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Creating Realistic Landscape Terrains in Bryce

Author: rt2007

Tools Needed

* Bryce (any version)

Step 1 - Choosing a Fractal for Your Terrain

To begin, open Bryce, create a new project, and create a terrain. Enter the Terrain Editor by clicking the letter E. Click the drop down arrow next to the button labeled “Fractal”.


Choose a fractal category from the right and click the Fractal button a few times until you get something interesting. Try “Slickrock”, “Mordor”, or “Rolling Hills” fractal categories for a start. Any other ones would work well. It depends on the kind of mountain that you're looking to create.

Step 2 - Giving the Terrain a Higher Resolution

In order to bring up the detail level on your terrain, we need to increase the resolution. This is done by clicking the small grid and selecting 1024 x 768.


However, this in itself won't really increase the resolution. You have to regenerate the terrain. But if you click the Fractal button again, your terrain will be lost. In order to keep the terrain, click the drop down arrow next to the Fractal button and Deselect Random Extent, Random Position, and Random Character.


Now click the Fractal button. Your terrain should stay the same, but it will be more detailed.

Step 3 - Bringing the Edges Down

If you were to exit the terrain editor right now, you would notice that the edges of the terrain don't touch the ground. We have to bring them down in the terrain editor. First raise the terrain using the Raise/Lower button until the top of the terrain almost flattens out. Then click and drag on the Gaussian Edges button until the edges are lowered to black. Don't drag too far or your terrain will be lost. Now use the Raise/Lower button again to raise the terrain until the tops flatten out.

Step 4 - Adding Realism to the Terrain

Now you have a pretty good looking terrain, but it's still not realistic yet. Right below the Fractal button is the Eroded button. NOT the Erode button, but the Eroded button. If you click the Erode button, you will end up with completely different results. Drag to the right until veins are slightly visible on the preview. Make sure you don't drag all the way to the right, or your terrain will lose its realism. Remember, you can always press Ctrl+Z if you make a mistake. Press the Slope Noise and Height Noise buttons 1 or 2 times to finish off your terrain.


Go ahead and exit the terrain editor and add an interesting texture, (I used a modified version of the “Classic Bryce Snow” preset.) and your realistic terrain is finished!