Taking a Stab With Bryce

You know those cool landscape backgrounds you see in sci-fi art? I'd often heard that they are created in a program called Bryce (perhaps after Bryce Canyon National Park, which has some of the most AMAZING landscapes to be seen in America!), so when I got a free copy of Bryce 5 in an issue of a computer magazine I picked up at B&N, I had to give it a try!

The results? Mixed. I immediately determined that the great deal on Bryce (even if it was an expensive specialty mag) came with a drawback - no manual! Now, I am usually one to read half- to three-quarters of a manual before I try to operate an unfamiliar program or game. I am apt to get frustrated when my idea of "intuitive interface" doesn't match the prublisher's, if I am forced to guess how to do things. When I have a manual, I can read the rules; the publisher sets his rules out, and I learn to use them. Without a manual, I rapidly tire of try-this-and-see-what-it-does.

So I have to report that although I obtained images, they didn't come easily, as I fought with the interface to do things I knew the program was capable of, but which I couldn't get guidance on. In the end, my artistic vision lost the tussle, and I settled for

I'll probably give Bryce another try later. Maybe I'll find some hints somewhere on how to use it. For the point is, as a dabbler and not a pro, I only want to satisfy an occasional impulse - I am not going to go out and buy a shrink-wrapped copy of the latest version. (Which I think is 6. BTW, a quick check on Amazon offers Bryce 5 for $490.)

That's "Under an Alien Sun" at the top, and "Cross-Country Flight" below.


  1. Mark, you've read a LOT of books on Librivox! I enjoy your reading very much--thanks for choosing such good titles and reading them so well!

  2. Here is a manual for Bryce 5 http://www.oscr.arizona.edu/downloads/tutorials/archive/Bryce5_Instructor.pdf

  3. Mark,

    I wanted to thank you for your wonderful reading of Huck Finn. My family really enjoyed it during our trip to Chicago. It made the miles pass much more rapidly than they otherwise would have.