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Greekgeek's 3D Computer Art

Updated on January 14, 2015

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...

(all artwork on this page is my own)
(all artwork on this page is my own)

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.


"Bifrost"

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.

"Desert Secrets"

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.

"Footprint"

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.

Accordingly...

"SeaMounts"

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!

"Olympus"

"Moebius Dictum"

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 Arkenstone"

"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.

"Mirrormere"

"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.

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  • profile image

    Samantha80 3 years ago

    You made beautiful 3d pictures..

  • Pat Goltz profile image

    Pat Goltz 4 years ago

    There is some good imagination in your collection. Thanks for sharing!

  • Froehlich profile image

    Froehlich 5 years ago

    Great Lens.. :)

  • profile image

    southridgefarmsinc 5 years ago

    Great artwork!!!

  • profile image

    jseven lm 6 years ago

    Nice lens and art! I posted on my Facebook. :)

  • profile image

    JonBurgess 6 years ago

    Nice to see some props for good old Bryce! I've been playing with it since about 96. . . eek! . . That is a long time. I got seriously into texture making. B7 is really nice and stable and is able to import B4 files which is great. The render engine has always been the weak point imho, but for the price its such a great piece of software. Glad you enjoy it ;-)

  • Psycho-Gamer profile image

    MasterPsycho 6 years ago from Earth

    WOW You ve made some great stuff ....have you ever tried to sell them? I am not kidding .... you have some great artwork here and you can earn enough money

  • ZenandChic profile image

    Patricia 6 years ago

    Wow! Awesome art! I Love it!

  • sorana lm profile image

    sorana lm 6 years ago

    Wow! This is so cool. You might not be an artist, but this looks like an artist's gallery.

  • Sharon Weaver profile image

    Sharon Weaver 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Good stuff. The weather series is especially interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  • SusannaDuffy profile image

    Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

    I wish I could use my Bryce! Lovely lens

  • pkmcruk profile image

    pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

    Absolutely beautiful! Blessed by a Squid Angel by the name of Paul :-)

  • Christene-S profile image

    Christene-S 7 years ago

    These are great!

    I did a little 3D modeling in college. Nothing this elaborate though. I can appreciate how much work went into them.

  • Ramkitten2000 profile image

    Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

    How cool! I'm impressed. They may have been "simple tools" as you say, but you created really creative, interesting scenes. I've looked through them all a couple of times, trying to decide on a favorite. But can't. That striped sandstone, though, reminds me a place I visited recently called "The Wave."