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list($219.00)
21. Poser 4
list($199.00)
22. Bryce 5
list($199.00)
23. 3D Toolkit with Universe 2.9
list($149.00)
24. Strata 3D Plus 3.5
list($129.00)
25. Strata 3D Plus 3.7 RME Upgrade
list($89.00)
26. Strata 3D Plus 3.5 Upgrade
27. Strata 3D Pro 3.5 Upgrade from
list($395.00)
28. UPG-V LIGHTWAVE 3D 6.X TO 7.0
29. Strata 3D 3.0
list($249.00)
30. Upgrade Strata 1.X To 3DPRO V3.8
31. Strata 3D Pro 3.0 Upgrade
list($99.00)
32. Upgrade Strata 3DPRO V3.6 To V3.8
list($895.00)
33. Strata 3D Pro
34. Mediapaint 1.1
35. Lightwave 3D 6.0 MAC USB
list($129.00)
36. Strata 3DPro 3.6 Upgrade from
list($149.99)
37. Poser Pro Pack Windows/Mac
list($695.00)
38. Strata 3DPRO V3.8 Rme Mac Commercial
39. UPG-V STRATA 3D PRO 3.5
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40. Corel Bryce 5.0 Upgrade

21. Poser 4
list price: $219.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005R4KY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Curious Labs, Inc.
Sales Rank: 4982
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Poser 4 is a 3-D character animation and design tool for digital artists and animators. From a diverse collection of fully articulated 3-D human and animal models--and a library of settings and swappable clothing--you can create movies, images, and posed 3-D figures. With Poser's unique interface, posing and animating is fast and easy. Generate movies and 2-D graphics from posed models for content in Web, print, and video projects. Add life to 3-D worlds using exported, posed figures. For computer artists and hobbyists alike, Poser 4 generates dynamic, figure-based content while providing a valuable introduction to 3-D. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good 3D program
This is a good 3D program. But ,I think my version has some features missing. I bought it at a local university so I think I have the student version. I have learned a lot on my own by using this program. Much of the animation is painstating work. Sometimes you need to go frame by frame. I finally figured out how the magnets work. I wish they had a better means of sculpting these figures. I hope to purchase the full version of poser 5.

I finally realized that you can down load free figures and props off of the internet. I spent the last few days down loading many props. Now I can make more realistic images, I hope to purchase the Millenium Girls (Boys) figure. These charaters enable the user to create a wide variety of children characters. The children figures that come with Poser are very limited in what can be done to manipulate them. I plan to buy some adult figures that can be manipulated.

It is kind of frustrating that I have to buy extra figures instead of having them with the program (Of course You can download many figures and morphs and textures for free) But for the price Poser is relatively inexpensive and easy to use(The student version is even cheaper. I have made great progress in the past six months since I bought the program. I have not had any official instruction in 3D Modeling and animation except for a brief course in AutoCAD. I hope to take a 3D course next semester. I would love to have formal instruction on Poser.

You can create your own morph targets for you figures as well as make your own props , but these take advance skill and without formal instruction it can be difficult and frustrating. Props can be created in other programs such as Bryce and Lightwave (The class I will be taking uses Lightwave). The Poser Pro Pack is supose to enable the user to use Poser with these other programs. I was told that many computer artists use many different software programs using the stong points of each in combination.

5-0 out of 5 stars Order now! ...
If you can afford to spend thirty-five hundred for 3DS Max, consider yourself fortunate; If you're not a spoiled cowboy from Dallas, you can save yourself over three grand and pick up Poser 4!
For beginners, the software is superb in its' user-friendliness. Fulfill your 3D character and animation fantasies on a budget. The User Guide is very clearly written. Characters can be exported to other 3D applications like Bryce 5, World Builder, Terragen, forester . . . and yes, Hopalong Ferrari in Texas - even the 3DStudio Max daddy bought for ya!
If you doubt the truly professional images Poser is capable of, check out some user galleries on the WWW, and marvel at the near-photorealistic results experienced artists have achieved.
Easy enough for beginners, advanced enough for artists. And just think of all the cool cowboy outfits you can buy with the money you save! What a deal!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
I use this program at school and I love it! I love playing with the animal and skeleton characters!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Useful Part of a Graphics Toolkit
Animal forms are difficult to draw. To someone not well versed in figure drawing (and I think that applies to most people) Poser is an extremely useful and powerful tool with a wide range of applications. It does human and animal figures and just about anything else you can imagine. As has been said before, the rendering quality is mediocre, but I would be hard pressed to fnd a situation where the render from Poser was not going to be taken a step further: given further treatment in a paint program or integrated into a scene rendered elsewhere.

