Terrain Editor and Heightmap Generators for Bryce

Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 102
edited October 26 in Bryce Discussion

I've been researching ways to create realistic boulders and rock formations when I came upon a 3D terrain software called World Machine
(http://www.world-machine.com/)

The software uses macros that can be edited and even saved as your preferred terrain formation equations. You can accurately bring out boulders in specific areas of your terrain, making it more realistic and unique. I downloaded the Basic Edition (Free), and though it takes some getting used to, the immediate results are eye candy. You can combine different kinds of terrains, and adjust them separately to refine your terrain output. We all do respect, Bryce Terrain Editor Advanced Filters software is confusing and doesn't have a 3D preview of the terrain(s); height maps can only do so much.

 So, what are the plans for Bryce's Terrain Editor future? Will Daz continue to patch the existing code or start with something new? Any ideas anyone?

 

Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
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  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 102
    edited September 22

    World Machine and Bryce 7.0 Pro - Terrain Experiment 1A

    Exported 513 × 513 Tiff Map.
    Imported into Bryce 7 Terrain Editor.
    Dampen terrain and increased resolution to 4096 × 4096.
    Applied Mounds & Soften terrain.
    Increased terrain size to 3600 × 1000 × 3600.
    Added Distant Light, HDRI Skies. 
    Rendered at Normal Anti-Aliasing.

    WorldMachineExperiment2A.jpg
    1114 x 819 - 266K
    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • This looks awesome! Thanks for the heads up!

  • c-ramc-ram Posts: 368

    Eugenius : unfortunately, there will be no update for Bryce and, of course, for the terrain editor.

     

    It's a good idea to import from world machine because the result with this software and its multiple options will always be far better than Bryce. As you say, you can hack a part of a terrain in world machine and zoom into your terrain in real time to take a look at the result. Something Bryce is unable to do.

     

    Depending of what you want to produce with Bryce but, if your goal is realistic landscape renders then the price to pay is here : using world machine for terrains (or download real terrain from terrainparty.com), speedtree/xfrog, plant factory/growfx for vegetation, and some photogrammetric stuff from megascan or sketchfab to complete your scene.

     

    Your result here is very promessing.

  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 1,308
    edited September 23

    Eugenius: Very nice landscape. Very good looking, specifically if you consider the start is 513 x 513 pixels. I should check this tool out too.

    By the way, though I do fear that c-ram is right about the lack of updates of Bryce, as far as I know (I may have missed something), there has never been any certain message that Bryce will never be updated again. We can only hope, even though the hope is very, very limited.

    Post edited by Hansmar on
  •  

     

    This looks awesome! Thanks for the heads up! 

    Thank you Rashad and I appreciate your reply. I will keep on working on rock formations, either with other 3D software or even within Bryce. 

  • c-ram said:

    Eugenius : unfortunately, there will be no update for Bryce and, of course, for the terrain editor.

     

    It's a good idea to import from world machine because the result with this software and its multiple options will always be far better than Bryce. As you say, you can hack a part of a terrain in world machine and zoom into your terrain in real time to take a look at the result. Something Bryce is unable to do.

     

    c-ram said:

    Depending of what you want to produce with Bryce but, if your goal is realistic landscape renders then the price to pay is here : using world machine for terrains (or download real terrain from terrainparty.com), speedtree/xfrog, plant factory/growfx for vegetation, and some photogrammetric stuff from megascan or sketchfab to complete your scene.

     

    Your result here is very promessing.

    C-Ram, thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. It is very sad that Daz3D will not support Bryce in any upcoming updates as I honestly don't think they know what they have. Ever since MetaCreations dissolved, Bryce has always been a bastard child; first with Corel and now with Daz3D. Though both companies have done significant upgrades to the software, it always seemed short in comparison to Vue for example. Some of Bryce's past manuals were down right aweful and written by lab coats instead of artists, which added more confusion when trying to figure out Bryce.

    I just checked out Terrain Party and Quixel Megascans and looking forward on trying them both; looks very promising. I downloaded Sculptris and have already bookedmarked a YouTube video and will upload my results here has well. 

    Thanks again for your valuable input.

     

  • Bryce Pro 7.1 Pro - Terrain Experiment 2A 

    Created 512 x 512 Terrain 
    Changed the terrain resolution to 64 x 64 (Very Coarse)
    Drew a rectangular shape from the top of the terrain to almost the bottom.
    Removed a few pixels from the side of the rectangular shape to create randomness.
    Increased the terrain to 1024 x 1024 (Massive Resolution).  
    Filtering section with the default slope, Apply Vertical and then Apply Vertical Add.
    Added the appropriate Fractal Round Hills size and lightly painted the effect on the overall sloped terrain and especially around the edge of the rectangular.
     Added some Posterize and some Eroded.
    Square Edges to the very edge of the terrain and added some Mounds.
    Increased the Terrain Resolution to 4096 x 4096 (Planetary Resolution).
    Added Mounds and Height Noise. Render Super (Fine Art Anti-Aliasing).

