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My Bryce Video

After many months of work, it's finally finished. This animation  was created entirely with Bryce from Metacreations.

The movie is 240 by 180 in size, and has a beautiful piano music track supplied by Shirley Kaiser. Her music fit the mood and the feel I was looking for so well that I contacted her and asked her if she'd be willing to collaborate on me with this project, and I was thrilled when she said yes! Her music CD is available for purchase on her web site, and if you appreciate beautiful, emotion filled music, it's a must have CD.  To listen to online samples and to place your order, click on her name above.

When it came time to compile this video in Adobe Premiere, I ran into some major problems. Apparently my system simply didn't have enough memory to compile the scenes and add the audio track, and no matter what I tried, it simply refused to work. It either totally blew up my computer, or the finished compilation looked horrible- there were artifacts all over the place. 

 I tried everything possible, and it simply wouldn't work on this computer.  Rodney L'Ongnion  of the movie "Planetary Traveler" fame, and also the creator of the upcoming video "Infinity's Child", came to the rescue.  He offered a lot of guidance for this project, taking the time to answer a lot of technical questions that I had as I went along. Besides being the "man with all the answers", he also offered encouragement to help push me along.  There were many times I was ready to give up on this project, but he was good enough to give me a much needed kick in the rear to keep me going. 

The many phone calls he made to me to check up on things were always hysterical. He'd call, I'd answer the phone, and he'd say "Hey- your textures suck!" and I'd reply with "Oh yeah? Your camera motions look like they were done by a blind man with shaky hands!" Then we'd both laugh our fool heads off, then get down to business. Rodney- thanks a million bud! I appreciate all the effort on your behalf to help me get this project done!

After hearing of the problems that I was encountering with trying to compile this project, Rodney spent some time on the phone with me tossing out ideas on settings to try, but no matter what we tried, it just wasn't going to happen on this computer.  He graciously offered to compile it on his setup, so I burned all the components of this project onto a stack of CD's and shipped them to him overnight. 

Unfortunately, one of the CD's I sent out was  garbage- it simply refused to mount or open up on any of his many computers, but he was able to salvage this project with what I had on the other CD's. I don't know how he did it, but he got it to fly. The cave scene originally had blue fog, but for some reason the palette got trashed when it was put onto a Mac, and it turned out reddish pink. Oh well, it still looks ok.  He got everything to compile, and now it's done. I owe him a world of thanks for the guidance and effort he put in, as well as the hours of work getting the final project compiled for me. Thanks Rodney- I owe ya' one! Or three..... =D

Since my computer is so slow- a P166 with 64 megs and a 2 gig hard drive, I had to enlist the help of some fellow Bryce addicts to render some of the scenes. A friend set up one of his web servers so that people  could download the scene files, then upload the finished clips to this server for storage.  Thanks a million to Michael Fenimore from Millennium Graphic Arts for setting this site up and allowing me the space to store all of these files. I couldn't have done it without his help, so thank you Michael!

Special thanks go out to the following people who were kind enough to help with the rendering chores. I couldn't have done this project without their help- thanks guys! (If I left anyone out, it wasn't intentional- I simply lost track!)


Norman E. Spaulding

Peter St. Clair

Curt Tooley

Don Gray

Clay Hagebusch

With those thank you's out of the way, now you can see the results of many, many hours of blood, sweat, and a lot of tears. I've got just one version for you right now-  in the QuickTime .MOV format. This QuickTime movie is going to be one heck of a huge download, let me tell you that right off the bat. But it's the best way to see and hear this video. 

It's been compressed with PKZIP, so you'll have to uncompress it before you can view it. Mac users can use the latest version of STUFFIT expander to open up this file.  This video will also be seen on CD's handed out by Metacreations at upcoming trade shows, training  seminars, etc, so if you're somewhere and you see that Metacreations is showing off their latest products, wander over and see if they have a demo CD that they are passing out. Chances are that you can see this video on that CD, as well as demo versions of Bryce, Canoma, and other Metacreations products. 

I just recently discovered that this video was also included on the DVD version of Infinity's Child, which is the sequel to Planetary Traveler. Just dig around on the DVD for the QuickTime Movie called Discovery. 

With modern compression, as well as finally owning a computer with enough horsepower to do video compression, I've been able to compress the original animation file as an Mp4 file.  

This is far superior to all previous versions in both visual and audio quality.

This is playable using Apple's free Quick Time Movie player.

DOWNLOAD Steven_Lareau_bryce_video_discovery.mp4

Here are a few stills from the animation to give you a feel of this project. 

crusty.jpg (8906 bytes) 
Crusty terrain

This was a still image I rendered a while ago in Bryce 2 with a terrain material that I created. It just seemed to lend itself to this animation, since it's really a bizarre texture.


 launch.jpg (12243 bytes) 

Another older image which when I was rendering it in Bryce 2, I envisioned this smaller thing launching and rising out of the "Mother" object. This animation clip looks really cool- the camera follows the projectile as it slowly climbs high into the dark clouds, then disappearing.


 blackholeredcloud.jpg (6123 bytes)  
Black Hole

Ok, it isn't really a black hole. But it's a cool effect. This is a terrain created by importing an image of a lens flare I created in PhotoShop, then stretching it extremely tall to create a long negative cone. There is one light with a material applied that I created, which rotates like crazy as it slowly drops away into darkness. In the finished movie, there's a cool double helix with a lacy looking material applied to it and it too rotates. It looks very cool.


  caveview.jpg (7447 bytes) 
Cave View

This is a shot from one of the longest running animations I've done so far. It starts out inside of a dark cave, then reaches the edge of the cave, and then the camera slowly glides down into the canyons below. It winds through them a bit, eventually reaching open water, where it then enters a cave in a terrain at the water's edge.


 fogcanyon.jpg (8522 bytes) 
Fog Canyon

This one took almost a week to render. That's absurd for the actual running length of this short clip. My kingdom for a faster computer! 


 happenedhere.jpg (11428 bytes) 
It happened here

This is a series of terrains created using a fractal for the shape of the terrain. The water replaces sand in the original, and if you saw the original version, you'd understand what the title refers to. It implies an area where something dreadful happened in the past.


New York 3K 
New York 3K

This is a rather long clip- it's a ride on a monorail / tube thingie cruising past a dirty city.  The camera pans to the right to take a look at the scene whizzing by, as shown in this clip, then heads into a tunnel in the side of a mountain.


 spineportal.jpg (10821 bytes) 
Fractal Spine

If you've been to my Bryce galleries in the past, you've seen the original of this scene. This is another one that I envisioned with movement as an animation as I was creating it.

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