|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
Switch to the Edit
room. There is a Material Lab to change the shader, and a Terrain
|Click the left-most tool
icon, to access the material's lab.
|Click the small triangle
in the upper-right of the shader preview.
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
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
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.
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
|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
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
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