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Creating an scene with Bryce 5 and Poser 4

Getting Started in Bryce 5
Part 2: Creating two figures in Poser 4
Part 3: Importing the figures from Poser 4 into Bryce 5 and making the finishing touches
Keyboard Shortcuts

Part 1: Creating a scene in Bryce 5.

Before you do anything, you'll have to have a copy of Bryce 5. Corel did have a trial version that you could download and try out for 30 days, but I will be providing that in class instead. After you have it installed, fire it up and lets get started!

  1. Create a new document. File > New Document OR Ctrl-N. (If you had already started a composition, save or discard the changes & hit enter)
    Click on the small button next to 'Max Recommended' on the right and click on the checkmark to accept the changes.
  2. Click on the 'Interface Max/Min' on the right hand side to fill up the screen.
  3. Select 'Edit Current Camera'. We're going to change the camera settings so that we can move objects along the Z axis easier.

  4. Remember the 3 different axis? The X axis is left and right. The Y axis is up and down. And the Z axis is forward and backwards. But this is true only if you are positioned on the Z axis. By default, Bryce positions you so that you can see all three axis but that isn't always convenient. For example, if you'd like to move an object directly back in the default director's camera view, you'd have to move the object along the x axis and then along the y axis. So, rather than fighting the axis, we'll just move the camera so that we're directly over the Z axis. That way we can move objects forward and backwards, side to side, up and down more intuitively. So, enter the following valus in the text boxes.
    For position: enter 0 for X, 30 for Y, and -200 for Z.
  5. Now, we'll add a mountain to the scene. Click on the mountain icon at the top. This will put a wireframe mountain in the middle of the grid.
  6. We're going to add several more moutains here and the easiest way to view these mountains will be the 'top view' so that we can look down at our scene. Click and drag the camera view selector until you get the top view. From left to right, the views are arranged Camera View, Director View, and then Top View. Now, we'll be looking down on our scene. Your mountain will be a square in the middle of the composition and should be selected (red). Make sure that you take a look at the nano-preview!
  7. Let's Zoom out twice. Either use the shortcut (Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar+Mouseclick) or click on the zoom out button on the bottom right of the screen.
  8. Duplicating the mountains: When we first created the mountain, we were using the 'Director's View'. If you can imagine a director's chair where we can view the scene, our director's chair would be located just underneath the large grid on the screen. This is important to remember since we are just creating mountains in the 'Top View' and will be returning to the Director's View soon. So let's create some mountains that will create a nice scene. With your mountain selected, hold down Ctrl & then press D. Ctrl-D will duplicate the selected object and place it directly the same location. Do this 5 more times. Now you'll have 7 mountains altogether occupying the same space. Click and drag them so that they look something like this:

    Don't worry if yours doesn't look exactly like this. Just get close.
  9. We want mountains, not ant hills. If you'd like switch back to the director's view to see what this looks like but make sure that you come right back to the top view. We need to resize these mountains! We want the back mountains (at the top of the screen) to take up the space in the background so we'll drag on the X size handlers so that they'll take up all the space. Feel free to let them overlap and don't hesitate to drag the Z size handler a bit either. After you resize the back mountains, increase the size of the other moutains too but try to leave an area in the middle that is free of mountain. This is where we'll be putting the water later on. Keep an eye on the Nano-Preview so that you can see what you're doing.
  10. Switch back to the Director's View. Now we're going to change the height of these mountains. Select a mountain. Switch to the edit palette by clicking on Edit (between Create and Sky & Fog). Place the mouse cursor over the XYZ Resizer which looks like a cube with poles coming out of it and smaller cubes on the ends. Place the cursor over the top small cube, click & drag left to increase the height. If your mountain is too tall, drag left to shorten it. Raise each mountain and make sure that the horizon line is blocked by our moutains. The horizon line is demarked by the blue line across the middle. If we don't cover this, we will be able to see ground in the distance. We want the mountains to be that last thing that we see before the sky starts. After you raise your mountains, your composition should look something like this:
  11. Gray mountains are no fun. We need to add some color to "dem thar" peaks. Rather than color each peak though, it makes more sense to group all the mountains and the ground plane together so that we can access them easily later on if we want to make changes. Select All by using the shortcut Ctrl-A or from the top menu>Edit>Select All. Click G for Group on the edit toolbar. This will group all the objects. Next, click A for Attributes on the edit toolbar. Type in something descriptive so that we can find it later. Click on the checkmark to accept the changes.
  12. Texture. Bryce creates geometric shapes and then applies textures to the surface mimicking our 3D world. To add a texture to our mountains and ground, click on the M for Material on the edit toolbar. This brings up the Materials Lab. We'll be using this more later on but for now, click on the top flippy arrow next to the preview window. This will bring up the Materials Library.
  13. The Materials Library has quite a few presets that you can use for your compositions. And if you are adventurous enough, you can even create your own materials and add them to the library. We will be using a preset from the Planes & Terrains section. Click on that section now. Scroll down and choose Heavy Foilage. (It's the last one in the Planes & Terrains section) Close both windows.
  14. I'm getting thirsty. Let's add some water. Click on Create at the top to bring up the Create Palette. Select the Water Plane, the left most object that looks like water ripples. By default, it will probably be too high. Select it and drag it down until it looks suitable to you in the Nano Preview. Want to get a sneak peak of your creation? Save first--we don't want to lose what we have now. Press Ctrl-S or choose from the top menu>File>Save. On the left of the screen under the trackball, there are five buttons. Click on the one second from the right. This turns on the 'Quick Render' option, which makes the render 41% faster. Now, click on the large middle button. This will render your image.

