Stardock Deskscapes Animated Wallpaper


Many of us stick with the same desktop wallpaper and screensaver, happy with our lot. But if you’re the kind of person who gets tired of seeing the same old image day in, day out, you’ll have no doubt experimented with different wallpapers in an attempt to find something that grabs your attention.

One of the frustrations of the desktop background can be how static it is, which is where Stardock’s DeskScapes 8 comes in. Not only does it provide you with a host of static and animated wallpapers to select for your desktop background or screensaver, DeskScapes also allows you to apply special effects and animations to them too in order to give your desktop a more interesting look, from a slowly rotating Earth (which shows day and night in real-time) to vintage drive-thru with flying birds and animated girl and boy in his car.

It’s incredibly simple to use: once installed, right-click the desktop and choose Configure DeskScapes to get started. A list of available wallpapers – including those already present on your PC – are shown, with a link to downloading more from at the base. Pick a wallpaper, then use the Adjust, Effects, Colour and Settings tab to tweak it to your satisfaction.

DeskScapes Guide - 5. DeskScapes (XP) - Stardock

1024x768 Stardock DeskScapes 2.0 + 75 Wallpaper Dreams 3trn1ty. Deskscapes 2 Download 1440x900 Best Holiday Animated Wallpapers for your Desktop » Forum Post. Sep 23, 2019 Deskscapes Black Screen for downloaded wallpapers September 23, 2019 7:27:17 AM from Stardock Forums Recently purchased deskscapes, and it was fine up until a week ago where suddenly my downloaded cinemagraphs stopped working and upon application, just turns the desktop wallpaper black. Animated wallpapers were introduced to Windows back in the Vista days and has since been continued with the DeskScapes app created by Stardock. By using DeskScapes, you can have beautiful animated wallpapers on your Windows desktops. DeskScapes also lets users manage both animated and static wallpapers, add effects, and more.

The Effects tab is of most interest, providing you with dozens of ways to transform your existing wallpaper, from blur effects to colourizations and other filters. You can also create your own effects by combining up to four existing effects too.

Animated wallpapers are called “Dreams”, and while only a handful of provided in DeskScapes itself, you’ll find loads more at Fancy creating your own? DeskScapes ships with Stardock DreamMaker, a free standalone tool that allows you to take an image and animate it yourself. It’s not the simplest to use, but there’s plenty of information online.


Stardock Deskscapes Animated Wallpaper 1920x1080

Produces impressive results, but do you really need to pay $10 just to animate your desktop? We’re not entirely convinced.

Stardock Deskscapes Animated Wallpaper Backgrounds

DeskScapes Product Page
1. Welcome to DeskScapes
Features (Paid Version)
Features (30 Day Free Trial)
System Requirements
Additional Dreams
Default File Paths
File Extensions/Types
2. Introduction
How to Apply a Background
How to Modify a Background
How to Add or Change an Effect
How to Get More Dreams
How to Create a Dream
Video Dream Support
NVIDIA Driver Support
3. Backgrounds
Multiple Monitor Support
4. Random Backgrounds
5. Background Settings
Dynamic Dream Settings
Hybrid Dream Settings
6. Desktop Slideshow
7. Effects
Combined Effects
8. Change Colour
9. Background Options
Install New Backgrounds
Download More Backgrounds
Apply Changes
10. Settings
11. About DeskScapes
12. Get More Backgrounds!
13. DreamMaker
Dream Information
Dream Contents
Single Video File
Triggered Video
Dynamic Content
Hybrid Content
Author Information
Uploading a Dream
Appendix A:
Creating Hybrid Dreams

Hybrid Dream Format
NWABuild.exe Utility

Welcome to DeskScapes


DeskScapes allows you to apply static and animated wallpaper (called 'Dreams') to your Windows 7, Vista or XP desktop. Dreams use your computers video card to display the animated wallpaper, greatly reducing the CPU usage of your computer. When you run an application full screen (maximized), DeskScapes stops the Dream to save on system resources (since you cannot see the Dream). When you minimize or downsize the application window, DeskScapes resumes playing the Dream. Like static wallpaper, animated wallpaper is behind any desktop icons you may have.
When running on laptop battery power, DeskScapes will pause the Dream and notify you to help conserve energy.
DeskScapes includes seven Dreams, which consist of three dynamic (i.e. Desktop Earth, Desktop Slideshow, Expanding Shapes, Water Dream. Winter Snow), one video based (i.e. Planktonic), and one hybrid (i.e. Vintage Dream). Desktop Slideshow cycles through selected static (non-animated) wallpaper. Apply any one of numerous effects to alter a Dream. Then use DeskScapes to head over to the WinCustomize web site where you can download over 1,800 additional Dreams.

