Finalists Announcement!

I’m happy to announce we have selected the finalists for the Plasma 6 wallpaper competition!

As a bit of an insight, we received more than 250 submissions, most of which were of extraordinary quality. Choosing just six finalists has been extremely tough, requiring multiple rounds of discussion and voting.

I want to thank everyone who submitted an entry. The fact that so many of you spent time and energy to help out this community means a lot. We’ve received super-cute wallpapers featuring Konqi, lots of unique 3D renderings and vector art, but also pixel art, paintings, collages, and more. I’ve never seen such a wide range of creative entries. Selecting just six was a tough task from start to finish; even the 30 (or more!) best wallpapers were all extremely high quality.

I also want to thank Framework for offering the prize for the competition. It means a lot to us, and it shows that they are willing to really support projects they share a vision with. I can’t wait to award the Framework Laptop 13 DIY Edition to the winner of the competition!

Finally, we loved some wallpapers so much that we’d like to create a KDE Community Wallpaper Pack after this contest is done. Many wallpapers had great references to KDE Plasma and its lore, and we’d love to include them out of the box, even if not as a default wallpaper!

The finalists, in no particular order, are:

FLOW:

HARMONY:

HEXWORLD:

SUN / COMET:

STAIRWAY:

WAVES:

If you have submitted one of the above wallpapers, you now have two weeks to tweak your wallpapers, if you’d like to. You will receive official feedback from the judges (some of which are in this post already, some of which might come later). The wider community is also welcome to take part in this refinement stage with their feedback – just make sure to be constructive!

Feedback:

Again, feedback is presented in no particular order. Judges have different tastes, so they might contradict each other!

Flow

  • The light version is too light. I’d recommend using the dark one for the light version, and creating an even darker variant for the dark version. Also, that patch of pure black on the right side is a bit awkward and too attention-getting. Consider replacing it with a lighter color or with something more subtle.
  • The “grooves”/inset shadows from the folds in the light variant seem to be lit from the front while the dark variant is lit from the bottom. This makes it so that the light variant looks somewhat flat and low contrast (which is fine, just want it to be consistent) compared to the dark variant.
    For example, it makes the top left part blend in. Also, the second layer of folds (the ones on the back) are lit way more than the folds on the front. Makes it harder to parse where is what on the Z axis. Is the light in between the folds there?
  • The dark variant’s shadows in general look gray-ish and desaturated, like it’s #000000. Consider using a dark, slightly saturated blue.
  • Do not use true black as the background colour of the dark variant; perhaps use a dark shade of blue (Midnight Blue, Traditional Royale Blue, Navy Blue, etc.) instead. For the light variant, maybe make the lighting of the background folds be more consistent with that of the foreground folds.

Harmony

  • Maybe try having the butterfly in the light version be on top of the blocks in the light version too. It would help with creating better cohesiveness with the dark variant. Some of the lines are rather harsh, try softening them a bit. Perhaps colour in the lineart and see how it looks, as it might look better.
  • A bit too much noise on the last iteration of the wallpaper, IMO!

Hexworld

  • There’s so much detail that desktop icons get lost when placed over the area with the hexagons and trees. Consider changes that reduce the visual complexity and allow desktop icons to stand out more against the background.
  • Looks fantastic. Would be nice if the text of the desktop icons could be more readable, but it’s probably quite hard to do that without changing the wallpaper a lot. Perhaps you could make it more of an island and make it take up the screen’s rightmost 2/3. Then add some faint bokeh on the right?
  • Too complex to be a wallpaper. Desktop text can become difficult to read with this in the background. Reduce visual complexity in general. Suggestions include significantly increasing the size of the hexagons, reducing or completely removing foliage, or completely reworking the wallpaper in its entirety. Adding a very slight tilt blur could also help.
  • I also would love you to experiment a bit with some blur; either tilt blur, or bokeh, or similar.

Sun / Comet

  • I love the light variant and would keep it as is. The dark variant’s hue looks a tiny bit too orange for a nighttime setting. Don’t know how to describe it, but it feels more like a darkened light version if that makes sense. The tree still looks as if it’s shaded by the sun (like the sunlight bounce on the tree canopy), maybe making the comet’s light bounce onto the tree surface could help?
  • The stars in the night sky of the dark variant could be lessened a lot or even outright cleared out, to improve the readability of desktop icons and text. The random white streaks and birds should also be removed for the same reason. Keep in mind that some displays are rather crisp, so less is more here.

