Bryce Tutorial: Absolute Beginners Guide to Bryce

If you always wanted to get started with 3D, Bryce would be a good start. You can make basic shapes using the simple tools that Bryce offers.
First of all, you can get Bryce 5.5 for free now, so you can start right away!

Download links:

Apple users:
Windows users:

There's even free content!

I'm going to explain the basics of Bryce and create a simple, but good looking image.

End result:
Absolute Beginners Guide to Bryce Final Image

avatar robvdn

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Practice tutorial


Step 1

If you start up Bryce you'll see some buttons, first of all I'll explain those:

There are 2 images on the top left:
- The bars: you can save views here
- The little preview image: this is a preview of what you are making.

These are your basic controls:

1: you can have 8 views on your object, 6 from all sides (up, down, left, right, front and back) 1 director's view and 1 camera view
2: these buttons are used to control the camera, zoom in/out toggle and so on
3: this one controls your object, you can rotate it
4: different rendering options

The create menu:

5: create different kind of waters, clouds and landscapes
6: create mountains
7: create trees and rocks
8: create different kind of basic shapes
9: import 2D images
10: lights

Step 2

The edit menu:

1: edit materials
2: resize your object
3: rotate your object
4: repositioning your object
5: aligning
6: randomize mode
7: edit terrain and object

Step 3

The sky and fog menu:

1: atmosphere
2: shadows
3: fog
4: haze
5: cloud hight
6: cloud cover
7: cloud frequency/amplitude
8: sun control
9: sky lab / randomize and night or day

Step 4

That's a lot to remember, but like in PS: just start working and you learn on the fly.

Let's just have some fun now and create something simple!

Go to the create menu, you'll be in your director chair. I always like to work with the camera to start, so press the top button of the basic menu (the mountain with the chair beside it), the chair changes to a camera now.
Your little preview window above it has changed.

Step 5

I don't want the sky, so lets change that too into a neutral color. Click on "Sky & Fog" on top, there's a little arrow to the right of it: click it and a new window will open.

Let's do a white background. The window opens with backdrops and there are 4 different colors to choose from... Click on the white one... after that click on the "V" at the rightbottom of the new screen. You'll see in the preview window the sky has changed to white.

Step 6

Let's change the terrain as well into white. In your big view you'll see a faint maze (that's your terrain), click on it and it will turn red (it's activated now).

You'll also see a small menu to the right (these are some advanced options), click on the bottom button, the "M".

Step 7


Before we continue I need to explain this step. We've entered the "Materials Lab", this is the place to change your objects look. If you want something in glass, metal, wood or whatever, this is the place to be!
I want to keep it simple in this tutorial so I'll just explain what you need to know to create our final image. The other options you can play with if you like.

Let's continue:
at the left top is a small image, this is the preview of the material you use. Beside it there's a small arrow, click on it and the materials menu will open.

Step 8

At the bottom you'll find "Architectual"... This is a subcategory of the materials. Click on the little arrow beside it and a dropdown menu opens, select "Metals".

Step 9

Now you'll see different materials to choose from, let's go for the bright white. (if you don't have this just choose another material) and click on the "V" at the bottom. You'll return to the Materials Lab, press "V" at the bottom and we return to our basic view. You'll see in the preview window the bottompart is grey now but don't worry, IT IS WHITE! It's grey because of the lightning, we'll adjust that later on.

Step 10

Now let's add a basic shape!

First of, deselect the terrain by clicking somewhere else in the big view.
Now make sure you've the create menu selected by clicking on "create" at the top.

In the middle of the topbar you'll see some green items: choose the sphere by clicking on it. A sphere will appear in your big window.
Your sphere is red because it's selected and has some handles around it. The handles you can use to resize your sphere. Click on one (hold mousekey) and drag, you'll see the sphere will be bigger or smaller. Just make it a little bigger. Click and hold on the sphere now and move it to the left. If it's not on the ground there will be a down arrow in the little menu beside it, click on it and your sphere will be on the ground.

Now it's up to your creativity and add some material to the sphere, just like we did with the terrain (one step back). When finished, get on with the next step.

Step 11

Finished? Your sphere has a nice material? Good!
I've chosen to go for a golden sphere with some texture (metals > precious > pitted gold)
OK... now you're curious how it looks like right? Let's make this into an image, just to see how far we are now!

At the left side of your screen there's your basic menu, at the bottom you see 5 spheres: they control the rendering (the program will produce your image this way). Press on the biggest sphere in the middle and it will start creating your image.

That looks cool!

Step 12

Wouldn't you like to have more objects in your image with different materials? Let's add 2 more, use different shapes and materials just to see how they work together. You know what to do now to create new objects, when finished go to the next step.

