Download these classic Mac OS X wallpapers redone in 6K resolution and P3 color

Be sure to download this collection of Mac OS X wallpapers, including Leopard’s famous aurora backdrop or Lion’s galaxy one, upscaled to 6K resolution and featuring P3 wide color gamut.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A developer recreates classic Mac OS X wallpapers for the modern age
  • He updated old desktop backdrops to 6K resolution and P3 color space
  • These include classic images like the aurora and galaxy wallpapers

Featured image showing an iMac on a desk with a classic aurora Mac OS X wallpaper set as the desktop background
Image credit: Rafael Conde

Classic Mac OS X wallpapers, redone in 6K resolution and P3 color

Using the original Mac OS X wallpapers in this day and age is quite challenging because Apple designed them for low-resolution displays that were all the rage back in the time.

But we now have Macs with Retina screens so wouldn’t it be nice if you could somehow use these old walls with your modern Macs? Thanks to developer Rafael Conde, now you can.

According to Conde’s announcement on Twitter, he has managed to painstakingly recreate these wallpapers in crisp 6K resolution and in P3 wide color gamut. In addition to 6K images optimized for computers, you can also find these wallpapers in iPhone and iPad sizes.

How to set an image in Photos as your Mac desktop wallpaper

“This project was a product of love and nostalgia for this period of Apple’s software (10.5 was my first OS X version),” he explained. To download the whole pack spanning Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion, including the galaxy and aurora wallpapers, visit osx.photo.

To find out more about Conde’s work, be sure to check out his personal website or his Twitter.

How these walls were recreated for the modern times

But wait, these are just upscaled, fuzzy versions of the low-resolution originals, right? Well yes, they’re upscaled and no, they’re not fuzzy at all — far from it. In order to recreate the originals in full 6K resolution and with P3 wide color gamut, Conde got a little help from AI.

I tracked down original versions of the wallpapers, upscaled them using Machine Learning, applied a P3 color space, Machine Learning to de-noise, and then manually tweaked them to more closely match how I remembered them. It’s not perfect, but this was the best I could do.

If you’re liking what you’re seeing, then be sure to also check out Stephen Hackett’s collection of 1,500+ Mac screenshots detailing every OS release since 2000 along with another one covering every Mac wallpaper since OS X Cheetah 10.0.

Wait, don’t forget abbot iDB’s wallpapers of the week!

Mac OS X, later known as OS X before being rechristened macOS, is how Apple called its desktop operating system between 2001 and 2012. And like all versions of the Mac operating system, Mac OS X shipped with some gorgeous desktop backgrounds.

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The idea is that people should be able to instantly personalize their desktop backdrop with eye-catching wallpapers right after updating their computer. No matter how you look at it, wallpapers are extremely popular with technology users. They’re the quickest way to personalize your experience, especially if you tend to stare at your computer all day long.

That’s why people love to replace the stock walls with images of their cat, wife, kids or whatever they care about. Regular readers could also point out that iDB provides fresh wallpapers for iPhone, iPad and Mac weekly via its ongoing Wallpapers of the Week series.