The World Watches


SKU: worldwatches1 Category: Tags: ,


On the plane back from Rustycon I had an idea to improve 2009’s lowest rated
. It’s always bugged me that I wasn’t able to make
that one work. As soon as I got back to Bucephalus I fired up my trusty copy
of Vue 11 and set about making a few improvements.

Here’s the version I am most pleased with at the moment.
I’ve raised the water level a bit, added some snow the
surrounding rocks (inspired by snowy vistas I recently flew over)
and about a thousand other tweaks. I also have a more
“fantastic” version that I may add to the Pickle Jar later which
was certainly inspired by my time at Rustycon…

Let me know what you think!

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37 reviews for The World Watches

  1. Tanya [lifer]

    one of my all time favorites

  2. Tony

    Actually, the 2009 version is one of my all time favorites. It has been the background I use on most of my laptops since you released it. The remake is fun though I prefer the rich blue hues in the original. Keep up the great work!

  3. mpetrie98

    One word: Yellowstone — potential supereruption evoked by both the title and the scene.

  4. Anastasia

    It looks great with the dragon. New life coming out of the depths.

  5. LeisaZ

    I like the dragon – I too see it as a baby dragon, a mom or dad watching from the air or nearby would be cool too.

  6. BobC

    I actually like the dragon. I see it as a baby dragon, which would make it a playful AND a colorful and very nice piece. (Living near Yellowstone, I see the pool as 10-12 feet across). I wasn’t a fan of the eye…

  7. Jenanne

    Although I do really like the “eye” version. The one with the dragon is third place in MHO list. But I still gave it an “8.” All of them are pretty nifty. 🙂

  8. Zach

    I prefer the one without the eye or dragon.

  9. yokhannan

    i like the one without the dragon

  10. Dale

    Love the update to the Prismatic Pool. This one looks much more realistic. However, I don’t really like the eye. I would much rather see the one with the dragon coming out of the pool. Of course I’d also like to have the multiscreen with just the pool too.

  11. Gumboot

    One vote for “The Eye”.

  12. James

    I’d really like to to see a triple screen “eyeless” version. It doesn’t look right to me.

  13. Shelia

    6/10 is the lowest rating I would give any of your work, Ryan. I will confess and go against what seems like the majority here. I don’t like the eye. I find it creepy. Blunt statement, yes? It anthropomorphizes a piece which had an ethereal beauty of its own. One could look into its depths and colors to find . . . well, different things each time. The eye may be a suitable symbol but it’s so limiting.

  14. Apster

    The “Primordial Pool” with the “Watchers” is how I interpreted this piece. Think the beginning of Prometheus (2012 Movie by Ridley Scott) people is where I draw my views for this. Nice work Ryan.

  15. Eric

    Ep…wait for it…ic. Epic. I am biased toward dragons, but my first thought was influenced by Dean Koontz’ book “77 Shadow Street.” I wondered what dark oblong shape was rising from the unknown depths of the volcanic pool.

  16. Jenanne

    Hey, you can always count on me to have an opinion. Costs nothing and it’s worth the price. 🙂

  17. Corbey

    Water, snow, rocks? You mean it’s not the eye of a giant beast? That’s how I see it.

  18. Ryan

    The snow was difficult. I didn’t want to put too much because I didn’t think it would pile up around a hot spring. I always appreciate your critiques though!

  19. Jenanne

    If it looked more like snow, it would look less like plain old gray rock. If, say, the top had a few snow drifts or piles of snow? Of course, the closer it is to the steaming pool, the more the snow would melt and run into the pool. Maybe a few veins of colored rock in the gray stone to give contrast? But no one else said anything about being bothered by the gray background, so this is just MHO.

  20. Ryan

    Perhaps if I perfected the snow?

  21. Jenanne

    Love the eye! But still dislike the gray rocks in back.

  22. Ruth

    I love the ’09 version, but this has a fantastic appeal to me although I can’t really articulate why. I love both versions, with and without the iris, and the colors are stunning! I fell in love with this on sight! Thanks for the new render, Ryan!

  23. Kataan

    Small world. One of my best friends was the vice-chair of Rustycon this year. I work with him on a different on that he founded.

  24. Elaine

    I see where you’re trying to go but you lost the spectacular 3D effect from the 2009 render. The added detail and additional colors in the rocks are a nice update. I think I prefer without the iris too.

  25. Maria B

    Love the eye.

  26. Steve

    I really like it. Makes you wonder if the eye is a trick of the light, a crack in the pool wall or ?

  27. Ryan

    I realize the decision to make this render a bit more “fantastic” will not meet with universal approval. Rest assured that a Pickle Jar option without the eye will remain available!

  28. Joe

    I really loved the old prismatic pool and I was really looking forward to this re-vamp. The old perspective was probably better, but this one is ok. However, the “iris” in the pool is not appealing to me and makes this one very unlikely to ever be on my desktop. *Please* do multi-screens with the “no eye” version in the pickle jar. That version is closer to a 9 for me. The old perspective with a new, updated render would probably be a 10.

  29. Chris

    Very nice! Has a real “Sauron” feel to it! I think it looks better than the original!

  30. Hoverwolf1

    I’m not a big fan of either version of this render, although the update looks better and has no birds to confuse with which to confuse people. Sorry, but it’s just kind of a bland subject to me.

    However, when I first noticed the “iris” object in the middle of the pool, my first thought was the eye of Sauron… my brain immediately blended that with Prismatic to come up with the eye of Pyron. (Don’t ask how or why, that’s just what it does.) Then I saw someone called it Smaug. Either way, this one’s more interesting.

  31. Gumboot


  32. David

    Love the texture and the color variation, it looks great. In my mind that water is nice and warm, I’d love to take a dip in it right about now.

  33. Maria B

    Very nice. I like the steam and the snowy background.

  34. Jenanne

    I loved the original, unlike, I guess, so many others. I like the improvements in this version although I do like the original better. My main problem is that the gray rocks in the back don’t look snow dusted to me — I didn’t know that’s what they were supposed to be until I read your notes. As it is, the change from colorful to gray seems sudden; I thought the back half hadn’t loaded correctly. With some tweaking I’m sure I’ll love this one as much as the first version.

  35. Deanna

    I, too, love the colors and the snow. It makes me want to visit the hot springs in Yellowstone again.

    There is an issue with the 1920×1080 size I use, however. Almost the whole image is covered with horizontal green/pink/purple lines starting about 2″ down. Would you please take a look? Thanks!

  36. Nelson

    Definitely an improvement! The light is better, shadows are softer, colors are richter, details are higher…

    There is one small flaw which caught my eye, though: In the lower left, one red ring is cut off on the bottom by a perfectly horizontal line. This just doesn’t fit in somehow. Overall, a very nice piece.

  37. CE

    I just love the color and texture in this one. The dusting of snow really accentuates the warmth (color & temp) of the pool. Beautifully done!

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