I've decided on a marbled cube and a coloured glass cone.
If you render this image you'll probably see they intersect each other, in the next step we'll change this.

Step 13

Now we need to move the shapes so they are arranged in a nice way.

We need to change the view so we look on top of the shapes. Click twice on the mountain in the basic menu (the one which has the camera beside it now), you'll see the view changing and if it's OK you'll have a top view now.
You'll notice a large triangle: this is your camera view. It's easy to know what will be in your camera, that's why it's here.

To make it easier on yourself let's move away the terrain (the big square), click on it and drag it away: this won't effect your final image!
You'll be left with your 3 shapes, you can drag and drop them; make a nice composition, return to your camera view and render it again.

Step 14

Your image looks nice but a bit dull, the horizon is still in the middle. Let's raise the camera a bit so we get a more interesting view.

Click 3 times on your mountain in the basic menu and you'll get a side view. Select the camera and move it up a bit. Now your camera is higher but it looks over your objects: there's a small line coming out of your camera: drag it a little bit down, you'll see the camera tilting.

Get back to the camera view (use the mountain) and render it again.

Step 15

See how the horizon is higher and you have a nicer view on your objects.

But didn't we decide on a white terrain when we started?
This has to do with the lighting, so let's adjust it.

Step 16

Click on "Sky & Fog" at the top and a new menu opens.
You have many options now but all we want to change it the position of the sun. You can do this by drag and dropping on the circle at the right side of this menu. Position it like I did.

That's it!
Of course there's loads of more options in Bryce, but this being a starters tutorial - I'll leave it here.

If you work more with Bryce you'll find new options and new possibilities, just have fun with it!

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avatar momvera
momvera says:

Agree with billyboy.
Excellent tutorial but no word about saving files or exporting. Looks like they use their own extension for files...

(5 years and 2633 days ago)
avatar pingenvy
pingenvy says:

My results were AWFUL, but the tutorial was very useful. The interface is much clearer to me now. Thank you!

(5 years and 2627 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

u have to save the render to have image

(5 years and 2565 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thanks for this easy tutorial I really appreciate it

(5 years and 2464 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Really easy to follow and filled me with ofidnce once I'd finished it . Thanks.

(5 years and 2390 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thanks, this was helpful!

(5 years and 2366 days ago)
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Guest says:

such a wonder full tutorial it made me understand the interface now thanks a lot for this tutorial

(5 years and 2314 days ago)
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Guest says:

useful tutorial..m using byrce fr d first tym widout ny help... n dis helped me to get a basic understandin of d intrefce...

(5 years and 2314 days ago)
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Guest says:


(5 years and 2309 days ago)
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Guest says:

This is first class and exactly what real beginners are looking for...a basic introduction,step by step....many thanks.

(5 years and 2304 days ago)
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Guest says:

thank u for this wordeful tutorial, it did help alot =)

(5 years and 2290 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

The tutorial was good but the learning curve for this program is very steep. It would take a long long time to be good at it.

(5 years and 2273 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thanks,this was helpful.

(5 years and 2247 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thank you. Even for me as a foreigner, I'm from The Netherlands, is was a clear and helpful tutorial. I start to work with Bryce 7.

(5 years and 2202 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

First I downloaded the manual and tried to read it. Brain shrivelled up. The tutorial was very healing. I think I'll just do tutorials, and leave the manual for after I know how to use this program.

(5 years and 2085 days ago)
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Guest says:

SUPERB tutorial for beginners.

(5 years and 2073 days ago)
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Guest says:

Thanx a lot from Switzerland! I made my first steps

(5 years and 2035 days ago)
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[banned] says:

Not bad but they are right that some of the basics like save as should come first.

(5 years and 1971 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

How do I resize the whole GUI? It's filling my entire screen and there are no grab handles on the interface window? I keep re-activating my dock when I reach down too far to work with the bottom controls. Thanks

(5 years and 1849 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Thank you..I am new at this..your tut. is very helpful..not sure I could even begin without it

(5 years and 1685 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thanks Alot for this TuT, read half the first paragraph now im able to create my own whole scenes just by knowing the basic's of the menu! Awesome job and Awesome Program!

(5 years and 1550 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Thanks Alot for this TuT, read half the first paragraph now im able to create my own whole scenes just by knowing the basic's of the menu! Awesome job and Awesome Program!

(5 years and 1550 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

Well explained and in depth instructions (no, I didn't say, nice tutorial, who wants that as feedback?) You've done a great job here, and I am a beginner with Blender, and this program is totally different, the interface is easier, but not as efficient, unfortunately. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish with this FREE software.


(5 years and 1512 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Really great tutorial. Easy to follow. Especially helpful was the image of the sun control. My result looked just like yours.

(5 years and 1108 days ago)

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