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Bryce 5 Overview by Moe - Posted Saturday, 26th August 2006 by Don

With the 3D graphics tool Bryce 5 available for FREE download until September 6th 2006, we thought we would pinch one of Moe's insightful forum posts to give you an overview of this product. Thanks Moe!

For those of you interested in this program, I have a few pointers, suggestions, comments and facts.

Bryce was the first program I used. It has great landscape creation tools and an excellent texture lab, both of which I still use today. It also has a tree creator/editor, which is nice but a little too structured for creating more interesting trees.

The Texture Lab is impressive and contains a number of options for creating procedural textures. Another interesting fact is the volumetric materials which were the first of their kind. While they are no longer as advanced as the ones used in the professions suits, it still produces impressive results, at the cost of render time.

An interesting fact to note is that, for the most part, the Norngarden series was made in Bryce. While complex objects are possible though, Bryce should not be considered a modeling program as it contains no advanced tools for editing meshes. It uses basic Boolean operations and metaballs to form objects.

It's rendering system is superb. Being one of the first, true, global illumination systems available, it is complex and yields great results. However, the render system is a bit dated now and thus it can take some time to render a scene.

Another useful and noteworthy aspect of the program is the sky tools, which allow you to make every type of background imaginable.

Bryce uses Key-Frame animation, much like other software available 'without' all the advanced tools such as bones, rigs, etc. However it does have a nice animation lab that will allow you to further refine your animations and preview them.

That just about sums it up.

- Moe

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