Elusive legacy of early Brycers and 90-00's 3D art culture

akmerlowakmerlow Posts: 1,124
edited September 2020 in Bryce Discussion

This is a theme i wanted to bring up for a long time. What i want to discuss, it's legacy of artists who used Bryce in early years. From 90s KPT Bryce and up to first half of 00s.

When browsing for information regarding Bryce, i stumbled upon this inspiring tutorial from 1998 that concentrated on terrain/lattice modelling method in Bryce:

http://web.archive.org/web/20000815062232/http://visualmagic.awn.com/html/tutorials/feb98-brycehog.html

Not only it was interesting for me, but also i absolutely loved how works of that artist who did tutorial looked, and tried to find more artworks of that author.

However, what is needed to keep in mind, early days of internet are the most possibly fragile years for content and art, not only digital but overall. So many, many websites died and never came back, and cool things lost for public. And outside of internet, many things also disappeared because they were never digitalized or reissued.

Looking into archive dot org, i found some leads on that brycer from the past. Homepage from late 90s.
http://web.archive.org/web/20000815204014/http://www.iconoptix.co.nz/kano/
And of course, as it usually happens, webarchive didnt save most of the pictures, for the most part only thumbnails (which are too small).

Next, i found another website which  had Kano's works. Sadly, some IRL stuff was happening with me so i forgot about it and didn't back up those pages.
Now, about year later (last time i visited that site 11.2019) i suddenly reminded myself about it and went for a 2nd visit...

...but instead of gallery with works of  diferent digital artists, i found personal website of a german lawyer/businessman.

After that, i rushed to webarchiveorg with a sense of hope. But pictures were not saved there except for some thumbnails.

http://web.archive.org/web/20050322171621/http://digitalartmuseum.com/march/kano/index.html

Sadly, pages dedicated to all other artists were not truely saved as well. So, i shall look further.

-

Regardless of this quest of search, i also want to start a discussion.

Do you know early bryce artists? How were you exposed to their works? What do you think overall about atmosphere and "spirit" of that long begone era?

Please post your thoughts and memories.

-

Ok, and one more thing about finding 90s bryce art legacy.

I just found out that Bruce McLeod and Eric Winger were releasing following multimedia CD in late 90s:

"Best of Bryce" aka "Bryce Forum Gallery".

http://web.archive.org/web/20001217115600/http://www.watchfuleye.com:80/bestofbryce.html

I can't find any entries on Amazon or eBay for it, so i will ask you, too.
Do you, by any chance, have that disc? Or know those who have it? Or you have a possibility of getting in contact with Eric or Bruce to ask if they still have a copy?
Would gladly buy it (though honestly, i could only dream that those early artists will have online presence again).

Post edited by akmerlow on

Comments

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,659

    I remember the BryceHog by Kano -- it was one of the first pieces I saw that really used the power of the Terrain Editor as a modeling tool.

    If you haven't already seen them, you should look for the animated films "Planetary Traveler" and "Infinity's Child". They were made by a collective of Bryce artists that included some of the most creative early Brycers -- Rodney L'Ongnion, Susan Kitchens, Rob Sonner, Bill Ellsworth, Cathy Faye Rudolph, Desmond J. Starr and Dieter-Erik von Schramm. They look clunky today -- some parts looked clunky even then -- but considering that they were being produced with low-end equipment and with stop-motion animation planned using Excel spreadsheets (!) they're pretty amazing pieces of work. And I still find some bits eerily beautiful.

    Susan Kitchens, of course, went on to write a series of books about Bryce, such as The KPT Bryce Book, which was essentially a bible for Bryce users. It included artwork by Susan, and David Palermo, and Clay Hagebusch, among others.

    Rodney L'Ongnion sadly had a heart attack and died a number of years ago. I had some correspondence with him, and he sent me a bunch of scene files to see if I could reproduce the look of the original with newer versions of Bryce. He claimed that the very first release of Bryce, for 68K processors, produced subtler and more beautiful skies than any other version. In Bryce 2 and later, the rendering engine changed, but Rodney said that he could even tell the difference between skies rendered on 68K architecture with Bryce 1.0, and skies rendered on PowerPC chips using Bryce 1.0.1, possibly due to differences in the precision with which the two architectures handled floating-point arithmetic.