    As you can see, the Mounds on the front of the image look weird as generated soly by the software. The massive rock formation in the background was originally painted and then effects were added. So it seems paintng the rock formations in blocks first, can achieve some sense of realism at the end.

    Important Note: Real World Bryce 4 (by Susan A. Kitchens and Victor Gavenda).  Found it in one of my boxes in my closet; it has been considered the Bryce Bible                                 by many as it takes apart and explain every aspect of the software and comes with tutorials and a CD.  

     

    Bryce Boulders Experiment 2A.jpg
    1114 x 819 - 263K
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,132
    edited September 23

    Eugenius Maximus - I'm sorry, I cannot contribute here. David has WorldMachine and sent me a couple of terrains a while ago. I use - apart from Bryce - WorldCreator but it is discontinued and has disappeared from the market. As with all tools, there's a learning curve. If I remember correctly, I once had a very early (0.9 or so) version of WorldMachine and it is (was) node based.
    I also have Susan Kitchens book, it is very helpful and in many aspects still usable also for Bryce 7. Though the Bryce 7 documentation was never finished, it progressed quite far. The new Light Lab and IBL are covered. If you don't have it, get it here http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/software/bryce/start.

    Post edited by Horo on
  • c-ramc-ram Posts: 368

    Eugenius Maximus : you're welcome.

     

    Agree with you, I sometime compare Daz to Smaug : a dragon sleeping on a giant heap of gold which don't care and don't mind about the treasure he have got under his paws.

  • c-ramc-ram Posts: 368
    edited September 23
    c-ram said:

     

     

    Post edited by c-ram on
  • RasberriRasberri Posts: 113
    edited September 23
    Horo said:

    Eugenius Maximus - I'm sorry, I cannot contribute here. David has WorldMachine and sent me a couple of terrains a while ago. I use - apart from Bryce - WorldCreator but it is discontinued and has disappeared from the market. As with all tools, there's a learning curve. If I remember correctly, I once had a very early (0.9 or so) version of WorldMachine and it is (was) node based.
    I also have Susan Kitchens book, it is very helpful and in many aspects still usable also for Bryce 7. Though the Bryce 7 documentation was never finished, it progressed quite far. The new Light Lab and IBL are covered. If you don't have it, get it here http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/software/bryce/start.

    You can get WorldCreator over on Steam (gaming site and platform)  It produces very detailed terrains that you can export to other programs. I use my terrains in Bryce and also create height maps for my Sims 3 game Create a World (CAW) application. Recently I purchased the upgrade at their website for the WorldCreator 2--its a little pricey and had to save for it, however, it is absolutely Unbelievable!! It is like having a pro CAW tool with water simulations and Speedtree (same thing CAW uses). Apparently they have plans for you to import your own objects soon (much like Bryce) and it comes with World Creator Sync Tool to quickly transfer the terrain over to Unity and Unreal. You can make some changes to the sky, lighting and water. The company honors Steam buyers with a 30% off discount for the upgrade.  Wasn't sure if you could post  https://www.world-creator.com/ I think this application will be much like Bryce although I still like many of the features in Bryce a whole lot more, including the detailed way you can manipulate the lighting and the environment.

    I wish Bryce would come out with a 64 bit application and upgrade, but understand that no one is working on it any longer.

    Post edited by Rasberri on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 29,069

    Bryce is out of the Dev cycle at the moment is all we have been told officially.

  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 102
    edited September 25

    Hansmar - Thanks for your kind comment. It would be nice to know from Daz3D officials of their current plans with Bryce future; perhaps they can give us more than hope. Maybe there needs to be a public discussion on Bryce future with both from users and Daz3d. 

    Horo - It's great to hear from you. World Machine's petrology lab, though different than Bryce's, has an extended amount of terrain styles and controls. Yes, World Machine is node-based and the default template always shows the three basic nodes; the Example Tutorials are even editable. I started reading up on Susan Kitchen's book, specifically on Preview, Filtering, Clipping Bracket, Zoom, Crop and Fit (Bryce Terrain Editor); there's nothing wrong with Bryce 7's manual :-) 

    C-Ram - Even if Bryce's code is obsolete, there must be a way to data-dump to a new code where additional parameters can be added and/or modified. Daz Studio is most likely a different code and it can use V-Ray; wouldn't that be nice in Bryce...

