Wipeout HD Fury 1920×1080 and 1920×1200 HD widescreen wallpapers

Flagship PlayStation Network title Wipeout HD is receiving an expansion pack this July (2009) and over at the PlayStation EU blog they released some screenshots highlighting a couple of the new modes.

1920×1080 1920×1200

 

 

Original Photographs

These are links to the original images on PlayStation EU blog’s Flickr page. The original images are 1920×1080.

ZoneBattle2ZoneBattle1 Detonator1

Links

Top Gear HD widescreen wallpapers 1920×1080 1920×1200

I’ve probably overdone the good-looking babes as a theme for wallpaper (actually, that’s not possible) so here are some middle-aged men standing on a runway wondering how to look cool. Or, more accurately, standing in a studio wondering how cool they are going to look when finally composited on to a runway. Of course, this is Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May from BBC’s Top Gear.

1920×1080 1920×1200

Original Photographs

These are the UHQ photographs used for these wallpapers. Top Gear is produced by the BBC but the first photograph was found via Google Image Search on this Dutch cable television site (at least I think so, I can’t read Dutch) and the second photograph was on the same site.

These are the UHQ 16:9 ratio images produced from the photographs. The 1920×1080 is a simple resize and the 1920×1200 chops the sides off before the resize.

Links

Battle Doll Angelic Layer anime HD wallpapers

HD wallpapers for the wonderful Battle Doll Angelic Layer anime (my review).

These are massively resized DVD captures. The orange one (matches some Linux distributions nicely) is of Hikaru when she has been first constructed and the other is of the post-ad interstitial from the second half of the series.

The original Angelic Layer logo from the interstitial didn’t survive the resize and so I removed it and created a new sharper logo by taking the logo from a high quality scan of a DVD cover. The wings took more work than expected to carefully cut out of the original image but the end result are good large wallpapers with a soft but clear main image and crisp logo.

1920×1080 1920×1200
 

Wipeout HD HD widescreen wallpapers

To celebrate the upcoming release (September 25th 2008) of one of Sony’s flagship franchises on PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3, here are some HD widescreen wallpapers for Wipeout HD taken from the special render used on the threespeech site in the post A Present from Three Speech.

The official Wipeout HD web-site also has 1920×1200 wallpapers showcasing eight of the available ships.

1920×1080 1920×1200

Hitomi Yoshino Moto GP 3 (Namco) Pit Babe HD widescreen wallpapers 1920×1080 1920×1200

Following Reiko Nagase and Ai Fukami, Hitomi Yoshino was Namco’s third CGI promotional model. Her first assignment was on Namco’s Moto GP 2 (when she was 19!?) but she garnered even greater exposure on their next release: Moto GP 3.

Though apparently forgotten (along with the rather uglier Ai Fukami), here are some wallpapers commemorating her time in the spotlight.

The final wallpaper is not of her but needed to be included. Valentino Rossi and chequered flag underwear upskirt? Awesome!

1920×1080 1920×1200

New Captain Scarlet (2004) comment and HD widescreen wallpapers

In 2004 Gerry Anderson resurrected two of his iconic franchises: Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds.

The latter was an expensive major motion picture and forgot what was good about Thunderbirds by, somewhat remarkably, spending most of the time ignoring the Thunderbirds and sidelining the international rescuing aspect of the International Rescue organisation. Instead, Ben Kingsley arrived in a funny costume and, well, that was it. While it wasn’t exactly bad, it certainly didn’t work and, despite a modest budget by Hollywood standards, it lost lots of money (probably about $100 million after it’s worldwide cinema run and taking into account marketing / production costs and cinema distribution cuts).

Though destined for television, Captain Scarlet’s remake was also going to be expensive (about $1 million per episode) and produced using computer animation and design much better than we normally saw on television. Now the original show was about a dude who gets killed or, at least, horrifically injured in almost every episode. While you could get away with that kind of AWESOMENESS in the Sixties, you couldn’t in the Noughties. Brilliantly, Anderson set up a private finance venture to produce his new version. The show looked incredible, Scarlet still got killed or horrifically injured in at least half the episodes and the show was largely brilliant. Did I mention it looked incredible? Unfortunately, it got dumped on by ITV who waited a year, then tucked it away in a Saturday morning kid’s marathon show (they even missed out an episode here and there) and it, too, ended up losing money. Big, big shame. If they’d stuck it in Saturday evening prime-time slot, as the BBC did the same year with their Doctor Who reboot, maybe they’d had seen the same kind of immense success.