    Another inspiring early artist was Martin Murphy, whose image Autumn Flirts with Winter used Poser figures in Bryce (and, I think, a fair amount of postwork).

    I'm trying to remember the name of another artist whose work I really liked. If I remember correctly, he might have been named Bryan Smith, and his works were called Thinkpieces, or something like that. He used Bryce to make some very beautiful abstract images, but sadly his website seems to have disappeared.

    Dutch artist Harald Seiwert used to do spectacular architectural renderings. Again, he used the Terrain Editor as a modeler. You can see a few of his Bryce images (possibly not the best ones) on his website. I met Harald once, and he's delightful.

    Olivier ffrench was another European artist doing neat stuff with Bryce.

    Steven Lareau was another Brycer who did early work with video.

    For the Bruce Macleod/Eric Wenger collaboration, you might ask Eric himself. He's still writing software and making art, which you can see on his website.

  • akmerlowakmerlow Posts: 1,124
    edited October 2020

    bytescapes, thanks for your reply with thoughts, memories and suggestions. I will investigate deeper.

     

    Meanwhile, found out about yet another artist, who started with Bryce in the beginning.

    Tomasz Strzalkowski, now known for his gigeresque Zbrush/Maya artworks, and also for environmental 3d in games (like Painkiller and Bulletstorm).

    There are no early bryce-made works on his site or profile, however he posted some examples on his official facebook page:

    He reflects a bit in this interview https://evermotion.org/articles/show/8046/creator-of-surreal-worlds-an-interview-with-tomasz-strzalkowski

    One of the first programs I used was Bryce 3D, and there was the editor to create terrain using displacement maps. There were two options - you could create a terrain with a flat base or mirror reflected solids. There was one window with a preview of the object and the second with displacement map that could be modified by varying filters. You could draw and create any 3-dimensional shapes. It was a little like carving in Zbrush, although it was very clumsy - editing window was very small. I didn't have a tablet back then, but I started carving anyway. In those days it was amazing, I carved many things, even my self-portrait :-) This tool wasn't designed for such work, but I didn't care. I used this method to make a work which was later rewarded in 3D Warehouse contest. I took the first place in the category: “maximum 3D”. It was an incredible inspiration and motivation.

     

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    Post edited by akmerlow on
  • S RayS Ray Posts: 314
    edited September 2020

    My first experience in the Bryce community was Bryce Talk ( B4 )  The most helpful people I remember from those chat rooms were  Susan Kitchens  (AKA Auntie Aliasing),  Calyxa  a member of Bryce Camp ( the developers of Bryce 4 ). The Bryce Forum at Delphi hosted by HangTime was the forum that many Bryce users went to Including Debbie & Dave ( Bryce Tech ) Debbie passed from breast cancer latter Dave sold Bryce Tech to DAZ when they changed from Zygate to DAZ & acquired Bryce from Coral. Back in those days we would all post are work at Bruce McLeod Bryce Gallery hoping the win the Select Gallery Award. This is where Gunther B set up the Bryce.Alive. Network. It hosted our website for free, back in the day.  There were many other galleries  that excepted images from any graphic software we would post to also.

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    Post edited by Chohole on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 33,604
    edited September 2020
    S Ray said:

    My first experience in the Bryce community was Bryce Talk ( B4 )  The most helpful people I remember from those chat rooms were  Susan Kitchens  (AKA Auntie Aliasing),  Calyxa  a member of Bryce Camp ( the developers of Bryce 4 ). The Bryce Forum at Delphi hosted by HangTime was the forum that many Bryce users went to Including Debbie & Dave ( Bryce Tech ) Debbie passed from breast cancer latter Dave sold Bryce Tech to DAZ when they changed from Zygate to DAZ & acquired Bryce from Coral. Back in those days we would all post are work at Bruce McLeod Bryce Gallery hoping the win the Select Gallery Award. This is where Gunther B set up the Bryce.Alive. Network. It hosted our website for free, back in the day.  There were many other galleries  that excepted images from any graphic software we would post to also.

     

    I can't see that image.   Did you remove your attachment thumbnail?

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,852

    Akmerlow -interesting thread

  • S RayS Ray Posts: 314
    edited September 2020

     

    Chohole said:

    I can't see that image.   Did you remove your attachment thumbnail?

