Phraxis Moon


SKU: phraxismoon2 Category: Tags: , ,


When I was working on “Phraxis” back in 2009 I came to the point (which I do with all of my space projects) where I had to decide if I was going to keep it a “space render” (as seen outside the window of a space ship) or a “planetary render” (as seen from the ground). I had already finished the space scene so I whipped up a quick and dirty scene to see what a view from the ground would look like. I decided to post the space render and moved on with my life.

After switching my workstation over to Bucephalus in June 2011 I was looking through my old hard disk for projects to revisit (mostly old multiscreens that I neglected to render). I found my old “planetary” version of Phraxis and decided to post it in the Pickle Jar.

The reaction was so positive that I decided to spend a few more hours and flesh out the rough scene so it could have its own place in my gallery. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

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102 reviews for Phraxis Moon

  1. Mario Carini [nonmonthly]

    A fine piece of work. Exceptionally detailed and so well done!

  2. Nar

    I am having Phraxis mounted and framed right now, but this one is even better! If you make a print of this one though I have a suggestion; the title is too close to the bottom edge and it is difficult to mount with matting that close to the edge. The print is 22×34 but the frame is 24×36, and I also wanted matting to bring out some of the red and not just black.

  3. Andy

    First of all, let me say that I like this image, and that it is currently serving as my background.

    Having said that, I do have a couple of critiques. The main issue is that, to me, this image looks too much like two images stacked on top of each other (which of course it is). In my opinion, these layers would blend much better if the clouds were reduced near the horizon so that one could see Pharaxis between the rock formations.

    Secondly, since this is definitely a night shot, and since there is no longer a sun in the upper left corner, the glare off the atmospheres of the planets seems a little out of place. Though, that would probably be more trouble than its worth to fix.

  4. Anna

    Okay Ryan, this one is taking the place of my grand babies on my laptop screen. That is extremely hard for any image to do! This will be here at least until I get a current pic of them to display. Great work! I really love the landscape scenes in the movie “Avatar”. Anything that may be similar or inspired by those scenes be in the works?

  5. vtowens

    Good work, the different blues are soothing, and it has been my background for weeks now. Thanks.

  6. WD

    Everything about this image is purely amazing from the coloring to the minute details. It will be my wallpaper to admire for a longggg time to come.

  7. Mae

    Thank you so much for the dual and tri screen versions! Holy crap, this render is amazing.

  8. Ryan

    Not to hammer the point too much, but the name “Digital Blasphemy” implies a bit of creative license…

  9. Benson

    “You can talk physics all you want… My problem with so many moons is that Phraxis has 3 moons… the image is from one of the moons… but there are still 3 in the sky!”

    That’s no moon!

  10. Henry V.

    Ryan, perhaps you can incorporate your popular Florescence into another version of this image. Just tossing an idea out there as this one is a winner in my eye. Just to be clear I’m not suggesting ways to improve this image, just make it different.

  11. Benke

    Love the image and I’m currently having it on my desktop! 🙂

    The only thing that crosses my mind is that the horizon rocks seems to be of low resolution. Otherwise – great work!

  12. Ryan

    Sorry about that. I do provide the 7680 x 1600 image so you can do your own crop if you find mine isn’t working for you.Hope this helps!

  13. Dan

    I do wish you would go back to placing the planet off to the side for dual-screen renders so that it isn’t split by the monitors’ bezels. Either that, or do a super-wide render (i.e. 4200×1080 instead of 3840×1080) so that I can crop it down and compensate for the lost pixels in the middle.

    Other than that, pretty cool. A nice fresh spin on one of my old favorites.

  14. Travis

    I’m using the duel screen version and it look spectacular. My friends are coming over in a few minutes and I can’t WAIT for them to see this. Perfect!

  15. Ryan

    Here you go!

  16. Peter

    No more 5120×1600? 🙁

  17. Peter

    No more 5120×1600? 🙁

  18. Alex H

    “You can talk physics all you want… My problem with so many moons is that Phraxis has 3 moons… the image is from one of the moons… but there are still 3 in the sky! Blows my mind! lol”

    Ahaha, got us there! I lol’d 😛

    I also wouldn’t mind a picklejar version that has the fluorescence shrooms featured prominently, or even a slightly modified version where we have to hunt to find them.

