Screensavers are useful, but can also be entertaining to watch. There are many 3D screensavers available, but most have poor quality graphics or visuals. The Solar System – Earth 3D screensaver offers more advanced graphics and provides impressive visuals.
It is important that 3D screensavers provide some way to edit the animation and change the screensaver. A scripted animation that users can’t change in anyway becomes dull quickly. The option to render clouds or speed up how fast they move are the most interactive option the screensaver has. The visuals of the Earth look very different without clouds or with a fast moving weather system and provide a way to change up the feel of the application.
Basic graphic settings are available as well as an automatic resolution detector and the option to use the desktop’s settings. The options are practical, but a few additional features that are not directly related to the visuals could have been added. The time or date displayed on the screensaver would be a simple yet effective extra that would add a use to the screensaver other than just aesthetic appearance.
Many screensavers boasting 3D and animations use old texture methods that are out dated. The Solar System – Earth 3D screensaver are much more impressive and clearly use more advanced shading techniques. The animation would not look out of place in some video game, although it does contain a graphical detail slider for those who might struggle to run it.
Most importantly, it looks like the Earth and the attention to detail is impressive, each of the continents is recognizable and distinct. As the night engulfs an area, you can see the cities and inhabited areas light up in an impressive night time visual of the Earth. The effect is a surprising addition to the application.
While the application is missing some of the extra features that some other screensavers present, it makes up for it with superior graphics. The application is impressive to look at and, despite the lack of a clock or anything else, it can be hard not to watch the Earth spinning.