Curiosity <br>• MacOS

Locate & Extract macOS Dynamic Wallpapers / Big Sur Original Wallpapers (HEIC Dynamic Wallpapers)

Apple recently released the latest public beta of macOS Big Sur. In addition to some news and fixes to many bugs from previous versions, this new version also brings a set of new background images (wallpapers) very interesting.
As Apple has become accustomed to in recent years, the names of the operating systems have been given after those of some regions of the USA: Mojave, Sierra, Hight Sierra, Catalina, tired El Capitan from the national park Yosemite, and now Big Sur.

No less than 11.0.1 new wallpapers have been introduced on macOS Big Sur 40, including dynamic wallpapers, which feature no less than eight stages of the day. These will change automatically depending on the time, from sunrise to night.

An example is "The Cliffs", Which contains 8 images, all with the same landscape captured at different times of the day, from a coastal area of ​​the Pacific.

The dynamic wallpapers of MacOS they are all in format .HEIC, which allows an image with multiple filters to be under a single file. Basically, in a single image we have eight variants of it, as can be seen in the screen above.
If we want that from a dynamic wallpaper to permanently set an image from a certain moment of the day, we will have to locate the original file of that wallpaper and extract from it only the desired image. We must do the same if we want to set an image on the Windows PC from the dynamic wallpaper.

Where are the original wallpapers on macOS Big Sur 

For a macOS user, locating the original backgroud images is very simple. All you have to do is open "System Preferences" → "Desktop & Screen Saver" → "Desktop" tab and double-click on "Apple / Desktop Picture" on the left bar. The location will automatically open in Finder of the folder "desktop Pictures" containing all original macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 wallpapers.

In the “Desktop Pictures” folder in “macOS” → “System” → “Library” are located all the original wallpapers, at very high resolutions, of macOS. Here you will notice that at first glance, the images with "dark" and dynamic versions that appear depending on the times of day, are not visible. For example for "Peak", "Tree", "Valeey" and "Dome" we will not see in this folder the dark version of the background image nor all the stages from "The Desert", "The Lake", "The Beach ”Or“ The Cliffs ”.

To extract the background image from a certain time of day and set it as a permanent wallpaper on your Mac or Windows PC, we need to open in "Preview”The original file and export only the image we want. Let's take the wallpaper example "The Beach", Because it still appears in the screen above.

1. Double-click on the file "The Beach.heic" and open it with the application "Preview" (native macOS).

2. In "Preview" select on the bar on the left the image you want to extract.

3. We go to the application at "Fillet”→“Export”And select the format in which we want the image and quality to be exported (if it is a JPG export).

We have several options. We can we export the image from the HEIC file in: JPEG (where we can choose the quality of the exported image), JPEG-2000, OpenEXR, PDF, PNG, TIFF or all HEIC.

In fact, it can be done this way conversion from a HEIC image to JPEG on macOS.

After exporting you will get the desired image from a dynamic walppaper.

The good quality and grouping of several images in a HEIC file comes bundled with a large volume. Only "The Beach.heic" has 65.4 MB and the images exported in high quality are also suitable. The "Desktop Pictures" folder has a total of no less than 1.13 GB on a 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Locate & Extract macOS Dynamic Wallpapers / Big Sur Original Wallpapers (HEIC Dynamic Wallpapers)

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I am pleased to share my experiences with computers, mobile telephony and operating systems, develop web projects and provide the most useful tutorials and tips.
I like to play on iPhone, MacBook Pro, iPad, AirPort Extreme and on MacOS, iOS, Android and Windows operating systems.

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