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Creating a River in Bryce

Author: guy_david

Tools Needed

  • Bryce 5


Making a river in Bryce is easy. The key is the use of a ground plane and a lattice, and the positive and negative charging of objects. In this tutorial I explain step by step the procedure of creating the river, as well of using family names for selecting objects.


Step 1 - Setting the Ground


First, create a new document in Bryce. By default. your new document would contain one Ground Plane. Choose a material for your plane. I'll use Mediterranean Hills for this tutorial. Here is a render of how this scene looks with only the Ground Plane:


Next, create a Symmetrical Lattice. Click on the small grey color square next to the plane and the lattice. Choose a color and give your object a family name:


I called my lattice “River Cut” and my plane “Ground”.

Step 2 - Positioning the Lattice


Now you can use the family names you gave on step 1 to choose objects in your scene as shown above. Choose your lattice. Once chosen, use the Edit controls to rotate, resize and position your lattice:


This is how your scene would look now rendered:


Step 3 - Negatives and Positives


Choose your plane and click the little “A” to open the Object Attributes box. Choose a positive charge as shown above. Now choose your lattice and give it a negative charge:


Next, choose both the plane and the lattice and group them. When you group a positive object with a negative one, the negative would punch a hole in the positive. That is why there is a crack in you plane, and the lattice disappeared.

Step 4 - Making the River


Now, create a Water Plane. Don't forget to give it a family color. I named mine “Water”. Use the Edit controls to change the position of your water alone the Y axis, until they are just below the ground (see above).

As you can see in my render, the river looks more like a pond. use the Families button to choose the lattice:


Now, play with the Edit controls until your river is proud and deep ;-)


Step 5 - Water That Runs Deeper


As you can see in the render from Step 4, the waters are very high and the river is about to overflow. Choose the water from the Families list. It looks like nothing is chosen:


The problem is that the waters are below ground lever. In order to see the Water Plane you need to see what's underground by clicking the Underground On/Off button:


Now you can lower the water a little using the Edit controls to get a deeper river.

Step 6 - Final Render and Final Tips


Above is the final render of this river.

Remember - you can always change the position of your river by selecting the lattice and using the Edit control to resize it, rotate it and reposition it.