Software

Bryce 5.5: The Right Tool for the Job?

Bryce is a 3D illustration and rendering program intended to create realistic 3D landscapes and animations in a fairly intuitive way, using a drag-and-drop interface on a real-time canvas. Does it deliver on its promise?

The Job Bryce is a 3D illustration and rendering program intended to create realistic 3D landscapes and animations in a fairly intuitive way, using a drag-and-drop interface on a real-time canvas. Does it deliver on its promise?

Bryce 5.5

The Tool Bryce has been around in various forms for years. With DAZ Productions making version 5.5 available for the Mac under OS X, graphic designer and photographer Jay Major was eager to see if the app is still as fun and easy to use as it used to be, and whether it creates the same great 3D images. After putting Bryce through its paces, Jay gave us the lowdown on what he found.

Bryce 5.5: The Right Tool for the Job?

Bryce 5.5 strengths
  • Intuitive menus and tools
  • Real-time preview screens
  • Many preset options for beginners and intermediate users
  • Quick on-screen response versus earlier versions
  • Quick rendering
Its weaknesses
  • Some disjointed editor windows that don't really match up
  • Continuously staring at tiny preview screen
  • Simple textures and shapes
  • Limited to basic primitive shapes outside of terrains
The Right Tool For The Job?

Bryce 5.5 is what it is: a landscape and scenic modeler and basic 3D shape creator. While not offering any advanced CAD-style 3D creation or figurative animation capabilities, it is nonetheless a very effective tool for achieving attractive 3D scenery and well-lit environments. Its interface is quirky at times but easily learned, with a graphic-style interface and clearly-labeled buttons.

The recent version has animation capabilities as well as many new preset textures. Unlike its competitors, Bryce allows users to create attractive 3D images within minutes, while offering powerful functionality as well. This makes it a good option for curious beginners as well as seasoned 3D artists. For the price (it's free), you really can't go wrong with Bryce 5.5 . It's the Right Tool for the Job.

Read Jay's comprehensive review of Bryce 5.5 in this Right Tool for the Job gallery.

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