Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nice morning for a quest -- into a Bryce 3D landscape



Bryce 5.5 delivers the classic fantasy landscape ... and I have to say I'm as happy as the proverbial clam. I've just about got the hang of this now -- or enough of the hang to be able to create what I want, how I want it, without too much of a hassle. Don't get me wrong: there's a lot left to learn, but I reckon I know about 35% of what there is to be learned in Bryce 5.5 (Okay, Bryce 6.x is a big step forward, I know ... lemme catch up, first!) and I know for sure, I can create the terrain I want:

The landscape is short of one element: a treeline. Now, Bryce does "do" trees, but the fact is (and you can't get away from it), they're not all that realistic. They're supposed to be used more or less in the distance, and even then they don't look realistic enough to fool you, if you're actually looking at them instead of goggling at the overall landscape and saying, "Cheese, Louise, this is 3D?" Everything in this landscape was designed by myself ... sky, jaggedy mountains, range of hills, foreground plane -- there are actually two ground planes, one with a muddy-rocky material, and the second sitting right on top, with a transparent vegetation layer. With the addition of REALISTIC trees and shrubs, this would look terrific, but I just don't like the vegetation models generated inside Bryce 5.5 (6.x might be different).

There's a solution to this, and one of the items I have in my wish list at DAZ 3D is this:
These will look far superior to any 3D tree created in Bryce, and they can be dotted into the landscape on an ever-stretching Z-coordinate (the distance).

In the meantime, in the DAZ renders which use the Bryce landscape as a background, I used a couple of 3D props to provide foliage in the foreground ... and an incarnation of Michael 4, wearing some of The Hunter costume (not all of it).

Like yesterday, the scene was "led out" by the background ... inspired by it. And I'm pretty darned happy now, because I can create the exact lie of the land I want, and control it to a high enough degree to be able to use my Bryce work as backgrounds. Next: figure out the deeper, more mysterious details, and figure out how to either get the Bryce terrain into DAZ (imported as an OBJ) with high-rez results, or else how to work with DAZ characters inside Bryce. You can do this too, and I suspect I'm about to find out how.

So now our characters can go places and do things ... which is very cool indeed!

Jade, 22 March
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