Bryce Video Tutorial: Upgrading Lighting
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This video is intended for people who are fairly familiar with Bryce already and wish to expand their understanding of what the new more sophisticated lighting modes available in Bryce 7.1 Pro have to offer. The premise of the video is that the user wishes to upgrade a scene optimised for earlier versions of Bryce to take advantage of the more advanced rendering and lighting options.
In the past, due mostly to hardware limitations, scene optimisation consisted of using global ambience to "illuminate" shadow regions, reduced shadow intensity and sky dome colour (and variations on these themes using fill lights and material options). The first step to upgrading a scene is to strip out all these "cheats" and then rebuild the lighting using either TA (True Ambience premium effect rendering mode) or IBL (Image Based Lighting) or combinations of the two.
The inevitable drawback of using these improved light simulation systems is longer render times, although this will be offset for those of us who have access to more up to date hardware. Render times on my i7 in comparison to my P4 are a 1/10 of what they were. And in comparison to my AMD powered machine before that... renders that took 500 hours (a real test of patience) now take only about half an hour. That being said, advice is still offered as to how to go about optimising the advanced lighting for improved render times (there is no need to waste time and electricity if you don't have to).