Price When Reviewed: 55
Pros: The original landscape rendering program has come a long way but still combines its original virtues of ease-of-use plus a fair degree of depth. New OpenGL and Daz Studio plug-in features are a bonus.
Cons: No longer leader of the pack – slow rendering and a little crash-prone when network rendering make it a less compelling option.
Bryce has a history of being passed around from company to company, but now it’s back, under the care of 3D content suppliers Daz Productions. This at last seems like a good fit.
The new version has a number of interesting new features that, while not terribly major in themselves, suggests that Daz is willing to spend some time and effort bringing this aging 3D application up to date. Most of us are aware that Bryce is not exactly cutting-edge 3D technology, though when it was first released it was a revelation for digital artists, designers, and hobbyists who never got their hands on a 3D program before.
It was just so easy to use compared to anything else. It’s still a useful 3D program and it’s dead cheap. At only £55, it represents very good value. What’s more, Daz has made it a lot more useful by adding a plug-in to their own 3D software Daz|Studio, which is installed along with Bryce. With Daz|Studio you can import models into Bryce that might have been much more difficult before, and since Daz sells 3D content it’s important that Bryce integrates with the company’s other offerings.
Daz|Studio has some good tools itself, not least the 3Delight renderman-compliant renderer (though don’t expect any high-end features). Flitting between the two is pretty painless, and accessing content such as Poser models, poses
and props is simplicity itself.