Stairway

  • Would appreciate a bit more visual complexity, but just a bit.
  • Try to match what lines are visible in both the light and dark variants as much as possible, for better consistency between both of them.
  • I dig it, especially the dark variant, which I’d keep as is. The light variant’s lines (or, well, stairs) look less like a lit groove (like a part of an object) and slightly more like a sticker. I think it might be because in the dark variant the stairs’ edges start closer to the light source and taper off as it gets closer to the shadow, whereas the light variant’s edges start much later and bunch up in the shadow.
  • I’m a bit confused by the vertical blue lines. To me, they almost seem like graphical glitches. Is there a way the composition of the wallpaper could be a bit more clear?

Waves

  • This wallpaper feels a bit reminiscent of some of macOS’s recent wallpapers to me. Consider minor changes to visually differentiate it a bit, and give it more of a KDE style. Also, the bright areas of flat blue and black color on the right side of the light and dark versions (respectively) feel too attention-getting. Consider replacing them with something more subtle.
  • I have a significant issue with the hard lines, especially on the bottom; colors are suddenly changing, and it seems like a graphical glitch to me. I’d like the wallpaper to be a bit more clean, maybe using some gradients.
  • Dark variant looks too organic, like a zoomed in photo of a mushroom or the insides of an intestine. Would recommend changing the colours and/or textures. Do that with the light variant as well, despite it not looking as organic in the same way.
33 Likes

Oh, gods! I suddenly see myself in the top six) Is this definitely not some kind of mistake?))) Either it was my low self-esteem that played a game with me, and I didn’t consider myself fit for anything. I even felt a chill go through my body. Thank you guys very much!! They hit me right in the heart on this beautiful day. There can be a lot of noise at my work, since my machine laptop has a small resolution and I don’t see a lot of noise (I don’t understand this) I can reduce the noise, but I need feedback from a person who has a good monitor, since I won’t be able to detect it myself. And yet, I expected to see completely different works in the top six, but I didn’t even consider my own at all, which shocked me even more) Thank you all! You guys have made this the best day for me. They let me believe in myself! I hug you all. I didn’t quite understand about the lines. Are they harsh in terms of color? And where exactly are they sharp? I need to figure out what to pay attention to, otherwise I don’t quite understand where to fix it yet.

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@niccolove “Sun/Comet” is missing in the links below your post.

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Congrats to all finalists, those are all amazing!

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That isn’t on the forum at all, so it was prolly an email submission.

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Considering how many great submissions there were for this contest, I would’ve never expected to end up being among the finalists.

I’ll get to tweaking very soon, and also best of luck to the other finalists. I love your works just as well.

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Great choices! And am also excited for the wallpaper pack!

I think we all won with this wallpaper competition, in the end. :slight_smile: So many ways to make our digital life a bit more fun.

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Honestly I was shocked when I opened my emails today, really wasn’t expecting both of my submissions to make it this far. Big thanks to all of you, all your feedback and kind words, they really kept me going! I will try to dedicate some of my spare time to improving my submissions as stated and add them as separate revisions. Have a nice day everyone! :smile:

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can we see the dark version of sun/comet somewhere? I can just imagine it to be glorious!

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It is indeed excellent:

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whoah… both light and dark are already awesome as they are!

I am loving these, Sun / Comet is my fav out of the bunch but I’m not sure if it screams “Default Wallpaper”, it’s very much worthy of being part of the regular set of KDE Plasma Wallpapers though! Excited for the KDE Community Wallpaper Pack <3

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The top post gives recommendations for the dark versions but only shows the light ones. Could you please add the dark version or link to them / the submission post? I remember seeing most of the dark versions as submissions, but it would help instead of having to search them again.

Congratulations to the finalists :slight_smile:

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Only FLOW, STAIRWAY and WAVES look professional and are fit as an official wallpaper for Plasma.

There were other good submissions that could replace the others.

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Professional just means that you get paid for what you do and most kde devs are volunteers, so idk where this expectation that everything kde does has to be or look professional comes from. Nor am I sure what exactly “looking professional” means to you. Because to me that has more of a negative connotation.

Imo not being a professional business driven project is precisely what makes KDE so endearing. KDE is a volunteer driven community project and a labour of love and its art can reflect that, by showing some personality and soul where its proprietary competitors lack those.

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I respect your perspective, it’s just I personally lean toward abstract art.

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This is a friendly reminder that KDE has had illustrations as default Plasma wallpapers before, most notably with Safe Landing in 5.25:

They’re just as valid as abstract art is for default wallpapers in Plasma 6.

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As a huge fan of the game, I would definitely vote for the «Overcooked — Overworld Map» one xD

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Wow! :rocket:

I took part in the competition myself and submitted my designs at the beginning of September. And I was very impressed by some of the designs up to that point, but also by many of the later entries.

Congratulations to all the finalists! You are very well deserved in the final round.

And now: Go all in for the win! :rocket:

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