River Valley


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74 reviews for River Valley

  1. Jason [basicmember]

    I just took my first good look at this one after downloading it with a bunch of other spring images. The image is now 9 years old, and it’s still breathtaking. The mountains look like something out of a dream, and the field is nothing short gorgeous. Fabulous work Ryan!

  2. Mangoman

    It’s another one of those places he’s brought into creation I just want to for real GO TO!! But I can’t, Damn it! Ryan, sometimes, you’re like watching Avatar; there were people who actually got depressed after seeing the movie, trying to deal with the blah-like gray wintry days compared to the beautiful glow-in-the-dark jungles of Pandora, wishing, in 2014, I could be for real in the place looking at the River Valley you made in ’07. Wow.

  3. Ryan

    Whoops! It’s up and available now. Sorry about that.

  4. Ragnarok


    Could you please upload a 1280 x 1024 resolution of this image? This is the first time I have ever noticed this particular resolution missing from an image. Unfortunately it is the one in which I use and I do happen to love this one. Hopefully you can get it up soon thanks.

  5. Owen Clark

    I had this one on my desk for months and I still love it, fantastic work.

  6. alexM

    I just wanted to say that I think that this is one of the most underrated wallpapers you have ever done. I was noticing that it doesn’t show up on any of the top 10 for anything. In my opinion it is your best one. It is absolutely gorgeous and I enjoy looking at it so much. I wouldn’t mind seeing more like this one.

  7. Espio

    You can find the 1280 verison by doing URL crafting:


  8. Crazynutt

    Is it just me, or has the Single Screen (1280 x 1024) version of this file disappeared?

    I don’t want to try to fit the other versions of this onto my screen…

  9. Bill

    One of the biggest things I noticed in this picture is the absence of any crags in the mountains. They are, for the most part, very smooth and artificial. The citadel looks almost like the tip of a soft-serve ice cream cone; twisted at the top. But, looking past these few shortcomings, this render is one of my favorites.

  10. Russ

    First, excellent work as I have been a fan for years. Secondly, how about a storm version. Show the tree blowing in the wind and maybe some ground foilage movment. Dark clouds on the horizon. Lightning optional! The water level could even be slightly elevated.

    I love it as is just thought a stormy version would be great on my desktop from time to time.

  11. pauly

    I just wanted to chime in and give my two cents on the dual monitor version of River Valley. As a dual monitor user I live for the dual monitor versions of all your work. While the vast majority of them are spectacular, occasionally they suffer from cropping issues. I remember Metropolis suffered from the same problem as River Valley. As disappointing as it can be for us dual monitor people, it’s not nearly as disappointing as when there isn’t a dual monitor version released at all. Better a cropped version than nothing!

    I hope that all the whining you’ve had to endure over this doesn’t dissuade you, Ryan, from creating dual monitor versions of all your future work. If there is no dual monitor version, then I can’t display it on my system 🙁

    Keep up the great work, Ryan! And send my love to your family.

  12. Daniel

    Dawn Version is excellent. Definitely worth posting in the main gallery!

  13. Lee

    I have to say first that I love the image in the standard widescreen screen version. I am however disappointed with the dual widescreen version. It’s missing some very important features such as the wonderful grassy hill and the most importantly the river itself. The image is called River Valley. Where’s the river?

  14. Tim

    Don’t really like the dawn version. The color is just way too red. I’ve never seen a sunset or sunrise that red. It looks unnatural.

  15. JAMES

    That mountain is ridiculus looking, it looks very similar to the new skyscraper going up in the Chicago skyline. Not a compliment. I absalutly LOVE the 1st rendition though. So i’m just going to repeat version 1 across 3 screens, rather than stare at Hershey mountain =)

  16. Jay5gen

    Why is it that the duals are always an after thought? Just a cropped up version of what you intended, with most of the focus on only one monitor? This is just another example of some of your best photographic work, being presented in all of its glory, to only part of your subscribers.

    I know i’ve asked before, but I would really like to see you try and start an image out, specifically for dual screen. Think of it as a new medium for your art, instead of an cheap frame to crop it into.

