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.