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House with a View
Blaine Furner : How to Create a Virtual Landscape Using Bryce

How to Create a Virtual Landscape Using Bryce

By Blaine Furner

Have you ever needed to create a landscape image to illustrate your idea or set the scene in a story? There are many tools that can be used, but none easier than using software called Bryce 7. This software is developed by a company called DAZ 3D, which specializes in 3D realistic figures and software. Bryce is one of the tools in the suite of offerings from DAZ 3D. Bryce 7 has the tools to create a landscape quickly and easily.

Often an artist or writer is looking for a special scenic image which may or may not be real. They review stock photos and look through their personal photo albums. Often the ideal terrain, angle or lighting is not obtained. So what do you do? The answer: create it yourself. The tools inside Bryce 7 are easy to use and fast to get started. The user interface is simple and not complicated for beginners. But the great thing is, the more you get into the tool, and the more you learn how to use it you see the possibilities are endless.

There are several tools in Bryce that help you create the ideal landscape. With the click of one button you can create a "Terrain," a "Ground Plane," a "Water Plane" or even a "Cloud Plane." It may seem too easy to be true, but it's not. Once the planes are created, you can move them around to create multiple mountains, for example. Then comes the ability to choose from a wide variety of textures or images to place on the terrains. Select the one that you are looking for and render to see the results. If you need to customize the terrain or create one from scratch, the tools are there to customize to the level you need.

If you learn best from others, there is a list of very easy to follow video tutorials for the beginner to the most advanced user. Oh, did I mention these are free to access? Yes they are!

Bryce also offers tools for creating trees, and even has sample files that you can import into your scene to add other features. Oh, you need rocks and realistic clouds? Well, there are tools for that as well. What Bryce users like about the tools is the ability to create quickly, and refine as needed. How deep do you want to go? Go as deep as you need!

Tip: If you need to populate your scene with objects that you don't necessarily want to model, you can browse the free models in Google SketchUp, and as long as the model was saved in a .dae or COLLADA file, you can import the object into Bryce 7.

The DAZ 3D community is a great resource for asking questions and learning from a group of users who can guide you to the perfect landscape you need to create. •

© 2011 Blaine Furner. All rights reserved.