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Getting Rid Of “That Bryce Look”

February 9, 2010

Following in Bryce 3DAfter hearing that there was a new beta for a version 7 of Bryce, I went over to the Bryce Forum over at Daz 3d, and ran across the following question:

How Do I get Rid Of “That Bryce Look”?

Well I just wanted to share a few thoughts on this. First of all, you’re expectations have to be realistic. After all, when buying the program, you saw the samples, and you read the Features list. Are your expectations more than the program can reasonably provide?

When I first bought my own first copy of Bryce, it was quite a revelation in my own introduction to 3D. Although I was able to quickly produce some nice abstracts, I found that those beautiful and surreal pieces I was yearning to produce came at the price of a substantially higher skill level, beyond my scope at the time. I knew little about 3D modeling. And I didn’t even know you could import models. I was a Noob 😉 And so I learned about another thing quickly too – the frustration in learning and understanding 3D stuff.

So lets get back to the question originally posed – Getting Rid of the Bryce Look.

Beautiful pieces that don’t have that clunky look are indeed possible in Bryce, but you have to really Up Your Game technically. There are no instant solutions. Building your expertise comprises a host of things, like understanding lighting, getting the hang of how the shaders work in Bryce, learning how things reflect in real life and how to emulate that look. Combine that with some art talent and imagination, and you’ll soon be on your way.

Or, you can accept Bryce for what is is, work on some simple pieces, but make them the best that you possibly can. In the little piece I posted above, it’s just a simple water plane, 4 torus primitives with a Glass material applied, and a pretty simple atmosphere. And yet I love this piece. I call it Following. A 16×20 print of this hangs hangs in my attorney’s office, who first saw the image when I paid a visit there and a promo postcard dropped out of my briefcase.

Being a huge fan of Salvadore Dali and Rene Magritte, I like that Bryce Look. Ironically, I’ve made comparison pieces of this overly simple image in Strata 3D, Vue, Carrara, and even in an old version of Maya. Yet Bryce gave me the look I liked the best. I’ve accepted the program for what it is. It’s not all things to all people.

A sage reply in that Daz3d Bryce forum thread

My only piece of advice: Worry less about making it look realistic. Instead, worry about making it look good.

Yep, that’s the secret 😉 BTW, the thread is long, and if you’re a Bryce user, there are some useful things in there.

Just a final note about Bryce for those very new to 3D considering Bryce as an option – it’s not a Modeler. You can do some simple things, but if you’re dream is to do scenes with things like flying aircraft etc, you’ll either have to source models from other places, or look for software that is capable of building more complex models. I’ll get into some economically feasible  modeling options soon.

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