Nevertheless, let’s never forget the clearly passionate and brilliant work of the artists involved (though they should definitely have brought back some of Barry Gray’s iconic music). I really, really enjoyed it. If you are an action anime fan, it’ll certainly appeal to you. While the original Thunderbirds was Gerry Anderson’s best ever idea, both the old and new series of Captain Scarlet were his best ever work.

So here are two wallpapers for New Captain Scarlet.

1920×1080 1920×1200

You can buy the 1967 Captain Scarlet on DVD and the 2004 Captain Scarlet on DVD and both are well worth it. You can also buy the Thunderbirds movie on DVD but it’s not. The thought of a Blu-ray HD re-release of New Captain Scarlet is mouth-watering and I look forward to revisiting it.

Pit babe HD 1920×1080 widescreen wallpaper – Ferrari F1 reflected in glasses

As this source image was not suitable for a simple crop to 1920×1080, I decided to have a bash at using some of the more advanced features of Paint.NET to construct the wallpaper.

My previous photo editing program was PhotoImpact but I had been dissatisfied with the amount of time it took to load for a long time. However, PhotoImpact does have a number of extremely powerful features and some really useful little bits and bobs that I will miss.

One of these is the option to store preset sizes under custom names on the resize dialog. For example, I had one named “folder.jpg” which resized the image to 256 by 256 pixels. A nice little feature.

Phantasy Star Online Blue Burst HD Widescreen Wallpaper 1920×1080

My favourite online experience has been with the same game over two platforms: Phantasy Star Online. Firstly on Dreamcast, the first online-enabled console, and then later in Blue Burst form on Windows PC.

This is a wallpaper constructed from the congratulations screen for completing the game. The different players are the people whom I completed it with and played regularly with. Good memories…

Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro HD widescreen wallpaper 1920×1080

Hayao Miyazaki is the animation director genius behind Studio Ghibli and all its best movies. His first movie was a TV spin-off of Lupin III and is, by some way, the best Lupin III adventure produced. You can see all of Miyazaki’s enthusiasms and characterisation mannerisms even here in The Castle of Cagliostro.

The wallpaper is constructed from  DVD capture but Lupin himself has been recoloured by hand to sharpen him up.

These two wallpapers are identical except the left one is encoded at JPEG95 and the right one as lossless PNG. The PNG definitely looks better but it is a much larger file size.

JPEG95

PNG

Project Gotham Racing 3 (PGR3) HD HDR 1920×1080 widescreen wallpapers

I just love the photo-taking options in console games. It was probably kicked off in style by Gran Turismo 4 which was brilliant because it generated a higher resolution image that the game ran at (the game ran at 640×480 on NTSC and slightly higher vertically on PAL but the photo renders were 1280×1024 or 1024×1280).

The nice thing about photo modes in console games is that they are much more than a simple screen capture. They allow you to position the camera and adjust various photographic properties. Xbox 360 launch title PGR Project Gotham Racing 3 has a nice photo mode and was probably the best-looking of the first wave of titles. It also renders photos at a slightly higher resolution than the game runs and produces 1280×720 pictures which can be uploaded and accessed over the Internet.

I used it to produce this 1920×1080 HD wallpaper of a Jaguar XJ220:

Jaguar XJ220 1920×1080

Very nice, but then it then struck me that, because one of the photographic options is exposure, it would be possible to generate photographs that could be combined to make a HDR photo. An HDR photo is made by digitally combining several different exposures of the same shot.

These are the differently exposed originals of a McLaren F1 jumping next to The Triangle Building in Tokyo:

  

These were combined to produce the follow 1280×720 HDR photo which was then enlarged and tweaked to produce a 1920×1080 HD HDR widescreen wallpaper.

McLaren F1 1280×720

McLaren F1 1920×1080

Scrat from Ice Age 1920×1080 HD widescreen wallpapers

The Ice Age films are pretty poor but they do have one unusual aspect in an advertising campaign that takes the form of a short animation starring an acorn-obsessed prehistoric furry called Scrat. Here are a couple of HD widescreen wallpapers to mark this (taken from official movie materials made publicly available).

