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3D models for Bryce
The models used in this article can be found on our 3D models page and can be downloaded to use in Bryce which is a great program for a beginner. Itís very intuitive and easy to get to grips with. High end 3D modelling and rendering programs such as Lightwave and Cinema 4D etc., are great tools if youíre more advanced but if youíre new to the world of 3D modelling I strongly advise you to start with Bryce and move on to more ambitious projects when you feel youíre ready to tackle more technical and complicated 3D techniques

Bryce 6 features
Free 3D models

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Finding inspiration
Beginner tutorial
Alien landscapes
Futuristic cities
Designing Armageddon

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Complete beginner? No problem... hereís a simple way to get started

This article is mainly aimed at Bryce users and uses a step-by-step tutorial on how to import models into Bryce, then use those models to create an interesting and dynamic composition. Consequently this will give you some basic knowledge in how to produce impressive artwork quickly and easily. You will also find that  having a graphics software package such as Adobe Photoshop, or something similar that has an airbrush tool among itís features, will be a definite advantage to add the finishing touches to your artwork.

Most of the techniques we use here can easily be adapted by 3D artists and modelers using other programs, providing they are familiar with the software being used.

So letís begin with a simple composition using a couple of models which you can download from the
3D Space Models members area. Whether you prefer to use .lwo or .3ds models it makes no difference. Hereís the finished picture that we intend to produce.

3d spaceship

Step 1

The first step in creating any design is to have an idea. If you prefer, you can roughly sketch out your design first on a plain sheet of paper. Alternatively, you can experiment by importing suitable 3D models and arrange them in various ways.
This simple method can often fire your imagination and help you produce some interesting designs through trial and error.

In this tutorial I have imported the X-wing model which you can find on the spaceships download page. You can use an alternative model if you wish, but I chose this model because of the material I have in mind to map on to the model.

First choose or make a folder on your hard drive where you can save the model you want to download. Then go to the buildings download page and select a tall structure which will suit this design. I have chosen the hightower 3 model.
Save this model to the same folder on your hard drive.

Start up your Bryce program and go to the File menu and select document setup then choose A4 and 1:50 from the options presented on screen. I find using the 1:50 setting best for doing a small quick render during the design stage. When completed, the design can then be rendered at 1:1 before final detailing is made using a paint program such as Photoshop.

Tip: Itís a good idea to have a selection of ready made blank templates to choose from in sizes that you like to work with. For example, I like to use a landscape format set to 1024 x 768 which I use quite often when designing background computer wallpaper.
To make a template simply set the size you want to use regularly and save a blank template (without using any models or terrain) which you can then open from the File> Open menu each time you want to design a picture using that size and resolution.

Now, go to the File menu and select import object. Find the models you have downloaded and select them one at a time to import them into your scene. The building can then be copied and pasted twice and moved into the required positions in the background using the Ďre-position toolí in the edit palette, and also re-sizing them where necessary. This gives the image more depth as each building appears to be receeding into the distance. The spacecraft model can also be positioned to suit your preference.
The materials I used on the buildings and spacecraft were custom designed by myself. You can choose other materials from the Bryce edit menu if you wish, but if you prefer the materials I use you can download them from our
members area and the models can be downloaded here from the spaceships download page.

Tip: Material presets can be saved seperately and used on other models by adding them to your materials library as a user preset or in one of the installed preset selections. (see fig.2)
You can also save materials by selecting a model with the material already applied and clicking the Add option at the bottom of the materials library window.

A suitable sky was then chosen and made more dramatic by changing the colours in the sky and fog palette and tweaking the cloud coverage control.
To make the composition more dramatic the viewing angle was changed using the camera trackball and two more of the same spacecraft were copied, pasted and moved into position high in the sky.
A quick render (see fig.1) gave me some idea of how the basic composition looks at this stage.

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Fig. 1

bryce materials lab

Fig. 2

3D modelling with Bryce

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