I've got a number of images in the galleries that are experiments attempting to coerce Bryce into rendering something that looks like radiosity (global illumination).

Basically, there are three ways that I know of to simulate radiosity in Bryce:

  • Use omni lights to simulate radiosity where direct light strikes an object.

    This can be a pretty complicated approach and only works in certain lighting situations. The previous Oracle series uses this method. It was moody, it had a look but I wasn't overly pleased with the results.
  • Klaus's Fake Radiosity method.

    This method works on outdoor scenes and looks good in theory but falls short of what I'm looking for in practice. It's very clever though. This one uses the blurred reflections feature in Bryce 5 so you can't use it in earlier versions. For the record, I agree with Klaus, true ambience is useless for any sort of photo-realistic render.
  • Necati's Simulated Radiosity method.

    This method only works on indoor scenes. Again, it's very clever and it uses special light arrays so it will work with all versions of Bryce. However, you lose all the specular properties of your materials.

All of these methods are murder on the render times, the second two mess with the specular properties and none of them are really giving me a satisfying radiosity effect.

I also experimented briefly with the idea of creating two renders. A radiosity solution (using one of these methods) and a shadow solution (normal render) then combining the two as layers in Photoshop. You get some interesting effects when you blend the radiosity render using "soft light", but again, it really isn't what I'm after.

The search continues ...

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