    Bryce will make several passes until your image is finally rendered.
    Now's a good time to take a break!
  15. Let's change the water. Click on the M for Materials on the edit toolbar. This brings us back to the Materials lab. Go into the Materials Library by clicking on the same flippy arrow as before. Choose the third preset in the 'Waters&Liquids' section called Deep Blue. Accept the changes and exit.
  16. Let's add some trees. On the Create Palette, click on the tree to add it to your scene. Bryce will plop a huge tree down in the middle of your world. After we change the tree into something more desireable, we'll resize it and reposition it. Click on the E for Edit on the edit toolbar. Since we have a tree selected, this will start the Tree Lab.
  17. The Monkey Puzzle tree:
    Under the Branch/Trunk section, make sure that material is selected for the Texture. Click on the Edit button next to it to bring up the Materials Library. Select the Trunks selection and find the Monkey Puzzle texture. It's the second preset on the 7th row. Accept the changes.
    Under the Tree section, select the Monkey Puzzle shape. Click on the arrow next to 'Default' to change the shape. (Of that long list of trees built into Bryce, the Monkey Puzzle shape is towards the bottom.)
    Under the Foliage section, change the default shape to Monkey Puzzle.
    Further down and still in the Foliage section, make sure that Material is selected for the texture and click on the Edit next to Material to bring up the Material Library. In the 'Leaves' section choose either Default Leaf 4 or Default Leaf 8 (either green leaf). Accept the changes.
    That's it--you have a bona fide Monkey Puzzle tree!
  18. Let's bring it forward in the picture and make it a decent size. Making sure that the tree is selected, click on Edit at the top to bring up the Edit palette. Place the cursor over the Position tool, the tool that has a cube in the middle and arrows coming out of it. Place the cursor over the left Z axis cone, click the mouse button and drag left until the tree is directly in the foreground. Now, let go of the mouse button and place the cursor over the left X axis cone. Click and drag left until the tree is at the leftmost of the screen, where the trunk of the tree is right next to the border. Now place the cursor over the bottom Y axis cone. Click and drag left until you can't see the roots anymore. We've set our first tree. This first tree will also let us know what our leftmost field of view is. Duplicate the tree and place this copy on the right of the screen. But push it back a little bit. We'll be using these two trees to position the rest of the trees we'll be making. Your image should look something like this now:
  19. Switch to top view. Use the two trees that we've already created to position the rest. You don't want place any trees below those two in the top view and make sure that you don't place any in the water! Create about 10-20 trees and place them around our lake. So we don't select the water or mountains by mistake, click on the mountains, click on the A for Attributes on the edit palette and select the Locked option. Do the same for the water plane. Name it while you're in there.

    Now duplicate the trees and drag them to their new locations. Note: If you have a hard time selecting a tree by clicking on it, try drawing a selection box around it.
  20. Now switch back to the Director's View and we'll see how close we are to creating a nice picture. Click on the left most render button which turns off the textures. This will allow us to render more quickly and see where we have problem areas. Just click anywhere in the picture after the first pass, since we're just trying to get an idea of how the trees relate to the environment. You'll probably have trees sitting out of the ground with their roots exposed but that's fine--we'll fix that.
  21. Hit ESC to switch back to the wireframe view. We'll be using the ESC button to switch back and forth between the render that we just did and our wireframe design view. Select each troubled tree individually and move it up or down according to how it looked in the render. If you're feeling ambitious, you can rotate the trees so that they look more varied (notice all the trees that look like the letter Y in the above picture?) and resize the trees in the back so that they're smaller. After all, objects in the background should be smaller. Render the scene again with the textures off to make sure that no roots are exposed and no trees are stuck halfway in a mountain.
  22. If everything looks good, click the two left render buttons to turn back on the textures and turn the Quick Render off. Your final image will look something like this and that's all she wrote for Part 1!

Continue to Part 2: Creating two figures in Poser 4.