Creating futuristic cities

With this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a scene which incorporates a futuristic city, plus a couple of other models to add more interest to the picture and give it a theme.

To start with I added a few primitives to the scene using the create menu and choosing various shapes which included spheres, boxes and pyramids which were each then copied and pasted, resized, stretched and squashed until a pleasing arrangement was achieved. (see fig.1)

The next step was to select all the objects as a group (drag your mouse holding the left button to select all then click on the ‘G’ option which you can see above)

Now, copy and paste the grouped objects a couple of times and rotate and move them slightly into different positions to make it a more interesting composition. Again, select individual objects and resize and stretch them to create a variety of shapes. Now, add a material to the objects. I chose a custom material which that is not available as a standard Bryce preset, but is available in the template for this design which you can download from this site.

If you prefer, you can choose one of the metal presets as an alternative.

At this stage I decided to change the document size to an A4 format which I thought would better suit the design I had in mind. (see fig.3)

To get a more natural perspective I used the camera cross controls to move closer in and then used the camera trackball to tilt upwards. (note: If you’re not familiar with these controls see our beginners tutorial )

The next step was to choose a sky preset that I felt would enhance the overall effect. (see fig.4)

Tip: If you can’t find a suitable sky in the standard set of sky presets that come with Bryce then you have two options. If you’re familiar with the sky lab in Bryce then you can play around with the controls until you come up with a sky you like or you can save time and download the template for this design (see link below) and add the sky to your sky preset library.

To achieve the new look of the buildings I had to select individual objects and go into the materials lab and alter the settings. This mainly involved changing the ambiance and reflection settings to different variables. Just by playing around with these controls you should be able to get some nice effects.

Making a 3D city
Future city
3D city render

Tip: I had thought about making the robot slightly smaller and have flaming death rays emanating from his raised arm but decided to leave it as it was. However, if that is something you might like to consider doing, you will need to save the rendered image as a bitmap and open it in a graphics program such as Adobe Photoshop. You can then add the finishing touches by using a suitable brush and airbrush, preferably in red and yellow colours, painted on different layers to get the desired death ray effect.


Download the template for this design including models here ROBOCITY (Bryce template)


To enhance the design I decided to create a picture that would 'tell a story' rather than just a basic boring image so I added a ground plane and custom material which I changed the reflectivity for, plus two more objects. These included the spaceship which you can see in the background and a robot which dominates the foreground. Both models are available for download from the 3D models pages.

In order to achieve the dramatic sky and towering robot effect which you can see in fig.5 I simply clicked on the zoom out tool which can be found in the advanced display palette situated down the right side of the Bryce window. This gave the image a sort of wide angle ‘fish-eye’ effect that you get in photography when using a wide angle lens.

Some re-positioning of the main objects was required to get the desired result, but it didn’t take much effort. In fact it’s surprising how many dynamic but different compositions you can come up with using this technique.

City robot guardian