” further back.

    Also… is that ice? Or rocks? And I donΒ’t understand the tiny light blue dots.

    I give it a 7. But I think this could be a 9 or 10 if you gave it a little more work.

    Sorry IΒ’m so critical. IΒ’m just a perfectionist.

    Overall… great work. I love your wide array of art.

    CanΒ’t wait for the next one!

  94. Becca

    Thank you – thank you! I love your space-themed works best of all. This one was worth the wait.

  95. Gilboron

    I agree there’s not enough distance in this picture – the mountains seem like small sharp rocks in the foreground, and seem way too translucent for rock covered with snow – more like pure ice, but it doesn’t look like that.

    The rocks in the belt seem displaced- as if they’re coming from right behind the mountains, and the “far away” rocks look just like smaller rocks.

    The planet’s atmosphere also has an odd sort of awkwardness- it suddenly becomes glowing saturated blue (a shade of blue that comes out of nowhere) on the edge?

    If you have enough time, I’d suggest to make the mountains more solid, the belt more distant, and the gas giant less glowy.

  96. Jon H

    I didn’t notice them at first but several people have commented about them. I still love this image of course, but I am also curiuous about them now too. Is it those space rocks showing through the mountain? Or is it a reflection of the rocks? Or is it something else.

    Just wondering if you could explain it. Thanks.

  97. PeterS

    Great Picture Ryan, the only real issue is the odd speckles. Other then that it looks great!

  98. G

    I love the overall idea, but I agree with some of the previous posters that the execution is slightly flawed.

    There’s a definite scale problem here. When I looked at the image I figured that the formations were ~30ft high. Though they could be mountains. If they’re supposed to be mountains then the viewpoint is too high and not far enough away. It’s for this reason I don’t think they are supposed to be mountains.

    So, if they’re ~30ft high ice formations, then there are still issues. They appear to be translucent, which to me would indicate that those blue dots are air bubbles. However, in that case they look quite large. And I don’t think air bubbles would form in ice on that moon. Presumably the ice would have formed slowly, so air bubbles are incredibly unlikely, especially as there seems to be little or no atmosphere.

    I also think that there is a perspective issue with the meteors behind.

    Finally, we seem to be near the edge of a flat planet.

    Sorry, to be so critical, but I figure it’s more useful to you than just an “oh wow” πŸ™‚

  99. Ryan

    I agree that there are some issues with scale. I’d considered adding something to better impart a sense of scale but I couldn’t decide what or where it would it. In the end I just decided to go with what I had and move on.The speckles are a rendering artifact that seems to be inherent in Vue’s subsurface scattering model. I’ve played around quite a bit with the settings and it seems like the only way to minimize them is to jack up the SSS quality. Unfortunately, each tenth of a point increase in quality translates to around 6 hours of render time (approximately). To get rid of the specks completely would have resulted in a 1 week render (rather than a 1 day render) and I thought you guys had waited long enough.So, yes, there are a few issues with this one. On the whole though I think it turned out nicely and I’m happy with it it as is.

  100. Getwired

    Just add a “Secret Rebel Base” to the left side of the ice mountain in the foreground. Top it off with a few transport ships on the snow prepping for flight, and a Millennium Falcon (or equivalent) flying off out of the hangar… Presto, scale problem solved! I really like this one as is too, Ryan — great job!

  101. Tim

    The only problem I can see is that I don’t know how to pronounce the name!

    About the specks… I immediately thought that the surface was ice, and that the specks were tiny air bubbles trapped beneath the surface. I guess that is what makes art so great, is that everyone can have their own interpretation/opinion about each work!

  102. Wiese777

    Yay!! Thanks for that. = D

  103. J

    Love the colors ;]

    Another great release, thanks

  104. brailsmt

    I hate to be critical, your work is so incredible, and this image is, IMO, one of your best, if not *the* best. I absolutely love your planetscapes and abstracts. This image is priceless.

  105. Bel

    This one is amazing. It is right at the top for me along with Roche2k4 and Planitia. I love the space ones.

  106. Devon Shaw

    Amazing work — I love the asteroids, the blue hues, everything. It takes the best elements of Circumpolar, Planitia and Tropical Moon, and wraps it all together in a gorgeous package. Well done.

  107. dejerdejer

    I love this picture, I think the little bubbles on the mountains are cool, it makes it kind of different. Your work is great your new images become my desktop, and when you get a put out a new one i just put that one on it. fantastic!

  108. Overdrive

    Since Lord of the Forest your artwork is better than ever before. This one does it again, absolutely beautiful, amazing!!

    10* (definitely!)

  109. Jonathan L

    I love it.

    I absolutely love it.

    I don’t even know how to write how much I love this…

    But maybe if I just say, “More” that will characterize my love enough.


    11/10… Wow.

    Again wow.

  110. Lidia

    Well, it’s not bad, but I don’t like this one all that much. I’m not very fond of scenes where there seems to be a very strong light coming from somewhere, making too much contrast between those areas that are directly hit by the light and those areas that are not.

  111. Kris

    First! I love this picture, its beautiful it was very much worth the wait.

  112. Blaine

    Nice and icy and cold πŸ™‚

  113. Walo

    Mind blowing… I’ll say something later, I have to apreciate this right now…

  114. NathanK

    This would make an unreal animated wall paper with the meteors swirling around with the odd few smashing into the ice hill on the right.

    !! i vote for animating it!!

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