  17. cmmnoble

    I like the first version better. The way the shadows and clouds interact with the mountains is just fantastic. I could stare at it for hours. The mountains/clouds in version two don’t draw my eye off into the distance in the same way.

    Thanks for all your artwork. I’m looking forward to see what you do next!

  18. Ryan

    There is no simple way to please everyone in this regard. If I designed the images first for dual-screens and then cut them down for use on single-screens then the folks with single-screens would feel that they are losing important elements of the image. The fact is that more Members are here for the single screen images so I compose for that format first. I always do my best to create pleasing multi-monitor versions, but it doesn’t always work out. I just can’t always recreate the single-screen version in a format that will span multiple monitors. Some images are easier to convert than others. As I said before, this one was especially difficult given the framing of the original image. I actually considered not doing a multi-monitor version of this one when I saw what was being left out. I skipped doing multi-screens of “Xenotron” and “Chamelea 2007” for this reason. In the end I thought the version I posted had some merit. Perhaps I was wrong.

  19. ahsteele

    I am sorry this mult-monitor version did not meet the obvious high standards of some of your subscribers. I wouldn’t worry about it too much as the vast majority of your work looks spectacular in a single or multi-monitor format. Please keep up the good work and I look forward to your next offering.

  20. Nathan

    It may be different than the original, but it looks just as good, simply in a different way. The dual and triple screen people (myself included) should just think of it as an exclusive image that the single screen people don’t get to enjoy… 🙂

  21. Hegemon

    I have to say that I’m kicking myself for not working harder to get multiple screens. By the way…the single screen version is still awesome!

  22. Ed

    As “Rich A” tried with his, could you not do 2 renders of this. The first render would be as you have it here, missing the bottom part of the picture, then the second one is rendered, such that the top bit is missing. Then merge the two images in the middle for one complete one. Or am I missing something fundamental here…?

  23. Nick

    I think the mountains in the new version are an improvement, but I like the old clouds; the previous clouds look more cloud-like and less hazey or foggy. Either way, as soon as there is a triple screen version it’s on the desktop. Good work.

  24. fatboy

    I’ve been admiring this new image for a few days now before making any comments. I really like this and wish I could change my vote and make it higher.

    I have dual monitors, so I have to wait until you create the dual and triple screen versions, but I think I have found the image to replace “Tropic of Capricorn (2006).” I’ve tried several of your newer image, but none seem as nice. I think this new one will be a very good replacement.

  25. Josh

    I agree, the second version is more natural. The clouds were too harsh in the previous when comparing side by side.

  26. Moonmaster

    The dual screen version is just wonderful. Keep up the great job!

  27. G

    It looks really boring without the river… 🙁

    How come you haven’t had this problem before when making dual and triple screen versions?

    Ruined. Shame.

  28. Ryan

    “How come you haven’t had this problem before when making dual and triple screen versions?”Actually I’ve had this problem with all of my multi-monitor images. It is just more pronounced with this one because there are important elements filling the entire frame (where before there would just be some extra water or sky that gets cut off).Basically, the more precisely I fill the frame on the single-screen version, the more that will be cut off when I do the multi-screen versions. I wish there was a way around it but there isn’t that I can find.

  29. Rich A

    The original was too appealing to pass up a dual-screen version, but without the river it just didn’t do it for me. So I did my own crop, starting with the widescreen (2560 x 1600) version: ~344 off the top and ~232 from the bottom, or roughly 3 pixels from the top for every 2 removed from the bottom. (I used JPEGCrop.)

    So, was my DIY alteration heresy… or blasphemy? 🙂

  30. Joss

    I really liked the river, I’m not sure you can still call it river valley now as the main focus is definitely the mountain, I mean, now in the dual and tri screen versions, the river is virtually non-existent.

    I know, limitations of the software and all, but I wish that you could find a way to keep that river in there, the picture just looses so much without it.

    You also lost the cool blue flowers at the bottom of the screen…they had a nice effect on the for ground.

