Nice visual effect for Start screen backgrounds
I've just found a way to make custom Start screen backgrounds in Windows 8.1 visually less distracting and to make them visually consistent with the picture password, if you use one.
- Create a slightly blurred version of your background image (you can do that by using the selective focus feature in the Photos app), but keep the original image as well.
- Set the blurred image as your desktop wallpaper, and use the desktop wallpaper as your Start screen background.
- Use the original image for your picture password (drag it to the left when positioning the image, so it aligns with your Start screen background).
So now when you sign in using your picture password, it looks as if the login image blurs and the live tiles move into the foreground. The sharp live tiles are clearly set apart from the blurred background, giving you the illusion that the background is out of focus while your eyes are focussing on the tiles. (You can also use the vignette effect in the Photos app additionally to or instead of the blur effect)
Hope you like this as much as I do!