    Rasberri - Thanks so much for the info on World Creator; the price on Steam is reasonable and worth trying. I hope I can catch the sale before it's too late :-/

    Chohole - Thanks for the official word of Daz3D; hopefully they will soon see the light and change their ways.

     

    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,132

    Rasberri - thank you for the link. Now I remember that a new company bought it from Coddy. I used Geo Control 2 and then upgraded to World Creator 1. It has about the same price tag but is limited to 4096, my version goes to 8192. Though the Bryce Terrain Editor is limited to 4096, working from an 8192 and then reducing with appropriate filtering yields better results than just a 4096 generated one. That is, if you prefer geometry over bump. Otherwise, the new version seems to have about the same features but has advanced rendering options. It also uses GPU while the previous one uses up to 2 cores of the CPU.

    Eugenius Maximus - by the way, the intention for Bryce 7 was to make it 64 bit. However, the task exceeded the budget because it would have taken too long (programmers want to be paid). I do not actually know it, but I think the biggest hurdle was the proprietary Axiom code with which the libraries are programmed and thus many parts of the program depend on it.

  • RasberriRasberri Posts: 113
    edited September 26
    Horo said:

    Rasberri - thank you for the link. Now I remember that a new company bought it from Coddy. I used Geo Control 2 and then upgraded to World Creator 1. It has about the same price tag but is limited to 4096, my version goes to 8192. Though the Bryce Terrain Editor is limited to 4096, working from an 8192 and then reducing with appropriate filtering yields better results than just a 4096 generated one. That is, if you prefer geometry over bump. Otherwise, the new version seems to have about the same features but has advanced rendering options. It also uses GPU while the previous one uses up to 2 cores of the CPU.

    Eugenius Maximus - by the way, the intention for Bryce 7 was to make it 64 bit. However, the task exceeded the budget because it would have taken too long (programmers want to be paid). I do not actually know it, but I think the biggest hurdle was the proprietary Axiom code with which the libraries are programmed and thus many parts of the program depend on it.

    I used Geo Control as well which is pretty much the same as World Creator; it was kind of clunky as i recall, but I only had a trial of it, so was glad to see Steam pick it up.  I did notice that the new World creator is GPU based.  Which is better? CPU or GPU based.  I don't have a very high end GPU at the moment as the price has gone bonkers over the past several years.  The Nvidia I do have runs the World Creator 2 fine, but it does recommend slightly better than my GTX 960

    It is interesting to finally hear why Bryce development stalled.  I sure wish someone would pick it back up.  Other than the World tool that comes with the game, Sims 3 ( I really fell more in love with the CAW tool, creating terrains and worlds.--it is a bit cartoonish, but still fun) I haven't found anything that tops Bryce, really. I have Vue Complete- but still love the GUI in Bryce better.   I thought of maybe trying my hand at rendering some environments in my older copy of Truespace.

    I did download the World-machine--pretty interesting.

     

    Post edited by Rasberri on
  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 591

    Quadspinner has some awesome-looking add-ons for World Machine (Geoglyph).

    They are also working on their own Terrain Builder project:  Gaea

     

  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 102
    edited September 26
    Horo said:

    Horo - It must be a treat to be able to create terrains in 8192 and import them into Bryce. I was surprised when I had downloaded Bryce 7 for the first time and it wasn't 64-Bit, though I Googled Axiom code to find out that it also went through it's share of a bastard child syndrome as an algebra software system. 

    Rasberri - I also like Bryce's GUI the best and the mesh that it generates; easy visible in grid-mode. Though I like World Machine, it's mesh (in Bryce) is barely visible and take forever to smooth. I did try Vue in the past, but didn't care for the GUI.

     

    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • Horo - It must be a treat to be able to create terrains in 8192 and import them into Bryce. I was surprised when I had downloaded Bryce 7 for the first time and it wasn't 64-Bit, though I Googled Axiom code to find out that it also went through it's share of a bastard child syndrome as an algebra software system. 

    Rasberri - I also like Bryce's GUI the best and the mesh that it generates; easy visible in grid-mode. Though I like World Machine, it's mesh (in Bryce) is barely visible and take forever to smooth. I did try Vue in the past, but didn't care for the GUI.

    Quadspinner - Thanks for the info and can't wait to try them.

  • World Machine Basic Edition and Bryce 7.0 - Terrain Experiment 3A

    Imported 513 x 513 height map directly into Bryce Terrain 4096 x 4096.
    Masked the terrain (upper) and applied Mounds, Posterized and Subplateaus (lower)
    9 Radial Lights.