    Yes I did URL = https://www.daz3d.com/forums/uploads/FileUpload/94/f27820dd9684f4c5b0a0473bbcd29e.jpg   We enjoyed competing against other artist using True Space, Light Wave, Cinema 4d, EIAS and other higher end software.

     

     

    Post edited by S Ray on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 33,604

    You will have to upload it again,  and leave the thumb.  The thumb generates the URL for the in line image,  but once you remove it they both go away.

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,659

    Incidentally, Calyxa's Bryce galleries (mentioned by S Ray) are still online. Calyxa later became part of the Pandromeda team, supporting Ken "Doc Mojo" Musgrave's Mojoworld app. Ken was an early 3D landscape pioneer, working with Benoit Mandelbrot to produce landscape renderings from Mandelbrot's research into fractals. In fact, Wikipedia says that the toolkit of algorithms developed by Eric Wenger -- and later married to a UI developed by Kai Krause to create the first Bryce -- was an extension of Ken's work.

    Ken was brought in to work on Bryce later on -- I want to say around Bryce 5.5, by which time it was already at DAZ, but it might have been earlier or later than that -- but then left to start his own company (Pandromeda), selling his own software (Mojoworld). Sadly, Ken died a couple of years ago, and Pandromeda had gone out of business some years before that.

    Lise LeBel probably deserves a mention in any comprehensive list of early Brycers. So too does Jonathan Allen, who was a wizard with the Deep Texture Editor.

    I just found a resurrected GeoCities page that contains a long list of links to Bryce galleries from the early days. Sadly, most of the galleries linked to are now gone, but it's almost a who's who of early Brycers. Among the people I'd forgotten but who definitely deserve a mention are Roland Hille, Jonathon Yuen and Kelly McLarnon. Kelly was probably the youngest Brycer around -- I think she was 15 when she first started posting her work (which was spectacular). I think she's now here and here.

  • S RayS Ray Posts: 314

     

    Chohole said:

    You will have to upload it again,  and leave the thumb.  The thumb generates the URL for the in line image,  but once you remove it they both go away.

    I uploaded it again. But it's weird cause I can see it in my post & your reply. I also just installed a new SS drive and did a full blown recovery. So it couldn't be held in my browser history. This stuff confuses me some times 

  • S RayS Ray Posts: 314

     

    Incidentally, Calyxa's Bryce galleries (mentioned by S Ray) are still online. Calyxa later became part of the Pandromeda team, supporting Ken "Doc Mojo" Musgrave's Mojoworld app. Ken was an early 3D landscape pioneer, working with Benoit Mandelbrot to produce landscape renderings from Mandelbrot's research into fractals. In fact, Wikipedia says that the toolkit of algorithms developed by Eric Wenger -- and later married to a UI developed by Kai Krause to create the first Bryce -- was an extension of Ken's work.

    Ken was brought in to work on Bryce later on -- I want to say around Bryce 5.5, by which time it was already at DAZ, but it might have been earlier or later than that -- but then left to start his own company (Pandromeda), selling his own software (Mojoworld). Sadly, Ken died a couple of years ago, and Pandromeda had gone out of business some years before that.

    Lise LeBel probably deserves a mention in any comprehensive list of early Brycers. So too does Jonathan Allen, who was a wizard with the Deep Texture Editor.

    I just found a resurrected GeoCities page that contains a long list of links to Bryce galleries from the early days. Sadly, most of the galleries linked to are now gone, but it's almost a who's who of early Brycers. Among the people I'd forgotten but who definitely deserve a mention are Roland Hille, Jonathon Yuen and Kelly McLarnon. Kelly was probably the youngest Brycer around -- I think she was 15 when she first started posting her work (which was spectacular). I think she's now here and here.

    I believe Doc Mojo came on board at Bryce 4. If you click on the Bryce Camp link He might be the guy front center sitting on the floor in the pic ( but I'm not sure) Susan Kitchens is on the left wearing a yellow under shirt and I believe one of them is Calyxa too. Also at Calyxa Gallery she has some renders from KPT Bryce 1. I remember when Mojo World was being developed Calyxa was very excited about it. 

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,659
    S Ray said:

     I remember when Mojo World was being developed Calyxa was very excited about it. 

    Makes sense. I think she was effectively a product evangelist (among other things) at Pandromeda. She and I have mutual friends, and we had some back and forth by email when I was trying to get my hands on a copy of Mojoworld 3. She eventually hooked me up with a copy of the software, and I'm glad she did, as it's a great program. I run it on my Mac under Parallels, and it still works pretty well. I have a whole gallery of Mojoworld images on my own website.

