The Enchanting Scene

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This is a basic under/over water scene that can be created with any version of Bryce and a little post work. Like any project, the more tools the wilder it gets. This image was made with Bryce 5, AGOR’s sky, Poser 5, Matisse in Gray, Photoshop 5.5, and assumes a basic working knowledge of Bryce, Poser and Photoshop. Included within the Bonus Online Content section are the .br5 files for you to pick apart.

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The Under Water Scene

Set up a Bryce scene with the default sky. In Skylab, set the fog to a light blue-green with density 7/ thickness 17/ base height 7, then set the haze to a darker blue-green and use 70 for all haze settings. Enable “blend with sun.” Save as dolphin_under.br5. Save often!

Use “New Mexico Cliffs” [in Planes and Terrains] for the infinite plane. Then create another infinite plane and move it to the top of your viewable area. Select the “Swirling Water” texture and turn off the “receive shadows” function, and bump the transparency up to 65. Next, move the camera so that only 1/8 or less of the image at the top is water and the angle is downward in the direction of the sand.

Add a mountain to the distant background, to give you sufficient room to create the foreground scene. Stretch the width and height so it spans the workspace and protrudes above the water line. Try the “Heavy Foliage” texture.

Make a second terrain with the same texture, only this time open the terrain editor and select one of the random rolling hills fractals. Stretch the terrain the width of your scene, shallow the height, and sink it partially into the sand, moving it close to the base of the first mountain. This will break up the harsh line between the sand and the mountain.

Bryce generates different shapes each time you click the rock tool. For a more realistic scene, create new rocks instead of duplicating just one. Sink the rocks in the lower infinite plane. Apply a rock texture of your choosing.

Make sea plants with the lattice editor. While it is possible to use the brush tool in the lattice editor directly on the maroon workspace, it’s more versatile to make a 400 x 400 x 72 pixel image in a paint program, and use the brush assortment to make white patterns on a black background. The quill brush that comes with “Matisse in Gray” is excellent for this. Draw the white lines, and import that image to the lattice editor. Note: you can see the pixelization, which will give the plant some character.




Return to the Bryce workspace. Go to the attributes of the lattice, and rotate the X axis to minus 90, and set the size on the Y axis to 2.0. The plant should now be standing correctly, so position it on the ocean floor. Copy and paste in the same location, and rotate the plant 1/3 of the way around. Paste again and rotate 2/3. Use the “Heavy Foliage” texture on two of the lattices and find a bright red-yellow rock texture, such as the “Desert Sandstone” for the third. Give the bright texture slightly more ambiance than the default. Group the three lattices - copy and paste again. This time move the new group to a different location, and give it a different overall size and rotate it a bit. Do this several times, spreading the plants around.

In Bryce 5, create a tree. Squash the tree on the vertical axis, widen and lengthen it, sinking to where the leaves are just on top of the sand. Select the “Bamboo” leaf shape for one of the trees and use a texture that has yellow-green tinge. Make another flattened tree in the scene and use the “Baobab” leaf shape. Sometimes there are render issues with copy and past trees, so make both from scratch.

Now pose and export the dolphin from Poser in .obj format. Use Grouper [www.castironflamingo.com] to convert before importing to Bryce. Grouper reorganizes the mesh to match the texture. Reduce in size, and move it towards the camera to avoid reflection on the water.

Create a spherical light and move it above the water plane; increase the intensity to 35 or more. Create a second spherical light just above the dolphin and just below the water plane. Increase the light intensity to 35 and give it a very light yellow-orange color. Experiment with a third spherical light and default settings, and position it behind the dolphin and touching the water plane. That should result in a light reflection on the water plane for the sun. Save this scene and export a low quality render for now.




The Over Water Scene.

Save with a new name: dolphin_over.br5. Move the camera just above the water plane and angle it upward until the water plane covers the lower 1/6 of the render, exposing slightly more water in the image than the last scene.

Change the sky to a bright sunset color. This image uses the “Agoria 5” sky by AGOR [www.dreamlandworks.com] with modifications (AGOR has a great set of skies and a new set at the Renderosity Market Place). Set AGORIA 5 to blend with the sun. Give the sun control a light blue color, lavender ambient, and yellow skydome. Adjust the sun to an azimuth of 175 and a height of 40.

Flatten the terrain on the Y height axis and reposition it to give the appearance of a realistic mountain protruding from the water. Modify the “Heavy Foliage” texture. Open the texture editor, and change the brown colors to white.

Flatten the lattice to a Y height axis of 7. Reposition it so the lattice is positioned at the water line on the right side. Let a very small strip of water show between the lattice and the bottom of the screen. Still using the “New Mexico Cliffs,” turn down the diffusion to 50 and the ambiance down to 5.

