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
The edit menu:
1: edit materials
2: resize your object
3: rotate your object
4: repositioning your object
6: randomize mode
7: edit terrain and object
The sky and fog menu:
5: cloud hight
6: cloud cover
7: cloud frequency/amplitude
8: sun control
9: sky lab / randomize and night or day
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.
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.
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".
The MATERIALS LAB
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!