I use Poser regularly as a part of the following suite of tools: Pandromeda's incredible landscape generator MojoWorld, Adobe Photoshop and Lightwave 7.5. Since I am a creative director with a huge background and exposure to different graphics tools, trust me on this! Lightwave and Photoshop are a little pricey, but the MojoWorld is [priced inexpensive] and really takes figures rendered in Poser to the next level. Too bad they don't bundle!

4-0 out of 5 stars The best thing that ever happened to 3d software
Poser 4 is an amazing program that pretty much does it all when it comes to 3d character animation and design. There is no other program that offers so much control over a human model with such ease. Poser comes with a stockpile of premade human and animal models which you can customize and animate, and you can get additional models for free or for relatively low prices by going to any search engine and searching for "Poser models". Poser is not only for making humans and animals; you can import 3d models in a variety of formats and put them into your scene. In fact, I've made a 3d interface for a multimedia project entirely, school yearbook covers, and a special effects scene for a school movie almost entirely in Poser.
Poser's main advantage lies in its uncomparable ease of use and small learning curve. There are some down sides, however: the animation tools are rather hard to use and somewhat tedious. Its rendering engine is slow and does not allow for motion blur, real ambience, reflectivity, and refractivity, and the bump mapping system (a texture that creates shadows and highlights on a surface to give the appearance of bumpiness) cannot used with compressed (JPEG) images unless you also have Pro Pack, thus greatly restricting texture resolution. Luckily, all or most of these shortcomings will be fixed in Poser 5, coming out at the end of Summer 2002.
If you haven't already bought Poser 4, I would recommend waiting for the 5th version, although it will cost about twice as much. ... Read more


22. Bryce 5
list price: $199.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LIKR
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Corel
Sales Rank: 4655
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Review

There's nothing quite like building your own world, and no applicationmakes it easier than Bryce. Now on its fifth major revision and currently ownedby Corel, Bryce has grown from a fun application for building alien planets to acapable rendering tool with advanced features.

Version 5 offers numerous new features and improvements. To address thecomplaints of the slow rendering engine, Bryce 5 has introduced networkrendering. No longer will one computer have to slave away all its own on a10-second scene. Rendering can be distributed across as many systems as areavailable on your network. The number of computer slaves available for use isonly limited by your own hardware, as Bryce's network rendering license isunlimited. However, Bryce still doesn't take advantage of computers withmultiple CPUs--rendering on a system with two 400 MHz processors takes the sametime as rendering on a system with one.

If you've got a green thumb, Bryce 5 has the Tree Lab, one of the easiest waysto grow a forest. Nearly everything about a tree is variable: number ofbranches, number of leaves, kind of trunk, kind of leaf, branch angle, amount ofbranching, etc. There are presets for dozens of common and uncommon trees, andthe thumbnail preview screen lets you preview in wire-frame or rendered views.

Once the forest is grown, you might want to light it up using the tools from theLight Lab. Based on the earlier version, the new Light Lab has been redesignedto make it easier to build, adjust, and customize lights and their attributes.You can use color gradients as gels for lights, and control other attributeslike shadow ambiance, soft shadows, blurry reflections, and true ambiance.

The new Light and Tree Labs, as well as metaballs and network rendering, makeBryce 5 a must-have application for old and new users alike. --MikeCaputo ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful product
If your on any kind of budget and start choking when you see $500 or $1,000 for 3D software this is an excellent product. Bryce 5 has an easy to learn interface that allows you to move and alter objects, change atmosphere, and change camera views without having to beat it with a stick. The program lets you save objects, textures, and atmospheres you've created into the program so that they're always there when you come back. It also comes with alot of preset object and textures you can use, so you can create an image the first time you open the program. This isn't the program you want if your trying to do complex character animation, but it's really good for landscapes, architecture, and background. If your not sure this product is for you go to a few 3D sites and look at images people have made with Bryce 5. I've been using it for a year and I'm really happy with it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A flawed favorite
I've been using Bryce since it was ported to Windows at version 2.0. My impressions were, this is great but I can spend a brief eternity waiting for it to render. As features were added and stability was addressed we get to Bryce 5 which does a nice job of creating interesting 3D images. Created to be a nature designer Bryce 5 offers import and texture mapping of several 3D objects. This is important as it's nice to sometimes add buildings, animals or humans to pictures you design. The modeling tools are designed for natural scene creation but it is easy to create indoor scenes, 2D style studies and combinations of styles.