Use the same water texture, turning the ambiance up to 30 and the diffusion up to 20. Give your overhead spherical light (the first one created) a deeper yellow-orange color and turn down the intensity to 25 or less.

Pose and import two more dolphins for the jump scene using Grouper. If the scene has a natural flat spot in the water then position the jump over that. Experiment with either crossed dolphins or tandem jumps. Next, import a posed horse. The Renderosity Market Place has some excellent horse textures. You can make a unicorn horn with a cone primitive, or grab one of the unicorn horns in from this issue’s Bonus Content section. Position the horse over the lattice. Save again and export a low quality render.



Putting It Together.

In Photoshop, create a work area and insert both renders on separate layers. Line up the “sandy over water lattice” slightly to the right of the “underwater lattice.” When both images line up, render at a high quality and put them together again in Photoshop and flatten the layers. Experiment with adjusting the contrast, curves, and color balance to get a brighter look to the image at this time.



Distort the water line by using the rectangular marquee tool, selecting slightly above and below the line, and along the entire width. In the built in filter from the pull-down menu, select “Distort/Twirl.” Move the slider slightly to the right to create a low rolling line along the water seam. Click OK. Select: Distort/ Ocean Ripple and use the default setting - then, disengage the selection marquee. Use the smudge and blend tools, to smudge and blend the ripple.

Insert white water droplets with one of the Sapphire brushes found on www.freephotoshop.com. Create rings in the water to use as the exit points for the jumping dolphins. Clicking the brush tool quickly with the mouse stationary creates sharp edge. As the water droplets get closer to the exit point in the water, click and hold with a slight pull on the mouse to get a blurred brush

Experiment with the square or elliptical marquee tool, and drag your cursor from the top left to the bottom right. Under “Select” set the feather to 10, and select “Inverse.” Use a black round brush to fill in the outskirts of the image.

To add the finishing touches to your image, experiment with various standalone filters, such as the “Dreamy” filter [http://www.autofx.com/]. If you have any questions or comments, drop me a note on the Renderosity website.




####


Who is EricofSD?




I was born in Tucson in 1959. Dad was a retired fighter /
interceptor pilot and mom was a descendent of the Cremonese
violin maker. I have two older siblings. Alvin currently
is a mechanical engineer professor at Arizona State
University with a Ph.D. He is a fantastic artist with
graphite and oil. Ann is a professional artist and works in
oil, graphite and wax for bronze sculptures. Like many
artists, she works a side job.

In grade school, I started assembling a black and white
darkroom including a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Speed Graphic sheet film
Graflex. It seemed to me that the whole world needed to be
photographed.

By the time I started in high school, dad was taking me to
the airport on weekends where I picked weeds and worked
around the hanger in exchange for flying lessons. I hardly
ever went up without a camera.

In my last year of high school, I went to a local community
college and completed an emergency medical technology
course. When I was 20 I went to work for a local ambulance company and stayed there for a year and a half.

Then came college. Those were the experimental years. I just didn't know what I wanted to be so I dabbled in everything. Finally, I went to an aircraft maintenance school. By age 27 I was promoted to director of maintenance for a helicopter company in San Diego. I was in the hangar, out on seismic and forest fire contracts, and occasional sea excursions on helicopter carrying tuna boats. In 1988, an F-14 crashed into the hanger where I was working. I used the settlement money for helicopter flying lessons and went back to sea as a pilot/mechanic. Always there was a camera and by then I had settled on a Canon A-1.

By the early 90's I started messing with computers. AOL was my first online experience and I was assigned the name EricofSD, as in San Diego. Oh my, the world of graphics and special effects was of interest, but back then, the software was few and far between and very expensive.

Well, I took a summer off from work and went to Indonesia to help Mission Aviation Fellowship. Then on to college again and by 1995 I had earned a Master of Divinity and was pastoring a small Baptist church in San Diego. The pay wasn't all that great so I went back fishing for a while and then on to a flight captain position with Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters. Always, I had my trusty camera and occasionally a camcorder.

In 1999 I graduated from law school and ended up in northern Arizona working for a small law firm. It wasn't long before I found myself wearing not only an attorney hat, but a network administrator hat. One of our vendors said he had a promo copy of Bryce 4 and sent it my way.
Wow, a new hobby was born. Renderosity was the first real online community that I joined and the folks were so helpful and encouraging.

In 2003 the staff at Renderosity decided to let me start up a monthly challenge for the Poser forum. We are now well into our second year and going strong. Deemarie invited me to help out with the magazine on the technical editing side of things. Just a few months ago my first Bryce graphic was published as a book cover.

Where life will take me in the future is anyone's guess, but I know one thing, it will be fun.

See more at EricofSD's artist page.
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