Early Access Review
It's Early Access
There are currently two levels to this software, casual use and advanced. I make the distinction as until some useful documentation is produced you will need to know a bit about masks, 3D modelling and such if you want to create 2D or 3D wallpaper of any complex nature. Even then I think you will still have lots of questions.
For example, when creating a waterflow wallpaper the only hint at what is required to make the water flow is "The red channel defines horizontal water flow, the green channel controls vertical water flow" and there is an image with red arrows and green areas on it. I haven’t a clue how it works :( (but I will ask the question in the discussion group)
But as I said this is still early access, I am sure either a guide or documentation will follow when the application is ready for full release.
The supplied wallpaper is very good, as is a lot of the available wallpaper on the workshop. The application encourages you to upload your creations to the workshop so if you can’t find anything that suits your tastes at the moment I am sure it won’t be long until you do.
One foible for myself though, I have a 21:9 monitor and rarely have apps in full screen (unless gaming), an animated wallpaper can get quite distracting and a lot of what is available is quite bright with high levels of contrast by default.
The overhead seems quite minimal, mostly CPU runs at 1% or less for the exe and GPU utilisation (GTX 1070) was up to 40% utilisation for some of the 3D wallpaper, 15% for 2D and 6% or less for everything else. As promised the wallpaper does pause when full screen is activated for an app/game.
The creation of web, flag and video wallpaper is a breeze and to be honest I was stunned with the ease of the creation and presentation of a video wallpaper. You can create some in-game footage using Shadowplay then immediately create a video wallpaper using that footage and have it looping on your desktop, flawlessly using less than 2% GPU on my rig!
If you are experienced in 3D modelling or (semi) advanced graphics I am sure you will have a ball creating wallpaper with this software. A quick look at the workshop demonstrates what is possible even at this stage of release. I only hope that some good guidance becomes available so that I can join in, I am sure it will.
Whatever your level of expertise Wallpaper Engine will have something that you can use and will like. At its current price it is a steal and it can only improve.