  19. kenbro59

    Ryan, I know you usually don’t do multiscreen versions of the ‘Pickle Jar’ images but I for one would love to see a multiscreen render of that image as well. I prefer the endlessness of the horizon compared the main gallery version. Other than that, your artwork continues to amaze!!

  20. Ryan

    Ok it should work now. FTP fail.

  21. horcruxhp

    Ryan! You’ve done it again. I have dual monitors at work. With this new image, I now have almost 160 3840×1080 dual screen wallpapers. Fantastic! I honestly believe you’re a master at your craft. Keep it up!!

  22. Liggs

    Still not loading. Only getting a fraction of the image.

  23. Chris

    I would LOVE to see this with the mushrooms in the multi-spectrum colors like in Fluorescence (Bloom) (2009).

  24. Chris

    I would LOVE to see this with the mushrooms in the multi-spectrum colors like in Fluorescence (Bloom) (2009).

  25. Ryan

    I’ve reuploaded that file. Let me know if you are still having trouble with it. Thanks for the heads up!

  26. Travis


    This image is only loading about 15% of the way. Please fix the link! 🙂

  27. LIggs

    I believe you are stuck in a 2D thought process. You are assuming the moons are all in line (the same distance from our view). You need to think three dimensionally. The moon on the left could be a very small moon much closer to our viewpoint than the moon just to its right. That moon could be massive in size and much farther away.

  28. Chris B

    You can talk physics all you want… My problem with so many moons is that Phraxis has 3 moons… the image is from one of the moons… but there are still 3 in the sky! Blows my mind! lol I love multi moons & planets. the Sci-Fi books & movies with multiple moons are just awesome.

    Love everything about this picture, the way the sunlight is reflecting off the Left side of the moons, Planet, & clouds. I like the columns but maybe too many, cutting out a couple in the center to make it look like a bay leading out to an open ocean if there is something like that on this moon. The plant life is an amazing upgrade! It might be cool to make it into an abstract plant like fluorescence, anen, flora, etc. It is one of your more alien looking plants. Hiding a blue shrume in there would be funny lol

    I agree with your decision to make Phraxis a space scene, it really focuses on the planet… but this is an amazing scene too. Thanks for letting us have the best of both worlds. 😉

  29. Robert

    Just because the physics in our solar system wouldn’t allow the planets so close to each other doesn’t mean it couldn’t be that way in other solar systems, or even other galaxies. Do not presume that that humans know all about physics in other solar systems or galaxies. Some humans have the problem thinking we know about everything, everywhere. You should enjoy the scene and put aside what we think we know, and what we don’t know.

  30. Ingrid Izz

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the way you have used light in contrast to the dark clouds.

  31. Randall

    Another great one, Ryan!

  32. Michelle P

    I like the pillars as well, and the fun part of Ryan’s work is he depicts images that couldn’t exist in real life, but he does so with such breathtaking realism, that it almost makes you believe it could happen that way. Ryan doesn’t need to perfectly adhere to the rules of realism. It wouldn’t be Digital Blasphemy he did! Keep up the great work, Ryan.

  33. MJPollard

    As the esteemed William Shatner once said, “Get a life, willya?” These are supposed to be fantasy images, not scientifically accurate depictions of actual astronomical phenomena. We don’t want Ryan’s space and fantasy images to rigidly follow Physics 101, we want them to look cool. So tell your left brain to take a nap and let your right brain kick back and enjoy the view, fer cryin’ out loud!

  34. Alex H

    I like the pillars. They’re something that differentiate this pic from similar ones on DB in an extremely awesome way. And regarding the physics of the wallpapers on this site: it’s all good to wonder/think about it, but when the obvious fact that these pictures are impossible starts to piss you off I think you’re missing the point 😛

  35. Jen Read

    Just wanted to tell you how absolutely, unbelievably awesome “Phraxis Moon” is and it is by far, my absolute favourite to date!!! Thank you so very much!!!

  36. Jenanne

    ….this is just before a crash. 🙂 I understand your peeve, John. I have peeves of my own (but not on this one). Perhaps this isn’t scientifically correct, but I love it anyway. Does art have to be scientifically correct to be appreciated and enjoyed?

  37. JohnHodges

    Leaving aside the artwork, it always bugs me when multiple planets and/or moons are pictured close to each other, because there are no such stable orbits. Double planets are possible, though rare (arguably the Earth/Moon system is one), but in all the Universe, you will never, never see three planets orbiting closely to each other. Except just before a crash.