    Just looking at the single and tri screen versions side by side…It seems like the tri screen has been zoomed in a hell of a lot, would it not be better to zoom to the original, thus allowing the river to come back into view? This would also give you more room to play with the distance of the mountains, at the moment they look a little out of proportion.

    I don’t know, I guess you are the artist and I’m just observing, but that’s my 2 cents worth 🙂

  31. Michael

    I *really* love the grass in this wallpaper. It adds a lot of texture and looks more natural. I hope you can add more grass-like elements to your wallpapers!

    The trees right below the mountain, on the other hand, don’t look so good. I don’t know if it’s the atmospheric effects or the position of the tress, but their arrangement and appearance just looks odd.

  32. ChocoZell

    This definitely is an improvement over the first one, though the big mountain has lines that makes it look a bit like a wrung washcloth. :/

  33. Darren

    Clouds are better but mountains are worse.

    Don’t listen to all the nitpickers. What I like most about your work is the imperfections in the nature renders. That’s what make people do a double take to confirm it isn’t real. If I wanted a ‘perfect’ image, I’d use a photo as a desktop. Time for an abstract now… 😉

  34. Fvr

    I really prefer the second version.

    Firstly softened clouds look nicer.

    Secondly it seems that you added a little fog on the hills just before the moutains and I also like this change.

  35. Terry

    Cant really decide which I prefer, I didnt really see any faults in the first one. A fault would be a floating tree or a rendering issue, something that may have slipped the net kinda unintentionally. I think at the end of the day you make images based on how you feel and for that there is no fault. Like someone said if they wanted a photo they would use a camera. I think people have been a little hard with some of their comments.

    Keep up the good work,


  36. Terry

    Just found a little bug, go to all time top ten then click the average score at the bottom, gives you stats for river value 2… then if you click close it closes the entire site.


  37. Overdrive

    The only improvement would be the shape of the main mountain, although the cone actually doesn’t bother me. The lightening in the original looks much better, especially on the mountain range.

    Changes weren’t necessary, I wrote in my first post. But if, you should only have changed the shape of the cone.

    After dozens of comparisons, I’m sure I prefer the original, which I gave a 9*. I give this second version:


  38. Whillowhim

    I think some of the changes you made are good, but the mountain still doesn’t look right to me. I think its because the sides in the middle heights are far too steep. The very top starts about right (maybe slightly too much), but then it gets steeper as it goes down. The final peak of real mountains do the opposite, start steep at the top then slowly flatten out into foothills. There are some cases where one side might be worn down steeper for a canyon area, but these doesn’t look right for that either. Typically, this is the result of water wearing down the rocks, and this exposes different layers in the rock (usually horizontal, but can be slanted).

    As an example of what I mean, look at http://members.tripod.com/lotsofinfo/rockymountains.htm

    The second and third pictures are of normal mountains, the first photo is a mountain that was worn down and exposed horizontal layers.

    If you want more of a “this river wore down one side of the mountains” feel, you can make one side of them very steep, and maybe a slight tilt to the strata. As an example: http://www.field.ca/images/large/morainelake_lake01_lg.jpg

  39. celmo

    This one is better to me and it does look like the mountain you meant it to. It’s just a weird one and I guess we all like different things.

    I still think it’s great overall.

  40. Loxmyth

    I think the clouds are better in the new version, but something about the central mountain bothers me. I am not sure whether it is just the shape of the upper portion, or the lines, or a combination, or what. In general, I do like the picture, but I find something about the mountain odd.

  41. Brian

    The mountains and clouds look much better in the second version.

    River Valley is my new favorite! Nice work Ryan.

  42. guate6

    I noticed that in the older images from years back, you would make an image and then make its sequel or another version (like “moonlight” and “moonlight2”). I personally liked both of them, and think they should both be able to be chosen from the main gallery.

  43. Akrikos

    I find that I like both versions.

    The original version made me wonder what would create such mountains, whether a lower level of gravity, or perhaps they were man-made as in the book Ring World (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworld).

    In the second version, the mountains looked more like what I would expect to see and is much more comfortable because of that.

    The first version made me think & wonder more, while the second is a comfortable “I wish I could take a nap under that tree” version.

