- Arts and Design
Greekgeek's 3D Computer Art
Landscapes and Fantasy Scenes Rendered in Bryce
In the 90s, I enjoyed creating fantastic landscapes with the help of a graphics program called Bryce. Computer graphics tools have improved a lot since then, but I'm still proud of what I achieved with simple tools!
Want to try to make scenes like this yourself? Lots of people have used Terragen, which has a free edition. It's a lot newer than Bryce, so its results look better than what I could do in 1993-1999! My Mom still creates 3D art professionally for websites and school software, and she's moved on to E-on Software's amazing Vue program.
But I digress. Here's a glimpse of what we could do ten years ago on our dinky Macs, although it took quite a long time to render.
Fiddling around with shapes...
Example of Building A 3D Scene
What It Looks Like Working in Bryce
These look so simple, but they're actually composed of mountains and simple shapes like spheres, cubes and cylinders grouped together. You can tell it to use some shapes like cookie cutters to delete parts of other shapes. Then I have to tell the computer what textures to "paint" on them, lighting effects, and a lot more details like clouds and skies. Here's a finished scene and the pieces I used to build it.
Here's the wireframes for it!
Early Experiments in 3D Art
I was heavily influenced by my favorite game, MYST.
Bryce only has terrains, planes, and a limited number of 3D shapes like eggs and cubes, but you can do amazing things with textures, clouds and skies:
Flooding a hedge maze terrain.
Playing with the materials editor trying to make striped sandstone:
Surreal materials make fairly boring shapes more interesting.
I started experimenting with using the mountain editor to carve odd shapes:
I've always been fascinated by Anubis, a jackal god from Egyptian mythology.
Another Egypt-inspired one:
Another one inspired by MYST:
"Atrus and Catherine's Summer Home"
A mother's day card!
Inspired by Rene Magritte, the table has a miniature version of the lanscape outside the window:
"Room With a View"
The frame of the mirror was inspired by a Klingon sword:
The tree and island are built off screen; then I had to move the camera to get the reflection right.
I have a strange imagination; after creating something that looked like Delicate Arch in Utah, I... decided it looked like a giant had lost a sandal there.
I had a cheap 3D modeller that let me make models and import them into bryce. I made my lyre -- a Greek harp -- then the program died!
Lord of the Rings Inspired 3D Art
I've always loved Lord of the Rings. These were all done in the 1990s, well before the Jackson films.
"Isengard" -- notice the ent!
"The Dead Marshes"
Oddly, that thing that looks like a creepy horned skull is actually Leonardo Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" plastered over an irregular surface.
"The Lonely Mountain" -- this is homework from my Robin Wood class (see below)
"The Grinding Ice" -- From The SIlmarillion
Homework For 3D Art Class
Taught By Robin Wood
Robin Wood is a wonderful fantasy artist and a friend. She once taught an online class in Bryce 3D art. Here's some of my homework from that class. Now and then she'd give us object and models to import into the class to teach us about lighting and particular effects.
The bottle is Robin's; she was teaching us how to do water surfaces.
Creating Bryce textures.
Teaching us sky and terrain editing. I need to drop C-3PO in here.
Fantree -- taking a fan she gave us and making it into leaves.
More textures experiments. Hershey's Kisses?
Teaching us about weather and sky.
More weather lessons.
"Grail." This became my desktop for a while... back when a computer monitor's resolution was enough for this to fill a large screen. She gave us the little ornamental texture I put on the hilt, but the rest is mine.
The Venus di Milo is a free 3D model; Robin was teaching us how to build complex shapes with cylinders and cubes.
My final project, an hourglass.
"Thamaladh" - a treehouse
Two more Lord of the Rings fanarts: "Nevrast" (Another place described in The Silmarillion) and "Ulmo's Sword."
I'm not the greatest artist in the world, but I hope you enjoyed viewing my art gallery! Feel free to leave a note.