  38. Ryan

    Thank you! I am rendering the multiscreen version right now. I’d hoped to have it ready today sometime but it is looking like maybe tomorrow…

  39. Ryan

    I knew some people wouldn’t like those 😉 I put them there because I don’t like to just have a flat horizon out there in the distance. I added some other rock formations in the distance (covered with luminescent beings of their own). As with all changes from the “original”, whether it is good or bad is entirely up to the viewer.

  40. bruceam

    I like the newest version. The colors are more believable, as are the plants or whatever kind of lifeforms they appear to be. I would loose the pillars in the background though, or at least change them so they don’t look “dropped there”. Maybe some kind of phosphorescent sea phenomenon. All in all, I do like this one.

  41. Eric


    I LOVE IT!! Everyone’s right it’s AWESOME!! Another fantastic piece of art.

    Bravo Ryan, Bravo!

  42. robk64

    I agree with a few other posts… a luminescent mushroom tucked in here or there would be a great nod to “that which is DB.” As it is, though, this is a keeper.

  43. Henry V.

    That is all lol!

  44. Travis

    Absolutely incredible image. I love it! Will it ever be available for duel screen?

  45. Matt

    I like it, however, there are two attributes of the pickle jar version that make me like it more:

    – The contrast (blue vs red) of the sky and the planet

    – The non-cluttered horizon

    I think a stark contrast (blue peaceful planet vs red active planet) makes for a cool effect. I would love to see some more of that in future work! Keep up the good work.

  46. Duncan

    Too cool… kinda reminds me of some Star Trek episode with a Metroid game.

  47. Michelle

    Thanks Ryan! I snagged the pickle jar version right away and was enjoying it, and this is just the icing on the cupcake!

  48. Nelson

    Wooow, great! That was definitely worth the polishing work!

  49. asterismW

    Awesome picture! Your space designs have always been my favorite. And I always especially loved Phraxis for the fractals. The luminescent plants reminded me of Flora; perhaps you could put a few in as a nod to your earlier work…?

  50. Alex H

    I prefer the first one myself, but this one is still awesome

  51. Matt

    I really like it a lot can’t wait to see what the dual looks like!

  52. Ryan

    Here you go!

  53. Tyler

    The 1152 x 864 (4:3) link is missing =(

  54. Robert

    Thanks………can’t wait until for the multi screen versions. It’s the same Phraxis and yet totally different at the same time.

  55. Labanimal

    I also think a str8 up look either through clouds or trees or both, with or without a planetscape would look very cool… almost like lying on the ground in a forest or woods, and looking up between the trees. Whatever!… Interesting idea!

    Thanks for Fleshing it out Ryan! – looks great 😉 Triple?

  56. Anton

    I love the way you updated this one, definitely made it feel more dark, and more.. you 😀 i love it!

  57. Brandi

    I loved seeing this in the Pickle Jar. Glad you decided to “finish” it and post it. Another new favorite. I’m a big fan of your “alien sky” wallpapers.

  58. Greg in CA

    I’d like to offer more verbose praise, but really, ‘awesome’ just completely covers it.

  59. Gregor

    And BAM!!!, there it is! This can only be described as breathtaking! Thanks for posting this picture!

  60. Travis

    OMG! By far, top wallpaper for me now. Cannot wait for dual-screen.

    Ryan, keep ’em coming. Wonderful creativity.

  61. Ryan

    I’ve fleshed this one out a bit and given it its own place in my gallery. Glad I decided to post it!

  62. Roykirk

    I prefer this over the original. There is something about seeing these space scenes from a planet-bound perspective. It lends context and increases the grandeur and pure awesomeness such a sight would engender. In space there is less context. It’s hard to appreciate scale like you can with a planet-bound view. Both are good, but I prefer this one somewhat more.

  63. Eric

    1st, I LIKE IT! 2nd, I think many others do too. 3rd, I agree – it only needs a little touch up – Left ground to look like right ground, and flower touch up. 4th, I know you’ve taken older works and “Updated” them. So in conclusion, I vote “Yes” make a 2011/12 of “Phraxis Moon”.

    Ryan, you rock! You’re work is always amazing. As testified by my 16 year old daughter who is constantly scanning my collection of your work and changing up my wallpaper. 🙂


  64. LBates

    I like this one WAY better than the original.

