Bryce Course 2007 from “Old Nick”

Week 6: Illustration for my upcoming Sci-Fi novel

lost in bryce“The last two remaining Sfeeroyds have escaped from their imprisonment in the bowels of Bryce.  Now they desperately seek escape from its towering canyons. 

It looks as if it could be too late.  Already the Kurse of Kai Kruse has struck and they have taken on the appearance of the Materials Editor and the Tree Lab where they have been imprisoned for hour upon frustrating hour.  Worse still, the towering canyon walls and even the ground itself are beginning to show signs of Brycification.

Suddenly, high above the lip of the canyon walls, they spy a distorted image.  It is the entity they only know as “Brit”.  Can she show them how to escape, or will she vanish just as she is needed most?  Fortunately we will never know.”

Week 5: Move over Fabergé!
Scroll down for weeks 1,2, 3 & 4


Six eggs produced with the texture editor. Generally I blundered around the texture editor and saved anything that I liked. I spent ages trying to get the texture of a piece of coloured glass that has been smoothed by sanding in the sea - sort of green or blue with a sand worn surface like sandpaper, the colour inside and sort of very smooth white sandpaper on the outside. Got nowhere near it.

Here's how I got the various eggs: Left to right: One some development of some greeny texture that by luck suddenly looked like marble. Two: can't remember.. There was some strong textured pattern and I maximized the Bump Height, and probably boosted up Reflection too. Three: pure chance. Four: the green one with daisies on it has a 2 dimensional texture -a photo I took of daisies. If you opt for a 2-D texture you can then Load any picture as the first element of the texture and it will be wrapped round any object you create. The texture has to be applied in "Object View," otherwise it is becomes too distorted to see the picture. Five: the Psychedelic one is some kind of simple tweaking of a Psychedelic texture. Six: the golden one is a happy accident using a gold red and blue picture as the first element of the texture and a high bump height.

depth of field crop version

And here's a depth of field exercise. Only the red ball is in focus. Not that you can really tell at this size!.

Week 4: Deep in the dark woods
Scroll down for weeks 1,2 & 3


I did this one fairly quickly, there's a radial light down front lighting the tress on the left. I used a preset sky and changed to moonlight to make it look a bit spooky. Don't understand why the floor is purple. Something to do with the sun colour in the pre-set sky I imagine. The scene could do with more work really, but you can spend your life tweaking these things and I decided it is time to catch up. I like the bent tree on the right. It's a mistake but I'd like to know how to do it again. Presumably, I can save this tree as an object.

Week 3: Landscapes of the heart
Scroll down for weeks 1 & 2


I did this one to limber up for Valentine's day and some sort of a Bryce 3D card. The hearts are made from "Sim Lats" and drawn in the Terrain editor where I put bumps and other terrain features on them. I drew with a pen and tablet - virtually impossible with a mouse. I got the splatter effect on the left heart using Terrain Editor Mounds and Spikes. I got the one with holes in it by using spikes and then clipping leaving just the top of the terrain. If you clip part of a sim lat it seems to go together to form a nice solid using only the unclipped part. I got the heart with rings around it by mistake and could not reproduce it if I wanted to. Again I clipped the base of the terrain to leave the holes. The big heart is eroded a lot and also on a transparent version of the Quick and Easy red texture. It took several hours to render and frankly was not worth it particularly as it does not look at all transparent!

Week 2: Brick Wall and planter. Scroll down for Week 1

brick wall

Had a horrible time with this brick wall but got it looking reasonable at last. The top layer of bricks has a different texture to the others. This is because I couldn't find what I had originally used. There must be a way! My main problem was keeping track of where things were. This was compounded by making each bit of mortar a separate object rather than making a huge mortar wall and then sticking the bricks through it.

Most useful thing I learnt was to Zoom in and out (I use the + and - keys on the numeric pad) and also how to centre the scene if everything gets lost. You use the drop down by the camera controls. Fly around at the slow speed you get when you press the Shift key also helps you to understand where things are in the scene. My main problem with Bryce is envisioning where things are when you build a scene in the camera view.

Week 1: Sphere and water

sea monster

Had a lot of fun with this, though I'm not satisfied with the sea monster's eye or his head generally. Used a torus for his bumps and a metallic preset texture which, by good luck has a dark bottom.

I'm piggybacking the homework for this course on the site we use to promote my wife's flute book which has plenty of spare space at the moment. Any flutists out there should take a look. Here is a link to the home page http//