Well, as you might have figured out from the gaudy 3-D KitchenSink-Online.com logo, I recently discovered the joys of Bryce. I haven't yet bought the program seeing as how I'm such a poor college student right now, so I've made due with the 30-day trail version. Anyhoo, before I start boring those of you who came to this page to just look at some pretty pictures, let me assure you that you can just scroll down the page and click on any of the thumbnails you see to bring up the original image in all its glory. The purpose of this little running commentary (instead of just putting all the pictures in a table and be done with it) is to let you know what some of the more...ah...stranger pictures mean and what my goal was for each one.

This dragonfly was the first image I created with Bryce. There's a short tutorial on the Bryce web site that walked me through the creation of it though I did take some liberties with its coloring ;) I rendered the dragonfly at 540x400 resolution which is nothing to write home about but I wasn't going to tie up my computer for a whole day rendering an image like this. The water came out very nice I thought, although the picture needed to be rendered at a higher resolution to see the detail on the reflection. This was the first time I'd used the water texture by the way. As you'll see, my philosophy is you can never have too much water in a 3-D image.

This next image I created shortly after the dragonfly. This 'floating cube' was just an experiment with some of the different effects you can use in Bryce. But first, about that 2A. As you'll note from the About Me link, I am currently in college. I live on the second floor of one of the residence halls called Tyler West. The A in 2A stands for Tyler West and the 2 stands for the second floor. Anyway, getting back to this floating cube image, it uses several effects I'd never used before. For one thing, I had to figure out how to take a 2-D image and import it into a Bryce file to wrap around a 3-D object (the cube). I then made a slightly larger cube that covered the first cube and applied a glass texture to it to see what would happen. That still didn't seem like enough, though, so I put the whole thing in a pool of water (water is always good), created some psydo ripples (if you look close you can tell they're just toruses) and a slab of fluffy cloud textures which sat down close to the surface of the pool. Finally, I shot the moon and rendered the whole thing at 1370x1027. Needless to say, I didn't use my computer for the rest of that day.

Finally I decided to do something cool. I was tired of experimenting and wanted something I could use as a wallpaper on my desktop. I still wanted to use the 2A symbol since my college floor means a lot to me and I wanted to have something fairly simple. The idea I came up with was to have the 2A symbol rising out of a pool of mercury (can you tell I like liquid effects?) on some sort of counter or table top. Basically, I wanted a T-1000 type of effect. As you can see for the image at right, the result was...erm...interesting. It took me a while to get the puddle to have a nice surface-tension look to it. The actual 2A symbol didn't come out at all like I wanted it - it's way too thin and not nearly 'globby' enough. The table top isn't as clear as I wanted and, worst of all, the mercury doesn't look like mercury. Those white flecks you see in it are reflected clouds from the sky. Yes, I forgot to get rid of the sky plane.

So I decided to try something a little less ambitious. Again, I used the 2A symbol rising out of the ground - this time literally. I clumped a bunch of mountains together, stuck the 2A in the middle, added an infinite water plane and rendered it at 800x600. For the most part, I like the result. It's nothing spectacular but it's not terrible either. On the other hand, when you make one of these pictures yourself, it's easy to find all the millions of things wrong with it. Just a few I can think of are: 1) The ground texture isn't that real looking 2) The water plane probably shouldn't have been infinite (where do you ever see that many lakes that close together?) and 3) Why aren't there any trees or shrubs in sight? Oh well, maybe next time.

And now for something completely new and different... I decided to give the 2A symbol a rest and try creating a glass. And here it is. A martini conveniently sitting beside a mirror. I finally got the lighting right - something I'd been working on for quite some time. Other than that, this image didn't turn out too well. I'll let you spot the mess-ups. Suffice it to say I'm glad I just did a quick render at 640x480.

And now we come to the best of the best. Or the least worst - depending on how you look at it. I still wanted to do that whole puddle of mercury thing. I knew it would look cool if I could just get it to turn out right. I started over from scratch and did things right this time. For one thing, I got rid of the sky and made my own lighting. The table is a different texture and has a super-thin layer of glass just above it to give it a shiny, waxed look. I spread out the 2A symbol a bit to give it a blobby, mercury feel. Finally, I used a texture on the puddle that actually looks like mercury. This image took a little less than 24 hours to render at 1620x1215. For the most part, I think it came out as good as it possibly could have.

And here is the KitchenSink-Online.com logo. Not much to say about it. I'll probably redesign it one of these days...maybe even put a sink in there or something. For now it'll have to do.