The renderer is excellent with many options for developing your world. Bryce's interface has always been unique but intuitive. Still you will want to read the bland manual. After market books are poor to acceptable - beware of books depending on you purchasing modeling packages or 3D clip art.

The animation options are acceptable for a program in this price range but aren't really suitable for much more than short clips, say 5 to 30 seconds. Even with a very fast, highly tweaked computer Bryce can crawl when rendering.

Some solutions are to keep your animations simple and turn off the antiailising, on smaller frame sizes it is harder to notice and saves between 20 to 60% of render time. If developing stills make your picture slightly larger and don't use antiailising, go into your favorite graphics editor and resize. You will get faster renders and usually no jagged edges. For fun and small projects Bryce is great. It is priced to be appealing to the home user that isn't necessarily an artist but will certainly learn as they compose and develop scenes and animations.

Bryce 5 is getting old and lacking in many modern features including the inability to take advantage of modern processors. Still, it is fun to work with and can create some of the most realistic landscapes or abstracts you can imagine. Bryce 5 expects little from the user, even it's learning curve is simple, especially for a 3D program, and has impressive results. Because of it's slow renderer it is not really a good professional solution although pro quality landscaping tools for high quality 3D programs cost three times Bryce's price and demand a general purpose 3D program well into the high hundred dollar to multi-thousand dollar solution.

If you were curious what you could do in the visual arts but currently don't have the talent you can realize many of your ideas in Bryce 5. Much of 3D graphics have more to do with physics than artistic skills. If you are good at visualizing Bryce 5 is an excellent and modest costing program.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Awesome
I began using Bryce 5 at my school and soon bought a copy of my own because I love this program. I have spent endless nights creating new enviroments and such.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great power for creativity and low price, but annoying...
It sure is hard to beat having the power to create your own world in 3D for so little money. If you want to break into 3D graphics, this is a good place to start.

However, if I had it do to over again, I would have bought a book on Bryce and read it before trying to learn by experience. That's the hard way.

Also, there are some useability issues that annoy me continually.

For example, there is a "select all" function key shortcut, but no "deselect all" function key. Why not? Photoshop does this.

Another is that they give you the ability to create trees, and they pre-load about seventy different tree templates, but in the select pull-down the don't alphabetize the tree names, so even if you know what you're looking for you have to visually scan the entire list.

Finally, and most annoying, once you get more than a few objects in your project then selecting an individual object becomes a real chore. There's a function that allowes one to select objects without clicking on them, which is rather handy.

However, if you have for example ten different cubes in your project, and you want to select one of them, you click on the little cube selector on the bottom and you can choose to select from the list of cube objects. However, there's nothing on the screen to identify the cube objects, so I have to select all the cubes until I find the one I want.

I find myself taking more time to select the objects I want to manipulate than I do actually manipulating the objects. Once I've spent a few hours with this product, I'm worn out, frusterated, and I don't want to use it again for several days.

The bottom line is that this software is powerful, affordable, but not much fun to use once you get past "Wow, I just created a mountain with a mouse-click."

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Warez man
Where to start...Corel Bryce 5 is [great], I like 3D landscapes or what i call "starescapes". Here is another creative powerhouse, the texture, material, bump mapping is awesome. Watch out for the tree lab though, scale it to large, add to much foliage..watch your PC choke to death on it(mine does)! The animations you can make are really cool as well, from simple, like a screw driving in to a 2x4, to complex, like a full length cartoon, Bryce 5 can do it, you can model cars from terrain plains, make "monsters" out of primitives, the boolean operations can make some wicked stuff. I highly recommend it, and I challenge you to master it..just when you think you have...guess what, you find something new you can do..your imagination and computer are your only limits! As Eric Cartman would say "kick [butt]"...oh yeah you can model him as well ;) ... Read more