    Note: I purposely generated a map in WM with an unusually wide valley
    in order to have space for Bryce effects. The Subplateaus helped create
    boulders at the bottom of the valley. 



     

    Billowing Canyons.jpg
    1114 x 819 - 197K
  • Rendered a quick update with better lighting.

    Billowing Canyons_2.jpg
    1114 x 819 - 274K
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,132

    Eugenius Maximus - the "Axiom" mentioned is not the Axiom (computer algebra system) but another one. In the Bryce 4 and 5 version from MetaCreations you can find in the file headers of the library files this text: "CCmF - Universal - Axiom - AGP - Composite File Management System (Universal) - Created by Andrea Pessino, December 1995 (vers. 5) - Copyright(c) 1995-96 by MetaTools, Inc.". Bryce 5.5, the first Daz version, those file headers contain a lot of blanks and only the needed "CCmFile::kIdentify4".

    No problem to create 8192 terrain height maps externally though Bryce is limited to 4096. You can use a 512 terrain and change it to a higher resolution like 2048 or 4096 but this doesn't increase the resolution. If you add options (e.g. mounds) in the TE, those parts will be in the higher resolution but the base terrain resolution is still 512.

  • PaintboxPaintbox Posts: 410

    I was actually thinking the other day, with the new Blender UI system coming, it might be possible to code a Bryce clone-like UI in Blender and it's functuonality. It's a python based system as I recall and a lot should be possible throught the UI scripting system. Blender already has room like divisions which mimic Bryce. It wouldn't be a beginners project, but all the building blocks are there for the one adventerous enough to build it.

    It could be called "Blyce" as well (just thought that up smiley) and it would be open-source in perpetuity.

     

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 29,069

    given the originality of the Bryce programming, and given that Daz own Bryce  there is no chance of the idea even getting one foot off the ground.

  • Eugenius MaximusEugenius Maximus Posts: 102
    edited September 26

    Horo - I wouldn't have thought that there would be more than one Axiom code out there; I'm obviously not a programmer that's for sure. By the way, is it the same Andrea Pessino that now works at Ready At Dawn? I found an old link of the MetaCreation days and some names you may have seen or heard before (https://www.siliconinvestor.com/readmsg.aspx?msgid=1642668).

    I'm really going to really have to invest in a 3D terrain software that can generate not only higher resolution height maps, but also different kinds of rock formations that can be easily editable. I'm currently sold on World Machine but would like to try out other options mentioned here by other members before going forward.

    Post edited by Eugenius Maximus on
  • c-ramc-ram Posts: 368
    Eugenius Maximus : maybe you could try Gaea from quadspinner. I think that it's simply the best terrain editor. And it's not expensive.
  • HoroHoro Posts: 6,132

    Eugenius Maximus - interesting link, thank you for posting it. Looks like this is the same Mr. Pessino. By the way, Kay's Power Tools version 3 still work in Bryce 7. Though I don't use them often, there are moments when they come in handy.

    From what I've heard, World Machine is a powerful tool, the problem is to know how to use it to its full advantage. Node based tools may be a bit taunting in the beginning but it's a powerful method. I'm quite happy with my old version of World Creator (which I find more intuitive than node based systems) and I still have a lot to learn. I think, in the end, it doesn't very much matter what tools you use, main thing is you can handle them.

  • RasberriRasberri Posts: 113
    edited September 27

    Greymom I did look at Gaea last night - It looks like they released an early access http://quadspinner.com/gaea/Order It looks pretty amazing.   doesn't look like there is a trial, though sad I may have to spring for this. 

    Eugenius Maximus - do you have the pro or regular version - those are pretty awesome detailed renders--really impressive!!  I played around a little last night with it and I do like that you can zoom into specific parts of the terrain - results imported in Bryce are pretty detailed- much more detailed than Bryce. 

    I forgot to mention, there is another editor I wanted to share that I picked up on Steam called Grand Designer - it's a procedural Universe Generator.  It looks like you can create some pretty decent planet terrains with it, but really just haven't spent enough time with it.  http://www.ignishot.com/grand-designer.html  

    Last but not least, there is Qubicle http://www.minddesk.com/index.php  Can find on Steam as well or through their website.  These are voxel style terrains.  There is a terrain feature in the software and can be exported as .obj to other programs if you buy the full version.  One thing I like about this, is that I can build arches and bridges into my terrain - for some pretty interesting worlds..

