Bryce 5 tutorial

     Title:  ‘Incoming Flight’    3D software used:  Bryce 5 plus Spacejetters 3D models

Ideas and inspiration for 3D artwork can come from many sources....
Films, books, magazines and the artwork of other artists often spur my imagination to produce the images I create using Bryce 5, Photoshop and the Spacejetters models I use to compose my digital designs.

Bryce 5 is very intuitive to use and, once learnt, can quickly produce simple, but effective designs for all kinds of subjects. As you can see from this tutorial,
I like to use the 3D rendering software Bryce 5 as a tool for creating sci-fi images. The design for this picture involves a spaceship approaching a spaceport on another world.

Step 1

To start with a tower building model was chosen, imported and placed into the foreground of the scene. Bryce 5 can import a variety of 3D model types including .3ds .lwo .dxf .obj files amonst others.

Step 2

The model building I chose was taken from my own 3D models collection.
I then selected, copied and pasted it again, then resized and positioned the duplicate building further away using the ‘reposition’ tool to create a sense of  depth in the picture. This is a simple technique I use quite frequently in many of my designs.

I then chose a sky from the sky palette. Bryce has a good selection of Sky presets which you can also customise to create your own to save in the sky presets library. Bryce 5 also has a ‘sky lab’ which allows even more control over the sun, moon and cloud settings. It’s worth spending some time and experimenting with to tweak and improve your pictures.

Next a spacecraft model was imported and placed into a position that accentuated the angle of descent. From the ‘Edit’ menu a metal hull texture was added and a quick render was made to see how things looked at this stage.

Step 3

I wasn’t completely happy with the spacecraft image at first but continued to proceed knowing that I could always work on the detailing at a later stage. Further objects were then added to the scene including a nearby planet in the sky using a sphere ‘primitive’ and one of the Bryce 5 presets, as well as the landing strip and roadway system imported from the Spacejetters models, plus extra spacecraft in the distance to fill out the scene. (see image in Step 4)

Unfortunately, after trying out an A4 size render I was still not happy with the shape and texture of the main spacecraft I had originally chosen, so I decided to try a different one which I felt worked better for the overall style of the image I was trying to convey.

Step 4

After choosing a more suitable spacecraft model, I experimented with different texture materials to find out which one worked best on the hull of the spacecraft.
It was also necessary to ensure that the color of the material I used fitted in with the existing color scheme. It’s worth noting that Bryce 5 allows you to save the model into it’s ‘imported objects’ library complete with textures so you can easily use the model again with new designs.

After another quick render and a little bit of tweaking to get everything positioned to my satisfaction, I could see that the overall composition, textures and colors were all beginning to work together nicely. 

The next step was to add some final detailing.

Step 5

After saving the Bryce template and saving a bitmap image of the final A4 size render I loaded the image into Photoshop to add the finishing touches. This included some fine detailing work on the spacecraft’s hull, adding the engine flares, and adding the speed trails from the tips of the wings.

Some extra touch up work was also done to the landing strip area.
All this was done in Photoshop using various ‘layers’ at each stage before the final ‘merging’ of all layers to ensure that the original image was not spoilt during the touch-up process.

To see the finished picture in more detail click here

Search for the 3D rendering program Bryce on ebay click here

bryce 5 tutorial pic
bryce 5 render
bryce 5 interface

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