23. 3D Toolkit with Universe 2.9
list price: $199.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000063K87
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Electric Image
Sales Rank: 11661
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24. Strata 3D Plus 3.5
list price: $149.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LM77
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 9830
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25. Strata 3D Plus 3.7 RME Upgrade from 3D 3.5
list price: $129.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000063CWV
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
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26. Strata 3D Plus 3.5 Upgrade
list price: $89.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LM7B
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
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27. Strata 3D Pro 3.5 Upgrade from C4D/Lightwave/Amapi

Asin: B00005LM7F
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 13331
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28. UPG-V LIGHTWAVE 3D 6.X TO 7.0
list price: $395.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005RHE0
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Newtek,Inc.
Sales Rank: 13289
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

A complete and flexible software solution for 3-D graphics andanimation, LightWave 3D offers the speed, power, and stability users need to getwork done quickly and easily. Proven for years in the TV, film, and game media,LightWave 3D can also be used to create graphics for print, Web, industrialdesign, architecture, medical imaging, and other fields in which a 3-D packageis needed. A full, robust program, LightWave 3D includes tools to createsoft-body dynamics, particles, hair, and fur, plus unlimited render nodes.

Caustics in LightWave 3D provide fast and accurate light reflection andrefraction. Digital Confusion is a new depth-of-field filter that offerstraditional depth-of-field control, plus rendering of hidden geometry foraccurate background blurring and optional iris shapes for matching variouscamera styles. LightWave 3D is one of the first animation packages with built-inhigh-dynamic range images (HDRI) support. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars hardcore upgrade!
this was one serious upgrade. the inclusion of a spreadsheet/dope sheet editor, the motion mixer (an incredible time-saver for complex animations), and even a 'lite' version of worley labs' sasquatch (hair/fiber generation, a pixel filter/post processing effect) made it worth every penny for me- and it's already paid for itself. many other small enhancements, bug fixes and additions round off the version well, not to mention it's solid osX support. highly recommended! ... Read more


29. Strata 3D 3.0

Asin: B00004TFIV
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 9760
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com Product Description

Strata 3-D software is a Web-based 3-D creation tool that keeps up with you no matter where you want to go. This product is used in print, film, broadcast, and Web design. It is introductory-level, Web-enabled software for modeling, animation, and rendering. Enhancement modules are available, and Cycore Cult3D is included. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cool and Easy
This is very easy to use and it has lots of good textures. I have made lots of amazing stuff because of this software. I made good details to my models. But it doesn't have a IK stucture. When I tried to make charcters to my models, it is colorful, but when I tried to animate it, it doesn't move like real charcters. But it is cool that I can make my own movies and animations. But sometimes it takes long time to render. Although this pruduct is easy to use. GET IT!

5-0 out of 5 stars Animation and modelling is a breeze
This product is very easy to use. The animation tools are good too. I did use POVRay with Moray, but I'm convinced that this product is easier. It allows you to scale textures in real-time (using OpenGL) so that you can see the immeadiate results. Also, you can run a test animation in wire-frame mode - or in flat mode (no shadows or textures) in a fraction of the time it takes for a fully rendered animation.

It directly imports dxf and 3ds files - so all those models on the web can be used. The manual is easy to understand and has everything well documented. ... Read more


30. Upgrade Strata 1.X To 3DPRO V3.8 Rme Mac Commercial
list price: $249.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007LB5M
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
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31. Strata 3D Pro 3.0 Upgrade

Asin: B00004TSXT
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 12402
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Amazon.com Product Description

Strata 3D is an easy-to-use 3-D creation package that enables you to quickly drench your imagery with realism. New export features allow you to port stunning content to the Web for e-commerce solutions. Within minutes, create 3-D models, apply sophisticated textures, and add dramatic lighting to render stunning 3-D effects. ... Read more


32. Upgrade Strata 3DPRO V3.6 To V3.8 Rme Mac Commercial
list price: $99.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007MALK
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
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33. Strata 3D Pro
list price: $895.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LM78
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 10752
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Rendering Package
This is a great tool and you can't beat the price with a stick. It is very powerful and somewhat easy to pick up for anyone with CAD experience. I use it in conjunction with Vectorworks and can import models into Strata. The only deficiency is that it does not have any complex drawing tools for modeling complex shapes and so requires more cleverness in creating complex or architectural geometries. Overall, I highly recommend it. ... Read more


34. Mediapaint 1.1

Asin: B00002S66N
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 13621
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Amazon.com Review

The longevity and stability of MediaPaint is a testament to both thetrue usefulness of the program and the programmers at Strata. AlthoughMediaPaint predates the whole digital-video revolution, it is a program that hasfinally come into its own.