    I like them both. 🙂

  44. Justin

    Both versions of this render are superb and reflect your masterful ability to compose compelling imagery.

    The second version is better.

    After reading the comments and looking at your inspiration piece for the mountain, I noticed that the water channels in your mountain seemed a little bold and uniform in width.

    To me, this does not take anything away from the picture. Conversely, it subtly draws the viewer in to your focal point.

  45. Timothy

    I like the new fluffy clouds now, they look a lot more realistic. After looking at both of them I like the specular highlights on the uppermost clouds which is missing from the new image.

    Everyone seems to like the first mountain better but I don’t mind the mountain change.

    Lol I hate having to critique great work on this site.. anyway I’ll give it a 8/10.

  46. Shane

    I like the second better. The lighter cloud layer and snow on the mountaintops makes it nice.

  47. Juan

    Much better than the original…I thought the mountains were not as bold as they should be, now they are.

  48. Justin

    While I didn’t comment on the first version, I must say I like this one much better. It’s not that I didn’t like the first one (quite the opposite), but this one seems much more refined. The clouds, mist, mountains, even the tree line running up the mountains, all have much more detail, and that really adds to the scene.

    As always, I hope to see a dual screen version of whichever one you decide to make the final version.

    Awesome work as always.

  49. James

    I do prefer the 1st rendition though. The mountains look more realistic in my eyes. The clouds are more vivid as well. I hope you use the 1st rendition for the multi screens. I’m keeping my fingers crossed…lol

    Best wishs =)

    ~Mechanical CAD Engineer~

    ~James R. Lupinek~

  50. Larry

    I like this one; it comes together much better in my opinion.

    Is it me, or does the peak of the main mountain look a bit veiny? Other than that nitpick, beautiful.

  51. Geoff

    The new central mountain looks very fake to me in this revision. It looks too… generated. I absolutely love the rest of the scene, it’s just that one mountain just doesn’t seem to fit imo.

    Either way, it’s still an amazing piece of art, as all of your renders are. Keep it up!

  52. Mark

    The atmosphere is better in the second, but the mountains in the first were better. It might help if they were a bit more worn down (e.g., shorter).

    Perhaps an idea would be to tilt the camera to look down into the valley such that the mountains / clouds are at the top of the image.

    It’s still pretty good, so don’t take it as criticism. ^_^


  53. Moonmaster

    Not to take anything away from the original, but this one is much better. The clouds in the center make the central peak less imposing. Wonderful art. Planning on making a dual screen version?

  54. Reaighn

    I think I like the new one much better. It seems much more organic than the first copy.

    Keep up the good work!

  55. Lara

    I really enjoyed the first picture. I do like the softened clouds, but the changed center mountain now looks like a softserve twist cone. The striations are way to predictable. I prefer complete randomness 🙂

  56. Steven

    the new version is much better

    – the mountains look more “natural”

    – the gras on top of the hills are brighter – its a really cool highlight of this picture.

  57. CybrWulf

    I definately like the way you softened the clouds in the newer one. They are much more realistic in my view. I have to agree with others that the central mountain isn’t quite as good as the first render though. Maybe combine the two?

  58. Pat

    This mountain looks better but definitely isn’t there yet. Every time I look at this picture I feel as though there is something wrong with that center mountain.

    I think the problem is that the mountain is too steep on both sides. It would look a lot more realistic if you filled in what looks like a big hole on the front left side of the mountain, creating a much more gradual slope.

    Also, things are starting to look like they are getting a little “stretched out” towards the peak of the mountain.

    A mixture of clouds covering the midsection and a rather steep peak take a way from the realism from this one. The rest of the scene, however, is one of your best ever, and it’s definitely on my desktop.

  59. Mercury

    I do see Lara’s point about the soft serve cone, however, overall, I think this is a great improvement. The shoulder at the base of the main peak makes it much more believable (although I admit that believability shouldn’t be your first concern). Glad to see you kept the foreground unchanged, because it is superb.

  60. Daniel

    I appreciate the changes done in the second working on the River Valley, but I appreciate the elements that were present in the first as well.

