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Bryce 5 Mini Tutorial
How to create High Resolution Terrains

How to create High Resolution Terrains

By David Brinnen & Horo

February 2005

Originally published on


Start up Bryce, select «Create» and click on the mountain.

Figure 1
Figure 2

Click on «E» (Edit) to open the terrain editor.

Figure 3

Select «Mordor» from the «Fractal» Pulldown.

Click on the «Fractal« button until you get a terrain that resembles the one below.   There are hundreds of times you can click on this button without ever repeating the terrain optained.

Figure 4
Figure 5

Select camera «From Top», zoom back 5 times, grab a corner and pull the terrain until it gets about the size shown in the next picture.

Figure 6

Alternatively, you can click on the «A» (Attribute) and enter the values for the terrain as numbers.

Figure 7

Shown are the preliminary numeric values for the terrain.

Figure 8

Because the terrain was enlarged, it is now submerged, below the ground plane.   The position is adjusted by clicking on the up-arrow (from the initial -165.00 to 175.00 in the example).

Move camera in all axes until a position is found that resembles the one of the rendered picture.

Figure 9

Select terrain and open the Terrain Editor.   Change the resolution from the standard «128 - normal» auf «1024 - massive resolution».

Figure 10

Very Important: In the Fractal dropdown, unselect the three preselected options «Random Extent», «Random Position» as well as «Random Character».   Then, click once on the Fractal button to regenerate the same terrain with a higher resolution. This may take a couple of seconds.

Figure 11

The difference in resolution is obvious.  The terrain looks much more real.

Figure 12

Low resolution terrain with material, a water plane and a more interesting sky.   Although the material for the terrain is quite elaborate, the landscape does not look good.   If some spikes were added, they would appear as pyramids.

Bryce Filesize = 100%; Render Time = 100%.

Figure 13

High resolution terrain with same material as at left, same water plane and sky. It looks much more natural. If some spikes were added, they would appear as such. This comes at a price, the source file increases considerable, render time a bit.

Bryce Filesize = 1300%; Render Time = 136%.

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