MediaPaint is used for painting on video frames of existing movies or creatinganimation from scratch on a frame-by-frame basis. It offers many similar toolsas other painting programs such as the airbrush and brush, but it also includessome very specific and video-oriented brushes.

Painting on an existing movie works nondestructively. When a movie is openedinto MediaPaint, a "paint layer" is created above the existing video frame. Thislayer is where the painting operations are placed. When it's time to save yourwork, it can be saved as a MediaPaint document that is the paint layer only andcontains a pointer to the imported movie on which you painted, or it can save anew movie. The new movie is a copy of the source movie but with the paint layernow merged into it.

Some of MediaPaint's highlights include a terrific Fire brush with fullycustomizable settings, an outstanding lightning and electric arc brush, and aFireworks brush. All of these are animatable and easily customized, and fewother programs have such features that are so easy to use.

The program also features a "lightbox" or "onion skinning" feature. Turning thison allows the animator to view previous and future frames while painting on thecurrent frame. Frames can also be inserted and deleted on the fly, making itrelatively easy to create animation and adjust its timing.

Although showing its age, the program still does a great job at frame-by-framepainting. Although it was written several years ago and thus lacks some of thecontemporary tools or shortcuts we take for granted, it can open the latestQuickTime movies compressed with the DV codec and add effects to them.

MediaPaint is basically a one-trick pony, but it does it very well and veryfast. If you're doing any kind of frame-by-frame painting or rotoscoping,MediaPaint is worth a look. --Mike Caputo ... Read more


35. Lightwave 3D 6.0 MAC USB

Asin: B00004U4QY
Catlog: Software
Publisher: NEWTEKINC.
Sales Rank: 13697
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36. Strata 3DPro 3.6 Upgrade from Strata 3Dpro 3.x
list price: $129.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000065CFH
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

37. Poser Pro Pack Windows/Mac
list price: $149.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005R4KZ
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Curious Labs, Inc.
Sales Rank: 5965
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Product Description

Poser 4 is a 3-D character animation and design tool for digital artists and animators. From a diverse collection of fully articulated 3-D human and animal models--and a library of settings and swappable clothing--you can create movies, images, and posed 3-D figures. With Poser's unique interface, posing and animating is fast and easy. Generate movies and 2-D graphics from posed models for content in Web, print, and video projects. Add life to 3-D worlds using exported, posed figures. For computer artists and hobbyists alike, Poser 4 generates dynamic, figure-based content while providing a valuable introduction to 3-D.

The Poser Pro Pack is an essential complement to Poser 4. Designed for 3-D professionals, the Pro Pack from Curious Labs adds high-end functionality to Poser 4, including motion blur, a Python-scripting interface, and a new figure setup room that includes easy-to-visualize, editable bones and improved character-creation tools. The ability to host animated Poser scenes in 3D Studio Max, LightWave, and Cinema 4D XL, combined with stunning output to the Macromedia Flash format and Viewpoint Experience Technology, transform Poser 4 into a character animation powerhouse. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Clarification
The review from the other customer on 10/26 says that Pro-Pack is a great introduction to Poser 4. You cannot run Pro-Pack without owning Poser 4. This is an add-on. Please make sure that you own the full package. This is a great and easy to use application. Being a newbie, I was able to pick up the manual and start using the program right out of the box. This is a must have on any list!

4-0 out of 5 stars Impressed enough
this is a versatile set. with enough goodies to give a beginner a working knowledge of the POSER application. it doesn't include POSER 4 but it works as a nice intro for it. ... Read more


38. Strata 3DPRO V3.8 Rme Mac Commercial
list price: $695.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00007KH0B
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
Sales Rank: 12022
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

39. UPG-V STRATA 3D PRO 3.5

Asin: B00005LM7C
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Strata
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

40. Corel Bryce 5.0 Upgrade
list price: $99.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005LD1F
Catlog: Software
Publisher: Corel
Sales Rank: 5420
Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com Review

There's nothing quite like building your own world, and no applicationmakes it easier than Bryce. Now on its fifth major revision and currently ownedby Corel, Bryce has grown from a fun application for building alien planets to acapable rendering tool with advanced features.