  • HoroHoro Posts: 8,646

    If you press the space bar and click on the menu Help > About Bryce you get a picture of the developers. This doesn't work in Bryce 4, but in 5.5, 6.0, 6.1, 6.3 and 7.1. With Ctrl you get the version and with Ctrl+Shift the plugins, but you know that.

  • mermaid010mermaid010 Posts: 3,852
    edited September 2020
    Horo said:

    If you press the space bar and click on the menu Help > About Bryce you get a picture of the developers. This doesn't work in Bryce 4, but in 5.5, 6.0, 6.1, 6.3 and 7.1. With Ctrl you get the version and with Ctrl+Shift the plugins, but you know that.

    Thanks, no I didn't know this wink

    Post edited by mermaid010 on
  • S RayS Ray Posts: 314

     

     

     

    Horo said:

    If you press the space bar and click on the menu Help > About Bryce you get a picture of the developers. This doesn't work in Bryce 4, but in 5.5, 6.0, 6.1, 6.3 and 7.1. With Ctrl you get the version and with Ctrl+Shift the plugins, but you know that.

    I remember a Man on the Moon Easter Egg ( in Bryce 4) where you could put a picture of one of the B4 Developers on the moon. Now in B7 you can put any image you want on the moon.

     

  • wow, this is an interesting thread.... thanks for it

  • huberthubert Posts: 135

    Hi akmerlow,

    an interesting thread!

    My first versions of Bryce were Bryce2 and Bryce 3D. Yet I didn't work much with those old versions (esp. considering slow hardware). My brycing boosted only later with Bryce4 and thanks to great online communities like Renderosity and 3D Commune. Where I met a lot of great Brycers (few even in real life) and found much inspiration.
     

    PS @ Horo: Thanks for that cool Easter egg!

    Hint: It is also not contained in the oldest version of Bryce that I know. Here my screenshot in original 800x600 green monitor resolution:

    A veeery old Bryce version (sreenshot)

    Disclaimer: This version has never existed! It was only my teaser for a 1st of April upload (at R'osity and later again at 3D Commune).


    Cheers to (shiny) Spheres
    Hubert

  • HansmarHansmar Posts: 2,330

    Hubert, Sorry, I do not see your picture. Would have been so nice.

  • huberthubert Posts: 135
    edited October 2020

    Hi Hansmar,

    my Firefox does display the image in my post.

    Please try to view my ASCII Bryce image directly here:

    http://hubert-schaefer.com/hubert/temp/ascii_bryce_final.jpg

     

    PS: I had made also a corresponding version for Poser, see here:

    http://hubert-schaefer.com/hubert/temp/ascii_poser_final_amber.jpg

     

    :)
    Hubert

    Post edited by hubert on
  • PaintboxPaintbox Posts: 1,536
    edited October 2020

    Does anyone remember it's nearest competitor? Before Bryce there was Vue D'esprit :

    https://www.cgarchitect.com/features/articles/37702fe9-cgarchitect-com-reviews-vue-d-esprit-4

    I think we owned Vue D'esprit 2. Couldn't find anything on that on the webs.

    Post edited by Paintbox on
  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 1,659
    edited October 2020

    My recollection is that Bryce actually came before Vue d'Esprit, possibly by several years. Bryce was certainly the first one that I heard of.

    Vue d'Esprit is still going, although now it's called simply Vue.

    ("vue d'esprit", incidentally, is a French phrase that literally translates as 'view of (or from) the spirit', but is usually rendered as 'mindset'. A colleague of mine once got herself fired for telling a senior executive "ça, c'est un vue d'esprit," which in context translated to something like "well, that's just, like, your opinion, man." This did not go over very well).

    UPDATE: I did some Googling. Bryce 1 came out in 1994. Vue d'Esprit 1.0 was completed the same year but the first public release (v1.2) wasn't until 1995. Both programs had been in development for several years before that.

    Post edited by bytescapes on
  • PaintboxPaintbox Posts: 1,536

    That's pretty cool to learn about bytescapes, and that timeline should be correct. It was fun to use, a bit more technical than Bryce, but it did do some amazing renders for its time. Especially its tree generation was ahead of its time (and I think ahead of Bryce) 

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