  65. Matt

    I love it! I actually like it better than the original. Keep it up.

  66. Jenanne

    This is GREAT; it’s a 10 — better than the planet in space by itself. I’m so glad you posted it, Ryan!

  67. Alex H

    the looking straight up idea is very interesting

    you could do a “middle of dark forest” sort of thing where you look directly up and there’s a ring of shadowy trees surrounding you with the moon and stars directly overhead.

    Same idea, but with thetis would work too. look up, see palm fronds, clouds, and a massive planet.

  68. Ryan

    Looking up through the clouds would be a heck of a lot easier than designing ground, water, etc in the foreground. I’ll try it sometime!

  69. Kirrus

    I have trouble with a ground to space view, because I always wonder about the physics of having that object that size in celestial mechanics 😉

    However, saying that, ground to space does look quite interesting – it’s more to look at, and more from the perspectives we’re normally limited to, unfortunately. I wonder, would you be able to do a ground-straight-up look to a space object, having clouds, or a couple of planets aligned or some-such?

  70. Daniel B

    In my mind putting an image’s perspective on the ground makes sense if doing so helps tell a story. Using “Begining of the End” as an example, a Supernova is cool and can make a majestic image by itself, however by placing the perspective on the ground it adds the drama of the dying world into the mix.

    Phraxis would IMO be more about the gradeur of space, and so a pure space shot was be more appropriate. The same would be true of the different nebulas you’ve done.

    The third case would be where being on the ground is the focus rather than whats in the sky. Tropic of Thetis and the Fisherman are good examples of those. In both cases, the pictures could reasonably be worked to stand on their own without the planets because the story that is being told is on the ground.

  71. Tyler

    Wouldn’t that view end up looking like a fractal? Can’t find the logic there sorry.

  72. Andrew

    Ryan, I love your planetscapes. If you could pick this one back up and finish it (dual screen would be awesome), I’d be psyched.

  73. Jonathan A

    Have you ever thought about a view from the ground but as if looking straight up and seeing it through the clouds above rather than seeing it on the horizon.

  74. Luke

    I’ve always liked the planet from Phraxis – I’d be very happy to see it in the sky of some of your landscapes 🙂

  75. Ryan

    If I only work on something for less than an hour it can only be called a rough draft ;). I could definitely flesh this one out more, but I’m sure other Members would like me to work on newer stuff. “Beginning of the End” took much the same journey. I created the supernova and then decided it looked better from ground level.

  76. Khyren

    I actually think I like this version better. This would look fantastic as a multiscreen. Possibly renamed and broadened with a dimly lit pair of moons? Interestingly enough, you found it on my birthday.

  77. Chris B

    Always makes me laugh when I look at a piece and am amazed then you say it’s just a rough draft I threw together. Just might need some work on the Left rocks and maybe touch up of the plants

    I like them both, I like it when I get to see them from both perspectives, like Thetis, etc. It makes them more real and gives your mind more to day dream about.

    Any chance you do that with “Beginning of the End”? nothing is bigger than the beginnings of a supernova!

  78. Travis

    I really liked Phraxis, but this version is so surreal. I hope you are willing to develop this into a multi-screen (please!). Beautiful use of color and great softening touches.

  79. Littlemom

    I actually really like this one but I always love your planetscapes. Glad it was added to your collection so I can add it to mine lol

  80. Littlemom

    I actually really like this one but I always love your planetscapes. Glad it was added to your collection so I can add it to mine lol

  81. Greg M

    I passed on this one originally when scanning the galleries. When I saw the version from the ground, I instantly set it to my wallpaper. What Theo said… space scenes are good… but NO ONE does space from the ground like you.

  82. Scott

    I prefer floating in space…

  83. James

    Although I understand where Fred is coming from as well, I really enjoy the imaginative scenes derived from the planetary viewpoint. Standing on the surface and viewing such an object always takes me away.

  84. Hoverwolf1

    I liked phraxis to start with, but this is a better version.

  85. Walo

    This looks like a planetary size “death star” lol. Very impressive.

  86. Ryan

    I completely see where you are coming from (I took a year of heavy Astronomy in college). However, as someone who has looked longingly at the moon and wondered what it would look like if it filled half the sky, I would rather not work under such constraints. For the same reason I over look the space battle sound-effects in every SF movie, I turn off my brain a little when looking at space art.That said, there is definitely beauty to be found within the constraints of the possible. It just takes a little more work.