Version 5 offers numerous new features and improvements. To address thecomplaints of the slow rendering engine, Bryce 5 has introduced networkrendering. No longer will one computer have to slave away all its own on a10-second scene. Rendering can be distributed across as many systems as areavailable on your network. The number of computer slaves available for use isonly limited by your own hardware, as Bryce's network rendering license isunlimited. However, Bryce still doesn't take advantage of computers withmultiple CPUs--rendering on a system with two 400 MHz processors takes the sametime as rendering on a system with one.

If you've got a green thumb, Bryce 5 has the Tree Lab, one of the easiest waysto grow a forest. Nearly everything about a tree is variable: number ofbranches, number of leaves, kind of trunk, kind of leaf, branch angle, amount ofbranching, etc. There are presets for dozens of common and uncommon trees, andthe thumbnail preview screen lets you preview in wire-frame or rendered views.

Once the forest is grown, you might want to light it up using the tools from theLight Lab. Based on the earlier version, the new Light Lab has been redesignedto make it easier to build, adjust, and customize lights and their attributes.You can use color gradients as gels for lights, and control other attributeslike shadow ambiance, soft shadows, blurry reflections, and true ambiance.

The new Light and Tree Labs, as well as metaballs and network rendering, makeBryce 5 a must-have application for old and new users alike. --MikeCaputo ... Read more

Reviews (11)

3-0 out of 5 stars not there yet
I have Bryce 4 which I'm running on a 600MHz cpu with 128RAM and I recently got a chance to play with B5 on a 1.8 GHz machine with 512RAM. Incredibly, the new version on hardware with 3x the oomph of my own system was SLOWER to render!!...and boys 'n girls, Bryce's slow rendering engine is already the ickiest, least acceptable part of the package. Okay, so you can supposedly distribute the rendering chores over multiple computers in a network now but y'know, I only have the one machine and it's the same story for most home users, I'd suspect. This is a really inadequate "fix" for the software's worst problem.

Yes, there's good stuff here, too. :) The new tree lab is a significant improvement but again, you'll just add to the rendering nightmare if you use it. I like the new light controls, too, and the terrain editor is better. The disappointment in Bryce comes from seeing the potential for glory, the means by which you can play God and create your own worlds in convincing detail, but not quite being able to get there and having to skimp on the details in an eternal battle to keep down the rendering times. Much of what you'll want to do with it can be achieved if you only do web graphics and keep to relatively low resolutions: go no higher than 800x600 pixels for wallpaper or whatever and a fairly complex creation will take hours to render, but if you want to do a 300dpi file for a 5"x7" print...2100x1500 pixels...you need to keep the composition very simple, no plants, minimal glass, metal and reflective stuff...and you'll probably need to leave your 'puter on overnight, anyway. :( Turn off your wallpaper, turn off your screensaver, close everything else you can (basically, burn all the furniture in your house to keep warm!), whisper prayers and incantations, do whatever you have to do to give every spare ounce of processor power to Bryce while it's rendering. *sigh* Maybe you'll avoid a crash, at least.

Final note: I know this is for the home user, not for pros, but that doesn't mean it can't get a lot better than it is and I'm thinking good thoughts for the next few releases--but saving my $$ for now. I've been a CorelDRAW! and Photo-Paint user for years and I have every confidence Corel will do great things with Bryce, but they're not there yet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bryce 5.0 is best for beginners and hobbyists
This iteration of Bryce has been in the wings for a few years, and was in a sense a test to see what Corel would do to the product line when it was acquired from Metacreations. The quality of the rendering engine has been greatly improved and lacks nothing apart from speed. The rendering time (the amount of time the software takes to create a finished picture from the designed 3D scene) takes significantly longer than the previous 4.x version. Serious 3D enthusiasts might look askance at the model forms, as instead of creating and editing the model forms themselves, Bryce is reliant upon primative booleans. However, there are many importable object file options and a terrain editor that almost makes up for this lack. Those new to 3D designing and hobbyists will find no features missing from the Bryce 5.0 package.

