View Full Version : [Award Winner] Bryce mapping tutorial

03-21-2008, 02:58 PM
Hi Fellow mappers :)

Here comes a first tutorial on making maps using Bryce.

I have tried to make a basic Bryce mapmaking tutorial with some useful hints that hopefully will make the learning curve a little less steep.


03-22-2008, 03:34 PM
HOLY HOUND OF HEAVEN!!!!!! Anna, this is wonderful! Exactly what I--who have Bryce but have not taken the time to learn it--need to get going! Wow!

I'm repping you and then writing to the Guildmaster (aka, Arcana) to ask him to put a gold star on your forehead. Thank you very, very much.

I'll write more when I actually hop in there and give your tutorial a go!

03-24-2008, 02:22 AM
I really appreciate this tut and hope for more, especially stuff on the painting of terrain features.

A few minor tips of my own. When your using Paint Effect just click on the effect button desired while holding down the spacebar. This selects the effect without applying it, so you don't need to undo. When working on a high res heightfield this can be significant. Speaking of high-res heightmaps, when making a plan view image that's as nearly isometric as possible, it can be quick and good to go for a very high-res bumpmap on a somewhat lower-res heightmap. The bumpmap is only pretend-3D so it keeps the poly count on that terrain down to a sane level while adding some nice shading detail cheap. Don't forget the other shading channels either: water can have a touch of specularity and reflectivity to differentiate it from land. I also like to use value maps to provide a small variation in specularity, reflectivity, ambient and diffuse. A small variation in the transparency of water can look great. Some of this stuff may not be feasible at the scale Anna is working at, especially if your computer is less than stellar, but hey, on a smaller scale...

Camera positioning(I got this from Tom Patterson at shadedrelief.com), pull your camera way... way back and reduce the field of view to it's minimum of 1 degree. This will get you as close as possible with Bryce to an isometric render.

I'd like to play with some of this, but at the moment I have planetGenesis building an 8192x4096 planetary heightfield as an experiment. That means it's bedtime.

04-06-2008, 04:26 PM
You make me blush Don ;)

I love this forum :-) You post something and get expert advice back that solves issues you thought was unsolvable, thanks su liam!

You have pointed out almost a lot of what I thought about for part 2 of my Bryce tutorial su liam. I agree with everything you say. Used a simple material without any reflexes for the reasons you pointed out.

Camera positioning is critical. I render my maps in parts (just finished my 450th) that are 2500x1800 to get max detail and use 5 deg field of view and it is acceptable. Make sure to simulate a satellites position for you camera.