Features of DeskScapes (Paid Version)

All of the features of the 30 Day Free Trial, without expiring.

Features of DeskScapes (30 Day Free Trial)

  • New! Colouring tab - change the colour of static wallpaper.
  • New! Added support for Triggered Dreams in DreamMaker.
  • New! Added the ability to combine Effects.
  • New! Added Expanding Shapes dynamic Dream.
  • New! Added Existing Wallpaper option - change colour of existing wallpaper.
  • New! Option to disable pausing of Dreams when application window is maximized.
  • New! Software Development Kits (SDK) included to create your own effects. Free SDK available for download from Stardock to create dynamic Dreams.
  • New! Includes Hybrid Dream!
  • New! Apply one of numerous Effects, including new canvas and paper textures.
  • New! Randomly change selected Dreams & how often they change.
  • New! Control desktop icon transparency.
  • New! Desktop Slideshow - a dynamic Dream that displays static wallpaper with optional effects.
  • New! Multiple monitor support, different background on each monitor. (Windows 7/Vista only.)
  • New! Support for Microsoft .THEMEPACK. (Windows 7 only.)
  • Change your desktop with one of the several Dreams included with DeskScapes.
  • Adjust quality vs. performance setting for dynamic Dreams. (Windows 7/Vista only.)
  • Choose if you want Dreams to run while on laptop battery power.
  • Download & apply over 1,800 Dreams, and 13,500+ wallpapers from
  • Purchase and display Master Skin Dreams from
  • Create your own Dreams with the included DreamMaker & NWABuild utilities.

System Requirements

  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit) in versions (Home, Basic, Premium, Ultimate, Business, Enterprise) and Windows XP (32-bit) with Service Pack 3.
    Note: Windows Vista Ultimate users do not need to purchase DeskScapes to run Dream files. Just download the free 30 day Trial Version from here.
  • Minimum Requirements: Windows 7/Vista users must have support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory, Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32-bit color. The video card must have a Windows Experience Index Graphics score of 2.0 or better.
  • Minimum Requirements: Windows XP users must have a card supporting DirectX 9, 128 MB of graphics memory, Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32-bit color. In addition only machines running a PCIe (PCI Express) or AGP 8x video card are recommended. AGP 4x/2x will not be supported.
  • Attention XP Users!
    Do not apply a Dream on Windows XP if your machine has an ATI AGP graphics card until you have updated your Catalyst drivers to at least version 8.12. The drivers available at the time of Deskscapes release were not specifically tuned for optimal results. ATI tested and updated their driver to address this issue. You can find the latest catalyst driver here:
  • Please refer to the FAQ for more information on video codecs, etc. at:
  • Minimum screen resolution: 768 (width) by 350 (height).
  • Impulse & Internet connection required to download and update software.

Impulse Requirements

  • Windows 7/Vista/XP (32 bit).
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0.
  • 1GHz Processor (CPU).
  • 50 MB Available System Memory (RAM).
  • 100 MB Available Hard Drive Space.

Upgrading from Previous Versions

Impulse will handle the upgrade from previous versions.


Check Impulse for updates to DeskScapes and other installed Stardock software.

Additional Dreams

Check for a large selection of Master Skins (for purchase) and hundreds of free Dreams.