Images hosted at Shareapic.

Burnout Paradise Cagney Hunter Olympus 1920×1080 HD widescreen wallpaper

Criterion Games announced some massive updates for their brilliant Burnout Paradise including night-time racing, more and more complex online challenges, a Live Update feature (that visually reminds one of GT5 Prologue) and new vehicles in the shape of, amazingly, motorbikes and, as seen below, a chunky SUV called the Hunter Olympus. Interestingly, this vehicle has no boost and is the first such vehicle in any Burnout game.

This wallpaper was simply taken from the official high resolution render hosted at Criterion Games official Flickr page.

Images hosted at Shareapic.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider Legend HD widescreen wallpapers 1920×1080

Lara Croft has enjoyed a resurgence of late with the release of Legend and Anniversary helping to mitigate the misery of a number of sub-standard games and two fairly useless movies.

To celebrate here are two 1920×1080 widescreen wallpapers, one with the original colour balance and another with an auto-adjusted colour balance. The original high resolution image can be seen to the right. I don’t remember where I got it from but I think it was out of the official fan site kit.

Images hosted at Shareapic.

Cute Asian Babe Ai Otsuka in black HD widescreen wallpaper

I have no idea who this girl is but she is pretty and worthy of a 1920×1080 HD widescreen wallpaper or two.

UPDATE 8 April 2008: Turns out she is a musician named Ai Otsuka and this is a photo used for the cover of her single Daisuki da yo. She has the world’s most unflattering picture on her Wikipedia page.

Images hosted at Shareapic.

Adriana Lima in delightfully cute badminton outfit on an HD widescreen wallpaper

Adriana Lima is a 26-year-old Brazilian model (the term supermodel is ridiculous) and is seen here in a very attractive picture wearing a badminton-themed outfit (frequently incorrectly referred to as a tennis outfit). As with most models, though they clearly don’t realise it, she is at her most attractive when not trying to be sexy.


Adriana Lima in cute badminton outfit tennis

Images hosted at Shareapic.

Who Died 1975 Years Ago?

March 22nd, 2008 is the most important date on the calendar for Christians this year as it reminds them of why they probably became Christians in the first place. It is the 1975th anniversary of the death of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice that has reverberated through history.

What’s odd is how much fuss is made of and publicity given to Christmas and his birth (held at the wrong time of year, by the way, as Jesus was probably born around October time) compared to his death. Without question, Jesus’ death is considerably more important. It had sacrificial and symbolic value and he even commanded us to ‘continue doing this in remembrance of him.’ (Luke 22:19,20; Hebrews 2:14-17)

It seems that only Jehovah’s Witnesses seem to be making an effort to publicise this most important date for what it is and they have been distributing the invitation below worldwide. I’ve heard nothing from more mainstream churches (except ongoing squabbles about God’s stand on homosexuality in the Anglican church, despite it being one of the more clearly defined Bible principles – >>>SPOILER>>>God’s against it<<<END SPOILER<<<).

I received my invitation at the beginning of March here in Coventry, England. Have you had one or seen one? If you have, put a shout and location in the comments.


1920×1080 invitation

Valentino Rossi on Camel Yamaha HD widescreen wallpaper

MotoGP returned over the weekend at a floodlit Qatar circuit and while Casey Stoner turned in yet another superlative ride (finishing ten places ahead of his team-mate Marco Melandri) and eased to a comfortable five second win over Jorge Lorenzo (in an outstanding debut), nobody cared. (That is hyperbole, I know).

MotoGP at the moment means one thing: Valentino Rossi. The guy is a superstar, not just a great motorcycle racer, and so, despite outstanding rides from Casey Stoner, “Gorgeous” Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and James Toseland, the television coverage sticks to The Doctor like glue with only the occasional cursory glance at Casey Stoner crossing the finish line (no wheelie, no celebration, no nothing) or someone falling off (congratulations Alex De Angelis).

So here is a celebratory HD wallpaper of the famous number 46 on his world championship winner Camel Yahama.

Images hosted at Shareapic.