2-0 out of 5 stars Slow Rendering Time, CPU's Floating-Point Unit (FPU)
As an artist who has used Bryce 3D and upgraded to Bryce 4, I was satisfied with the product's ability to render realistic worlds and 3D special effects, even before I upgraded to Bryce 5. But for all the beauty I have been able to create with this affordable yet powerful software, there has been one increasingly prominent sour-note that may pretty much kill-joy everything else I liked.

I am currently rendering a sixteen-second animation using Bryce 5 on a WindowsME PC. The animation is 320-by-240 pixels resolution per frame, and has a frame rate of thirty frames per second. The PC has a Pentium III, 256 megabytes of RAM, a 40 gigabyte hard drive, and on-board 24-bit graphics acceleration. Nevertheless, because the animation includes six to eight transparent metaballs with a marble texture and the refractive properties of water, Bryce tells me that the animation will take at least fifteen DAYS to finish. To make a long story short, Bryce 5 will punish you in slow rendering time for the same intricacy of creativity the software claims to reward.

At first, I wondered whether or not Bryce's rendering engine was software-intensive (i.e. all of the complex floating-point calculations involving exponents, roots, logarithms, trigonometry, and so on are all carried out by the software) or hardware-intensive (i.e. the same complex calculations are passed to and from the CPU's Floating-Point Unit, which is MILLIONS of times faster than the software-intensive method). All Pentium CPU's have an FPU, and since Bryce 5 requires that the PC in question have a Pentium, one would think that Bryce's rendering engine would be hardware-intensive, taking advantage of the FPU's speed and power. Nevertheless, other users have told me that the Bryce 5 rendering engine is only software-intensive, hence the incredibly long rendering times on simple animations that were cursed with having too many complex props and actors in the scene. Other users have advised me to make use of Network Rendering, where several computers sharing a network link carry out the same rendering project together. But it totally defeats the purpose of purchasing an inexpensive yet powerful 3D world-rendering tool when you have to spend tons of extra money on other computers simply to render a scene or animation at a decent rate.

Ultimately, because my work is deadline-driven, I have found that Bryce's dismal rendering times have become absolutely unacceptable. I am already doing research on another 3D-rendering software package that has a considerably faster rendering engine, one that makes use of the FPU. Bryce 5 is excellent for rendering phenomenal 3D worlds and animations, but only if you have a day's, a week's, or even a month's patience, because that's exactly how long it may take.

4-0 out of 5 stars It is pretty good...
When I purchased Bryce 5, the first 3d graphics and animation program I ever used, it was wonderful. I had no problem creating my own world. Bryce 5 is very easy to use and, once you learn more about how to use it, you can create life-like scenes and animations. About the render time: it only takes a long time if you have complicated scenes with many polygons, reflections, objects that have high refraction, and gasses. Other than that, it's been fast for me. Bryce 5 has only crashed twice in the seven months that I've had it. Corel Bryce 5 is perfect, in my opinion, for beginners. Like I said before, it's VERY easy to use and it's nowhere near as complicated as I thought it would be. I've never used Bryce 4 or Bryce 3D, so, I have nothing to compair Bryce 5 to. However, I'm very happy that I purchased this and I will continue to use it. I've yet to encounter any bugs whatsoever. (The reason it crashed is because I had a virus on my computer.) If you're a beginner, I STRONGLY reccomend this program. If you're an advanced user, well, it's your choice.

1-0 out of 5 stars Buggy...don't buy it yet!
As a user of Bryce 3D and Bryce 4, and very satisfied with them, I'm very disappointed that Corel apparently felt they had to rush this release out before they debugged it. On 3D graphics discussion boards across the internet, folks are saying they had to deinstall it.
There are several serious problems with this release. It renders extremely slow; at least twice as slow as Bryce 4. It hangs machines (I've had this experience with W2K machine with 512 memory), crashes machines, loses track of where files are. The tree lab has possibilities, but the trees are still extremely polygon intensive, and more than a few trees duplicated in your scene may cause a crash, or rendering errors that leave parts of the trees missing.
Corel is supposedly working on a patch right now; I'd advise that if you have Bryce 4, keep it...don't bother with Bryce 5 until they get the problems ironed out. ... Read more


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