Default File Paths

Dreams are stored (by default) on your computer with a '.dream' (without quotes) file extension/type and in the folders:
Windows 7:
Dreams: C:Users<user login>My DocumentsStardockDreams
Extracted files folder: C:UsersAll UsersStardockDeskScapesExtractedData
Hybrid Dream NWA Encoder (32 bit):
C:Program FilesStardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3NWABuild.exe
Hybrid Dream NWA Encoder (64 bit):
C:Program Files (x86)StardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3NWABuild.exe
Windows Vista:
Dreams: C:user-data<user login>Dreams
Extracted files folder: C:UsersAll UsersStardockDeskScapesExtractedData
Hybrid Dream NWA Encoder (32 bit):
C:Program FilesStardockObject DesktopDeskScapesNWABuild.exe
Hybrid Dream NWA Encoder (64 bit):
C:Program Files (x86)StardockObject DesktopDeskScapesNWABuild.exe
Windows XP: (32 bit only)
Dreams: C:Documents and Settings<user name>My DocumentsStardockDreams
Extracted files folder: C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataStardockDeskScapes
DeskScapes Hybrid Dream NWA Encoder:
C:Program FilesStardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3NWABuild.exe
Note: C: is the default drive, and <user name> is the name you logged on as and the name of the folder where your documents are stored under.

File Extensions / Types

  • .DREAM - are animated wallpapers (i.e. video-based, dynamic, hybrid).
  • .JPG, .BMP - static wallpaper.
  • .MPG, .WMV - video files.
  • Dynamic Dreams - consist of Dynamic Link Libraries (.DLL), requiring C++ programming.
  • Hybrid Dreams - consists of a .HYBRID, .PNG, .JPG or .NWA files. NWA files can be created with the included NWABuild.exe utility (located in the DeskScapes folder) or Stardock's SkinStudio 6 (or higher).
  • Video Dreams - consist of a .MPEG, .MPG, .WMV or .AVI video file.


Please contact Stardock Support at: On that web page you will find helpful FAQ's and other troubleshooting information. If you are unable to resolve your issue, please use the “Technical Support” link to 'Submit a Ticket' to Support. Please include as much information about your computer as possible; version of Windows (i.e. XP 32-bit, Vista 64-bit Business, Windows 7 32-bit Home Premium), type of computer (i.e. brand, model, speed, RAM, video card), version of DeskScapes, etc. On the 'About DeskScapes' tab, please click 'Copy to clipboard' and paste into the ticket. This information will allow Support to diagnose your issue much quicker and allow for a faster response.


You can download the free SDK (Software Development Kit) for creating dynamic Dreams from the Stardock DeskScapes download page. The SDK includes C++ programming that will aid in the development of dynamic Dreams.
An SDK for creating effects is included in the DeskScapesEffects folder on your hard-drive:
Windows 7/Vista (32 bit): C:Program FilesStardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3Effects
Windows 7/Vista (64 bit): C:Program Files (x86)StardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3Effects
Windows XP (32 bit only): C:Program FilesStardockObject DesktopDeskScapes3Effects
Look for these files: “Building new effects.txt “, and “Dll based effect sample”.

For additional information on DeskScapes, please refer to these articles on WinCustomize:
Object Desktop: The road to DeskScapes 3 by Frogboy (October 7, 2009) - Brad (CEO/Founder of Stardock) explains what he wanted to see in this major upgrade.
DeskScapes 3 Effects Feature by Island Dog (September 30, 2009) - includes a video of the new effects feature.
DeskScapes 3 New User Interface by Island Dog (September 1, 2009) - an introduction to DeskScapes 3.
Tools of the Dream Trade by Master Baron, (February 6, 2008) - an excellent article describing common tools he uses to create Dreams. Master Baron is widely known for creating Dreams, including highly rated 'Master Skins' on WinCustomize and elsewhere.
How to Create Dreams (Links) by CarGuy1, (March 27, 2008) - includes over a dozen links to articles and resources related to DeskScapes Dreams.
Quick Lesson in Dreams - (November 30, 2007) introduced by Zoomba, article written by Seabass. Includes a tutorial with plenty of screenshots using Skin Studio 6. is a great resource for not only getting a lot of great Dreams, but also provides articles, forums, gallery, store and more. This is a great site run by Stardock with community involvement to bring together the best in skinning (graphics) for Windows. The site is free to use.
You can upload a Dream file you created to share on WinCustomize. This may include original material you created.
Direct link to WinCustomize message Forums (


The version of this manual is 2.1 (6-22-10) and is based on DeskScapes (version 3.2). This manual was written and is maintained by Jim Kennedy (TheProf). Please email comments or corrections regarding this documentation to: [email protected]