    The shadow cast on the mountain side in the original along with the cloud detail through the mountain. In the revision the brightened forefront brings the attention front and works to liven the “aww” of the background.

    Both are excellent, I love the works.

  61. drow

    i like the new version better.

  62. Dan

    but the second version is even better! I like the thinner clouds and the more numerous mountains. Makes it seem more “natural” to me. Both very good though!

  63. Blaine

    The mountain looks like a hershey’s kiss. It’s all twisty at the top.

  64. G

    The mountains are a bit better, but now the middle one is too prominent over the ones either side.

    The depth of mist at the foothills is much better, though, for definite.

    Gone from a 5 to a 7 in my opinion 🙂

  65. JT

    IMO, “River Valley” would look a lot better if its focal point wasn’t a mountain. Especially since the mountain is the most unrealistic part of the picture. The new twisty mountain is much better than the original rounded one, though, which just looked oddly elastic.

  66. Danny

    I like the smaller mountain added to the right, all of the mountains being roughly the same size seemed odd. The tree line looks like it was faded slightly and is even on all of the mountains now. I like it, thanks!

  67. Mike

    a very good update. the foreground being a bit brighter makes it sharper in focus too it seems, which is good. the mountains, especially the base and the overall textures as seen from a distance (looking back now, the texture of the central mountain in the first version looks less like rock and more like the ash-white, cracked surface of a half-burned log in a fireplace), are much more convincing now, but I didn’t mind them being oddly shaped before. even now, while I agree with others that the central mountain seems odd, at the same time I don’t mind, because a little wonder at the oddities of nature mixed into a normal scene is fine too. oh, and I like the new clouds too. good work.

  68. George

    This version is good, but I must say I liked the first one better. The mountains just look to tall and not wide enough.

  69. Novacron

    I do like the improvements to the foliage, they seem to stand out more. The mountains however in the original seemed to have a more natural formation in my eyes. Still a great piece 🙂

  70. Tril

    I do like the softened cloud cover, but on balance I still prefer the original. I don’t care for the new shape of the central mountain, and the sky has become less bright in the new version. The vivid blue was prettier and had a sort of highlighting effect on the leaves of the tree.

  71. brian

    overall, i like the new version better as it shows much improvement in the working of the clouds throughout the sky and covering certain aspects of each part of the mountain range.

    however, in both the old and new versions, i think that the central mountain is too oddly shaped in each one. it tends to draw my focus away from the beauty of the scene in its entirety.

    thanks for the work you do…

  72. Ryan

    The mountain in this one was modeled after Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Rio de Janeiro.

  73. Skrit

    I really do love your work, why else would I be a member here? One of the best things about your work and yourself is that your willing to take the thoughts and opinions of others into account when creating, without letting it spoil your original artistic interpretations and intentions.

    I must make one thing clear. Although I continue to have constructive comments, it is not my intention to draw this work away from your initial vision.

    I liked your link to Sugarloaf Mountain, below. It is from this that my comment originates. In the image, you can clearly see a tree line. The central mountain is clearly very, very tall. Typically, tree lines (which are due to altitude) range from 5,000 to 10,000 feet. Sugarloaf Mountain, however, is not a mountain, it is a monolith, a single solid granite/quarts outcropping of rock. It is only 1,299 feet tall, and appears much closer to the camera in the linked picture, than in your work. I believe that you took me seriously before when I said you could learn from natural rock formation, but I think your confusing pebbles for boulders in this case.

    The scale of Sugarloaf Mountain, if it were included in your work, would probably be much more like the (similarly shaped) outcropping directly below and to the left of the tree in the foreground.

    Again, I don’t mean to distract you from your vision, and I certainly don’t believe you should rework the central mountain again. With the much improved cloud structure and additional low laying hills around it, it looks much improved from the original version. I simply suggest that this factor of disproportionate scale could be the reason why so many others also find that central mountain so distractingly “unnatural”.

    Best Regards,


  74. Jluv

    I definitly prefer this second version over the first. The softer clouds look more realistic. Another great work. Keep it up.

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