  87. Fred

    I know the point of “Blasphemy” is to be unrealistic and unorthodox. But the “possibility” of a view from ground assumes (especially from a habital environment) it would be a moon around 1 giant planet, possibly with other moons that are smaller and but non habital. Having more than 1 habital environment in close quarters to each other is exponentially difficult for me to wrap my head around. (Can we say collision or tidal forces?) Seeing Phraxis from space (maybe from the safety of a spacecraft interior?) settles my mind better.

  88. Troels

    I absolutely love this one. 10/10 i hope a dualscreen version is in the works!

  89. betsey

    there’s GOTTA be a huge amount of TREASURES on your old computer–I’d hate to be the one to decide what to keep or delete–‘course I’m a packrat–so I’d keep everythiong!!!!

  90. betsey

    there’s GOTTA be a huge amount of TREASURES on your old computer–I’d hate to be the one to decide what to keep or delete–‘course I’m a packrat–so I’d keep everythiong!!!!

  91. Dale

    I’m not really a fan of the original scene. Not sure why, it just doesn’t look “real” I guess. But this one adds that bit of focus, grounded. The plants on the right are rough, but that’s what you said in your intro. I would like to see an update and even a dual-screen if you have the time and energy.

  92. JerriRose

    I like the view from the ground, I’ve been thinking about what the sky would look like in a more complicated system than ours since I discovered science fiction as a child. The possibilities are endless! That’s one reason I love your work.

    I like the rocks and plants in the foreground. Not all great views are from the very edge of things, and this place feels like either a place protected from the elements, maybe the only place to get close to the water, or maybe just a place that means something to the person doing the viewing-

  93. Nico

    I like this view is it possible to place some life into it the water? Maybe some Dolphins or a Whale? Otherwise a good find on the computer! Who knows if you have some old hard drives laying around you should look through them agian. Thanks!

  94. Tina

    I prefer this one over the from space view.

  95. Ryan

    Well, I hadn’t planned on doing any more work on this render (it’s just a “quick-n-dirty” render I found on my HD from a couple years ago) but if enough people want to see it fleshed out I might tweak a few things. Thanks for the feedback!

  96. Labanimal

    love this! The rocks to the left obstructs the waterline – feels like it closes the image off a little. Would be interesting to have the water sort of splashing up against the rocks… nothing to wild… But those flowers reminds me a little of Fluorescence. I could almost imagine plants like Fluorescence covering the rocks on both sides, each glowing as they do… I would assume the back of the clouds would glow from the light reflecting from Phraxis…

    Powerful stuff for the imagination! I honestly hope you’ll work more on this!!! 😉

  97. Gregor

    I like this perspective very much, but I have two items to mention which I instantly noticed: the rocks on the left side could use a better texture, and the water around the rock which grows these flowers (which I think are almost distracting the focus) looks too flat… I don’t know how better to explain this. It seems as if the water was too thick to flow around all the edges.

    I’d love to use this one as a wallpaper, but especially the rocks on the left side prevent me from putting it in the wallpaper folder. Compared to the rock on the right side, they look like they’re from the past, like in your earlier planetscapes. 😉 Too smooth and slightly transparent… I would love to see that fixed!

  98. Dylan

    I think the sea and bits of landscape in the foreground give the image more variety and context, and the clouds surrounding the planets are wonderful. However, I think the plant life in the lower right corner feels a bit out of place here. I would really like to see another version without them if that’s not too much trouble. Even with it, though, this is incredible work…easily one of my personal favorites of yours, as it combines two big themes you do so well together.

  99. Theo

    One of the biggest reasons I joined DB and eventually became a lifetime member was because I was instantly captivated by you space scenes. I was not able to find anyone who could comine landscape, water, and space in such a way that you do. Yes, the space scenes alone are breathtaking, but your spaces scenes from the ground are unparalleled! 🙂

  100. Anonymous

  101. Chris B

    it would take me longer than that to get the circle for the planet symmetrical lol

    I think you made the better choice with both of them. It’s always cool to see your roads not taken.

  102. Daniel B

    Definitely agree that a straight up shot would need either trees or a tall building (maybe an obelisk?) to give a bit more perspective.

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