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Discovering Bryce 5 Terrains
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Creating a Terrain

Continuing with our discovery of Bryce 5, one of the first things you'll want to see is how to make a terrain, mountains, desert hills etc.

In the Create room, click the Terrain object insertion icon.

A new Terrain object appears in the 3D view.

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A few adjustments to the view, sky and a quick render.... and here's our first mountain.

Obviously this only took care of the initial 3D mesh of the landscape. No vegetation, no rocky sediment colors, no erosion effects etc...
Editing the Material (shaders)

Switch to the Edit room. There is a Material Lab to change the shader, and a Terrain editor too.

Click the left-most tool icon, to access the material's lab.
Click the small triangle in the upper-right of the shader preview.
Select the Planes&Terrains category and pick one of the presets.
When you do a rendering now it should look a bit more realistic, with changes in color on the sediments and rocks.
Back in the material's lab, near the top right, click the texture name to see a popup of many other presets such as for various types of sand or rocks.
Here's another preset, a bit like sediments for a grand canyon view.
The Terrain Editor

Now let's edit the shape or geometry of the terrain.

In the Edit room, click the Terrain editor icon.
The Terrain editor shows up. The Preview window has several options for changing the size and quality. Use these if  it takes too long to refresh on your system.
Painting the Elevation Map

To the left of the greyscale elevation map (also known as the Terrain Canvas where you can paint the elevation), you'll find a set of tools that let you paint the elevation.

You can also change the quality (definition) of the terrain mesh.

These tools are easily used to make changes to the existing terrain elevation map, or to create a new one from the ground up.

It's great to get immediate feedback in the preview window, to see new terrain features as you paint on the elevation map.

Noise, Erosion, Smoothing & more...

The Editing Tools window offers great tools for such things as Erosion or to generate new terrains from a variety of fractal algorithms.

You can either click the buttons or in many cases also click-and-drag them, to finely adjust the level or intensity of the effect.

Some buttons also keep running as long as you press them, such as the Erode button.

Here's a rendering of our first custom terrain.

You may want to do a fly-through or hover around some canyons  in a simulated helicopter flight.

Under the File menu, you'll find an option to render an animation.
Before rendering an animation, you'll need to record keyframes for changes in the camera or other things that can be animated.  But that's for another tutorial.

Here is a quick animation done this way, saved to AVI and then converted with another tool to Flash:

Exporting the Terrain to other 3D Programs

You can use Bryce's terrain editor to create fancy landscapes for use in other 3D programs, such as Animation Master, Lightwave, 3DS Max and Caligari TrueSpace, to name a few.

In the terrain lab, click the small black triangle which can be found in the top right corner of the terrain editor (greyscale elevation map view)

You will find the Export option there.

The "Export Terrain" dialog offers choices for what to include, such as the colors and at what level of detail the export should occur.

The final export dialog shows the file name selection, and file type. the 3D Studio 3DS file format should work well with many programs, but there are also many other choices.