     

     

    Post edited by Rasberri on
  • C-Ram - I just checked out Gaea by QuadSpinner and checked out at their video; the mountain ranges that it generates look amazing, and the details are mind-blowing. Just as Rasberri pointed out, I wish they had demo that can be downloaded. My goal is to be able to create high detail rock formations, especially for close up shots like the examples above, so I'll need to do some more research on Gaea first.

    Horo - I also remember another MetaCreations Bryce founder by the name of Eric Wegner; I knew he was part of the Bryce UI team, but I didn't know he was also involved in the KPT UI. I had a couple of free KPT's plug-ins back in the day but lost them over time; I regret not taking the time to explore them. Though, you can find Eric in his new adventures at U&I Software (http://www.uisoftware.com/PAGES/uimain.html).  World Creator looks great and Steam has it for $69.00 which is a steal. Node-based systems make sense to me...as long as there's a preview window of the affected terrain :-) I'm still researching which software to get...so many great choices.

    Rasberri - I'm using World Machine's Standard Edition (Free) and everything works but the output is limited to 513 x 513 resolution. So far, it seems that importing the heightmap into a Bryce 4096 x 4096 terrain can result in some decent details; to be honest, I was surprised how the image came out.

    Grand Designer Pro seems to be the perfect companion for Bryce when it comes to creating moons and planets; now I can make my own Halo Reach planet. Steam is now bookmarked onto my browser; soon they'll have my next paycheck.

    I do recall seeing Qubicle on Steam, though I found VoxelShop (free) on GitHub and I might give it a shot (https://github.com/simlu/voxelshop/releases). 

     

     

     

  • GreymomGreymom Posts: 591
    edited September 28
    Rasberri said:

    Greymom I did look at Gaea last night - It looks like they released an early access http://quadspinner.com/gaea/Order It looks pretty amazing.   doesn't look like there is a trial, though sad I may have to spring for this. 

    Eugenius Maximus - do you have the pro or regular version - those are pretty awesome detailed renders--really impressive!!  I played around a little last night with it and I do like that you can zoom into specific parts of the terrain - results imported in Bryce are pretty detailed- much more detailed than Bryce. 

    I forgot to mention, there is another editor I wanted to share that I picked up on Steam called Grand Designer - it's a procedural Universe Generator.  It looks like you can create some pretty decent planet terrains with it, but really just haven't spent enough time with it.  http://www.ignishot.com/grand-designer.html  

    Last but not least, there is Qubicle http://www.minddesk.com/index.php  Can find on Steam as well or through their website.  These are voxel style terrains.  There is a terrain feature in the software and can be exported as .obj to other programs if you buy the full version.  One thing I like about this, is that I can build arches and bridges into my terrain - for some pretty interesting worlds..

    Yeah, with the E-On/Cornucopia3D site still mostly down, I am very intersted in Gaea.   Hoping I can still get Quadspinner's Shimmerwind module for Vue somehow, but also hoping they implement that in Gaea.  The wind-on-water effects with that are what really sold me on Vue, but I was not able to get it before E-On's site went down.

    Thanks for the tip on Grand Designer, I will have to check that out!

    Post edited by Greymom on
  • Horo - I also remember another MetaCreations Bryce founder by the name of Eric Wegner; I knew he was part of the Bryce UI team, but I didn't know he was also involved in the KPT UI. I had a couple of free KPT's plug-ins back in the day but lost them over time; I regret not taking the time to explore them. Though, you can find Eric in his new adventures at U&I Software (http://www.uisoftware.com/PAGES/uimain.html). 

    Mac users should note that Eric's ArtMatic software, available from U&I Software, is 32-bit only. There's a note in the FAQ that says that he hasn't decided whether to make a 64-bit version or not.

    This is significant because Mojave, the latest release of the MacOS, will be the last version to support 32-bit apps. When the next version of the MacOS ships -- probably in about a year's time -- it won't be possible to run the 32-bit ArtMatic on it.

    World Creator looks great and Steam has it for $69.00 which is a steal. Node-based systems make sense to me...as long as there's a preview window of the affected terrain :-) I'm still researching which software to get...so many great choices.

    Note that Steam only has World Creator 1. World Creator 2 is about to ship (and is already available as a 'release candidate'). 

    WC2 is currently priced at $149, but the makers say that the price will go up when it ships. They also say that they'll offer a 30% discount to owners of WC1. So if you bought WC1 from Steam, and then decided that you wanted to upgrade to WC2, you'd end up paying about $170 all told (or more, when the price goes up). So if you think you'll want WC2, it's probably better to buy it directly from its creators at https://www.world-creator.com/, rather than buying from Steam and then trying to upgrade.

     

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