How to add effects in Wallpaper Engine

If you're looking to spruce up your desktop, Wallpaper Engine might be the software for you. The program allows you to create beautiful live wallpapers using your own images. You can import images and videos, add effects to them, and then make them available to others through the Steam Workshop.

In this article, we'll show you how to add effects to images you upload to bring your wallpapers to life.

How to add effects

There are three steps to add effects via Wallpaper Engine:

Step #1 – Create Wallpaper

If you don't have any potential wallpapers stored on your desktop yet, you can always create a standard one.

  1. Launch Wallpaper Engine and select the monitor you want to customize.
  2. Look for the "Wallpaper Editor" button at the bottom left of the screen and click on it.
  3. Click the “Create Wallpaper – Drop wallpaper file here…” button to access the upload screen.
  4. Search through the images on your desktop until you find the one you want to download. Insert it.
  5. Name the wallpaper project.
  6. Select a scheme color. Aim for something that you think matches the natural colors of the image.
  7. You will then have the option to resize your image. In general, this is not mandatory. Only resize if the wallpaper does not match your monitor resolution.

The wallpaper will look pretty simple at this point, so comes the fun part.

Step #2 – Edit your wallpaper image to add effects

Your wallpaper image is now uploaded and ready to be edited. The good news is that adding effects to the image is easy because Wallpaper Engine provides all the tools you need. Just follow these steps:

  1. Check the right side of the screen. Scroll through the options until you find "Effects."
  2. Select "Add" to display a list of effects.
  3. Browse the list to find the one you want to apply. Then click on it.

This will apply an effect to the entire wallpaper image. However, if you want to target a specific part of the image, you can create an opacity mask.

  1. Find the Opacity Mask section on the right side and click the "Paint" button.
  2. Use the paint tool to draw a rough outline around the area you want to add an effect to. Once this outline is complete, you should see the effect applied to only that part of the image.

If you need to edit further, you can use the "Show Mask" option to show all the areas you have worked on.

Finally, if you want to add another effect to your image, click on the “Layers” option to return to the selection screen. Here you can edit your effect or add a new one. You can also get rid of an unwanted effect by using the "Layers" option. Just find the one you want to get rid of and click the red "X" next to it.

Step #3 – Apply your changes

Saving your new wallpaper is as simple as navigating to the "File" option at the top left of the screen, clicking it, and then clicking "Save."

The last step is to apply your wallpaper.

To do this, go back to the “File” option and click on it. Then choose the “Apply Wallpaper” option and your live wallpaper will be active on your desktop.

What effects come with Wallpaper Engine?

Wallpaper Engine comes with a default collection of 32 effects divided into five categories. These are:

Animation effects

  • “Foliage Sway” adds wind movement to the corner of an image. This is useful for creating sway for bushes and grass.
  • 'Scroll' scrolls your image continuously.
  • 'Iris Movement' adds realistic movement to a character's eyes.
  • "Pulse" creates a pulse of color that you can use to animate pulsating or flickering lights, like those seen on a police car's siren.
  • 'Spin' continuously rotates the selected part of an image.
  • 'Shake' rocks part of the image back and forth, which helps create the illusion of someone breathing.
  • “Water Waves” applies a wave effect for images containing water or loose clothing.
  • 'Water Ripple' adds a ripple effect that you can apply in any direction.
  • 'Water Flow' creates a continuous flow in one direction.

Colorization effects

  • "Mix" allows you to mix image layers and images.
  • 'Film Grain' adds a grainy film filter to the image.
  • 'Color Screen' gives a translucent effect to a specified color.
  • "Clouds" include a layer of clouds above the existing image layer.
  • 'Reflection' inserts a dynamic reflection into the image.
  • "Opacity" allows you to make a selected part of your image translucent.
  • "Fire" adds a fire effect to a selected area of ​​your image.
  • “Nitro” adds an electric fizzy effect to a selected area of ​​your image.
  • 'X-Ray' allows you to use your cursor to blend between two images.
  • 'VHS' creates a distortion that simulates the picture quality of video tape.
  • 'Tint' allows you to change the color of a layer.

Blur effects

  • “Precise Blur” adds precise Gaussian blur to a selected portion of the image.
  • “Blur” adds a coarser Gaussian blur to the selected portion of an image.
  • 'Motion Blur' creates a blur applied to the animation of an image.

Enhancement Effects

  • "God rays" apply directional or radial beams of light that emanate from bright areas of the image.
  • 'Edge Detection' applies a Sobel edge detection filter to your image.
  • "Shine" adds a shimmer to all bright areas of your image.
  • “Local contrast” increases the contrast of the image.

Distortion effects

  • 'Skew' applies a shift effect to each border of the image.
  • “Transform” allows you to scale, shift or rotate your image.
  • 'Perspective' creates a distorted effect on the image.
  • “Fish-eye” distorts the image as if you were looking at it through a fish-eye lens.
  • “Refraction” adds image distortion useful for simulating ice.

Play with effects

Wallpaper Engine has a wide range of effects to try. Experimenting with effects is the most fun. With these steps, you can do that and more.

So what do you think of Wallpaper Engine? Have you used the tool? Do you currently have an animated wallpaper on your desktop? Let us know in the comments section below.

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